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DTI to MSMEs: Be imaginative

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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is advising all of its micro, small, and medium-sized firms (MSMEs) to “dream big” as the government keeps giving local businesses more power to promote economic growth, employment, and revenue.

Ermelyn Tariga, head of the Partuat ti Kailokuan Marketing Cooperative, which runs the One Town One Product Hub in front of the departure area of the Laoag International Airport, stated in an interview on Friday that they are now motivated to continue developing new products for airport travelers and other visitors.

With an average monthly sales volume of PHP300,000 since its establishment in January 2019, the OTOP hub at the Laoag airport has been among the top vendors of “pasalubong” (takeaway goods) in the area.

The global pandemic, which forced its business at the airport to cease operations, ended its upbeat sales performance.

The DTI, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the office of Ilocos Norte 1st District Representative Ferdinand Alexander Marcos, who co-funded the establishment of the OTOP Hub to a more accessible site at the airport, Tariga claimed, will assist her and her fellow MSMEs in showcasing their food and non-food products once more at the airport.

Almost 50 regional suppliers from Region 1 have agreed to supply their high-quality goods at the OTOP Hub on a consignment basis, Tariga stated. “We are thankful and pleased with the same time that our products are visible at the airport again,” she said.

DTI Regional Director Grace Falgui-Baluyan challenged MSMEs to think big when she was in this city since the global market is waiting for them to be discovered.

To ensure their competitiveness in the global market, she reminded MSMEs to adhere to international marketing norms.

Vice Governor Cecilia Marcos Araneta said the Ilocos Norte administration and all other concerned government agencies are behind MSMEs in the province and see a bright future for them.

As of right now, every item on display at the OTOP hub is export-ready, including top-quality handwoven bags, table runners, towels, various handicrafts, dried mangoes, rice crackers, rice coffee, turmeric powder, “bagnet” (deep-fried pork belly) chips, Cornick (crunchy puffed corn), pickled vegetables, tomato jam, and “pinakbet” (vegetable dish) paste, among other things.

The CAAP has granted the coop permission to operate the OTOP Hub without charge for the duration of a five-year contract, with the exception of its utility costs.

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