Capacitating the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in achieving a larger marketability online, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) successfully kicked off this year’s One Town One Product (OTOP) National Virtual Trade Fair via the ZOOM platform and simulcasted through the official Facebook pages of the OTOP Philippines and PLDT Home Biz, August 2.
DTI is certain that empowering the MSME sector through e-commerce and digitalization like the OTOP online fair will help the Philippine trade and industry bounce back from the economic downturn due to the prolonged COVID-19 crisis.
“We believe that MSMEs will play essential role in helping to rebuild the economy back better so we can help uplift the lives of people in the pandemic future,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
Developed under the OTOP Next Gen program, more than 380 MSMEs or OTOPreneurs on-boarded the official platform of the OTOP NVTF 2021 to showcase their marketable products online.
Regional Operations Group (ROG) Trade Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona encouraged the Filipino consumers to support locals by buying OTOP products from the online store at www.virtualtradeexpoph.com.
“Magagawa pa rin natin ibangon ang ekonomiya sa pamamagitan ng pagbili o pagtangkilik ng mga produktong gawa mismo ng ating mga maliliit na negosyo. Sa paraang ito, suportado pa rin natin ang mga MSMEs habang ligtas tayo mula sa banta ng virus o sakit na maaaring makuha sa labas ng tahanan,” Usec. Lantayona stated.
OTOP is a priority stimulus program for MSMEs as government’s customized intervention to drive inclusive local economic growth. The program enables localities and communities to determine, develop, support, and promote products or services that are rooted in its local culture, community resource, creativity, connection, and competitive advantage. It is a convergent initiative involving DTI and other government agencies and private sector.
In response to the needs of MSME sector hardly hit by the pandemic, OTOP has introduced its national virtual expo in partnership with PLDT Home Biz to give MSMEs a wider access to the digital marketplace.
“We know the challenges that our local industries are facing during this pandemic is not easy. That is why the OTOP is here to back up our MSMEs or OTOPreneurs and serve as their marketing arm. We help in their product development to make the products more competitive and marketable. And we establish OTOP Hubs or stores where our MSMEs can showcase their own OTOP Products for free. Kaya naman, we also organized this virtual trade fair to help generate more sales for our MSMEs online on a FREE platform,” OTOP Program Manager Assistant Demphna Du-Naga added.
Present also at the virtual launch to give their support to OTOP trade show were President’s common law wife Honeylet Avanceña, Senator Bong Go, OTOP Bill author Congressman Argel Cabatbat, PLDT representatives Linette Garcia and Lianne Ong, DTI-ROG Assistant Secretaries Aster Caberte and Dominic Tolentino, regional and provincial directors, among others.
The 5-day online fair will continue with programs revolving with the MSME week’s theme of ‘Resiliency, Recovery, and Rebuilding’ with a “Concert Para sa Recovery” featuring various celebrities capping of the virtual trade fair on August 6.
The OTOP National Virtual National Trade Fair is open to the public, and admission is free.
You can easily shop at the store through following the steps:
- Go to http://www.virtualtradeexpoph.com and click ‘Login as Participant’ at the Login button.
- Once you are at the Login page, click ‘Register Here’.
- You can now register as participant by filling up the form that will be shown on screen and once you are done with the form, click ‘Register’.
- To join an expo just click the “Join Expo” button, once you click the join button you can now enter the lobby by simply clicking the “Go To Expo” button.
- Once you enter the Lobby you can now view the exhibitor in the exhibitor hall.
- Once you enter the exhibitor hall, you can now buy a product by viewing their respective virtual booths.
For more information about the OTOP National Virtual Trade Fair 2021, please follow the official social media accounts of the OTOP Philippines on Facebook and on Instagram @otop.philippines.