DTI-Sarangani to fast track flagship products in Sarangani

She said the mayors of the municipalities of Glan, Malungon, Maitum, Alabel, Maasim, Malapatan, and Kiamba will formally sign the agreement on Monday (July 10) during the opening of the Uswag Sarangani 2006.

Uswag Sarangani, a local version of the SME development week celebration held every third week of July, stands for “united towards a strong, wealthy and globally competitive Sarangani.” This year’s theme is “Sulong, Barangay SMEs.”

Patterned after Japan's One Village One Product project, OTOP was earlier conceptualized by the national government as a priority program to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs, a DTI briefer said.

This project has reportedly been adopted by Thailand, Vietnam, Malawi, Cambodia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia as an effective tool of poverty alleviation in the rural areas.

Under the program, local governments were tasked to identify, develop and promote a specific product or service to help boost the local economy.

Barroso said Glan town chose to develop various coco-based products for food, beverage and handicrafts; fresh and processed mango for Malungon; marinated fish for Maitum; fresh cardaba banana for Alabel; fresh and processed cardaba banana for Maasim; fresh cardaba banana for Malapatan; and, abaca-based products such as T’nalak and other handicraft for Kiamba.

She said these products would be launched through the Uswag barangay forum on July 10 as part of the activities of the second Uswag Sarangani celebration.

The slated activities include the unveiling of the Sarangani SME Pasalubong Center marker at the Malapatan booth at the provincial capitol grounds in Alabel town, the Anmo U Ni: Abaca handcraft making competition in Kiamba town, inter-school essay writing contest, business plan preparation competition, aquaculture industry stakeholders’ forum and various entrepreneurial and skills training.

Barroso said among the highlights of the celebration is the introduction of the reverse-financing forum during the SME forum.

“This is an innovative financing forum wherein an SME, individual or sectoral group, will make a presentation of their financing needs before government financing institutions, banks, non-government organizations, micro-finance institutions, and other non-traditional sources of financing,” she explained.