Sarangani opens ‘pasalubong’ center

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/16 March) — A one-stop shop for souvenir and pasalubong products in Sarangani has opened in the provincial capital of Alabel town last week, officials said.

Gov. Miguel Rene Dominguez said the Sarangani Pasalubong Center (PSC) would provide the province’s tourists, excursionists as well as the local residents a combination of Sarangani’s quality and authentic pasalubong crafts and foods.

SPC, located at Alabel Town Center near the Capitol, is the official pasalubong center in Sarangani aside from the pasalubong corners existing in some resorts in the province.

Dominguez said the opening of SPC was just timely for the summer as Sarangani is usually flocked by tourists and excursionists during the Sarangani Bay Festival in May.

Dorecita Delima, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 12 assistant regional director, assured the Association of Sarangani Producers (ASAP) of the department’s support to SPC as she considers it a “a prime investment” in Sarangani.

ASAP, an association of Sarangani-based entrepreneurs focused on food processing, handicraft making and novelty product creation using the “Sarap Sarangani” brand, owns and manages SPC.

ASAP was organized by DTI and the Promotion and Development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Sarangani (PRO–MSME Sarangani) to promote a unified growth of these enterprises in the province.

ASAP president Olive Martos said SPC is the dream they always wanted for their products, a place where they can introduce their products to the market.

ASAP products particularly coco sugar are now being exported directly to the United States and Canada while the bamboo crafts are also being exported to Qatar and Boracay.

The marinated flying fish and Cresing’s Rice Coffee from Maitum are also gaining markets nationwide.

In a statement, Nenita Barroso, DTI Sarangani director, said SPC is poised as an “attractive industry because of the support of the different local governments units, national government agencies, and private organizations and non-government organizations.”

She said that “as the Philippine economy moves towards agriculture and tourism as its main economy source, more and more people are flocking to areas such as Sarangani Province. These new additions to the population are starved for the fine ingredients they were able to purchase in big cities and are looking for a rural solution.” (Bong Sarmiento/MindaNews)