BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Baguio City government, and the Association of the Barangay Councils (ABC) launched the first Cordillera Crafts and Productivity Center (CPC) to help Cordillera region’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) market their products.
“This is ours, this is for the city, and for the region, best of the best products. Since we have world-class products and skilled people, we should be proud of it. We have to showcase the creativity, the artistic skills of our people,” DTI regional director Myrna Pablo on Monday (November 12).
The CPC was formally opened on Oct. 10.
Pablo said the CPC is the seventh One Town One Product Hub (OTOP) established in the country. Two each are in Visayas and in Mindanao, one in Malacañang, and one in Bulacan.
“This OTOP hub shall serve as an incubation and market testing facility for new products and innovations of our local MSMEs,” Pablo explained.
Among the items sold at the OTOP hub are fruit wines, handwoven items, souvenir items, traditional garments, preserved food, traditional handicrafts, sweets, native organic tea, chocolates, and coffee products.
The hub responds to DTI’s strategic goal of growing more competitive and innovative MSMEs with strong brands that contribute significantly to the regional economy.
“As you can see, its not just food. We, Cordillerans, are world-class producers of crafts. That is why we have artistic products here as well,” Pablo said.
The DTI official explained that the OTOP in Baguio was launched to bolster the city’s creative city tag from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
“Foremost among the features is the creative city hub, befitting the recognition bestowed on the city. The hub also showcases the artistic products of the region’s visual artists,” she said.
Pablo emphasized that for the hub to sustain a world-class standard product tag, the products sold at the CPC undergo a selection process, assuring that products bought at the CPC are of high quality.
Cordillera coffee brand
Another feature of the center is the DTI-Branded “Kapetirya CAR,” which sells freshly-brewed Cordillera produced specialty coffee.
Pablo said promoting local coffee at the Kapetirya will encourage local coffee farmers to increase production and businessmen to venture into coffee processing, thereby assuring the public of abundant supply of green coffee beans.
At present, she said, there are 11,000 MSMEs in the Cordillera, which the DTI hopes to assist, together with the other government agencies.
“Currently we are prioritizing 5,000 MSMEs, to whom training, seminars are provided, to equip them with the basic knowledge that will improve their businesses,” Pablo said.
She said 80 percent of the MSMEs are from Baguio and Benguet, while the 20 percent are spread out in other provinces in the region.
Pablo said it is not only the product quality that the DTI and its partner agencies want to hone with the CPC, but also the packaging and labeling of the items, so these would look world-class.
“We want to make an impression that whatever the tourists will be looking for will be available in our Cordillera Crafts and Productivity Center and that they would come back to it, whenever they are in the city because of their being satisfied customers,” she said. Pamela Mariz Geminiano, PNA / ABN
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