Bong Go files bill institutionalizing One Town, One Product program to help drive recovery and innovation among MSMEs

PASAY CITY — Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has tabled a measure in the 19th Congress institutionalizing the Department of Trade and Industry’s “One City, One Product” (OTOP) program, saying it will help spur recovery and to promote innovation among micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

OTOP is a government-run program that provides assistance to MSMEs and promotes commodities and products from Philippine cities and regions.

In the explanatory memorandum to the bill, Go noted that 99.51% of businesses operating in the country are MSMEs, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s 2020 List of Establishments.

“These figures underline and reinforce the important role of MSMEs in the country’s economy,” Go said.

The senator emphasized that it is therefore the duty of the government to “provide protection and recognize the profound and undeniable contributions of MSMEs to nation building, the pursuit of national economic growth and the achievement of our goals. economic”.

Go’s Senate Bill enacts OTOP as a government stimulus program to encourage the growth of MSMEs in the country through the use of indigenous raw materials, local traditions and cultures across the country.

It aims to help and empower MSMEs to develop new, innovative and more complex products and services through significant improvement in the areas of quality, product development, design, packaging, standards compliance, marketing, production capacity, brand development, sustainability and licensing. , product registration and other marketing authorizations, among others.

Furthermore, the bill aims to help MSMEs cope with the adverse effects of the ongoing pandemic.

The report of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship of the 18th Congress was adopted into the bill.

As part of this measure, the DTI is responsible for establishing the OTOP Philippines Trustmark, which guarantees that the products covered by the program represent the best products in the country. The OTOP Philippines Trustmark signifies that companies and products have been marked as excellent in quality, design, value and merchantability.

The DTI is also responsible for establishing a set of criteria for OTOP products that are compatible with local culture, community resources, connection, creativity and competitive advantage.

Beneficiaries of the OTOP program will be determined by regional and provincial DTI offices, in cooperation with local government units. The DTI and the LGUs are mandated to make available a comprehensive package of assistance to beneficiaries of the OTOP program.

While the DTI will serve as the lead agency for the program, an OTOP Management Committee will be established to be appointed by the Secretary of the DTI who will have primary responsibility for directing the implementation of the proposed measure.

The Ministry of Tourism, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, the Ports Authority of the Philippines, the Board of Land Transport and Franchising and other similar agencies are also responsible for supporting the construction and allocation of spaces for the establishment of OTOP Philippines hubs.

To promote market access, the DTI is responsible for ensuring that OTOP Philippines hubs are established at strategic ports of entry, such as but not limited to airports, seaports, train stations high-traffic outlets such as shopping malls, tourist destinations and other places frequented by consumers.

The DTI, in coordination with the relevant agencies, will also formulate a comprehensive marketing and operations plan for the establishment of the OTOP Philippines hubs.

“The backbone of the MSME economy. Masisipag and madiskarte en buhay philipino. Kung mabibigyan lang sila ng tamang supported, hindi malayo na plus lalago pa ang mga negosyo nila,” Go said.

“Tulungan natin ang MSMEs na buhayin ang canilang mga dahil sila rin ang bubuhay sa ating ekonomiya, lalung-lalo na ngayon na nasa gitna tayo ng krisis dulot ng COVID-19,” he finished.

Go has also consistently advocated for sustained government support for MSMEs. At the height of the pandemic, lawmakers successfully advocated for the implementation of the wage subsidy program for small businesses. It provided eligible workers who were unable to work or get paid during the enhanced community quarantine period with two tranches of financial assistance. (OSBG)

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