LGUs urged to set up showrooms for native products

Apr. 27, 2009

DAVAO CITY — In preparation for the influx of tourists this summer, the Regional Development Council (RDC) has enjoined all the local chief executives of all the cities and provinces of the Davao region to establish showrooms for their indigenous products.

During the recent RDC meeting at the Bulwagan ng Lalawigan in Tagum City, the council approved a resolution directing all the governors and mayors in the region to set up a display center for all their native products and services, especially the products identified under the One town – one product (Otop) program of the government, which promotes entrepreneurship.

Otop Philippines is a priority program of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to help establish three million new businesses and create six to ten million jobs. Through Otop Philippines, local chief executives of each city and municipality take the lead in identifying, developing and promoting a specific product or service, which has a competitive advantage.

RDC-XI chairman Vicente Lao, however, clarified during the council meeting that the local showrooms should not only display the particular Otop products identified by the LGUs, but also other local products that are endemic in the localities.

He said this will make it easier for the local tourism stakeholders and hosts where to bring the tourists and guests when they look for native products, souvenir items and the likes.

The project is expected to boost the income of small entrepreneurs. Lao encouraged the LGUs to tap the resources of the private sector in implementing the project.

The council adopted the resolution after Department of Tourism (DOT) regional director Sonia Garcia presented the Davao Region Tourism Plan (DRTP), which envisions Southern Mindanao as a world-class destination of the country and a gateway to Mindanao and to the Bimp-Eaga.

The DRTP also sees Davao region as a safe and secure place for tourists, with accredited accommodation and standardized services, as well as, an island to highland destination highlighting culture, adventure and nature-oriented activities, like diving and playing golf.

Under the DRTP, the marketing strategy for the province of Davao del Norte province, which is tagged as the heart of the Davao region, includes the historical tour, banana biz tour, cultural tourism, eco-adventure tourism and culinary tourism.

Garcia also revealed the DOT will start establishing this month 10 cultural villages within the region, which will become unique cultural destinations.

“These villages will create unique indigenous products, like weaves, beadings and others that will be produced by the villagers themselves,” Garcia said.

She added the project was made possible through an 8 million peso grant from Senator Loren Legarda, which will be utilized for livelihood programs within the cultural villages. (CIO-Tagum/PIA XI)

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