Davao City – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11 has widened its marketing interventions by launching another avenue where local entrepreneurs can showcase and sell their products.

The Buy Local by Lokals pop-up store inside the NCCC Mall-VP along J.P. Laurel Avenue was launched in late December to serve as a shopping destination for distinct and high-quality Davao-made items. At least 14 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from all over the region are part of the project.

The establishment of the shop located near the mall’s food court is a result of public-private partnership. While DTI 11 is on top of the project, two partners from the private sector have made it happen.

The LTS Malls, Incorporated also provided space for the Buy Local by Lokals pop-up store. Meanwhile, the Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation, Incorporated is in-charge of the day-to-day operation of the store, which will be until March this year 2022.

DTI 11 Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi said that the newest project on marketing and promotion is anchored on the department’s Go Lokal! program.

“The Go Lokal! program started with a simple vision: to mainstream the products of the MSMEs. It is our goal to provide them with every opportunity where they can tap a wider market,” Ambi said.

The regional trade official was vocal in showing her appreciation to the private sector, particularly commending the agency’s partners for sharing their time and effort to help the MSMEs.

“We know for a fact that accessing the mainstream market, such as the mall, entails a sizeable amount. With this, some of our local entrepreneurs don’t have the capacity to pay for a space where there is a higher foot traffic. Thus, we at DTI, together with our private sector partners, do our share in helping them gain free access to the mainstream market,” she said.

Ambi further emphasized that the Buy Local by Lokals project is also in response to the pandemic that has affected the MSMEs in several ways. 

“We want to assist them in every way possible as they strive to weather the storm. We are here to create opportunities to aid them in their recovery and growth,” she said.

Ambi said that by patronizing local products, the locals can contribute to the achievement of a vibrant business climate considering that the MSMEs are the backbone of the Philippine economy, especially in job creation and poverty reduction.

Based on the newly released data by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country’s MSMEs accounted for 99.51% of the 957,620 business enterprises operating in the country in 2020. This means that less than 1% were large enterprises.

The same report divulged that the wholesale and retail trade, together with the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, dominated the top 5 industries at 46.74%. In the meantime, manufacturing stood at 11.64%, which gained the 3rd spot.

“We can, therefore, conclude that there is so much potential to unleash from our MSMEs. Through the Buy Local by Lokals initiative, we are optimistic to present more opportunities for them,” she noted.

In 2021, DTI 11 assisted a total of 25,184 MSMEs, which is 109% of its annual target of 23,000.

Ambi encouraged the existing and would-be entrepreneurs to coordinate with the nearest Negosyo Center for assistance. They can be reached through their respective Facebook pages for convenience. They may also inquire with the Facebook page DTI Region 11 for their concern to be facilitated. ♦

Date of Release: 16 February 2022