At least 65 designers and regional trade officers from 15 regions all over the country participated in the Designers Orientation and Seminar to align with the design direction the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) One Town One Product (OTOP) program last September 4-5.

DTI OTOP Designers Orientation
Participants of DTI-OTOP’s Designers Orientation and Seminar last 4-5 September 2017.

The training and orientation was organized by DTI Regional Operations Group, Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) and the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP).

Assistant Secretary Demphna Du-Naga, PTTC Deputy Executive Director Beth Manuel, and DCP Executive Director Rhea Matute urged the participants to apply the learning and insights gathered to their product development initiatives for OTOP MSMEs in the regions.

Informative sessions on food packaging and labeling and the importance of culture and heritage mapping in design development supplied the participants with valuable information and guidance.

Food packaging and labeling expert Cesar dela Cruz, VP for the Philippine Technological Council stressed the importance of complying with labeling requirements for food.

“Great visual design in packaging should be balanced with completeness and accuracy of information. MSMEs should always consider their market when designing their package,” Dela Cruz said.

“There will be certain cultural practices, heritage and traditions that are purely yours in your region. But there will also be some that are acculturated – shared or assimilated heritage with other areas. This is why heritage and culture mapping is important. This will direct you to what makes your culture distinct and rich. Cultural identity captures the spirit and feel of the place – how the place breathes,” said University of Santo Tom Director for the Center of Conservation of Cultural Property Associate Professor Eric Babar Zerrudo.

Participating designers are currently undertaking intensive product development for various OTOP projects all over the country. The products will be showcased in their respective Regional Trade Fairs and the National Trade Fair in December.

OTOP Program Manager Leon Flores III provided updates on OTOP program implementation while in-house DCP designers led the planning, design direction and discourse on design and market trends.

OTOP or One Town One Product is a priority stimulus program for Micro and Small and Medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) as government’s customized intervention to drive inclusive local economic growth. The program enables localities and communities to determine, develop, support, and promote products rooted in a place’s culture and competitive advantage and where they can be best at or best renowned for.