The long-awaited opening of the OTOP Hub in Batanes happened Monday, 5 December 2022, in Itbud, Municipality of Uyugan, Batanes. The hub is the first in Batanes and the sixth in Region 2.

On display and for sale are the many ingenious #GawangIvatanTatakBatanes products from Uyugan as well as other municipalities of the province, such as seaglass necklaces, earrings, and bracelets; traditional beaded accessories (namet); processed Hahay (garfish) Spanish sardines; Inaynap traditional skirts; vakul and kanayi traditional farmwear; keychains and refrigerator magnets; snack chips; processed garlic; coffee; and the many creative paintings and art works of the Ivatan artisans. Products from the other provinces of Region 2—Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino, and Nueva Vizcaya—are also available.

What is unique about the OTOP Hub Batanes is that the establishment showcases the identity of the Ivatans, from the OTOP Hub’s exterior design inspired by Ivatan stone houses to its mere intention of promoting the province’s culture.

Encapsulating the significance of the event, DTI Region 2 Director Leah Pulido Ocampo said in her message: “Your presence in today’s launching of the OTOP Hub Batanes is a symbolic manifestation not only of our support for this activity but of our hope that in the very near future, we will be able to reach our vision of having more MSME products that are competitive and can give pride to our region not only in the domestic market but more so in the global scene.”

The Honorable Governor, Marilou H. Cayco, on the other hand, expressed her gratitude to DTI for programs such as this. “Maraming salamat sa buong DTI sa walang humpay na paglinang sa ating mga local entrepreneurs at paghubog ng mga gawang Batanes,” she said.

“Salamat sa inyong programang ganito na siyang mag papalakas ng ating mga local producers at magpapalakas ng ating lokal na ekonomiya. Kayo ay tunay na kaagapay ng mga Ivatan at ng buong Batanes. Diyos mamahes DTI lalo na sa Provincial Office, nais kong sabihin na nakikita at dama ko ang kasipagan sa inyong mga trabaho,” the governor added.

The governor also thanked the private sector partners of the project and assured that the Provincial Government of Batanes will continue to support the agency’s projects and programs in enabling the business sector and empowering consumers.

“Maraming salamat din kina Mr. Edgar Amboy at Ms. Marivic Amboy na siyang nag offer for free ng kanilang ari-ariang ito na gawing OTOP Hub. Nawa’y dumami pa ang mga katulad niyong negosyante na hindi lamang kita ang iniisip kung hindi ang makatulong sa kapwa,” she concluded.

With the opening of the 6th OTOP Hub of DTI Region 2 in Batanes, every province in the Cagayan Valley Region now has its own OTOP Hub to promote mainstream market access to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) products that have leveled up through the One Town, One Product (OTOP) Program.

OTOP Hub Batanes is a collaboration between and among the Local Government of Uyugan, Amboy Travel and Tours, and Milagrosa Multi-Purpose Cooperative, an MSME assisted by the Department of Trade and Industry, which will be managing the OTOP Hub.

Also gracing the occasion to show support and experience first-hand the unique OTOP Hub Batanes were Congressman Ciriaco B. Gato Jr.’s representative, Ms. Leticia C. Bayaras, Uyugan Mayor Jonathan Enrique V. Nanud, Jr., and Vice-Mayor Argel Hortiz, together with all the Sangguninang Bayan members.

Congressman Hon. Ciriaco B. Gato, Jr.’s representative, Ms. Leticia Bayaras, congratulated DTI R2 Batanes for another milestone in its continuing efforts to help MSMEs towards economic recovery and sustainability.

Other stakeholders and DTI partners present were Supervising Tourism Operations Officer (STOO) Hegel R. Valones of the Provincial Tourism Office, Provincial Agriculturist Cesar Doroteo V. Hostallero of Provincial Agriculture Office, Provincial Fishery Officer Ritchie A. Rivera of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Protogenes Galarion and Patsy Abad of Fundacion Pacita, Agnes B. Viñas of Office of Senior Citizen Affair (OSCA), Officer-in-Charge Jocelyn Flores of Department of Agrarian Reform, Executive Director Catherine de Mata of Batanes Heritage Foundation Inc. (BHFI), PTC Administrator Frederick Samiling of TESDA, General Manager Victoria A. Mata of BATANELCO, College President Dr. Djovi Durante of Batanes State College (BSC), Christine E. Barbosa of Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Batanes, tourism stakeholders, and MSMEs. Special thanks to Radyo Pilipinas Batanes, headed by Station Manager Merlyn C. Gabilo, for covering the event.

DTI R2 Batanes OIC Provincial Director Ellerie Mila G. Ramel assured its partners and OTOP stakeholders that the OTOP Hub, being a component of one of the flagship projects of DTI, will be closely monitored, its supplier- base, continuously assisted from production, to pricing and costing, managing and marketing of its products. 

DTI R2 Batanes is committed to seeing that this project succeeds and that, from it, “the people of Batanes grow and create loud noises in the national scene for trade and industry-more importantly, though, is that the projects of DTI are able to help alleviate the economic situation of the province.” #

Date of released: 07 December 2022