DAVAO CITY – In a bid to maximize the available raw materials and upskill the local crafters in Davao Region, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11 and Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation, Inc. (MTEFI) initiated a series of product development activities this year.  

The regional trade office teamed up with the MTEFI design team to come up with more new and functional designs to meet the discriminating tastes of buyers.   

The MTEFI design team is composed of Juvenal Fernandez (TADECO Homes), Yvette Marie Punzalan (Yvette’s Bags and Beads Collection), Wilson Limon, Jr. (NIÑOFRANCO), and Emi L. Englis (Davao Fashion Design Council) shared their expertise with the local crafters and entrepreneurs by conducting product development sessions, which include an assessment of the raw materials available in the locality and the development of new products. The products resulting from these activities are showcased in trade shows.

DTI 11 Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi revealed that part of these product development activities are skills upgrading interventions for the local artisans in the region.  

“These are aimed at enhancing the quality of their output while increasing their production capacity. Ultimately, as a result of these interventions, our local crafters and entrepreneurs can increase their sales and income,” the regional trade chief said.  

The MTEFI design team members conducted one-on-one consultations to guide and give personalized input not only in product design but also in pricing and costing of their existing products. In addition, the designers provided technical knowledge on design trends that will make the participants’ products more viable both in the domestic and international markets.  

The series of product development activities are under the DTI 11’s One Town, One Product (OTOP) Next Gen Program for the wearables and homestyle sector, particularly in the sub-sectors of apparel, fashion accessories, and housewares.   

A total of 121 prototypes have already been developed from June to September of this year.  At the same time, 30 Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs) were assisted throughout Davao Region.  

“These product development activities prepared our participating MSMEs for the special showcase during the Mindanao Trade Expo 2023 Goes to Glorietta event in Metro Manila on October 25 to 29.   

For 2023, DTI 11 is targeted to conduct 12 product development sessions. This is higher by 50 percent compared with the 2022 target.  

The agency, Ambi said, is committed to providing the most necessary and critical interventions to prepare local enterprises for wider and more markets. ♦

Date of release: 09 November 2023