Davao City– The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 11 has continued to capacitate local designers through one of its long-running programs, the One Town, One Product (OTOP). 

Highlighting the Filipino culture, the OTOP Next Gen, the improved and more innovative version of the program, has been advocating for the continued development of fashion and design professionals to make them more competitive while showcasing the locality’s culture and unique attributes. 

With MODA Manlilikha 2021 Advanced Designer’s Competency Course, the agency’s commitment is being carried out. The is aims to support the use and patronage of locally sourced and crafted weaves and materials. For its Batch 1 Phase 2, which started on 29 October 2021 and will run until 10 December 2021, DTI 11 has sent four of the region’s designers. 

Junie Artajo, Benjune Alatraca, Bianca Sabellano, and Joseph Daniel Malabar have been undergoing a series of lectures and workshops, which will end on 24 November 2021. Meanwhile, the rest of the schedule will be devoted for the actual application of the learning, wherein they will partner with local OTOPreneurs or micro, small and medium (MSMEs) who need further assistance.  

As part of the designers’ final output for the OTOP Next Gen MODA Manlilikha 2021, each of them is required to assist one MSME in product design and development, as well as, in packaging and labeling design. The commencement activity shall be on 10 December 2021. 

DTI 11 Regional Director (RD) Maria Belenda Q. Ambi shared that the goal of DTI  in intensifying its efforts to assist the participant-designers is for them to hone their craft,  display their talents and help OTOpreneurs, especially in these trying times.  

“What we want to witness is for our local talents in desiging to continuously grow amid the pandemic. Times have been difficult for us for more than a year now but we consistently strive to meet the challenges with utmost resilience and with the help of innovation,” Ambi concluded. 

Apart from the MODA Manlilikha 2021, the OTOP program has been assisting MSMEs in marketing, too. The establishment of the respective OTOP PH Hub throughout the region is among the institutionalized strategies to assist them in widening their market reach. The Davao Region already has a total of nine OTOP PH Hubs already. ♦

Date of Release: 14 December 2021