Some 63 local Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in the region were part of the pilot run of the One Town One Product Next Generation (OTOP Next Gen) project of the Department of Trade and Industry. The sessions included product cliniquing, packaging and labeling advice, and product evaluation. The pilot session was held at the DTI Regional Office III Conference Room from March 22 to 23, 2017.

Experts from the Design Center of the Philippines facilitated the product development and evaluation of the potential OTOP products. Upon evaluation, products that pass quality criteria will be endorsed by DTI tor display and selling in major malls and supermarkets as part of its Go Lokal program. Under this program, the agency made arrangements with major malls to accommodate the display of locally made products, to expose them in big traffic stores and improve their marketability.

Among the 63 participant MSMEs, 42 are on food products while 21 are producing non-food products. Products from Aurora include banana chips and buko pie while Bulacan products which were evaluated include turmeric tea, longganisa and shrimp paste. Bataan MSMEs which participated in the sessions entered their cashew product, cookies and bottled sardines in the sessions while Nueva Ecija participants showed their dairy, mushroom and calamansi based products for cliniquing. Muscovado sugar, tinapa and taba ng talangka were some of the products brought by Pampanga MSMEs in the sessions while Tarlac MSMEs entered their Potato Wine and Cakes for further enhancement. The unique serpentine product of Zambales and its dried fruits were also included in the product development sessions under the OTOP Next Gen pilot run.

The OTOP Next Gen program aims to LEVEL UP local products and services. Building from the gains of the initial OTOP program of the DTI, and with local MSMEs with viable products, this project aims to offer a package of public-private assistance to have significant improvement and innovation in the areas of quality, product development, design, standards compliance, marketability, production capability, brand development, among others.