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The Department of Trade and Industry – Laguna Provincial Office (DTI Laguna), through the One Town, One Product Next Generation (OTOP Next Gen) Program and in partnership with SM Megamall, conducted the Laguna OTOP Hybrid Expo 2022 at the Mega Fashion Hall of SM Megamall last June 8 to 12, 2022. A total of fifty (50) exhibitors who were assisted under OTOP Next Gen participated in the said event. It was a spectacular 5-day showcase of OTOP pride and Laguna’s best products.

This trade exposition was the first of its kind in Laguna whereas it was also held virtually at The OTOP Laguna website, created in partnership with Topyugo Digital Incorporated (TDI), was launched during the opening program of the expo The OTOP Laguna website proudly showcases the best of the best products in Laguna, highlighting the legacy and heritage products such as embroidery, taka or paper mache, native delicacies, and innovative products.

Also, business consultancy and mentoring on franchising and financial planning were held concurrently with the expo. DTI Laguna Negosyo Center Business Counselors were present during the expo to assist and give business consultations to walk-in clients and mall-goers. Esteemed mentors from the Association of Filipino Franchisers, Inc. (AFFI) also offered free mentoring and coaching about franchising.

The Laguna OTOP Hybrid Expo 2022 kicked off the five-day showcase during the official launch last 9 June 2022, and was graced by several personalities and DTI Key Officials. Mr. Christian Mathay, AVP for Operations of SM Premier 2, welcomed all the guests and participants to SM Megamall. Also, DTI Laguna Provincial Director Clarke Nebrao welcomed the guests and expressed his gratitude to SM Supermalls for their generosity to the MSMEs by hosting and providing trade fair venues at different SM Malls in NCR and Laguna. He also thanked DTI Regional Operations Group (ROG) and DTI Region 4A for supporting the event.

Afterward, Deputy Speaker Congresswoman Camille Villar-Genuino and PDP Cares President Ms. Kathryna Yu-Pimentel congratulated DTI for continuously providing support to MSMEs by the conduct of trade fairs and expositions. They also emphasized the huge contribution of MSMEs to the economic recovery of the country. Congresswoman Villar-Genuino also extended the greetings and support of Senator Cynthia Villar for the MSMEs and the event.

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From the DTI ROG, Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona, together with Assistant Secretary Dominic Tolentino and OTOP Philippines Head Assistant Secretary Demphna Du-Naga, expressed their congratulatory message and support to the MSMEs. They also took pride in seeing that the MSMEs and products assisted under OTOP Next Gen were able to level up and reach a wider network in NCR.

Laguna Vice Governor Atty. Karen Agapay and Laguna Tourism, Culture, Arts, and Trade Office (LTCATO) representative Ms. Pamela Baun were also present to witness the momentous event and show their support to the Laguna MSMEs. Vice Governor Agapay ensured the support of the Provincial Government of Laguna to the MSMEs. Also present to show their support were DTI Rizal Provincial Director Desiderio Jurado III, IPOPHL Director Atty. Nelson Laluces and the Board of Directors of AFFI. After the messages of support, a countdown was held to formally open the event and the guests were ushered by DTI Laguna for a walkthrough of the whole venue.

The event ended on 12 June 2022, with a special program to launch the Laguna Liberica coffee of Laguna and a simple awarding ceremony to honor the partners and MSMEs in Laguna. Mr. Michael Harris Conlin, the owner of Henry & Sons and semifinalist of the World Barista Championship, conducted a coffee cupping activity to share the innovations from the Liberica coffee trees in Laguna. Present to show their support were DTI Region 4A OIC-Regional Director Marissa Argente, Laguna 1st District Board Member Danzel Fernandez, and Calamba City Congresswoman Charisse Hernandez.

The Laguna OTOP Hybrid Expo 2022 was able to generate a total of P1.6M sales and promoted a total of more than 30 MSMEs on the OTOP Laguna website. ♦

Date of Release: 21 June 2022