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VICTORIA, LAGUNA — The Department of Trade and Industry - Laguna Provincial Office (DTI-Laguna), through its assigned representative, supervised the validation of winning entries sponsored by an establishment in Santa Cruz, Laguna, on February 15, 2024. This regular monitoring activity is under the Department's mandate to protect consumers from misleading advertisements and fraudulent sales promotion practices, pursuant to the Republic Act No. 7394 (RA 7394) or otherwise known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines. A total of 14 consumers from the province of Laguna have won in the “Pick a Prize” promo.

The DTI Department Administrative Order No. 2, Series of 1993 (DAO 2:1993) or the Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act No. 7394, Otherwise Known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines, defines sales promotion as a technique “to increase the sales, patronage, and/or goodwill of a product”. Moreover, sales promotion is an activity which is largely joined by consumers and contain “promises of gain” (e.g., prizes) as reward for the purchase of a product or service.

The RA 7394 also provides that an establishment that wishes to conduct sales promotion activities shall first secure a permit from the DTI prior to the commencement of their sales promotion activities. Some schemes that are usually applied for are, but not limited to, discount, premium, raffle, and contest.

For sales promotion activities to be implemented within the province of Laguna, the sales promo permit may be directly applied at the DTI-Laguna located in Victoria, Laguna. For more inquiries, the DTI-Laguna may be emailed at r04a.laguna@dti.gov.ph (MBC, DTI-Laguna).

Date of Release: 17 April 2024

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VICTORIA, LAGUNA — The Department of Trade and Industry – Laguna Provincial Office (DTI-Laguna) will be joining the World Consumer Rights Day celebration on March 15, 2024.

For this year, the theme is “Fair and Responsible AI for Consumers” which highlights the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on our human and consumer rights. Simultaneously, DTI-Laguna will be conducting Online World Consumer Rights Day 2024 Celebration on March 15, 2024, to be participated in by at least forty (40) consumers and DTI-Laguna staff. This activity aims to advocate the importance of exercising the right of consumers to safe, fair, and honest consumer transactions. The said activity also aims to show DTI-Laguna’s cooperation with the world in the observance of this very important event — the World Consumer Rights Day 2024.

The generative AI has the potential to bring about positive changes in our lives. It may lead to increased access to communication, education, enhanced productivity, ease in gathering information, and improved healthcare.

Advances in technology have serious implications for the consumer’s safety and digital fairness. In order to address the issues on misinformation, privacy violations, and discriminatory practices, a swift move to fair and responsible AI-driven platforms is encouraged.

For inquiries, you may directly visit the DTI-Laguna office located at VARIMCO Compound, Km. 75, Brgy. Banca-Banca, Victoria, Laguna, or you may email at r04a.laguna@dti.gov.ph (MVP, DTI-Laguna). ♦

Date of Release: 17 April 2024

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VICTORIA, LAGUNA – The Department of Trade and Industry - Laguna Provincial Office (DTI-Laguna) conducted an onsite assessment for the DTI Bagwis Awards on February 20, 2024, in some key cities of Laguna, namely, San Pedro, Santa Rosa, and Calamba. This regular monitoring and evaluation activity aimed to identify retail establishments that will be given due recognition for practicing responsible and truthful business.

For this week, 11 retail establishments engaged in hardware, groceries, clothing, eyewear, accessories, gadgets, and electronics were assessed. On-the-spot inspection, observation, and interview with the store supervisors, managers, and/or representatives were also performed as part of the assessment process.

The DTI Bagwis Program, which is formerly known as the DTI Certified Business Establishment Program, was launched in July 2006. The Bagwis Seal of Excellence is awarded to business establishments that are fair and honest in providing goods and services to consumers and to enterprises that offer quality and safe products to consumers at affordable prices.

Retail establishments in Laguna such as groceries, supermarkets, department stores, specialty stores, appliance centers, hardware stores, and DTI-accredited service and repair shops are encouraged to apply for the DTI Bagwis Program. For more inquiries, kindly contact DTI-Laguna at r04a.laguna@dti.gov.ph (ALSLinga, DTI-Laguna). ♦

Date of Release: 17 April 2024

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Pursuant to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Department Administrative Order No. 3, Series of 2002 (DAO 3:2002), the Department of Trade and Industry - Laguna Provincial Office (DTI-Laguna), through its Consumer Protection Division, conducted onsite inspection and monitoring of a motor vehicle private emission testing center (PETC) in San Pablo City, Laguna, on April 05, 2024, to ensure that accredited PETCs continuously comply with government rules and regulations as well as meet the quality standards set by the government under the Republic Act No. 8749, otherwise known as the Philippine Clean Air Act.

The onsite inspection and monitoring activity of motor vehicle PETCs is one of the DTI’s mandates in implementing standards and procedures on the accreditation of PETCs. This process also includes checking of their necessary tools, equipment, facilities, expertise, and quality service; interview with their qualified motor vehicle emission center technicians; and actual testing of equipment.

As part of its regular activities, DTI-Laguna will continuously inspect and monitor motor vehicle PETCs at least once a month for this year of 2024 all throughout the Laguna Province. This endeavor seeks to protect the interest of the consumers in availing PETC services (ALSLinga, DTI-Laguna). ♦

Date of Release: 12 April 2024

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In the tranquil landscapes of Maitim Bay, Laguna, where the breeze whispers tales of tradition and innovation, Buko Pandesal Bakeshop stands as a beacon of resilience, creativity, and the enduring legacy of family entrepreneurship. Amidst the tantalizing aroma of freshly baked goods, Aira May Cueto and her family have crafted a narrative of triumph—a journey that inspires, uplifts, and exemplifies the essence of Filipino ingenuity.

Their journey began with a humble dream—to blend the cherished flavors of Filipino baking with a contemporary twist. Inspired by the time-honored traditions of their family's bakery, they embarked on a quest to create something truly extraordinary. Fueled by passion and fortified by familial support, they transformed their vision into reality, birthing Buko Pandesal Bakeshop—a neighborhood bakery where tradition meets innovation.

At the heart of their enterprise lies a commitment to delighting patrons with Filipino delicacies infused with modern flair. Their star creation, the Buko Pandesal, quickly became a household favorite, marrying the comforting familiarity of pandesal bread with the luscious sweetness of buko pie filling. Each bite is a symphony of flavors—a tribute to the rich baking heritage of the Philippines and the beloved coconut, or "buko," which holds a special place in Filipino culture as a versatile ingredient in various dishes and desserts.

Nestled in the serene surroundings of Bay, Laguna, their bakery became a haven of warmth and hospitality—a place where customers are greeted with smiles and the irresistible scent of freshly baked treats. Yet, amidst the tranquil facade, their journey was marked by challenges. The onset of the pandemic had cast a shadow of uncertainty, threatening to disrupt their flourishing enterprise. However, undeterred by adversity, they embraced innovation and adaptability, navigating the turbulent waters with unwavering resolve.

Their relocation from San Pablo to Bay, Laguna, prompted by losses incurred during the pandemic, marked a pivotal chapter in their journey. Determined to persevere despite setbacks, they seized the opportunity to rebuild in a new location, closer to their residence in Los Baños, Laguna. Despite the challenges of relocation, they remained resolute in their commitment to their craft and their community.

Throughout their odyssey, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) emerged as a beacon of support and guidance, offering invaluable assistance in navigating the intricate landscape of entrepreneurship. From deciphering regulatory requirements to accessing government assistance programs, DTI served as a steadfast ally—a testament to the power of collaboration and community support. The DTI's intervention through the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBE) program provided essential support, empowering Buko Pandesal Bakeshop to navigate business intricacies and unlock opportunities for growth, including tax exemptions.

Despite the hurdles they faced, Buko Pandesal Bakeshop continued to flourish, each milestone a testament to their resilience and determination. From receiving accolades to expanding their reach, their journey embodies the spirit of Filipino entrepreneurship—a testament to the boundless potential of passion and perseverance.

Looking toward the future, their vision is one of growth and innovation. With plans for expansion and diversification, they remain steadfast in their commitment to excellence, inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs to dream boldly and pursue their passions with unwavering determination.

In the annals of Filipino entrepreneurship, Buko Pandesal Bakeshop stands as a shining example—a beacon of hope and inspiration amidst challenging times. Their journey is not merely one of success but of resilience, creativity, and the enduring power of family legacy. As their odyssey continues to unfold, they serve as a reminder that, with dedication, innovation, and a dash of creativity, anything is possible. Presently, Buko Pandesal Bakeshop is actively participating in a series of seminars conducted by the DTI in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), focusing on food safety and related topics, further demonstrating their commitment to excellence and continuous improvement.

Embodying their tagline "Tikman nang Maibigan" (taste it, and you'll be hooked), Buko Pandesal Bakeshop not only aims to provide delightful treats but also seeks to inspire their fellow entrepreneurs to infuse every aspect of their business with passion and care. Through their journey, they have learned that exceeding expectations and staying motivated are keys to success, reminding aspiring entrepreneurs that every challenge is an opportunity for growth and every setback is a chance to rise stronger.

As a new generation of entrepreneurs, Aira May and her siblings continue to carry forward the family legacy, following in the footsteps of their father who also ventured into entrepreneurship and participated in DTI programs. With their small business, they exude eagerness and determination, ready to carve their mark in the ever-evolving landscape of the business world.

With a branch established in Mandaluyong, their aspirations extend beyond local horizons. While their current focus is on serving their community and neighboring areas, their ultimate goal is to introduce their products to other regions and, perhaps one day, even beyond the shores of the Philippines, spreading the unique flavors of Buko Pandesal to the world and leaving a lasting imprint on the global baking culture. ♦

Date of release: 08 May 2024

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JALAJALA, LAGUNA -- Jalajala is a town situated along Laguna de Bay and most of the people in this town depend their source of living from fishing. Aside from tilapia and milk fish, bighead carp are among the bulk of fishes caught by the fishermen that causes oversupply and low income for them. With this scenario seen by the members of the Sipsipin Multi-purpose Cooperative (SMPC), they want to help the fishermen and do something valuable to the bighead carp along with the tilapia and milk fish. SMPC is an Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organization assisted under Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of Rizal,

In 2010, a Fish Processing Project was established by the SMPC that started in a kitchen-type smoked fish production using household-type utensils and sun-dried fish drying. Seeing the market demand for smoked fish and dried fish, the cooperative decided to improve their production and made it possible with unwavering support from different agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agriculture (DA), and Local Government Unit of Jalajala and Rizal.

Moreover, to continuously innovate products the cooperative also learned to make fish noodles with the help from DTI Rizal CARP. This Fish Noodles was on demand in different countries such as in Vietnam during that time. However, with the difficulty in sustaining the supply and quality of fish in the area, the processing of fish noodles was not sustained.

Yet, these challenges did not stop the cooperative to their goal to improve the lives of their members and people in the community. With perseverance, their skills in processing noodles, and unwavering support from the government agencies, SMPC shifted their business to vegetable noodles processing because they saw the demand for it, and that’s how SMPC’s SIPSARAP Pansit Canton was born. SIPSARAP Pansit Canton is a promising product for it is one of the foods every Filipino love to eat, always present on every occasion, and can be served in different ways.

DTI Rizal CARP continuously supported SMPC by enrolling them to the One Town One Product Next Generation Program of DTI that helped in improving the packaging and labelling of their product. Also, SMPC was able to join different marketing activities such as provincial trade fairs held in different malls such as in Robinsons Place Antipolo, Eastwood Central Plaza, and Waltermart Antipolo that expanded their market and generated more income.

For 2023, SMPC was able to upgrade their technology in processing and enhance their processing facility that made their processing efficient to produce more quality products

and cater to the demand of the market. From 30 packs of SIPSARAP Pancit Canton a day, they can now produce 100 packs, and it doubled their income from Php 5,000 to Php 10,000 – 12,000 per month.

Moving forward, SMPC’s goal is to always ensure that they make quality products, which is why they plan to acquire the Food and Drug Administration License to Operate certificate. Also, they hope to expand their market more in Rizal and its nearby provinces. ♦

Date of release: 3 January 2024

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Jasmin Allison Obatay, a dynamic Gen Z entrepreneur, has etched her success story with a passion for business and marketing that ignited during her formative years. Despite pursuing a degree in BS Electrical Engineering at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, her entrepreneurial spirit burned brightly from a young age. Even in high school, she was already showcasing her business acumen by selling homemade snacks to her classmates.

During her college years, Jasmin explored the world of fashion and engaged in various buy-and-sell ventures, demonstrating her versatility and determination. Her journey took a significant turn when she entered the world of awards and plaques. Drawing from her experience as a sales agent for an awards supplier, Jasmin, along with her family and partner, founded JAO Plaque Awards in December 2020.

Navigating the challenges of the pandemic, JAO Plaque Awards set out to provide quality, unique awards to clients in the Rizal area and surrounding communities. The company quickly gained recognition, and in 2022, Jasmin's efforts were celebrated when she was named one of the top 10 Entrepreneurs under the BPI SEAL-SEGA program by BPI and Bayan Academy. Her compelling business pitch earned her a financial grant of 100,000, marking a pivotal moment in her entrepreneurial journey.

JAO Plaque Awards has thrived on a foundation of creativity and innovation. With a team of talented creatives and skilled artisans, the company has crafted awards that are not only visually stunning but also carry profound meaning. The team's dedication to pushing the boundaries of design and production has led to the creation of impactful awards that celebrate achievement.

As the company expanded, so did its commitment to the community. JAO Plaque Awards aims to provide job opportunities to housewives from socialized housing communities, enabling them to earn while staying close to home. The company's mission goes beyond profit, focusing on the inspiration its awards bring to individuals and organizations.

Jasmin's journey to success took another leap when she connected with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Rizal. Despite initial setbacks in joining the Kapatid Mentor ME program, she persevered and eventually secured a spot in the program during the first quarter of 2023. Excelling in the Business Improvement Plan presentation, she garnered recognition as one of the program's best presenters.

Her success continued as she was endorsed to the DTI flagship program, One Town One Product Next Generation. Exposure to provincial trade fairs sparked an idea to create a retail product for children. Jasmin seized this opportunity, collaborating with Mr. Ronald Rommel Viloria, the designer-consultant of OTOP NG, to bring her vision to life.

With strategic marketing moves and participation in trade fairs, JAO Plaque Awards gained a significant influx of orders. Jasmin's smart business decisions led to her showcasing trophies on PHILGEPS, and the company outgrew its original location to accommodate a newly purchased printing machine and finished products.

In 2024, reflecting the company's growth, Jasmin expanded the business name's territorial scope from barangay to national. Undeterred, she continues to work tirelessly to carve a prominent place for JAO Plaque Awards in the trophy-making industry. Jasmin Allison Obatay's success story stands as a testament to her resilience, creativity, and unwavering commitment to excellence. ♦

Date of release: 31 January 2024

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This is a story of a father and a retired overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from Liliw, Laguna. Mr. Victor Esmeris, a husband and a father of two, worked as a licensed architect in Saudi Arabia for over 32 years. After his retirement, he developed a land and turned it into a nature farm that became famous in the small town of Liliw, Laguna.

As an architect who has vast knowledge in architectural design and with full experience, he established the idea of this famous nature agritourism farm in Liliw, Laguna. The ideal mind of this retired OFW burst out as he wanted to be an outstanding example with his fellow retired OFWs. To be productive, he decided to seek help and coordinated with the Local Government Unit of Liliw to establish a nature farm that will not only help the town improve its tourism but also give jobs to the local community. With the help of the Tourism Department of Liliw, Laguna, the “Esmeris Nature Farm” was established in 2018.

The first idea was to develop the land to make a farm where they can plant different vegetables and trees but later on the owner decided to turn it into an agritourism park because of the beautiful scenery of the farm. However, the park faced challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and had to temporarily close for 2 years. When the local government gave the signal to reopen, the park became famous for its beautiful nature sceneries and started attracting visitors from faraway places. The park gained large popularity boost and attracted visitors from distant towns after being featured in the TV show Unang Hirit.

After experiencing success with his farm, Victor is still seeking for more to further expand his knowledge by attending seminars and other services offered by the Department of Trade and Industry that is based in the province of Laguna (DTI Laguna). He believed that continuous improvement is important for the park and attended various seminars to gain new insights. From these seminars, he has developed the idea to open a canteen and cafe within the park providing additional service for the clients and with affordable price also.

With continuous participation in various seminars, he later came up with an idea to utilize the coconut trees in the park. He then decided to try and create the local wine called “lambanog,” which is very popular among the community. The idea of Victor was to level up and improve the local product lambanog. With the help of some wine experts, they created different wine cocktails using lambanog as the base. Coco Collada, Liliw Sunset, Lamba Bobba Banana, Gat-tayaw Coffee, Buko Bobba and Flaming Bonfire Cocktail are some of the cocktail menus they created. To further showcase these products, Victor opened the Esmeris Bar located within the park and this is open every weekend.

After the successful launching of the Esmeris Bar, Victor continues to develop more products from the farm and eventually registered Esmeris Coconut Farm. With the help of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) Program facilitated by DTI Laguna, a perfume product derived from the coconut wine is now under development. The idea of these perfume also came form the brilliant mind of Victor. Now, for continuous development, the packaging and testing of these products is ongoing and soon will be available to the market.

In conclusion, the story of Mr. Victor Esmeris is one inspiring story of a father, an OFW and a concerned citizen who wanted to create a beautiful and fruitful life not only for them but for the whole public. May we all be inspired to his story and learned the true meaning of perseverance and kindness. His ideas created the notion of being able to leverage a business not only for the urbanized areas of the country but with the usage also of what the nature can provide delivering a service where all people, regardless of financial class, can enjoy to the fullest while not exploiting the Mother Nature’s offerings. ♦

Date of release: 3 January 2024

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