Chicharon, commonly known as bagnet and the longanisa “ala Vigan,” are two among the well - known products of San Felipe, Zambales. Locals and tourists just love the taste that they usually come early at the San Felipe Public Market to bring home these products.
With the aim of developing these products, the local government unit support the One Town, One Product Program of the Department of Trade and Industry as it organized the 20 processors, who at the same time are meat vendors, to come up with the San Felipe Chicharon and Longanisa Producers’ Association (SFCLPA).
The SFCLPA was organized in 2012 and was immediately registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Through the initiative of active officers and members, the organization tapped the assistance of DTI-Zambales for technical trainings and seminars such as Food Safety, Good Manufacturing Practices. Product Development Seminar with One-on-One Consultation was also provided to come up with the label.
To further improve production, the Department of Trade and Industry in 2015 approved a project proposal under the Shared Service Facility for the provision of equipment on meat processing. The equipment cost P533,000 and was housed right at the back of the San Felipe Public Market. The equipment has provided ease in the production through their meat stuffer, slicer, grinder, vacuum sealer, etc. Sanitation was also addressed by providing the organization with high grade stainless tables. In addition, the Department of Science and Technology through the SET-UP Program provided additional equipment to increase productivity. Likewise, the Local Government Unit of San Felipe opened in November 2017 the Chicharon Bagnet Cooking Center to further support the SFCLPA meat processing project.
On marketing and promotion, the SFCLPA participated in the Likha ng Central Luzon Trade Fair at SM Mega Mall in 2012. As a first timer in the fair, the association got the attention of buyers, generating sales of P30,000.00. This promotion brought more confidence to participate in more trade fairs especially in the province such as the Dinamulag Festival, MSME Week Fair, Tourism Month Celebration, to name a few.
In 2016, San Felipe brought further promotion of its longanisa and chicharon products by opening the OTOP store located beside the Public Market. At the OTOP Store, buyers can bring home frozen longanisa neatly packed and labeled.
In 2017, the SFCLPA had the full support of the local government by staging the 1st and most celebrated longganisa “Panagkakaduan” Festival in April 2017. The Chicharon and longanisa also got national media exposure and promotion through Unang Hirit, Off Road Show, etc.
With the 20 members producing chicharon and bagnet, there are also at least 15 helpers/ workers to do the grinding and stuffing at the SSF production center. The members are now able to produce and sell an average of 1,500 kilos or P400,000.00 a month or a direct income for the association of P7,000.00.♦