By Myrtle Faye Solina | Food and Agri-Marine Division | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

08 September 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

THE Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) participated in the recently concluded Agribusiness Support for Promotion and Investment in Regional Exposition (ASPIRE) Capacity Building and Business Matching Session for Agribusiness Entrepreneurs of Visayas Area Business Conference at L’Fisher Hotel, Bacolod on August 30 and 31.

Aspire is a program spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in partnership with the DTI, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and the private sector. It aims to promote opportunities in the agribusiness sector to boost trade and investments and build a strong partnership with other government and private-sector industry groups.

The program advocates to integrate market-development support services to farmers; fishers; micro, small and medium enterprises; and other stakeholders who are part of the supply and value chains by providing platforms, such as capacity-building, consultancy and business-matching activities. Its overarching objective is to develop the capacity of its stakeholders on the supply side to take advantage of market opportunities.

In her speech, Alegria S. Limjoco, president of the PCCI, emphasized the aspiration of the Philippines to scale up the agricultural sector. She further mentioned that to meet this, the Philippines has to improve the competitiveness of the sector with the ultimate goal of uplifting the lives of the Filipino people relying on this sector, to limit the importation of the country and to be on a par with its neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Thailand.

Meanwhile, Roberto Amores, president of Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization Inc., encouraged the participants to keep on improving and emphasized their critical role in the global value chain  as suppliers of raw materials.

Business meetings were facilitated by the DTI-EMB’s Food and Agri-Marine Division led by its Chief Rose Marie G. Castillo. Suppliers and manufacturers from Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental participated on the said activity.

Also in attendance were Negros Gov. Alfredo G. Marañon Jr.; Algeria S. Limjoco, President of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Remelyn R. Recoter, Regional Executive Director of DA Regional Field Office VI; Robert Montelibano, President of Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Frank Carbon, CEO of Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Jocelyn Alma R. Badiol, Executive Director of Agricultural Credit Policy Council.

Also present were Floridel Loberian, Supervising Trade and Industry Development Specialist at the Department of Science and Technology; Mary Grace Sangcada, Senior Cooperative Development Specialist of the Cooperative Development Authority Regional Office VI; Rommel Amihan, Senior Trade-Industry Development Specialist DTI-Negros Occidental; Lemia A. Blances, Food-Drug Regulation Officer II of the Food and Drug Administration; and Cherrie De Erit Atilano, Founder and CEO of AGREA Agricultural Systems International Inc.

Recognizing that much work has to be done to achieve the aspirations of the program, ASPIRE continues to rally support and build strong partnership with government agencies, business support organizations (BSOs), and the private sector.