National Exporters’ Week brings MSME products to limelight
Business Mirror
December 20, 2016

LOCAL products highlighting Filipino ingenuity once again top billed the Tubong Pilipino RIPPLES Plus Showcase at the Glorietta 5 Activity Center, Makati City, as part of the just-concluded National Exporters’ Week (NEW) celebration.

Around 42 company-exhibitors participated in this “ultimate flea market” to bring and show in the Metro their own products that are, more often than not, found only in the far-flung provinces across the country.

The Export Marketing Bureau, under the Industry Promotion Group of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has designed this weeklong event to become a platform for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who are mostly exporters and artisans alike to widen their reach by displaying their own unique artistry and craftsmanship.

RIPPLES Plus is the improved and expanded version of the Regional Interactive Platform for Philippine Exporters (RIPPLES) implemented nationwide, in close coordination and with the cooperation of the DTI Regional Operations Group.

Tubong Pilipino provides a springboard for local manufacturers to be seen, known and appreciated by Filipinos who may not have the opportunity and means to visit the provinces where the products are mostly crafted and created.

Also, it doubles as a lifestyle event highlighting handcrafted items, ranging from furniture to furnishings, home décor, fashion wares and accessories, as well as delicacies native to the municipality or province.

Since many of these products are not readily available in local malls, department stores and even handicraft or specialty stores, the fair has brought the RIPPLES Plus MSME enrollees closer to the domestic market in preparation for their entry into the global export trade.

The MSME sector has been playing a pivotal role in buttressing the Philippine economy over the years. They generate income, employment and develop small business activities in the rural and urban areas.

At present, there are 950,000 DTI-listed MSMEs in the country. Approximately, they account for 35 percent of the country’s GDP.

More than half, or 63 percent, of jobs come from this sector. With globalization now on the rise, local MSMEs need to be strengthened and integrated with the international value chains.

This year’s observance of NEW is timely to reflect on the export momentum in the Philippines, which, at the latest, grew by 3.7 percent to $4.8 billion in October this year from $4.6 billion in October 2015. This was the second straight increase in a row after languishing for 17 months of consecutive decline in a row up to August this year.

By virtue of Presidential Proclamation 931, Series of 1996 and House Resolution 33, the first week of December is declared as the NEW for both the government and the private sector to reaffirm their commitment to sustain export promotion and development.

The Tubong Pilipino RIPPLES Plus Showcase was one of the three events highlighting the products of RIPPLES Plus enrollees during the NEW.

The second was the RIPPLES Pavilion set up at the Philippine Trade Training Center during the National Export Congress on December 7.

Also held until December 16 was the RIPPLES Plus in the Otop Store at the DTI building along Sen. Gil J. Puyat and Makati Avenues, Makati City.