Two decades of selling the best products of Central Luzon have made the Likha ng Central Luzon Trade Fair a much awaited special event for the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region.
Now on its 20th year, more than 160 MSMEs from Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Eicja, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales are expected to showcase their products to cater to local and international buyers. The Likha ng Central Luzon Trade Fair 2018 will be held at the SM Mega Trade Hall in Mandaluyong City from 10 to 14 October 2018. The opening of the fair is expected to be attended by key government officials from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and local officials from the seven provinces of Central Luzon.
Sellers from Aurora are expected to showcase their well-known sabutan products, chocolates and banana chips while Bataan MSMEs will sell their marine products and delicacies. Bulacan will again showcase their delicately made jewelries, bags and processed meat products while Nueva Ecija entrepreneurs will bring their dairy products, footwear and metalworks to the fair. Pampanga participants will sell their famous lanterns, homemade nuts and delicacies while Tarlac will showcase their pottery, home décor and wine. The best of Zambales’ products such as mango based delicacy, wine and chicharon will also be in display.
There will also be an exhibit of prototypes of products that were the result of the OTOP Next Generation project where the DTI provided MSMEs with design consultancy, product development services and product labeling design assistance. A demonstration on accessories making and sabutan weaving will also be conducted during the event.
Because of the annual conduct of the Likha ng Central Luzon Trade Fair, a significant number of Central Luzon MSMEs have captured wider markets, with some being able to sell to some of the big retail industries in manila as well as international buyers. Last year, the 150 sellers were able to earn more than Php 40 Million in sales, aside from getting institutional clients.
Likha ng Central Luzon Trade Fair is the major regional trade promotion activity jointly organized by the DTI-3 and Philexport – Region 3, with the support of the Regional Development Council – Region 3 and the Central Luzon Growth Corridor Foundation, Inc. (CLGCFI). The event is also supported by a media partnership with, Philippine Information Agency and other media organizations.♦
Date of release: 4 October 2018

Among the thousands of local Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) of Central Luzon, CAFI and Green Thumb Agri Products (GTAP), were just two (2) of the Ten (10) selected MSMEs to be enrolled in the Brand Development Program of the Department of Trade and Industry Region 3. 

The Branding Program of DTI-3 aims to develop a strong market image for each MSME either by highlighting the company or the product itself.  Through this strategy, MSMEs can strengthen their competitiveness and product recall in the market. Usually, only large companies have the capacity to hire top notch branding consultants and pay advertisements. DTI initiated this activity to help the MSMEs create distinctive image to attract their target market. 

DTI Regional Director Judith P. Angeles was present during the launching and first firm-level cliniquing in December,  2017 at the DTI Conference Room in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. The activity was conducted by one of the country’s most sought after branding expert, Wilfrido “Willy” Arcilla, also known as the “Brand Healer”, of Octopus One-Stop Branding Shop. 

 “We are happy with our new brand image and thankful for the opportunity to be selected as one of the Beneficiaries of DTI’s Brand Development Program”. This is the message of Ms. Mildred Baylon, Marketing Manager of Castillejos Agri Farms, Inc. (CAFI) after receiving the final lay-out of their product label bearing their new brand name which they believe could appeal more to their foreign market – “Castillejos de Zambales Fruit Farm”

CAFI produces fruit preserves like purees, jams, jellies and marmalades. The company has been in existence since 1986. 

For Evelyn Grace, owner of Green Thumb Agri Products (GTAP), the company name “Green Thumb” was highlighted and incorporated in its brand logo, as a result of her consultation with the designer. GTAP manufactures mango-based products such as mango wine, mango nectar, mango juice and dried mango. They also manufacture other fruit products such as kamias prunes and dried tamarind candy. 

“We hope that you will take advantage of this initiative from the DTI for your company’s gain. We believe that although product quality plays a significant part in gaining consumers of a product, strong branding adds more value to a product in the market”, says RD Angeles during the launching.♦

In time for the opening of school next month, the Department of Trade and Industry Regional Office III (DTI-3) urges stores in the region selling school supplies to sell their products within the Suggested Retail Prices (SRP).
The DTI recently published the SRP table for school supplies effective May 3, 2018. The table lists prices of different brands and corresponding prices of notebooks, pad paper, ballpens, crayons, erasers, rulers and sharpeners.
The DTI reminded sellers that school supplies like notebooks, pad paper, pencils, pens and crayons should have proper markings like brand name, trademark, number of pages for paper products, type, size and grammage of paper, and name and address of manufacturer or importer. Crayons must also have the marking “non-toxic” aside from the trade mark, brand name and manufacturer’s name.
For 80-page econobond composition notebooks, the SRP ranges from Php 12.00 – 18.00 while promo packs of six (6) range from 129.75 to 164.75 pesos. Pad Papers (80 pages) for Grades 1 to 4 have SRP ranging from 6.00 to 11.00 while Intermediate pad paper have prices ranging from Php 12.20 to 32.75.
For pencils, three-pack sets have SRP ranging from Php 12.00 to 37.50, depending on the hardness and brand. Ballpens have SRP ranging from Php 5.00 to 14.75 while a three-pack set of ballpens have SRP ranging from Php 12.00 to 15.75. For crayons, eight-piece boxes have prices ranging from Php 12.00 to 17.75 while a 24 piece box has prices ranging from 32.00 to 49.25. 
Erasers have SRP ranging from Php 7.50 to 14.75 while sharpeners (one hole) have prices ranging from Php 8.00 to 11.75. For two-hole sharpeners, the price range is Php 19.75 to 34.75. Plastic laminated rulers have SRP ranging from Php 9.75 to 19.75 for the 6-inch type and Php 11.75 to 32.75 for the 12-inch ruler.
This month, the provincial offices of DTI-3 have organized Balik-Eskwela Diskwento Caravans in Balanga City, Subic Freeport, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan and San Fernando, Pampanga to enable buyers of school supplies and school uniforms to buy at discounted prices.
The SRP table for school supplies can be viewed at the website of DTI through this link:♦
 DTI-3 Prime HRM Awarding
DTI-3 RD Judith P. Angeles receives the Certification of Recognition as PRIME HRM Bronze Awardee from the Civil Service Commission in rites held on May 9, 2018 in Cagayan De Oro City. With RD Angeles are CSC Chairperson Alicial Dela Rosa Bala (4th from L), DTI HRAS Director Joel Cruz (2nd R), DTI-3 HRMO Pinky Varona and CSC officials.

The Department of Trade and Industry Regional Office III recently received the prestigious Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME HRM) Bronze Award from the Civil Service Commission in rites held on May 9, 2018 at the Limketkai Hotel in Cagayan De Oro City. The award was personally given by CSC Chairperson Alicia Dela Rosa-Bala to DTI-3 Regional Director Judith P. Angeles. 

The Prime HRM Bronze Award is conferred to institutions based on the evaluation of the CSC Human Resource Policies and Standards Office. Based on CSC Memorandum Circular No. 19 series of 2016, agencies evaluated as meeting human resource maturity Level II in all four (4) HRM systems shall be awarded accordingly. The four HRM systems where DTI-3 was evaluated are: Recruitment, Selection and Placement, Performance Management, Learning and Development, and Rewards and Recognition. The DTI-3 office was also found to be continuously compliant with Civil Service laws and rules in implementing other Human Resource programs and maintenance of HR records. 

In accepting the award, DTI-3 Regional Director Judith P. Angeles said that the agency will continue to improve on its Human Resource systems and to comply with Civil Service rules and regulations to further improve the delivery of public service and ensure the competence of public servants.

The conferment of the Prime HRM Bronze Award Maturity Level II Accreditation to DTI Regional Office III was given pursuant to CSC Resolution No. 1701662 signed by CSC Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala and Commissioners Roberto S. Martinez and Leopoldo Roberto W. Valderosa Jr.♦

A total of 55,669 micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have been assisted region wide by Negosyo Centers in 2017. Negosyo Centers in Nueva Ecija had the most number of assisted clients with 14,821 clients served while 12,660 clients were served by Nego Centers in Bulacan. Bataan Negosyo Centers were able to serve 8,904 clients while Pampanga had 8,214 and Tarlac had 5,573. Negosyo Centers in Zambales and Aurora had 2,855 and 2,642 served clients, respectively. The Negosyo Center in Cabanatuan City is ranked 8th nationwide with 9,568 MSMEs assisted in 2017.                                               

To add to the existing 64 Negosyo Centers to serve its MSME clients in the region, the Department of Trade and Industry Regional Office III is set to open 24 new Negosyo Centers in Central Luzon in 2018. 

Based on the records of DTI, for 2018, six (6) new Negosyo Centers were planned for opening in Nueva Ecija, five (5) in Zambales, four (4) in Pampanga, four (4) in Tarlac, three (3) in Bulacan and one each in Bataan and Aurora. As of April 30, 2018, eight new centers have already been established in Marilao and Guiguinto in Bulacan, General Tinio and Quezon in Nueva Ecija, Angeles City (MACCII Office) and Floridablanca in Pampanga, Pura in Tarlac and Subic Bay (Harbor Point) in Zambales. The Negosyo Centers provide MSME related services like Business Name registration, BMBE registration assistance, Product Cliniquing, Product Catalogue production, Business Matching, Loan Assistance, Packaging and Labelling assistance and Product Development. In 2017, 35 new Negosyo Centers were established in the region. 

The Negosyo Centers were created by virtue of Republic Act No. 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act. The law, which was authored by Senator Bam Aquino, aims to establish at least one Negosyo Center in each local government to help spur inclusive growth and countryside development through the development of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises sector. The law also strengthened the partnership of the private sector and government agencies to help support the growth of the MSME sector.♦

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