Rampant reports of substandard products proliferating in the market have been received by the Department of Trade and Industry in the past quarter. Thus, DTI conducted a simultaneous monitoring and enforcement across the country on 5 July 2019 to strengthen advocacy on product standards of certain construction materials.

DTI-8 mobilized its provincial monitoring and enforcement teams to ensure that consumers are provided with safe and quality products. All of the provincial offices have conducted their enforcement which resulted to 36 monitored firms in eight cities and municipalities covering Tacloban City, Carigara, Maasin City, Naval, Calbayog City, Catbalogan City, Borongan City, and Catarman.

Products covered were steel bars, cement, pvc and sanitary pipes, electrical and glass products. Based from the results, the firms monitored were compliant to product standards and fair trade laws. ♦

Date of release: 10 July 2019

Through the Trabaho, Negosyo at Kabuhayan (TNK) Program, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) conducted the BAHANDI Eastern Visayas Trade Fair on 10-13 June, and the Samar Trade Fair alongside with the Diskwento Caravan and Entrepreneurship Seminar on 18 June 2019.

The TNK Caravan is a successful joint undertaking of DOLE, DTI, and other government agencies since 2017. It sought to bring Jobs and Business Fair all in one event to support creation of employment and income opportunities in Region 8.

Through the BAHANDI Trade Fair in Tacloban and the Samar Trade Fair in Catbalogan, 77 of DTI’s assisted micro, small and medium enterprises generated a total sales of PHP 2, 672, 994.00. The marketing activities were effective in promoting and bringing our local MSMEs and their products accessible to our local customers, tourists and institutional buyers. This also proves that local entrepreneurs and their products are more responsive to market demands.

DTI Samar also conducted a free entrepreneurship seminar which was participated by 51 livelihood beneficiaries of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The entrepreneurship seminar discussed topics on entrepreneurial mind-setting to help the participants in improving their operations and sustaining their livelihood.

With the DTI Negosyo Centers, the Department also put up an information booth where job seekers who are potential entrepreneurs can get free business counselling and information about DTI programs and projects. This is also an opportunity for entrepreneurs to easily access processing services for business name registration and assistance to entrepreneurial capacity development, product and packaging improvement, branding and marketing.

The Department moves toward spurring entrepreneurial revolution and encouraging the formalization and growth of our MSMEs through various business development initiatives.

DTI looks forward to working with partner government agencies in promoting competitiveness of local micro, small and medium enterprises in the domestic and foreign markets.♦

Date of release: 1 July 2019

Few of the 28 sets of equipment granted by DTI for the first Food Testing Laboratory in Region 8

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) launched the first Food Testing Laboratory in Region 8 located at the Visayas State University (VSU) Baybay, Leyte on 14 March 2019.

Through the Shared Service Facility Program, DTI granted P20 M worth of equipment and machine for the food testing laboratory. DTI Leyte Provincial Office and VSU saw the opportunity to address the gap in the food processing sector in Leyte and the rest of the region. One of the prevailing concerns of food processors is the absence of accessible and affordable laboratory analysis services relevant to the mandate of the Republic Act 3720 and DOH Administrative Order No. 30 s. 2014 which is the mandatory labelling of its product contents/ingredients.

This facility will provide food and beverage product laboratory analysis services to help MSMEs comply with labelling requirements; direct business development assistance; professional network and support; and research and development on food nutrition and safety.

L-R: Dr. Edgardo Tulin (President of VSU), Dir. Jerry Clavesillas (DTI-BSMED), Asec. Blesila Lantayona (DTI-ROG), Dir. Desiderio Belas, Jr. (DTI Leyte); Former Regional Director Cynthia Nierras, OIC Regional Director Celerina Bato (DTI 8) during the launch of the Laboratory.

“Facilities like food laboratories are essential for our MSMEs to upgrade, meet quality standards, and become more competitive with the foreign products in the market,” says Asec. Blesila Lantayona of the DTI Regional Operations Group. She also encouraged the importance of collaborating and establishing networks with other established share service facilities to fully support product development.♦

Date of release: 15 March 2019

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is once again spearheading the BAHANDI Eastern Visayas Trade Fair on 10-13 June 2019 at the Robinsons Place Mall, Marasbaras, Tacloban City.

As the month marks the celebration of the 121st Independence Day Anniversary and the various festivals in the region, the trade fair will showcase the culture and creativity of Eastern Visayas manifested in the array of processed food, wearables and homestyle products that will be exhibited and sold by the producer-exhibitors. These products have been enhanced through product and packaging development and branding assistance of DTI.

The conduct of BAHANDI aims to promote and generate sales for products of Region 8 MSMEs, in anticipation of the increased presence of buyers in Tacloban City due to numerous celebrations and holidays in June. The month-long celebration of the local fiesta annually attracts droves of balikbayans, tourists, performers, vendors, merchandizers, and other visitors.

There are 58 producer-exhibitors who will be participating and bringing local products from the six provinces of the region. Some products include binagol, suman, pili nuts and hopia, beef tinapa, keseo, langka seed butter, bahalina nga tuba, turmeric, calamansi concentrate, hand-woven bags, wood furniture, and shell crafts.

Last year, the trade fair generated more than a million sales with 36 exhibitors. Almost double the number now in 2019, they are expected to generate PH 1.5 M total sales.

This event will also pave way for the launching of the Rural Agro-enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth) Project.

The project is designed to promote business partnerships between SMEs and farmers, complemented with investments that facilitate the access of farming households and SMEs to diversified business support and financial services; and improve access to production areas through the rehabilitation of roads and bridges. Its pilot phase covers industry clusters of Leyte, Southern Leyte and Northern Samar.

DTI recognizes both the relatively weak performance of the agriculture sector and the increasing opportunities in rural MSMEs engaged in agricultural processing and value addition. With the RAPID Growth Project, DTI is seeking to expand its role in strengthening rural value chains and promoting agro-enterprises by providing facilitation services, leveraging its Negosyo Center (NC) networks, development of the industry clusters and increased market access through marketing activities such as this BAHANDI Trade Fair.♦

Date of release: 11 June 2019

Officials of DTI Biliran look at markings of a steel bar that passed the product standards

The Department of Trade and Industry Region 8 (DTI-8) conducted a two-day activity held last 27-28 February  2019 on Advanced Mediation and Orientation on Department Orders related to Monitoring and Enforcement. It aims to capacitate DTI officials in handling complaints, facilitating mediation, and conducting monitoring of products in the market and enforcement of fair trade laws and related regulations.

The latest closure of steel bars manufacturer in Pampanga is just one of the many incidents that the Department undertakes to heighten consumer protection against deceptive and unconscionable practices of some companies. Thus, DTI-8 deemed it timely to capacitate its people to strengthen monitoring and enforcement in the region.

The provisions of the recent Department Oder No. 18-122 “New Procedural Guidelines on Monitoring and Enforcement Amending D.O. 48 s. 2008” were discussed piece by piece. Provincial Offices are duly authorized to conduct monitoring, surveillance, enforcement and other relevant activities. The DTI-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau need not come to conduct such activities unless requested by the regional or provincial offices.

There were also issues that surfaced during the seminar such mediation of complaints related to online shopping; warranty of products; proper handling of complaints lodged to DTI which are not under the Department's jurisdiction; and the fines imposed to non-compliant companies.

As an end note, DTI Samar Provincial Director Meilou Macabare urges the provincial teams to revisit product standard guidelines and be well-capacitated to verify, monitor and enforce so that standard qualification of products in the market are assured.♦

Date of release: 4 March 2019

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