Butuan, Philippines — On 18 May 2024, the 2024 Buy Caraga by Caraga (BCBC) Balangay Festival Edition, a biannual local trade exhibition featuring exclusively Caraga-made products, has officially opened.

The one-week selling event showcased approximately 200 diverse products from 77 Food and Drug Administration-registered enterprises, including startups under the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) special programs like the Rural AgroIndustral Partnership for Inclusive Development (RAPID) and Growth Project and Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP).

In her opening remarks, DTI Caraga Regional Director Gay Tidalgo expressed pride in the competitive products showcased at the fair. She emphasized her aspiration for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to expand in capitalization, employment and product volume, ultimately contributing to both local, and national economic development.

Director Tidalgo also attributed the success of the event to the collaborative efforts between DTI and the MSMEs, and encouraged aspiring business owners to visit Negosyo Centers for entrepreneurial guidance.

Following the cultural performance of Caraganon talents, the event featured an artistic showcase of select products from the provinces during the Fashion and Product Parade. Another highlight of the program was the awarding of 2024 Successful Women Entrepreneurs of Caraga, an annual initiative of the DTI Caraga’s Gender and Development (GAD) program. One awardee was selected per province:

• Agusan del Norte – Janice Nilda Mira of Amamio Farm Products
• Agusan del Sur – Cleotilde Potencioso of Cleo’s Food Products, Inc.
• Surigao del Norte – Adefel Madelo of Fel Bakeshop
• Surigao del Sur – Marisa Rom of Shaira’s Peanut Butter and Food Products
• Dinagat Islands – Atty. Sheralyne Pequiña of Twindale Food House and
BossFons Grill and Restaurant.

In closing, DTI Caraga Assistant Regional Director Brenda B. Corvera highlighted Caraga’s creative goods and the region’s talented artisans, as incorporated in this edition’s program design. She also commended the participating producers for their efforts in obtaining certifications and meeting market requirements,
expressing hope that this will encourage other MSMEs to capitalize on opportunities for market exposure through regional, national, and international fairs. ♦

Date of release: 07 June 2024