DTI to make Otop part of its tourism thrust
The Department of Trade and Industry plans to integrate its One Town, One Product (Otop) program with the country’s thrust to boost tourism by using local products to attract tourists.
Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said the idea was to make Otop products available in various tourism-related establishments.
“We will offer these products to hotels and other tourist establishments, possibly promote food tourism in some areas. We want to link tourism with the DTI so that we may have a synergy in our promotions,” he said.
Domingo said tourism was identified as a primary engine for the country’s growth over the next several years.
In the draft 2011 Investment Priorities Plan, tourism was named as one of the priority sectors.
“The Philippines is a beautiful country. We just need to put up the necessary infrastructure and project a good image of the Philippines to get tourists to visit us. The DTI and the (Department of Tourism) will be doing joint promotions of tourism,” he said.
Tying the Otop program with tourism promotion would not only help boost tourism, but also jack up support for local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which are usually behind the Otop products.
The DTI aims to make the Otop program a vehicle to encourage entrepreneurship, especially in the rural areas. To do this, Otop would be developed as a brand and other avenues to market it, including the Internet, would be explored and put in place.
In an earlier interview, Domingo said the DTI would be seeking counterpart funding from members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, to augment the department’s budget for the Otop program.
“Senator Loren Legarda has offered part of her (priority development assistance fund) to support the program. We’ll be talking to other senators and congressmen as well. Some funding will also come from the DTI budget,” he said.
The Otop program formed part of the 2004-2010 Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan and was instituted mainly to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs. Inquirer