The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has launched a popup exhibit showcasing products made by local businesses as part of efforts to support local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) reeling from the pandemic-induced economic fallout.
According to Blair Panong of DTI Bohol, the Mugnang Bol-anon Pop-up Exhibit was launched at the Island City Mall Activity Center in Tagbilaran City on July 26 and will be open to the public until July 31.
The exhibit showcases various local products including food, beverage, wearable items, beauty products and furniture, among others. Some of the featured products are unique items such as the lomboy vinegar from Dimiao and Roselle wine from Ubay.
Panong said Mugnang Bol-anon drew 55 MSMEs from across Bohol.
The exhibit was launched in lieu of the previously annual Sandugo Trade Fair, whose 2020 edition was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Unlike the Sandugo fair, however, Mugnang Bol-anon was launched primarily to promote local products and encourage MSMEs to restart their businesses instead of generating revenues.
Only Bohol-based businesses were also allowed to join the product showcase, contrary to the Sandugo fair which also invited exhibitors from other provinces.
“Kita atong gihimo dili ni giingon na atong gituyo na tumong nato na dako ta’g kita kundili ang atong tuyo na magiyahan nato ang atong MSMEs na mobalik na sa naandan na pagbaligya sa ilang mga produkto, so we’re not really that keen on targeting millions of sales for this year,” Panong said.
Panong explained that Mugnang Bol-anon is a blended exhibit.
Aside from the physical display at ICM, the products are also being promoted through online platforms such as Lazada and Shopee.
“Naa na tay mga dagkong logistics, gagmayng logistics companies na mas sayon na ang pagpadala sa imong produkto from one place to another, dili pareha sauna,” said Panong.
Panong admitted that the pandemic has indeed crippled local businesses forcing some MSMEs to suspend or downsize operations.
“Kining among gihimo is an attempt to help them get back on the track,” he added.
According to Kent Calumba, the DTI has other programs in line to help MSMEs “bounce forward” amid the pandemic.
The agency intends to conduct trainings and seminars for MSMEs and other virtual exhibits before the year ends, Calumba added. (A. Doydora)