Hailing MSMEs’ Achievements at Go Lokal!’s Buyers’ Day 2018

20 March 2018 – The Go Lokal!’s Buyers’ Day 2018 held on March 08, 2017 was a huge success. The Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) East Wing Showroom in Makati City was overflowing with guests who came to witness the momentous event celebrating the accomplishments of Go Lokal!’s noble initiative that supports our country’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME). Indeed, 2017 was a great year for MSMEs, as seen from everyone’s warm reception in the well-attended event.

From a few hundreds when it began, Go Lokal! now hosts more than 300 accredited suppliers of food and non-food merchandises. For this year’s Buyers’ Day, Go Lokal! introduced the season’s newest collection of 510 different products, which features 260 new products from new and existing suppliers.

 “The beauty of this project is that we’re making a change in the lives of these Micro SMEs. We are giving them hope, and to us, that’s the most important thing in this program,” said DTI Secretary Ramon M.  Lopez. He invited the public to continue this advocacy with limitless possibilities that promote the welfare of MSMEs, and therefore, the entire economy.

The event’s highlight was the awarding ceremony for Go Lokal!’s Top Brand Discoveries of 2017. Four MSMEs (two food product manufacturers and two non-food producers) were recognized for garnering the best sales performance. They are Gifts and Graces Fair Trade Foundation, Inc., Green Life Coconut Products Philippines, Inc., Lipi Enterprises, and Vicky’s Pili and Food Products.

With the success of Go Lokal!’s Buyers’ Day 2018, DTI closes the gap between MSMEs and the local and international market. With the help of eager retail partners, these underserved yet worthy talents got the chance to stand in the spotlight and be exposed to gainful trade platforms. Moreover, Go Lokal! provided these MSMEs the big break they truly deserve. Without a doubt, through genuine Public-Private Partnership (PPP), everlasting progress is within reach for Filipino MSMEs.

DTI invites us all to take part in the government’s initiative by patronizing the country’s locally made goods. It’s now up to us, the buyers, to give the MSMEs the chance by supporting Philippine products – and ultimately, the country’s economy.

(From L-R) OTOP consultant Leon Flores (accepting the award for Lipi Shoes’ Joseph Lucero), TIPG Asst. Sec. Rosvi Gaetos, Gifts and Graces’ Victoria Jalandoni, Vicky’s Pili and Food Products’ Myra Zandra Gestiada, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Greenlife Coconut Products’ Ma. Frances Rubio, and BDTP Director Rhodora Leaño (extreme right).



DTI welcomes Japan aircon maker’s clarification to expand PH business

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) welcomed a letter from the head office of Daikin Industries, Ltd. — a Japanese air conditioning manufacturer present in the Philippines (PH) since 2009 – clarifying their position to strengthen and expand their business operations in the country.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez expressed optimism over Daikin Industries’ intention and added they look forward to its expansion projects.

“We welcome investors who wish to join the country’s growth story, and contribute in our mission to provide jobs to Filipinos and share the prosperity to all,” shared Lopez.

Daikin’s Industries’ Senior Executive Officer Yoshihiro Mineno had conveyed to DTI the company’s official position through a letter, stating, “We really regret to see the article of Inquirer Business on 3rd March. And we apologize and feel very sorry for causing misunderstanding in the press conference conducted by our subordinate sales company.”

“We do not have any complaint about investment climate in the Philippines nor do not have any intention to criticize the policy of the government. Our real intension is to do our best to expand our business in the Philippines,” Mineno said.

The letter aimed to clarify the statement and comment of Daikin Airconditioning Philippines Inc. in a press conference on the investment climate in the country.

DTI has been consistent in its programs and projects to attract investments and revitalize PH’s manufacturing sector. This has been evident as manufacturing sector has gone up by 8.6% and its investments surged by 244% in 2017.

“The Philippines is a very important market for Daikin and has a big room for further expansion. [We] will continue and strengthen our action to expand business in the Philippines,” Mineno’s letter concluded


Investment projects approved by the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) in January to February 2018 continue to surge as the premier investment promotion agency recorded Php131.6 billion worth of projects, up by 402.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

“The sound policies of the government and the strong investor sentiment continues to fuel the growth momentum of the economy as we continue to generate projects and create more jobs for our countrymen,” Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez said.

He added that these projects are riding on the growth momentum to continue this year after the agency posted an all-time high of Php617 billion in committed investments last year.

“Barely two months in the new year, we’re off to a blazing start and given the momentum, we will continue to roll for the rest of the year and hit our target of Php680 billion, which is up 10 percent from the record-breaking figure from 2017. There were so many prospects late last year that after seeing the unprecedented growth, they finally decided to roll out new investments and other firms remain bullish with their expansion to take advantage of the expansive economy,” he said.

 Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo meanwhile pointed out that most of the approvals centered on the need to address the growing demand of infrastructure in light of the administration’s “Build, build, build” program. “The power requirements are enormous and so are the construction part which leads to more cement production and the expansion of transport facilities,” he explained as the biggest project approvals in February came from power, cement and air transportation.

Five solar-power projects of Solar Philippine Commercial Rooftop Projects worth over PHp60 billion were give the nod in a bid to dramatically reduce the cost of power and reduce our dependence to fossil fuels in the long-term. Ionic Cementworks Industries, Inc. is putting up a Php 12 billion cement plant in Pagbilao, Quezon.

Meanwhile, the Metro Iloilo Hospital and Medical Center, Inc. is building a PhP620 million hospital in Jaro, Iloilo while Mabuhay Maritime Express Transport Inc. has been given the green light to as a domestic shipping operator of high speed passenger ship with a project cost of PHp602 million to service the Kailbo-Boracay, Aklan route.

“Our policy has always been to ensure the migration of investments from the National Capital Region (NCR) to the other regions. This is a deliberate policy to ensure that growth is inclusive,” Secretary Lopez said.

The BOI’s 2017-2019 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) encourages investors to locate in the countryside as part of its general policies under geographical consideration.  For example, projects located in any of the identified less developed areas (LDAs) are entitled to pioneer incentives and additional deduction from taxable income equivalent to 100 percent of expenses incurred in the development of necessary and major infrastructure facilities. .

“The IPP was intentionally designed to reduce investments in NCR and disperse activities to the countryside,” Rodolfo noted as NCR investments for January and February are down 36 percent to Php2.47 billion, from Php3.87 billion in the same period last year.

Other regions have set a torrid pace in offsetting the slack of investments in the Metro. Central Luzon topped all regions with Php61 billion in investment approvals, a meteoric 4,778 percent rise from only Php1.2 billion in the same period last year. CALABARZON placed second with Php45.8 billion, up 134 percent from Php19.6 billion in 2017. Coming in third was the Davao region (Region XI) with Php13.8 billion, up nearly 18,000 percent from only Php77 million a year ago in the same frame.

Overall, renewable energy/power projects hit Php87.7 billion, up an exponential 4,178 percent from the same frame last year and accounting for 67 percent of the aggregate investment figure for the first two months. Coming in second was the water supply, sewerage and waste management industry with PHp13.8 billion in project approvals, from none during the same period in 2017. Manufacturing placed third with Php12.7 billion in committed investments.

DTI, DPWH join forces to boost infrastructure development in CALABARZON

The Department of Trade and Industry Region and Department of Public Works and Highways Region in CALABARZON Region recently conducted a Regional Orientation for the Roads Leveraging Linkages of Industry and Trade (ROLL-IT) Program to facilitate efficient and coordinated efforts among the two Departments to identify, prioritize, and implement road access infrastructure leading to various industries and economic zones in a technically-correct and politically-participative process with input and support from the business and civil society, as well as, local government units (LGUs).

The Roads Leveraging Linkages for Industry and Trade or ROLL IT Program aims to further the growth of investments and other economic activities in the country through more road projects leading to manufacturing and economic zones.

DTI CALABARZON was tasked to identify potential industry road projects using the Road Leveraging Linkages Evaluation Rating System (ROLLERS)—identification, importance, necessity, and implementability/readiness.

“DTI and DPWH joined forces to address the damaged and impassable roads leading to industries and trade development cities and towns in CALABARZON because we aim to have inclusive economic growth,” said DTI CALABARZON Director Marilou Toledo.

Launched in November 2016, the two government agencies signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the ROLL IT project implementation on road connectivity for industry and trade development. Under the agreement, DTI will identify areas where industry sectors need road facilities and connectivity.

For 2018, ROLL IT has 229 total approved projects nationwide, with estimated number of 502.1 kilometers amounting to P12.5 billion.

In CALABARZON, there are eight ROLL IT projects amounting to P479 million in the following areas namely, Dasmarinas, Cavite; Cabuyao City, Laguna; Lopez, Quezon; Alabat, Quezon; Guinayangan, Quezon; Gumaca, Quezon; Atimonan, Quezon; and Tagkawayan, Quezon.

The ROLL IT Convergence Program will be one of the strong platforms of the promise of a Golden Age of Infrastructure for the Philippines, through a target of national infrastructure budget of 7% of Gross Domestic Product, roughly equivalent to around P8.2 trillion.

The ROLL IT Program will further fuel the recent high growth of domestic investments as well as the surge in foreign direct investments of the country, through more road projects funded within 2016-2022.

The ROLL IT program’s goal is to prioritize infrastructure development in the country. It will leverage on the success and experiences of the DOT-DPWH Convergence Program or the Tourism Road Infrastructure Program (TRIP) that lead to the upgrading of roads leading to tourist destinations.

The initiative of DTI and DPWH is intended to contribute in delivering accelerated infrastructure development and inclusive economic growth.

Through better road infrastructure connecting the industries, industrial and regional development strategy can be realized and will further facilitate balanced development, dispersal of industries away from urban areas towards the rural areas, creating more job and income opportunities to more Filipinos.

PTTC and The British Council partner to build Filipino creative enterprises

05 March 2018 – The Department of Trade and Industry, through the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) in partnership with The British Council, opens a Creative Enterprise Programme for Filipino creative entrepreneurs on April 17-19, 2018 at the PTTC, Pasay City.

A three-day practical workshop that helps creative entrepreneurs unlock their business ideas, participants will learn the key aspects of setting up and running a creative business that will turn these ideas into a reality – from developing business proposition, to exploring their potential customer base, and thinking about finances.

The workshop is led by Catherine Docherty, an accredited trainer and creative entrepreneur, who has worked in design and innovation for over 20 years in the UK. She is also Founder and Managing Director of Journey Associates, an agency that helps organizations improve their economic and social impact through a participatory, design-led approach.




First launched in the Philippines in 2015, the Creative Enterprise Programme is developed by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, designed specifically for the creative industries, such as advertising, architecture, arts & culture, craft, design, fashion, games, music, publishing, tech, TV and film. Past participant Kiko Kintanar of Earthworks Fashion shares, “It was exciting and fun. It placed my goals into perspective and gave me an idea on how to start a creative enterprise or improve it.”

All participants get a certificate of completion from British Council, PTTC, and Nesta.

Interested parties are invited to apply before 30 March 2018 through British Council Philippines’ website (http://britishcouncil.ph). You may also contact PTTC thru Guia Soriano at guiasoriano@pttc.gov.ph | 831-9988 or 263-7931.  Workshop fees and early bird rates apply.