DTI meets Azerbaijan Ambassador to discuss oil, food trade

From L to R: Consul a.h. of Azerbaijan in the Philippines Jose De Venecia III, Counsellor Ruslan Nasibov, Ambassador Tamerlan Garayev DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Undersecretary Nora Terrado, Director Ann Cabochan, and Director Angelica Cayas.


MAKATI—Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez met with Azerbaijan Ambassador Tamerlan Garayev last 31 May to discuss trade opportunities between Azerbaijan (AZ) and the Philippines (PH).

“Our meeting with Consul Garayev is part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s strategy to seek out non-traditional trading partners. We see a lot complementation between our countries,” said Sec. Lopez.

PH is keen on exporting tropical fruits, like bananas and mangoes, to AZ. Exporting to the Eurasian country is also a boon for PH’s Halal industry, since its population is predominantly Muslim.

“Your country is famous for its mangoes,” said the Azerbaijan Ambassador who cited Jose Rizal as his childhood hero.

Meanwhile, PH sees AZ as an alternative source of fuel since oil and natural gas account for around 90 percent of Azerbaijan’s total exports. The country is also a transport hub for exports since it’s located near Georgia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine.

With only a 10M population and a 6.2% Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Ambassador Garayev said that his country needs more manpower for its tourism and agriculture industries. Since there are only 300 Filipinos in AZ, Sec. Lopez suggested that Filipinos fill these vacancies.

Both countries want to mutually develop education and tourism by having student/ teacher exchange programs and tourism promotions. The two countries will form a Joint Economic Commission to further these talks beginning with possible government to government transactions.

Current trade balance between PH and AZ is in favor of PH due to exports of the following: electronics; electrical and electronic machinery; almonds, fresh or dried, shelled. Azerbaijan is PH’s 172nd trading partner (out of 223), and 153rd export market (out of 216), and 171st import source (out of 198).

Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service  Delivery Act: A gamechanger, says DTI

The Department of Trade and Industry expressed optimism that the newly-enacted Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 will make doing business in our country easier as it promotes efficient government.

“Under the EODB/Efficient Government Act, businesses can expect streamlined processes, reduced processing times from all government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).  Government agencies shall be made to comply with the prescribed processing time: three (3) working days for simple transactions, seven (7) working days for complex transactions, and 20 working days for highly technical transactions.” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

The EODB-EGSDA Act, which amended the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, requires all local government units to streamline procedures for the issuance of business permits, clearance and other type of authorizations by implementing unified business application form. LGUs are mandated to setup Business One Stop Shop (BOSS) to facilitate business permits application.  The law also provides that barangay clearances and permits must be issued at the city or municipality to speed up transactions.

Apart from streamlining, the law also provides for the creation of a Central Business Portal that will receive and capture application data on business-related transactions, while Philippine Business Databank shall provide LGUs and national government agencies access to information to verify validity and existence of businesses. With this, businesses are not required to submit the same documentary requirement previously submitted.

The DTI Secretary, who now chairs the Ease of Doing Business and Anti Red Tape Advisory Council (EODB/ARTAC) called RA 11032 a landmark legislation that will have a direct impact on all citizens and business sector.

“We realized that for the EODB reforms to be fully implemented and integrated, a whole-of-government approach was necessary. Thus in full support of the President’s vision, Congress enacted a law that will make doing business in the Philippines easier and more importantly, create a more efficient government.” Lopez added.

The EODB-EGSDA law will be implemented by the Anti-Red Tape Authority, an agency under the Office of the President that will monitor compliance of agencies, and implement and oversee national policy on anti-red tape and ease of doing business. The seven-member Ease of Doing Business and Anti-Red Tape Advisory Council will be composed of the Secretaries of DILG, DICT, and DOF, and two members from the private sector. The EODB/ARTAC will serve as the policy and advisory body of ARTA, to be chaired by DTI Secretary, and the Director General of the Anti Red Tape Authority (ARTA) as Vice Chair.

DTI launches expanded Shared Service Facility to strengthen footwear industry

MARIKINA – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez led the inauguration of the expanded Shared Service Facility (SSF) on high value custom-made footwear which features advanced technology and newly acquired state-of-the-art machineries in preparing customized footwear molds that would increase productivity of shoemakers.

“We need to equip our micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs with modern machineries that would increase productivity with lesser cost in order to revive the footwear industry. Marikina has always been known for their shoes. And if we come together, government, private sector, and Filipino shoemakers with their unique craftsmanship, we can easily sell our products here and abroad,” said Sec. Lopez.

The trade chief also encouraged government personnel to support and choose local footwear. Likewise, DTI will push for policies and programs to have government agencies purchase locally-made shoes as well as bags, example for public school children.

Meanwhile, Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro announced the city’s project to build a mall-type facility to feature all Filipino MSME products, specifically Marikina-made footwear.

DTI welcomed the proposed project and pledged its support to the local government through the Go Lokal! concept store.

“Having this kind of project will bring our efforts in marketing the products of our MSMEs to a higher level. From a pop up store to a mall of all-local and quality products will definitely help us strengthen the sector,” the trade chief said.

According to Sec. Lopez, the government will continue to support the footwear industry in a holistic manner through its 7Ms (Mindset change, Mastery, Mentoring, Market, Money, Machine, and Models) strategy.

“With our collective effort, we can make Marikina-made footwear known not just here in the Philippines. We will make our footwear compete globally,” said Sec. Lopez.

Aside from the expanded SSF, DTI also inaugurated the newly renovated and improved Philippine Footwear Academy building, which serves as a shoemaking skills training facility in Marikina.

Also present during the inauguration were Philippine Footwear Federation Inc (PFFI) President Lolito Lopez, PFFI Secretary General Roger Py, Philippine Chamber of Commerce Marikina President Jeanelle Lee, and DTI Assistant Secretaries Blesila Lantayona, Ameenah Fajardo, and Demphna Du-Naga


Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Director Asteria Caberte warns unscrupulous business establishments that are taking advantage of credit card holders by imposing surcharges.

Caberte revealed the illicit tactics of some business establishments that are imposing additional charges on items purchased through credit cards of unsuspecting buyers who are not aware that these surcharges are illegal.

“All retailers who accept credit cards for payment should not require the cardholders to pay additional charge over and above the price tag on the consumer goods and services,” Caberte said.

Under Article 81, or the “Price Tag Requirement,” of Republic Act 7394, otherwise known as “Consumer Act of the Philippines,” goods and services must have only an appropriate price tag or label. It must not be sold at a higher price that what is stated and without discrimination to all buyers.

Caberte also advised consumers who were tricked into paying the surcharges to ask for a refund and report the incident to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“Retailers should not pass surcharges to consumers for they are already paying annual membership fee for using credit cards,” Caberte added. “ In ensuring consumers’ rights, she revealed that the DTI is regularly monitoring business establishments.”

Caberte warned violators that DTI is regularly monitoring business establishments to ensure that consumer rights are upheld.

Caberte underscored that unscrupulous retailers will be fined depending on the gravity, and/or revocation of their business permit and license.

For complaints and questions, one may call or visit the Consumer Protection Division at the following DTI’ provincial offices: BOHOL PROVINCIAL OFFICE, 2F FCB Bldg., CPG Ave., Tagbilaran City. Tel. # (63) 038-501-8260; CEBU PROVINCIAL OFFICE, DTI Building, Osmena Boulevard, corner Lapulapu Street, Cebu City, Tel. # (63)(032) 255-6971 / 255-3926 . (63)(032) 412-1944 / 412-1945;SIQUIJOR PROVINCIAL OFFICE. CF Bldg., Legaspi St., Siquijor, Siquijor, Tel. # (63)035-480-9065 ; NEGROS ORIENTAL PROVINCIAL OFFICE, 2F Uymatiao Bldg., San Jose Street. Dumaguete City Tel. # (63)(035) 422-2764.

DTI’s Design Center partners with the metros’ key creative hubs for Design Week Philippines

In line with the celebration of Design Week Philippines, the Department of Trade and Industry’s Design Center of the Philippines (DTI-Design Center) partners with key organizations and events all over the Metro Manila in its aim to gather the creative community and support the advancement of the creative services sector of the country.

With the tagline “Design Tribes,” Design Week Philippines kicked off last 14 April 2018 in Intramuros and will run until 22 April 2018.

“Building connections and communities has always been at the core of Design Week Philippines,” said DTI Design Center Executive Director Rhea O. Matute. “This is why we create a movement by engaging partners and partner events to show the diverse ways of celebrating Design Week Philippines, and eventually make design and creativity a way of life in the Philippines,” she added.

Design Center has established collaboration with 41 partners, 32 events in 16 venues all over the Metro Manila. Matute emphasized that partnerships help amplify and promote new destinations and hubs that can play significant roles in enabling communities, especially the youth.

“We are looking at the youth, the millennials and the Gen Z, as the next generation of minds that will create positive and progressive disruptions in society. What they do, can do, and will do will definitely shape and influence lifestyles, products, services, and industries in the coming years. What Design Week and the Department of Trade and Industry, through its Design Center, can do for them is to highlight new engagement platforms, nurture a network of creative professionals, and host events where they can gather, learn from one another, and build on each other’s ideas,” Matute shares.

Design Week Philippines promises a nine-day of borderless creative festivity with series of design talks, design tours, hands-on workshops, exhibitions, art booths, live performances, outdoor film showing, weekend market and a lot more that will ensure participants’ and visitors’ engagement in design and creativity.

INTRAMUROS: Design Week Inside the Walled City

In previous editions, Design Week Philippines launched the historical Walled City of Intramuros as a creative environment, and has since supported the Intramuros Administration in its initiatives to revive it. Design Week also taps the district as a home for its event components such as Design Talks, Design Tours and Creative Workshops to revitalize the historical and cultural assets of the environment and inject it with creative endeavors to encourage development of new ideas.

Creative Workshops

For this edition, Design Week is working with the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in mounting several hands-on creative workshops and art booths for everyone in Plaza Moriones in Intramuros, Manila.

Scheduled on 21 April 2018, workshops for the following are open for everyone: Poetry Making, Smartphone Film Making, Kite Making and Kite Flying Activity, and Face Painting. Meanwhile, on the 22nd April, a Travel Journaling workshop with Abbey Sy is scheduled.

Design Tours

This edition’s Design Tours spotlight history and iconic landmarks with the iMake History Fortress Architecture exhibit in Fort Santiago, and the Destileria Limtuaco beside the LPU Gymnasium as its destination stops.

The iMake History exhibit features scale models of iconic landmarks within the walls of Intramuros made with Legos. Formerly accessible only to the Limtuaco family’s friends and guests, Destileria Limtuaco, the oldest distillery in the Philippines, opens it museum to the public.

For those who want honest conversations on creative journeys, this edition’s Design Talks is for you! With the theme “Design to Thrive,” a morning session of lightning talks, panel discussions and Q&A will tackle personal and organizational stories of failures turned into triumphs and accomplishments that are now part of a growing creative economy. Guest speakers are Jodinand Aguillon, Executive Director of Pineapple Lab; Leonora Cabili, founder of Filip+Inna; Dan Matutina, founder of Plus63 Design Co.; and Ar. Arts Serrano, founder of One Zero Design Co. The conversations aim to inspire professionals and aspirants from the sphere of business, design, art, and other industries to enhance their way of thinking towards to a positive change.

Extramuros: Design Week beyond the Walls

Supported by a powerhouse lineup of agencies, brands, companies, and collectives, Design Week extends its creative festivity outside of Intramuros to Metro Manila’s thriving creative hubs, with partner events happening in Makati, Pasay, BGC, Pasig, Muntinlupa, and Quezon City.

It partners with Manila FAME happening at the World Trade Center from 19-21 April; Nesta’s Creative Enterprise Programme with British Council of the Philippines on 17-19 April; Hollowblock Presents: OTTOMONDI with Pineapple Lab, 14 April 2018, Pineapple Lab; Glug Creative Socials with ASpace on 18 April 2018; EUREKA SERIES: POBLACION RE-IMAGINED on 19 April 2018 with Acceler8 Coworking; and South Arts Festival on 22 April 2018.

Design Week also partnered with 98B COLLABoratory, situated in Escolta, a neighboring district of Intramuros, for its Future Market. With its goal of putting soul and spirit into commerce, the Future Market caters to creative individuals and artists to sustain their art practice and to experimenting startups and entrepreneurs to enable them to practice and transition towards a more stable and sustainable commercial setting.

For the complete list of partner events and details on Design Week, follow DTI – Design Center of the Philippines’ Facebook page.

DTI-DOST to expand MSME marketing capabilities through OneSTore.ph


The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will tie up with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) expand their market and reach clients online with the OneSTore.ph.


“MSMEs are the backbone of the Philippine economy. And as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s whole-of-government approach to assist MSMEs, we are teaming up with DOST to impact the lives of more Filipino entrepreneurs,” said DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.


The OneSTore.ph is a first government e-commerce platform (Business–to-Customer and Business-to-Business platform) dedicated to marketing high-quality Filipino products of MSMEs through the worldwide web by “bringing quality products at Filipino doorsteps.”


This comes as DTI intensifies marketing capabilities of MSMEs to help them reach the mainstream market.


Under the OneSTore.ph agreement, DTI will Promote the oneSTore.ph to MSMEs through Negosyo Centers as a platform where they can market their products on-line.


At the same time, DTI will make Negosyo Centers accessible to clients of DOST and allow clients to display and dispatch their products with its payment and logistic partners in One Town One Product (OTOP) Philippines HubStores, subject to availability of space and to DTI priorities and promote oneSTore and provide signage for the spaces provided for oneSTore.ph and oneSTore hub in every OTOP Store identified as co-branded hub, among others.


The One Town, One Product (OTOP) Philippines is DTI’s collaborative program with national government agencies and local government units  as a customized intervention to level up the products of various localities and drive inclusive local economic growth.


DOST, on the other hand, will develop and maintain oneSTore.ph where its accredited Regional Hubs and MSMEs may sell products and services to its clients and engage with payment and logistics partners and provide better oneSTore.ph services to its accredited Regional Hubs, MSMEs and its partner agencies.


DOST will also Provide priority to jointly identified OTOP products for product development initiatives including improvements in packaging and labeling, subsidy or discounts in testing fees, equipment support such as the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), and strengthen research and development efforts