CDO EdTech Startup to represent PH in Start Jerusalem            

A startup from Cagayan de Oro will represent the Philippines all-expense paid in Start Jerusalem (Start JLM) on 5-11 November 2017 after besting four other local startups during the Pitch Jerusalem, a pitch competition for innovative technology-based startups, held at the QBO Innovation Hub in DTI International Building, Makati City last 9 October 2017.

Headed by Co-Founder John Vincent Fiel, Wela School Systems is an EdTech Startup which aims to lessen the faculty’s burden when it comes to academic reports.  The startup offers a cloud-based grading platform that would enhance the productivity of teachers by automating reports and reducing the use of unnecessary spreadsheets. Also, they created a system that provides a better workflow for educators.

In Wela’s way, Mr. Fiel explained that instead of making multiple excel sheets, users can reduce it to two sheets and upload it to their system. Wela will do all the reports that teachers need, including the report card of the students, list of honors, and certificates, among others. Using the system could help the educators finish their report requirements in two days from average of two weeks before. Basically, the main goal is to automate the teachers’ end- to-end process.

The startup is currently serving eight private schools in CDO, Mindanao and is currently scaling in Luzon and the Visayas. Aside from assisting the teachers, Wela School Systems also has a mobile application for parents to help them track their children’s attendance, homework, grades, and receive announcements from the school, among others.

Together with representatives of other winning startups worldwide, Wela will be part of the “boostcamp” with workshops and sessions designed to take their product or solution to the next level.

The pitch competition was presented by the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines, in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry – Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and QBO Innovation Hub and ICCP Platinum Sponsor, Dayanan Business Consultancy and Event Sponsors TrueLogic Online Solutions and Payoneer.

Among the 30 startups who submitted their applications for the PITCH Jerusalem, five were invited to present their pitch. Aside from Wela School Systems, the four other startups who presented were Enguest, JazzyPay, MachiBox, and Teratomo.

The panel of judges were composed of Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP) President Itamar Gero, ICCP VP for External Affairs David Elefant, ICCP Director Sagiv Massad, and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – International Cooperation Assistant Secretary Dr. Leah Buendia. Embassy of Israel Deputy Consul General Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov also graced the event.

Start JLM 2017 will gather startup founders around the world to explore and experience Jerusalem’s booming start-up ecosystem. The city has been recognized to be one of the emerging technology and innovation hubs around the world.

The pitch competition was presented by the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines, in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry – Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and QBO Innovation Hub and ICCP Platinum Sponsor, Dayanan Business Consultancy and Event Sponsors TrueLogic Online Solutions and Payoneer.

MIMAROPA Naturally to strut best products from MIMAROPA MSMEs

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from MIMAROPA region will be on full display as DTI opens theMIMAROPA Naturally Agri-trade and Tourism fair on October 18 to 22, 2017 at Megatrade Halls 1 and 2, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong to cap-off the regional trade fair month.

Now on its third year, the Agri-trade and Tourism fair will feature 150 MSMEs from Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan. It continues to provide an avenue for local entrepreneurs to help them the best opportunity to enter the mainstream market.

“We continue our efforts to help MSMEs market their products as part of the 7M strategy of the Department. It’s the best opportune time for MSMEs to shine,” DTI Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said.


The 7Ms strategy for Philippine MSME Development comprise of mindset, mastery, mentoring, market, money, machines, models, which are expected to propel MSMEs to make headway in increasing the competitive market. The 7Ms strategy to help Filipino MSMEs compete locally and globally.


MSME participants in the trade fair have been assisted by DTI through Negosyo Centers, Shared Service Facilities (SSF), One Town, One Product, Kapatid Mentor ME Project, SME Roving Academy, Go Lokal!, among others. The assistance have helped MSMEs enhance their products in terms of quality and quantity of products, product label and packaging.


The annual agri-trade and tourism fair will also feature products such as processed food, fashion and accessories, handicrafts products, gifts, furniture and home decors, health and wellness products. The region’s diverse and exquisite tourist destinations will also be highlighted thru DOT’s special pavilion.


The MIMAROPA Naturally Agri-trade and Tourism is in coordination with DTI – Bureau of Small Medium Enterprise Development, Department of Tourism, Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, Provincial Governments of Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan, City of Calapan and City of Puerto Princesa.


“We invite everyone to visit the MIMAROPA Naturally Agri-trade and Tourism Fair and patronize the products of our MSMEs,” Maglaya said.

For details on the MIMAROPA Naturally Agri-trade and Tourism Fair, contact DTI-MIMAROPA Regional Office 890-17-12 or email

PH emphasizes role of MSMEs for economic growth



The Philippines, through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), emphasized the role of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as providers of employment and drivers of the country’s economic growth.


“The significance of micro small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as major economic drivers is beyond question. Their sheer number is overwhelming, as they account for 98% or more of all enterprises in most countries. Recent empirical studies show that MSMEs contribute to over 55% of GDP and over 65% of total employment in high-income countries,” DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said before World Trade Organization (WTO) members called “Friends of MSMEs” at “The Case of MSMEs in Inclusive Trade For Sustainable Development in Geneva, Switzerland.


Maglaya explained that MSMEs are underrepresented in international trade in a globalised world.  But as a silverlining, there is a growing number of MSMEs who supply the export market either directly or indirectly by being involved in the production of parts and components for regional and global value chains serving large producers locally or abroad.


Maglaya added that when MSMEs do export, they contribute considerably to their country’s total GDP.


The DTI official also stressed the need to address the hurdles being faced by MSMEs in the international level. As a solution, the Philippines have pointed out several keys to help MSMEs hurdle these problems.


Maglaya pointed out the following steps being done by the Philippines such as providing access to innovation and technology, access to finance, access to skilled workers, and access to markets, particularly to export markets.


PH hosting of ASEAN


With Philippine chairmanship of ASEAN this 2017, Economic Ministers from member countries welcomed the success of the Philippine economic priority deliverables which sought to provide enabling policies to allow greater maximization of opportunities for MSMEs such as:


  • The endorsement of the ASEAN Inclusive Business Framework which will allow companies to engage the poor and low-income communities as partners in their supply chains.
  • Substantial progress towards the completion of the Focused and Strategic (FAST) Action Agenda on Investment, with a business matching activity “Linking ASEAN MSMEs with Global and ASEAN MNEs” scheduled on 19 October in Manila.
  • Progress made in the negotiations for the ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement (ATISA) which will foster a more facilitative and transparent trade in services and harness the contribution and global competitiveness of the ASEAN services sector and looked forward to its substantial conclusion by end of 2017, as well as the implementation of the full and comprehensive Country Visit in the Philippines in October 2017.
  • ASEAN agreed to submit the Action Agenda on Mainstreaming Women Economic Empowerment in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) to mainstream and give greater focus on the contribution and participation of women and youth in the region’s economic activities.
  • The endorsement of the ASEAN Declaration on Innovation by the ASEAN’s Science and Technology Ministers, that seeks to support an ecosystem of entrepreneurship based on technology and innovation and establish cooperation in the region to strengthen the regional competitiveness in innovation.
  • The launch of the maiden voyage of the ASEAN Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) Davao General Santos-Bitung route by President Rodrigo Duterte and Indonesia President Joko Widodo on 30 April in Davao City, which will enhance intra regional connectivity and bolstering socio-economic growth in the regions.
  • Because of the important role that MSMEs play in sustaining employment and generating GDP, governments around the world have given substantial attention to developing policies designed to support this sector.

According to Maglaya, the Philippines’ ASEAN chairmanship allowed MSMEs to be highlighted in the adopted Manila Call to Action (MCA) during the ASEAN MSME Development Summit in July.


The MCA seeks to pursue affirmative actions for a holistic strategy through the 7Ms for MSME development, namely mindset, mastery, mentoring, money, machines, markets and models.


The strategy will equip even the smallest entrepreneurs to be success and innovation driven as well as pro-active in developing their businesses and become better entrepreneurs, Maglaya said.


The Public Forum is the WTO’s largest annual outreach event, which provides a platform for participants to discuss the latest developments in world trade and to propose ways of enhancing the multilateral trading system. The 3-day event attracts over 2,000 participants from civil society, academia, business, the media, governments, parliamentarians and inter-governmental organizations.

PTTC holds consultations on Halal Assurance System



The Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) led by its Executive Director Nestor P. Palabyab, met with the Islamic D”wa Council of the Philippines (IDCP), one of the internationally recognized Islamic organizations in the country as well as the academic community, represented by UP Institute of Islamic Studies Dean Macrina Morados, to exchange views on providing support to the capability building interventions towards the development of the Halal industry in the Philippines.


With a shared need for awareness on Halal and cultivating cultural sensitivity among Filipinos towards Islamic sensibilities, the PTTC and the UP Institute of Islamic Studies agreed to collaborate, with the participation of IDCP representatives Shajid Linzag and Genie Romarate, on a Certification Program Training on Halal Assurance System (HAS) with emphasis on prioritizing Halal Integrity among the country’s MSMEs.


A Halal Training Plan was likewise shared by ED Palabyab which covered the complete value chain from Islamic Finance, Investments, to Halal Eco zones, Logistics, Production, to Processing, Services, Marketing and Promotion to Consumption.

In photo from L to R: Philippine Trade Training Center Engineer Menandro Ortego, PTTC Senior Officer Jezel Sunga, Shajid Linzag of the Islamic D’wa Council of the Philippines, PTTC Executive Director Nestor P. Palabyab, PTTC Planning Officer V Ms. Fe Avila, UP College of Islamic Studies Dean Macrina Morados and Halal Auditor Genie Romarate.

In photo from L to R: Philippine Trade Training Center Engineer Menandro Ortego, PTTC Senior Officer Jezel Sunga, Shajid Linzag of the Islamic D’wa Council of the Philippines, PTTC Executive Director Nestor P. Palabyab, PTTC Planning Officer V Ms. Fe Avila, UP College of Islamic Studies Dean Macrina Morados and Halal Auditor Genie Romarate.

Acento Collections now at GoLokal!

“Pawikan” Lamps by Acento Collections – used as a table lamp or hung as a wall lamp, its body is hand blown glass of recycled bottles and made from kilns of used automotive oil. While its head and arms are in Abaca, materials endemic to the Philippines. Its excellence, authenticity, innovation, marketability, and environmental viability won the Philippines the UNESCO Award of Excellence in 2013.

More of Acento at the GoLokal!ConceptStore@DTI located at the Groundfloor, Trade & Industry Bldg., Sen Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City. Or visit other Go Lokal! Stores @Glorietta 2, Makati City, @SM Makati, @Rustans Department Store Makati, @Robinsons Place Manila, and @Enchanted Kingdom.

DTI cites rise of global value chains and NEMs in exports growth



In a recent seminar co-organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the ASEAN Japan Center (AJC) entitled “Changing Trade and Investment Landscape in ASEAN and the Philippines”, DTI cited the importance of global value chains and non-equity mode (NEM) in the growth of Philippine exports.


“NEM is of particular importance to the country given our participation to activities such as IT-BPO, international subcontracting, franchising and licensing among others,” said DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado.


Meanwhile, global value chains (GVCs) for international production translate to the different stages of the production process across different countries. This allows outsourcing and offshoring of activities of many multinational enterprises (MNEs).


AJC Secretary General Masataka Fujita and Dr. Chie Iguchi from Keio University led the presentation of three (3) AJC-initiated papers namely, “Global Value Chains in ASEAN: A Regional Perspective”; “Global Value Chains in ASEAN: The Philippines”; and “Non-Equity Modes of Trade in ASEAN: The Philippines.”


The papers provided valuable perspectives on the strategic importance of participation in global and regional value chains as Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states maximize opportunities and benefits of economic integration while recognizing differences in economic development and industrial policies, and the growing threat of protectionism.


To further substantiate the initial findings in the said papers, interactive dialogues were conducted between AJC and a panel of discussants including Ambassador of Myanmar to the Philippines H.E. U Win Naing, First Secretary Jenni McEwin of the Australian Embassy in the Philippines and Director Senen M. Perlada of the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau. Representatives from the academe were also present during the seminar including Dr. Joseph T. Yap and Dr. Ramon L. Clarete from the University of the Philippines School of Economics and Dr. Francis Mark A. Quimba from the Philippine Institute of Development Studies. Private sector was represented by IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) Executive Director Penny S. Bongato.


More than 150 representatives from government, industry, and think tanks participated in said seminar.

In photo (from left to right): DTI Export Marketing Director Senen M. Perlada, Dr. Chie Iguchi from Keio University, Executive Director Penny S. Bongato of IBPAP, AJC Secretary General Masataka Fujita, DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado, Investment and EPA Advisor of JETRO Mr. Shozo Suzuki, Dr. Ramon L. Clarete of the University of the Philippines School of Economics, Dr. Francis Mark A. Quimba of the Philippine Institute of Development Studies and First Secretary Jenni McEwin of the Australian Embassy in the Philippines.