The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Central Visayas opened its regional products showcase in Bohol, July 24-28 at the Island City Mall, with a bigger, wider participation of government assisted and developed products.
This year’s products’ showcase feature 190 exhibitors bringing in gifts and novelty items, home decors, wear-ables and fashion accessories, home style and quality furniture and furnishings, and processed food from the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) of the 11 regions joining this year’s trade fair, according to DTI Regional Director Asteria Caberte.
Bohol’s Sandugo Trade Expo 2019 is now a far upgrade from what used to be a provincial products’ fair held at the open grounds of Plaza Rizal, some 31 years ago.
DTI Assistant Secretary Blesila Lantayona, Asec. Demphna Du-Naga of the of the Regional Operations Group, Regional Director Asteria Caberte, Bohol Governor Arthur Yap, visiting DTI regional directors and Central Visayas Provincial directors Maria Soledad Balistoy (Bohol), Nimfa Virtucio (Negros Oriental) led the ceremonial opening of the fair which accordingly aims for an ambitious P40 million in sales.
Asec Lantayona, in her message however knows that the P40 million is easy to achieve citing that last year’s P25 million target was easily attained.
The Sandugo regional trade fair in 2018 even piled up an additional P7 million over the target, or a whooping P32 million in cash and booked sales.
Lantayona, who now likened the Sandugo Trade Expo this year to a national trade fair, pointed out that exhibitors all over the country are all looking forward to joining the Sandugo trade fair in Bohol because sales here is good.
Besides, she said the DTI’s Bureau of Domestic Promotions is helping out in inviting international buyers, while she believes going past the P40 million sales target is easy for silent workers behind the Bohol trade fair.
A concept of the DTI to provide a venue for home and cottage industry products from Bohol’s 47 towns and a city, the provincial fair then improved into a regional fair as the DTI used the products of the One Town One Product (OTOP) and the DTI assisted products developed by micro, small and medium enterprises.
Also among the exhibitors are producers who benefit from the DTI shared service facilities project and its Kapatid Mentor Micro entrepreneurs program.
Now considered among the oldest surviving products showcases, the Sandugo Trade Expo has consistently helped open up markets for local products and has been among the fairs which promise huge sales and international exposure.
This year, even without “The Block,” which has been the home of the Sandugo Trade Fair in the past years, some 32 new exhibitors have joined the regional hot sellers, as this year registers a total of 190 exhibitors, according to the DTI.
It is 20 exhibitors more than the 170 exhibitors who joined the trade fair last year, despite the usual problems of space limitations, DTI sources added.
And on its second year, Bohol’s cacao and chocolatiers, along with the Philippines Great Women Project put up the innovative “Tsokolaterya,” a chocolate snack nook which also aims to mainstream the cacao industry and further strengthen the dream to bring back and bank on the heirloom cacao.
The 151 booths of the Sandugo Trade Expo from Regions 3, Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 4A, Region 4B, National Capital Region, Region 6, Region 7, Region 8, Region 10, Region 11 and Region 13 can be found at the ICM Activity Center and ground floor, second floor, a nook at the third floor and at the west parking lot where furniture and home furnishings are found. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)