THIS YEAR’S Sandugo Trade Expo targets to rake in at least P40 million in sales, higher than the P33 million generated last year, according to the Department of Trade and Industry-Central Visayas (DTI-7). The five-day fair, set on July 24 to 28 at the Island City Mall in Tagbilaran City, will be participated in by over 200 exhibitors from around the country. DTI-7 Regional Director Asteria C. Caberte, in a press conference last week, said they are confident of higher sales this year given the growing interest in locally-made products. Now on its 14th year, the expo, with its 2019 theme “Beyond Expectations @32,” expects to draw in balikbayan shoppers, exporters, and tourism stakeholders, especially resort and hotel owners. Ms. Caberte said the products that will be showcased went through intense product development processes under the OTOP (One-town-One-Product) Next Gen program. Also, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that have been part of the Kapatid Mentor Micro Entrepreneurs (KMME) Program of the DTI are also joining the event. Among the goods that will be featured at the event are processed food, home and lifestyle wares, furnishings, and fashion accessories.
Emerging products like cacao, coffee, rubber, coco coir, processed fruits and nuts, among others, will be highlighted. The DTI Bohol office, in cooperation with the Philippine Commission on Women, will set up the Tsokolaterya sa Bohol, where 15 women entrepreneurs will showcase the local tradition of serving chocolate and tablea produce, paired with homemade treats. The Tsokolaterya is part of the Great Women Project 2 funded by the Government of Canada. Ms. Caberte said the strong tourist arrivals in Bohol, boosted by the opening its new international airport in Panglao Island, has become a good venue to showcase locally-made and developed products, the DTI official said. — The Freeman