By Mariela Angella Oladive
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Region 6 is eyeing to earn P20 million from the “Panubli-on 2023” fair which kicked off on November 15 at SM City Iloilo’s Activity Center, according to OIC Regional Director Rachel N. Nufable.
“The target sale is initially 12 million, but Asec [Leonila Baluyut] mentioned P20M. Anyway, let’s aim for high sales because she’s right when she mentioned that we got the right date for this,” Nufable said in an interview.
She explained that the higher target is justified by the event’s strategic timing with early Christmas shopping.
In her welcome address, Nufable said the significance of the event is the quality of craftsmanship and innovations since the event’s inception [in 2003], which was symbolized by the word “Panubli-on,” a local term referring to heritage.
The opening ceremony was graced by distinguished guests, including DTI USec. Ana Carolina P. Sanchez, Asec. Leonila Baluyut, Councilor Candice A. Tupas, Councilor Sedfrey Cabaluna, former DTI Region VI OIC-RD Ermelinda Pollentes, and other key figures.
The event features approximately 120 MSMEs presenting over a hundred new and innovative local products ranging from the traditional artistry of Hablon weaving to contemporary artisanal homegrown crafts, bamboo creations, and local gastronomic delights from the six provinces of the region that have undergone product development through DTI’s One Town, One Product (OTOP) Next Generation program.
OTOP is a program that aims to provide support services to Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs), that has been already institutionalized through Republic Act No. 11960 signed on Aug. 24, 2023. It “enables communities to determine, develop, and promote products and services that are rooted in their culture, community resources, creativity, connection, and competitive advantage.”
Under the theme “Driving Creativity Through Innovations,” this year’s Panubli-on aims to be a feast for the senses, showcasing the evolving landscape of local industries in the region.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, in his message delivered by Councilor Cabaluna, highlighted the role of Panubli-on in contributing to the prosperity of local enterprises, startups, and MSMEs, showcasing cultural heritage and the skills of Western Visayas to other regions.
Panubli-on 2023 is set to run for five days, providing ample time for both local and visiting consumers to explore the diverse array of products on display. The DTI-6 encourages everyone to support local businesses and contribute to the region’s economic growth by attending this exciting showcase of Western Visayan heritage.