BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance institutionalizing the one barangay, one product program in all barangays in the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Lilia Fariñas stated the one barangay, one product program will be applicable to all barangays in the city to ensure the program’s success and to exercise fairness and equality to all sectors concerned.
Under the proposed ordinance, the established guidelines will make sure that all barangay councils will actively participate in the implementation of the noble program.
The ordinance stipulated barangay councils shall identify one type of product their barangays are willing to produce, which may be reflective of Baguio origin, or those that make use of indigenous raw materials or recycled materials to reduce garbage and other industries that they may determine to be their own unique product; although it is encouraged that products should be distinct and different from one barangay to another, it shall not prohibit duplication, and provides that barangays are to list their top three choices of products as preference and having identified their products, barangay councils are to prepare and submit their project proposals in proper format as may be required by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for review, revision and all other requisites necessary for the grant for credit financing and other benefits that the program may entail.
The ordinance will create the One Barangay, One Product (OBOP) Committee which will be composed of representatives from the DTI, Association of Barangay Councils, the Small, Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) Council, Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Tourism and the Technical Education Skills Development Authority.
The OBOP Committee shall draft, approve or revise the implementing rules and regulations as may be necessary to ascertain the smooth flow of procedures and steps that the ordinance proposes; review, approve or deny project proposals of participating barangays in the operation of the program; provide assistance such as, but not limited to, business counselling, skills and entrepreneurial training, product design and development, appropriate technologies and marketing among others and other duties and responsibilities as the Committee may deem proper.
The ordinance added credit can be extended to barangays subject to the review and approval of the DTI, and or the OBOP Committee that may be channeled through the SULONG or the SME Unified Lending Opportunities for National Growth or other available fund sources.
Due to the success of the One Town, One Product (OTOP) in attracting new investments in the different municipalities nationwide, the DTI has extended the program to the barangays to help enhance economic activities even in the remote villages of the country.
The OTOP is a 5-year program which began in 2004 and was an effective strategy in stimulating economic development in the countryside and to date, it has been responsible for the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs around the archipelago.
By Dexter A. See