BAGUIO CITY – Poor internet connection and lack of information on ecommerce are some of the major obstacles that make businesses in the Cordillera prefer the traditional way of doing business. This was the gist of the discussion of Myrna Pablo, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-CAR) during the Ureka Forum, an ecommerce event conducted last October 3 at the CAP Convention Center here.
She said that most businesses approach the DTI to seek help mainly on traditional business practices such as product development and traditional marketing. Having a client-focused orientation, the department has heavily invested in helping local businessmen in these traditional areas of business.
“The problem is that here in the Cordillera, there is poor internet connectivity. . . This is one of the reasons most businesses still prefer the traditional way of marketing, face-to-face, rather than online marketing,” said Pablo.
She challenged local telecommunication companies to help in addressing this issue that prevents the growth of ecommerce regionwide. The director said that with better internet connectivity, growth can better spread across the region.
She also cited the lack of information on the various advantages of ecommerce in starting and growing a business. She thus seek the support of the consortium behind the Ureka Forum to help their office in disseminating the information to the various businesses in the Cordillera to which Elio Machillanda, the lead organizer for the event responded positively.
Machillanda, chief Business Development Officer of GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications, said that they will send a speaker to one of the DTI’s event this November in order to discuss the importance of ecommerce in today’s economy.
During the panel discussion, Director Pablo gave an overview on what the government is doing in helping make business registration easier citing the significant improvement in business registration in Baguio City. She also talked about the Philippines Business Registry (PBR), a government-initiated project that facilitates business registration-related transactions by integrating all agencies involved in business registration, including DTI, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Social Security System (SSS), Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG), and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
The Ureka Forum is a project created by a consortium of companies led by UnionBank and sponsored by Air21, Shopinas.com, Panahon.TV, GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications Inc., AMTI, PLDT-SME Nation and Dragon Pay. The event was developed with the aim of championing business innovation among the local SMEs via the e-commerce platform. The first Ureka Forum was held at Baguio City being one of the central business hubs in Northern Luzon. By KEVIN PHILIP D. GAYAO