BONTOC, Mt. Province – Members of the local business sector in the province were one in pushing for the improvement of the provincial business situation.
During the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council (SMEDC) 2nd quarter meeting conducted here last June 2, 2016, Ms. Juliet Lucas, Provincial Director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the presiding officer, summed up the objective of the Council to improve the business environment in the province, thus,
“It is our objective to be updated on the concerns of each member sector for us to collectively respond in the best way we can to improve the business environment”, she said.
Updates were given on priority sectors particularly coffee, cacao, processed foods, weaving, tourism and the Negosyo Center operation, among others.
Coffee concerns included the production and processing, which the agencies DTI and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) responded to by disclosing the turn-over of pulpers, hullers, and roasters equipment to selected stakeholder organizations.
The promotion of the weaving industry, however, was a main focus of the meeting, as the body and the DTI pushed for product development activities. It is to be noted that the late Governor Leonard Mayaen financed last year the trip of a group of local weavers who went to Iloilo to observe weaving there for possible adaption of skills, materials, and equipment that will improve the weaving industry in the province.
“We have to make our fabrics softer and finer especially for use in wearables”, said Lucas, citing that fact that local woven fabrics and products are coarse in nature.
Recommendations were also made for the improvement of the tourism industry in the province. Customer service seminars would be conducted including product development, promotion of Green Economic Development, and waste management, in the effort to boost business in tourism.
It was also highly suggested that cultures and lifestyles of the communities be included in tourism packages being made for the different municipalities.
Relative to this objective, the Council has decided to conduct “experimental tourism” through trips to the Layog Country Farm, the Machikum Coffee plantation, Lias Oranges farms, and organic farm plantations, among others, within the remaining last semester of the year.
Meanwhile, a SMEDC Summit will be conducted on September 16th as a forum to find ways to further boost business in the province.
Governor Bonifacio Lacwasan who attended the meeting, voiced out his support to the plans and activities of the Council to better the business environment in the province.
A concrete action to promote the weaving industry is the conduct of the Ethnic Fashion Show as a part of the celebration of Independence Day come June 12, 2016.
Lucas invited those in attendance to promote the event and to invite the public to witness the fashion show which will highlight local indigenous woven products to be modeled under the auspices of a known fashion designer, Julienne Paran, who traces her roots to Mainit and Dantay, this municipality.
“We invite everyone to come to the fashion show and be proud of local products which are not just beautiful but durable as well”, she remarked.
By Roger Sacyaten