Bill institutionalizing 'One Town, One Product' program OK'd on 3rd reading

At a glance

  • With a unanimous vote of 268-0-0 (yes-no-abstain), the House of Representatives approves on third and final reading the measure that will institutionalize the “One Town, One Product” (OTOP) program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

IMG-037a95615bcb9c51bd09a96268e74dca-V-01.jpeg House of Representatives (Ellson Quismorio/ MANILA BULLETIN)

With a unanimous vote of 268-0-0 (yes-no-abstain), the House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading the measure that will institutionalize the “One Town, One Product” (OTOP) program.

Embodied in House Bill (HB) No.1171, the OTOP program is the government’s stimulus package for the promotion and development of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the countryside through the use of indigenous raw materials and the utilization of local skills and talents.

The program began in 2014 as an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Speaker Martin Romualdez said HB No.1171, which the lower chamber voted on and passed during plenary session last May 22, aims to support MSMEs by providing a package of assistance to develop new, innovative, and more complex products with significant improvement in the areas of quality, product development, design, packaging, standards compliance, marketability, production capability, and brand development, among others.

“With this proposed legislation, we also hope to assist rural communities in achieving competitive and innovation-driven local economies, and promote the convergence of initiatives on product development among local government units (LGUs), national government agencies (NGAs), and the private sector,” Romualdez added.

“Once passed into law, we will surely be able to revitalize our MSMEs and help them recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic," noted the House leader.

Under the bill, DTI, in partnership with LGUs, will provide a comprehensive package of assistance to OTOP Program beneficiaries on the areas of product development, capacity building and training, standards and market compliance, and market access and product promotion.

The regional and provincial offices of DTI, in cooperation with the concerned LGUs, will determine the beneficiaries of the OTOP Program.

The OTOP Philippines Program will cover material products and skills-based services known to an area or locality.

It will include agricultural-based products such as coffee, and cacao, agri-processed products like processed meats, and coconut oil; arts and crafts like coco coir, weaves, and bamboo; home and fashion or creative artisanal products like gifts, souvenir items, and furniture; processed food such as fruits and nuts, local delicacies and kakanin (sticky rice cakes), among others; and skills-based services and other products such as hilot or traditional Filipino massage, sculpting, essential oils, and other wellness products.

The bill also mandates DTI to establish the OTOP Philippines Trustmark that will symbolize the country’s best products, and signify that the services and products have been marked excellent in terms of quality, design, value, and marketability.

MSMEs employ 63.19 percent of the country's workforce.

The DTI program has assisted 19,663 MSMEs all over the country and has developed 7,612 new products, which generated P2.1 billion in sales in its OTOP hubs in 2021.

Some of the bill's authors are Reps. Bryan Revilla, Lani Mercado Revilla, Manuel Jose Dalipe, Migs Nograles, Joey Sarte Salceda, Rufus Rodriguez, and LRay Villafuerte.