‘Pasalubong Center’ featuring locally-made products opens in Marikina City

Local and foreign tourists can now purchase quality Marikina-made souvenir products at the newly-opened “One Town, One Product” (OTOP) Hub and Pasalubong Center in Marikina City.

The Marikina local government inaugurated the center on Thursday, June 1, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Gracing the ceremony were Marikina First District Representative Marjorie Ann “Maan” Teodoro, DTI Regional Director Marcelina S. Alcantara, Councilor Cloyd Casimiro, chairman of the Committee of Trade, Commerce and Industry, and Local Economic and Investment Promotion Office (LEPO) Chief Lourdes Dela Paz.

The OTOP Hub and Pasalubong Center can be visited at the Marikina Sports Center along McDonald’s Avenue.

Marikina District 1 Rep. Maan Teodoro, DTI Regional Director Marcelino Alcantara, Councilor Cloyd Casimiro, and other officials at the inauguration of the OTOP Hub and Pasalubong Center at the Marikina Sports Center on June 1, 2023. (Marikina LGU / MANILA BULLETIN)

The hub serves as a one-stop shop for tourists and residents alike to buy the “shoe capital’s” trademark quality and durable leather goods, particularly Marikina-made shoes and bags, other handicrafts, and local food products.

The program also offers a way to promote Marikina’s local goods by featuring crafts made by Marikeño artisans and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the city.

Through the hub and pasalubong center, the products of MSMEs are made more accessible to the public at affordable prices.

LEPO Chief Dela Paz said 18 businesses participated in the program, namely Abby Shoes/Roadtrips Sandals; Apollo Shoe Gallery; C. Point Shoes; Ely Knows Enterprises; L. Evaristo Shoe Shop; Princess Ilona; Nico Angelo Leather Classic; Zachy Shoes; Fontelle Shoes; Tropical Palm Herb Mfg.; Clavel Handicrafts; Suba’s Diner; Authentic Wood Products; Vinhessa Food Processing and Mktg.; V&M Handbags; Vestrada; FAVP Handvags/Nichollethes; and  Azulis Bag Collection.

To support the MSMEs, the local government provided the opportunity for these businesses to be included in the program for free to showcase their products at the OTOP.

“For Marikina OTOP Hub, this is for free, walang sinisingil na kahit ano ang city government dahil, ang palagi ngang sinasabi ni Mayor, ito ay tulong na namin sa ating mga maliliit at medium na negosyante (For the Marikina OTOP Hub, the local government is not asking for any fees or payments [from participating MSMEs] because, as Mayor Marcy always says, this is help that we provide for our small and medium business owners),” Rep. Teodoro said.

Marikina District 1 Rep. Maan Teodoro visits the OTOP Hub and Pasalubong Center at the Marikina Sports Center on June 1, 2023. (Marikina LGU / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Ang mga taga Marikina, hindi lang may disiplina, pero higit sa lahat, skilled, talented, matiyaga sa kanilang pagmamahal sa isang produkto (Aside from being disciplined people, Marikeños are more importantly all skilled, talented, and persevering in their love for their craft),” she added.

Rep. Teodoro noted that the local government hopes to expand the shop with plans for the City Tourism office to make the OTOP Hub and Pasalubong Center the final stop for tourists in Marikina City.

As part of DTI’s initiative, the OTOP Hub offers “market and product development,” especially for participants to the program, said Director Alcantara.

“Ibig sabihin, lahat ng 18 na nanditong MSMEs ay dumaan sa tinatawag naming product development. Para sigurado tayo na maganda yung kalidad ng ating mga sapatos (All 18 participating MSMEs underwent product development with the DTI to ensure the high quality of our shoes),” she said.

To monitor the quality of OTOP products, the program has physical and online platforms via the OTOP Philippines Hub and OTOP.PH, respectively, where the products can be presented daily.