Lamac Coop to manage mall-based Otop Store

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 has named Lamac Multi-purpose Cooperative as the cooperator of the One Town-One Product (Otop) Store that is soon to open in Ayala Center Cebu.

In an interview, DTI 7 Director Ma. Elena Arbon said Lamac Coop as a cooperator will manage the Otop Store which is set to open soon. It will be located on the second level of the mall.

Arbon said they picked Lamac Coop to run the Otop Store because of its extensive reach, having a membership base of 120,404 and a branch count of 42.

The store’s look, designed by the Design Center of the Philippines, is now up for bidding.

“While trade fairs are designed for specific dates to promote our micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs), this mall-based Otop store is designed to accommodate the ‘otopreneurs’ and their customers every day,” said Arbon.

The store will carry various MSME products including food that are registered by the Food and Drug Administration.

Having a presence in malls, where high foot traffic is guaranteed, otopreneurs get to attract various kinds of buyers like local, foreign and even balikbayans or Filipino returnees. “We don’t sell that is non-FDA,” said Arbon.

The mall is giving the Otop Store a special lease rate on the first year of operations.

The DTI 7 chief earlier emphasized the critical role of MSMEs in the country’s economic recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our MSMEs are producing quality products and they deserve our attention and support,” she said.

Otop Philippines is a priority stimulus program for MSMEs as the government’s customized intervention to drive inclusive economic growth.

“Good products and services are nothing without buyers or customers. By providing MSMEs with opportunities to promote and sell their products, we help them reach out to their target markets, expand their customer base and increase their profitability,” the DTI said.

The program enables localities and communities to determine, develop, support and promote products or services that are rooted in their local culture, community resource, creativity, connection and competitive advantage.

Otop is an international program that originated from Japan’s One Village, One Product. This program has been in the Philippines since 2002.

Otop covers only tangible products and skills-based services such as processed foods, agri-based products, arts and crafts, home and fashion/creative artisanal and services like hilot, sculpting, wellness products, industrial products, personal care and cosmetics.