Gov’t intensifies promo of IP products in Mindanao

THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) has intensified the promotion of products made by the indigenous peoples (IPs) in Mindanao.

Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Ameenah Abcede-Fajardo said on Friday at the opening of Mindanao Trade Expo at Abreeza Mall that the agency is helping the producers to be competitive especially now that their products are in demand in United States and Europe.

“We are encouraging the IPs to grow their markets and enhance their design,” Fajardo said.

A tribe in the Island Garden City of Samal, for instance, was recently given assistance by DTI to help them export their products like mats, bags and baskets.

Fajardo said they are reaching out to the IPs and encourage them to use technology to intensify their production. “What we are trying to do now is teach the young generation and train them,” she said.

The Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation Inc. (MTEFI) and Therma South Inc. (TSI) also launched the brand and products of the Matigsalog tribe.

In partnership with the designers in the city, MTEFI president Rosevic Del Rosario-Cembrano said the products of the tribe were enhanced and embellished with different designs.

“This is to promote the rich culture of Matigsalog,” Cembrano said.

Sebastian Arsenio Lacson, president and chief operating officer of TSI, said this program was planned beginning in 2015 when they partnered with DTI to help boost the livelihood of Matigsalog.

“With the help of Aboitiz Foundation, MTEFI, Davao designers and DTI, we were able to start this program for Matigsalog in Jan. The beneficiaries were trained for product development in six months,” Lacson.

The products made as a result of the program, he said, are now featured in Mindanao Trade Expo.

Posted in Business