Weekend market eyed to boost SMEs in Iloilo

Various government agencies and private sector in Western Visayas have collaborated to establish a weekend market in Iloilo that is set to be operational late September or early November this year.

Produkto Lokal recently held weekend fair at Casa Real showcasing local products such as Gugma Weaves hablon.

“Hopefully, once we are successful, this will be replicated in all major LGU (local government units) and urban centers in Western Visayas,” said regional director Ro-Ann Bacal of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Bacal said that the weekend market will not be selling commercial products. It will be similar to the weekend markets in Makati that “sell products of small and home industries that need exposure.”

“You only have to visit ‘produkto lokal’ exhibits to appreciate so many talents in Western Visayas. That is what we would like to surface,” she added.

The weekend market she said is one strategy to “motivate farmers to produce.” “Their minds should be focused on production and better products. The market should be done by somebody else,” Bacal cited.

The initiative is likewise a strategy to develop enterprises, such as manufacturing. Prior, she encouraged the growth of the manufacturing sector such as the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) because these are sustainable.

She also expressed desire to diversify the production with the help of the private sector.

Currently, the biggest manufacturing producer is into coal but Bacal emphasized the need to develop more using local resources.

“We would like to encourage our local investors to go into processing and value-adding,” she added.

The weekend market is being initiated in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). [via PNA]

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