PIA News Service - Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010

DTI surpasses RuMEPP total program target by 42% at the close of first semester

Implementing only 90% of its approved budget for business development services (BDS) this year under the Rural Micro Enterprise Promotion Program (RuMEPP), DTI-Caraga has already surpassed its annual target by 42% at the close of first semester this year.

As of June 2010, DTI-Caraga has implemented a total of P11.86 million of its P13.114M budget for business development services projects. 

The BDS funds benefited some 4,614 micro entrepreneurs; this is 42% more than the annual target of 1,310 micro enterprises to be assisted this year.

The RuMEPP is a seven-year, US$22.826 million programme assisted by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) with the Department of Trade & Industry as the lead implementing agency. 
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It aims to help poor entrepreneurs and rural families in the country through its two program components: microfinance and micro enterprise development.  
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DTI’s attached agency - Small Business Corporation (SB) implements the micro finance component while the Regional Operations and Development Group (RODG) through its five regional offices and 19 provincial offices, takes care of the micro enterprise development component.

The micro enterprise development component, entails providing rural micro entrepreneurs with business development services like skills training, technology transfer, enterprise management training, and product development. 

DTI-Caraga has a total program target of 3,248 micro entrepreneurs to be assisted by the program. (Arnold D. Faelnar & Mary Grace M. Sanchez, DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)
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DTI intensifies info drive on discounts for PWDs
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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is intensifying information campaign on the 5% off on basic and prime commodities for persons with disabilities (PWDs). This covers purchases amounting to One Thousand Three Hundred Pesos (P1,300.00) per calendar week.
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The legal basis for this is the more than one-year old Joint DTI- Department of Agriculture (DA) Administrative Order 02 series of 2008 which took effect on 3 February 2009. The order allows every person with disability to enjoy a special discount of five percent (5%) on the regular retail price of basic necessities and prime commodities in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenient stores and shops. This, however, excludes sari-sari stores with less than P100,000.00 capitalization, public and private wet markets, ‘talipapa’ and cooperative stores.
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The Order defines “basic necessities” as referring to rice, corn, bread, fresh, dried and canned fish and other marine products, fresh pork, beef and poultry meat, fresh eggs, fresh and processed milk, infant formulas, fresh vegetables, root crops, coffee, sugar, cooking oil, salt, laundry soap, detergents, firewood, charcoal, candles and other commodities as maybe classified by the DTI and the DA. “Prime commodities” refer to fresh fruits, dried, processed and canned pork, beef and poultry, meat, dairy products not falling under basic necessities, noodles, onions, garlic, diapers, herbicides, poultry, swine and cattle feeds, veterinary products for poultry, swine and cattle feeds, veterinary products for poultry, swine and cattle, paper, school supplies, nipa shingle, plyboard, construction nails, batteries, electrical supplies, light bulbs, steel wire and other commodities that may be classified by the two departments.
 
Any establishment or retailer which refuses to honor the discounts can be penalized under Republic Act 9442 or the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability. Violators face a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) but not exceeding One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or imprisonment of not less than six months but not more than two years, or both at the discretion of the court.

To avail of the discount, the PWD must present his/her identification card issued by the authorized office of the Local Government Unit (LGU) where he/she resides. The LGUs shall procure and distribute the purchase booklets to the PWDs residing within their respective territorial jurisdiction. The said booklet from shall be presented to the retailer every time a purchase of basic necessities and prime commodities is made.  

If the person with disability cannot personally purchase basic commodities, a duly authorized representative may do the transaction. For those who can impossibly do the purchasing, the permanent representative shall be automatically considered provided that the name of the authorized representative shall be indicated in the booklet or in the identification card issued to the PWD. (Lorijane D. Sacote & Mary Grace M. Sanchez, DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


DTI expands coverage of sales promo rules

The Department of Trade and Industry has expanded the coverage of the rules on sales promotion to apply not only to consumer products and services but also to credit facilities, which include sponsorships of game shows and similar activities.

Department Administrative Order No. 10-02 series of 2010 which took effect on 27 February 2010, reiterated that with respect to food, drugs, devices, cosmetics and hazardous substances and agricultural products, the same shall be under the jurisdiction of the concerned departments.

The rules on sales promotional campaigns shall not however apply to the promo campaign or activities of the government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities when the same is conducted in the exercise of their governmental functions, private entities in joint project/s with any government agency, and social, civic, political, religious, educational and other similar organizations which extend promotional activity among their members.

Any person intending to conduct a sales promo campaign shall first file an application for a permit with complete supporting documents from DTI at least thirty (30) days before the start of such activity.  

Conduct of any sales promotional campaign prior to the issuance of the DTI permit is prohibited and an administrative fine of not less than Five Hundred Pesos (P500.00) up to Three Hundred Thousand Pesos (P300,000.00) depending on the gravity of the offense, and an additional fine of One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00) for each day of continuing violation shall be imposed.

Sales promo permit fee ranges from P250.00 to P750.00 depending on the area/s to be covered by the promo campaign. (Lorijane D. Sacote & Mary Grace M. Sanchez, DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


DTI to conduct business opportunities forum

BUTUAN CITY - A forum to market the various investment opportunities in Caraga is set to be held this August 12, 2010 at the Luciana Convention Centre, this city.

The activity organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is conducted to scout for possible business matches with Herbs Best International, Inc., a Filipino company that is currently preparing for a market introduction and rollout of organic products in the Philippines and abroad.

Herbs Best International is looking for partners in Caraga for contract growing arrangement in the production of Moringa and high value vegetables. It is also willing to buy abaca, processed food, coco sugar, arts and crafts and other products from the region. The company is also planning to venture into tourism business in the region.

The activity is conducted in cooperation with the Biotechnology Information and Organization Network (BIONET). Interested participants may call Mr. Arnold D. Faelnar of DTI-Caraga at 225-5955 and 342-5615. (Arnold D. Faelnar & Mary Grace M. Sanchez, DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


Are you 18? Now you can get your own BN!

One can now register his or her own business name (BN) once one turns 18 years of age.

The Department of Trade and Industry has reduced the minimum age requirement for those who will apply for business name registration from 21 years old to 18 years old to encourage individuals to be entrepreneurs at a young age or to register the name of their dream business much earlier.

Department Administrative Order 10-03 series of 2010 which took effect in May this year further extends the period for which a registrant shall start to operate business from 30 days to six months from registration of the BN.

BN processing time takes only 15-30 minutes at the National Economic Research and Business Assistance Center (NERBAC)-Caraga. Registration fee is P300.00 plus P15.00 documentary stamp tax. A Certificate of BN registration is valid for five (5) years from the date of registration unless sooner cancelled or withdrawn.

For details, one may call the NERBAC Office at 341-2293 or (there is a direct cruztelco number @ NERBAC) or call DTI Hotline 1680. (Marson Jan S. Dolendo & Mary Grace M. Sanchez, DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


Products from waterlily: cashing in on trash

Handbags, vases, slippers, document folders or training kits – these are just some of the products that can be made from waterlily.

Some 30 trainee-graduates of the Trainers’ Training on Waterlily Processing and Basic Weaving found this out and actually produced some of them.

The six-day training organized by the Department of Trade and Industry was held last August 2 to 6, 2010 at the Caraga CLEEP Station. Participants to the trainers’ training came from the four provinces of the region.

Water lilies are a common sight in the rivers and swamps in the different areas of the region, but mostly in the two Agusans.  

The market potential of this humble water hyacinth is very promising. Recent technologies have been introduced to utilize the fibers that can be extracted from this plant as alternative raw materials for textile production and handicrafts.
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The training was conducted to introduce an alternative and additional source of income to people in the communities thru DTI’s One Town One Product (OTOP) Program.

An expert from the Sarilikha Handicraft of Laguna was tapped to provide trainees with the skills and techniques in water lily handicraft production. Laguna is a known pioneer on intricately designed handicrafts made from water lilies and the said initiative was also recognized for its environmental merit.

Each trainee got a starter kit for water lily handicraft production. The starter kit includes a set of rice harvester knife or locally known as “garas”, pair of scissors, gloves, tongs, sets of dye and bleaching chemicals. (Annette F. Anduyan & Mary Grace M. Sanchez, DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


DTI partners with ILO to study how key agri products move from farm to market

A study is currently being made on how rice, corn, coconut and banana from selected towns in Agusan del Norte get to the market from the farming communities. Not only that, their movement is tracked in terms of how much value adding is done, who are the involved in each stage, what support are they getting, what threats and risks are they facing, not least of which are the effects of climate change.

This study dubbed “Farming Value Chain Analysis” for the municipalities of RTR, Buenavista, Jabonga and Las Nieves - is a component of the demonstration project on climate change adaptation (CCA) of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Achievement Fund.  

The demo project in Agusan del Norte is specifically to establish “Climate Resilient Farming Communities through Risk Transfer Mechanisms.” It is implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor & Employment (DOLE), and the Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte.

DTI as partner agency was tapped to handle the value chain mapping of the major products from the priority towns particularly- palay, whole mature coconuts, corn kernel and bananas - to take a closer look at the state of farming communities producing them. This was done with members of the municipal focal teams.

At the same, the ILO is also doing a simultaneous study on the extent of vulnerability and adaptability of the four municipalities again with the municipal focal teams of the four LGUs with experts from the University of the Philippines Los Baños as mentors.

ILO CCA Project Manager Lurraine Villacorta explains the conscious effort to involve the LGU personnel as a sustainability mechanism to ensure that after the project, the LGUs will already be equipped to make the necessary updating and share their knowledge with the other LGUs when called for. 

The results of these two studies will be presented within the next two weeks. The two studies will also be the basis for the market research on alternative livelihood or economic diversification and the appropriate financing schemes and other risk transfer mechanisms which is slated to start within this month.

DTI Caraga’s composite regional and provincial implementing team will again handle this study. (Brenda B. Corvera & Mary Grace M. Sanchez, DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


58 public high schools in Caraga receive computer packages

Some 58 public secondary schools in Caraga have received recently computer packages under the Personal Computers for Public High Schools (PCPS) Project Phase 4 -Mindanao Component of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) last June this year.

The computer package includes eleven desktop computer units bundled with licensed software, one 3-in-1 printer unit, wireless broadband router, and 11 units of Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).

The PCPS project which started in 2001 has already completed three (3) phases of computerization programs benefiting a total of one hundred seven (107) public high schools region-wide. The Project is funded by the Government of Japan’s Non-Project Grant Aid.

The 58 recipient schools are distributed as follows: eight (8) from Butuan City and Agusan del Norte, 15 schools from Agusan del Sur, 18 from Surigao del Norte, and 17 from Surigao del Sur.
 
The PCs for Public Schools (PCPS) Project, in partnership with the Department of Education, is DTI’s response to the compelling challenges posed by the fast-emerging Knowledge Economy. The project aims to “enhance the IT skills of Filipino youth as the country’s future knowledge workers and promote IT culture in Philippine classrooms as an avenue to develop Filipinos’ skills to be at par with global standards.” 

In addition to the positive effect that the computers have had on the students especially in the rural areas, the computers have also helped both teachers and non-teaching personnel in the recipient schools. 

The project has also demonstrated the importance of computers in the delivery of basic education and has also encouraged the entire community and the local government units to provide counterpart support to the schools to maintain the PC laboratories. (Lorijane D. Sacote & Mary Grace M. Sanchez, DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


Agusan del Sur hosts the 16th Caraga Business Conference

This year’s 16th Caraga Business Conference (CBC) will be held on August 20, 2010 at the newly inaugurated gymnasium of Bayugan City.

This conference is an annual gathering of business executives, political leaders, regional line agencies and members and officers of the local chambers of commerce to discuss opportunities and, issues affecting business and governance in the region. 

The conference theme is “Strengthened SMEs in the Caraga Region.” 

Talks on business opportunities and financing sources for small and medium enterprises are among the topics covered during the conference.  

The conference will also feature success stories from various sectors as one of the activity highlights. Mayor Isaias Masendo of the Municipality of Talacogon will share the Local Regional Economic Development (LRED) Experience Supporting Business Growth.  

Mr. Martin B. Bazylewich, owner of True Brew Gourmet Coffee Shop will speak about Doing Business in Caraga.  

Dr. Cesar C. Nuevo of Claveria Tree Inc. of Jasaan, Misamis Oriental will share on Corporate Social Responsibility.

This year’s conference convenors are the Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur and the Agusan del Sur Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc.

The hosting of the conference has been on rotation among the cities and provincial centers of the region since 1995. (Cerila P. Inson & Mary Grace M. Sanchez, DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)
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DTI and business establishments partner to speed up consumer complaints handling 

Over a 10-year period, the local Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has handled only 1,127 consumer complaints. That means an average of only about 112 or so every year.

Of these, some 1,065 were successfully resolved through a mediation process – i.e., the contending parties reached a mutual agreement on their own, with DTI just facilitating their communication. The remaining 62 were endorsed to the proper agency that had jurisdiction over the complaint.

The agency believed that the number could have been higher had it not moved to install consumer welfare desks (CWDs) in the different business establishments all over the region.

With the cooperation of the establishments, some 20,351 complaints were received and attended to by the CWD personnel assigned by the stores. Of these, some 20,019 or 98% were resolved at the store level while the remaining 2% were either referred to the proper agencies or dismissed due to the complainants’ lack of interest in pursuing the complaint

At present, the region has 136 store-level CWDs.

About 90% of consumer complaints filed are on product warranties. (Elmer Natad & Mary Grace M. Sanchez, DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)