LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, May 27 (PIA) - - Some 150 local entrepreneurs joined the 4th Entrepreneurs' Summit which aims to promote and boost micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) for quality and competitive products and services.
The activity alongside with an agro-trade fair showcasing local entrepreneurs' products and services is in line with the conduct of the Tourism Week and Micro Small Medium Entrepreneur Development Week activities of the town from May 21-26.
Mayor Romeo Salda called on the MSMEs to do their best in showcasing their products and services and be conscious of the quality they produce to satisfy customer demand. If questionable, it will not only destroy the reputation of the entrepreneur but taints the image of the municipality and the province as well.
He cited a complaint filed by a buyer from Manila who purchased bottles of strawberry wine from a producer and was not satisfied with the quality.
With such experience, Salda advised entrepreneurs to satisfy the demand of customers and sustain the relationship established by not sacrificing quality over quantity.
"It is difficult to find a customer that patronizes one's product. That customer will help you market your products if it meets the standards but could unmake you once not satisfied," he said.
Department of Trade and Industry Provincial Director Freda Gawisan assured support for product and service enhancement.
"We will help the SMEs together with the local government and the national agencies to resolve whatever issues or concerns they are confronted with so that at the end of the day, progress will be for the province, municipality, and more so the SME businesses," she said.
Gawisan explained that product development is a continuing endeavor and has to improve through time based on market demand with assurance of compliance.
Orlando Pacya, the town's Negosyo Center focal person, acknowledged the impact of the annual summits particularly on the labeling of produce which has improved through the help of concerned agencies. But he claimed that quality control is difficult to undertake as the MSMEs are private entities. The Food and Drug Administration helps in the registration of products that conform to set standards. However, there are still many businesses which are not registered based on FDA findings.
What the LGU is doing to ensure quality product is the conduct of training on good manufacturing practice starting with the basics like handling, processing, and what they need among others, he said.
Gawisan said the SMEs and stakeholders have to accept the challenge Salda raised and work together for the development of the area and the business as the sector greatly contributes to economic development.
A motivational speaker, Paolo Javellana, imparted a message for the entrepreneurs to ponder on if faced with a dilemma and to move on to make things happen.
"First is to ask God the opportunity to help. Second, believe this is the opportunity. Third, believe that you receive it but only then can it happen if we act on it," he said.
Javellana, who lost his sight in 2001 and for a time was depressed, shared his experiences on how he was able to move on with his handicap into handi-capable. (JDP/SCA-PIA CAR, Benguet)