Santa Cruz, Laguna - The Municipality of Liliw was selected the Best OTOP Implementer award during the National OTOP Awards - provincial level selection at the Cultural Center in Santa Cruz yesterday, August 17, 2009.
Liliw Mayor Cesar Solivit claimed the award and a cash prize of P15,000.
Winning the Best OTOP SME category is Ai-She Footwear of Liliw, the renowned footwear capital of Calabarzon. Corazon Coligado, the entrepreneur behind the fast-growing enterprise, received a cash award of P15,000. Ai-She Footwear, with its winning footwear made of water lily fibers, also won the most innovative product award during the OTOP Luzon Island Fair in July at the SM Megatrade Hall at the SM Megamall.
The San Pablo (City) Chamber of Commerce and Industry, chosen as the most supportive OTOP partner organization, receives P10,000 cash prize.
The Best OTOP Implementer Award is given to the local government units who have shown enthusiasm in implementing OTOP; has committed resources and have taken concrete action towards the attainment of the program’s objectives.
The Outstanding OTOP SME is given to the enterprise that have cooperated with the LGUs and partner agencies; has invested resources in the program; and has contributed to the local economy in terms of employment and trade.
The Most Supportive Partner Organization award is given to OTOP partner organizations that provide crucial assistance in terms of resources, program support, linkages, among others, which positively influenced the progress of the program.
Composing the board of judges charged in the selections are Mario Mamon, President, Laguna Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Dr. Virginia Cardenas, Vice-Chancellor for Community Affairs, University of the Philippines in Los Baños; Valentin Guidote, Jr., Laguna Provincial Planning & Development Officer; Lanie Lapitan, Provincial Coconut Development Manager of Philippine Coconut Authority Laguna Office; and Susan Palo, Provincial Director, DTI Laguna.
The three (3) winners will compete with their counterparts in Batangas, Cavite , Quezon, and Rizal - all in Calabarzon- at the regional OTOP awards in September.
Winners of the regional awards will then vie for the national level selection in October.
The National OTOP Awards aims to recognize the active participation and contribution of OTOP stakeholders; to motivate and challenge key players to support the program; to institutionalize OTOP Awards System as a mechanism to deepen & broaden involvement of stakeholders; and to identify benchmarks for upcoming OTOP projects.
The OTOP program, or the One Town, One Product Program, is a strategy to develop local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in towns, cities, provinces or even regions possessing a strong domestic product base with local ingenuity and skills to be globally competitive consequently bringing out the prominence and uniqueness of each locality, or vice-versa.
Under the OTOP program, The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) - in convergence with the LGUs and other agencies - provides assistance to entrepreneurs in forms of product and packaging development, management, and marketing strategies so that products or services would become attractive to both the domestic and international markets.