Press Release
March 8, 2023

Committee Report No. 14 Senate Bill No. 1594

March 8, 2023
Session Hall, Senate of the Philippines

Delivered by the Honorable Win Gatchalian, Senator of the 19th Congress:

Mr. President, honorable colleagues in the Senate, a pleasant afternoon to you all!

It is my privilege and honor to co-sponsor Senate Bill No. 1594 under Committee Report No. 14, otherwise known as the OTOP Philippines Act of 2022.

It is my intent as one of the authors of this measure, having filed Senate Bill No. 946, to institutionalize the OTOP program to promote inclusive and sustainable economic development of Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises, or MSMEs and develop local products and services rooted in the culture and competitive advantage of each town in the country.

Mr. President, our MSMEs, as the backbone of our economy, play a crucial role in generating revenues and creating jobs.

Based on our estimation using the available PSA data on 2006 gross value added for the MSME sector as baseline, the contribution of the MSMEs in terms of value-added in 2021 was around 2.3 trillion pesos. In the same year, the sector also provided 5.5 million jobs in our country, or roughly two-thirds of the total workforce of the country.

Recognizing the vital role of the MSME sector, this measure will further enable the coordination of our local government units, national government agencies, and private sector to improve the quality and competitiveness of our exports and domestic products.

Mr. President, the impact of the OTOP Philippines Act extends far beyond the promotion of cultural products and indigenous materials. After all, it also seeks to draw attention to the untapped local potential that needs to be discovered and supported.

Halimbawa na lang dito ang mga produkto ng Valenzuela City. Nakilala man ang aming lungsod bilang "Industrial City", ipinagmamalaki rin ng mga Valenzuelano ang mga produktong katulad ng "Oh So Healthy" fruit crisps, at maging ang handicraft products katulad ng eco-bayong.

Tiyak na mas lalo ring maipagmamalaki nina Senator Bato Dela Rosa at Senator Bong Go ang mga lokal na produkto nila sa Davao tulad ng tablea, cacao, at handcrafted handbag. Asahan din natin na mas mapapadalas ang pagpapadala sa atin ng "pilinut" nina Senator Chiz Escudero at Senator Robinhood Padilla galing pang Bicol. Mas marami ring mahihikayat pang bumili ng shellcraft na itinatampok sa probinsya ni Senator Imee Marcos, ang Ilocos Norte. At higit sa lahat, mas magiging mabenta pa ang mga produkto nina Senate President Migs Zubiri mula sa Bukidnon tulad ng coffee beans, bayong bag, at picnic mat.

As policymakers, part of our duty is to provide our local entrepreneurs with a comprehensive range of support services, particularly in the areas of product development, capacity building, standard compliance, market access, and product promotion--all of which are mandated by this bill.

The bill likewise seeks to establish the OTOP Philippines Trustmark as a guarantee of excellence in OTOP Philippines products and services. It will also direct certain agencies to construct and allocate spaces for the establishment of OTOP Philippines Hubs as well as create an OTOP Program Office in every LGU.

As such, Mr. President, enacting the OTOP Philippines Act will be a game-changer in opening up abundant opportunities for our MSME sector.

Habang itinataguyod natin ang mga ipinagmamalaking sariling produkto ng bawat bayan, siyudad, at rehiyon sa buong bansa, mabibigyan din natin ng pagkakataon ang bawat lokalidad na makabuo ng iba't ibang inobasyon sa kanilang mga produkto at serbisyo.

Ang pagasasabatas ng panukalang ito ay magsisilbing susi upang mapalago ang ating ekonomiya at makapagbigay ng mas maraming trabaho para sa ating mga kababayan.

Mr. President, at this point, I would like to thank the sponsor of this legislation, Senator Mark Villar, as well as the co-authors, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, Senator Bong Revilla, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, and Senator Bong Go, for their keen insights in drafting this significant measure.

In light of this endeavor, I respectfully seek the approval of this important legislation by this august chamber.

Thank you very much, Mr. President!

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