TACLOBAN CITY – The passage of the ‘One Town, One Product’ (OTOP) bill into law will have a big impact on the country’s economy and job generation.

Senator Mark Villar

Thus said Senator Mark Villar who authored Senate Bill No. 1594 or the OTOP Philippines Act of 2023, as he expressed his hope that both the Senate and House of Representatives will soon convene the bicameral committee to consolidate the bills for its approval.

“Maganda yung may batas para maging institutional na po yung One Town One Product, para taon-taong magkakaroon ng suporta at pondo para sa ating mga MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprise) lalo na po sa ating mga countryside,” Sen. Villar said in his short stop in the city on Thursday (August 10) on his way to Maasin City to attend its cityhood anniversary.

Under the proposed measure, MSMEs will be provided with a package of assistance for viable products in order to develop new, innovative, and more complex products, with significant improvement in the areas of quality, product development, design, packaging, standards as well as regulatory compliance, marketability, production capability and brand development.

“Malaking tulong nito sa mga MSME kasi karamihan sa mga trabaho ay nagegenerate ng mga MSME kaya ito po’y magadang balita sa pa ating mga negosyante at mga kababayan na nangangailangan ng trabaho,” Villar said.

The bill also aims to assist rural communities in growing the local economy by being more market-oriented and innovation-driven and to promote the convergence of initiatives from local government units, national government agencies, and the private sector in developing and promoting Philippine products, whether for export or the domestic market.

“Kailangan natin magbigay ng maraming suporta sa kanila para magkaroon tayo ng maraming businesses at mabibigyan na rin ng trabaho,” the senator stressed.

Based on the 2021 record from the Department of Trade and Industry, there are more than 1 million MSMEs in the country, the majority of which are found in the National Capital Region, Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Central Visayas, and Western Visayas, and generating a total of over 5 million jobs, based on Philippine Statistics Authority data.

In his message to Maasin City residents during the cityhood program, Sen. Villar promised to continuously support programs and projects of the local government just like his parents did.

Villar assured his support to the city government, particularly in the aspect of promoting tourism.