Iloilo City—With the ongoing threat posed by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Department of Trade and Industry in Region 6 (DTI-6) is pushing for products of Western Visayas region to be made more marketable to online buyers.

IMG 20201116 134552 673 - More online exposure being eyed for Western Visayas products
Booths at the Panubli-on Trade Fair at SM City Iloilo showcase products made by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) of Western Visayas region. Trade fair runs until November 18. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)

“If sellers are not in the virtual market, they’d be left behind,” said DTI-6 Regional Director Rebecca Rascon at the 17th Panubli-on Trade Fair in this city.

This year’s trade fair prioritizes the post-lockdown survival of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental provinces as well as the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod.

Panubl-ion products include food, decors, fabric, clothing, fashion accessories, and other items.

Rascon said DTI-6 is strengthening linkages for MSME entrepreneurs so they can sell not only in other parts of the country, but abroad.  

The region’s MSME products are not only being sold online, but there’s also an actual trade fair at SM City Iloilo until November 18.

“Of course, the sellers who joined this year are limited because we need to follow health protocols. There’s still a big difference with online shopping and actual shopping, wherein you can see and feel the product already,” Rascon noted.

Meanwhile, Iloilo City Rep. Julienne Baronda assured MSMEs in Western Visayas that there’s an allocation to fund programs that will help them ride out COVID-19’s socio-economic effects.

Baronda also urged residents of Western Visayas to support local businesses that can pump up the local economy.

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