TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is eyeing only PHP1 million sales from the first virtual “Bahandi” trade fair linking local producers with buyers through digital means.
DTI Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) regional director Celerina Bato said the online trade fair from Nov. 16 to 20 targets lower sales since there are many limitations in online selling, especially for those micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) and buyers who are not used to the online trading platform.
“Unlike physical trade fairs wherein buyers touch the products, this virtual trade fair will solely depend on the product photos that will be uploaded on virtual platforms. The negotiation between the sellers and buyers will be virtual. The big challenge is good and strong internet connectivity,” she added.
On Monday, some of the 100 MSMEs in Eastern Visayas joined the opening program of the trade fair via Zoom.
Aside from the respective MSMEs Facebook page, their products were also displayed through the Bahandi Eastern Visayas Regional Trade Fair social media page.
“Since we posted product photos on our Facebook page, we have been getting some inquiries from buyers,” said Carlos Romano, president of the Bahandi Producers Association of Eastern Visayas.
Among the exhibitors are producers of food, wearables, and homestyle decors.
Of the 100 participating MSMEs, 28 are from Leyte province, 25 from Samar, 10 from Biliran, 10 from Northern Samar, 17 from Southern Leyte, and 10 from Eastern Samar.
Participation is free but exhibitors must have good and strong internet connectivity.
DTI Undersecretary for regional operations group Blesila Lantayona said they will continue to support the MSMEs to help them cope up with the impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
“There are funds set aside for the MSMEs nationwide such as the PHP6.6 million for the shared service facility in 2021 for the use of MSMEs in their production, processing, and packaging of products to be the best quality,” Lantayona said in her message.
The advent of online trading will push the DTI to capacitate MSMEs on digital marketing.
Bahandi, the local term for wealth, is a regular trade fair organized by the DTI in malls based in the National Capital Region and Tacloban City. (PNA)