Smaller enterprises to benefit in Davao’s branding project

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/21 March) – The growth of smaller enterprises
through product excellence and quality is the focus of the private
sector-led initiative to create a local accreditation system for
product branding here, organizers said.

Officials said the move will help address smaller enterprises’ problem
of promotion and marketability.

Lawyer Domingo Duerme, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce
and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII), said it is fit to push for a seal of
excellence for Davao products because these are not properly
recognized.

He said during a forum on branding and best practices Wednesday it is
the chamber’s aim to help propel the growth of micro, small, and
medium enterprises (MSMEs) with the “seal of excellence” project.

Dutch business expert Chris Antonissen, who is among the consultants
of the project, said a branding system is fundamental and essential
for it lays out image, identity, visibility, positioning, and
consistency in business practices.

He said excellence, quality, and marketability will lead to improved
business opportunities and profitable growth.

The project aims to develop a system of granting accreditation to
enterprises that pass product excellence and quality requirements.
Accredited firms will be allowed to print a “Proudly Davao Made” logo
on its packaging and will also benefit from assistance for technical
and marketing know-how.

Leny Castillo, DCCCII vice president for trade and commerce, said if
pushed through, the initiative will directly benefit Southeastern
Mindanao’s MSME-dominated business community.

About 92 percent, or 32,815, of Southeastern Mindanao’s 35,810
registered enterprises are considered micro enterprises or those that
have less than P3 million in assets.

Only 7.7 percent, or 2,751, of the number belong to small enterprises
or those which have assets from P3 million to P15 million.

The region’s medium scale enterprises (P15 million to P100 million)
and large companies (over P100 million in assets) comprise only 0.3
percent, or a total of 244 companies.

Castillo’s presentation showed that the MSMEs employ 70 percent of the
nation’s labor source and is source of only 33 percent of the
country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

She said the goal of the project is to create a strong identity and
market presence for quality Davao produce both locally and
internationally and to encourage local manufacturers to aspire for
better quality.

Castillo cited that one of the objectives of the project is to instill
a sense of pride and identity among the local Davao population on the
quality of their products. She said it is also for the local business
community to adopt a local branding system to attain high
marketability.

With limited resources, Castillo said, they will reach out to
thousands of smaller-scale business outfits through industry
associations.

She noted that among the major problem of MSMEs is promotion and marketability.

She cited Bulacan’s “Tatak Bulakenyo” and Pampanga’s “Vida Pampanga”
as two models they have benchmarked on.

Castillo said they were told that after passing through standards and
branding, revenues of the smaller enterprises that belonged to the two
increased due to marketability.

She said bigger companies can afford to launch their own promotion and
marketing strategy unlike the MSMEs. At least three bigger companies,
however, already agreed to help in the project as “big brothers” who
will carry the brand to their markets abroad.

She said they will start working on the accreditation of four product
groups such as processed food, floriculture and horticulture, fresh
fruits and derivatives, and coco-based products.

The project will pilot with five products that belong to any of the
product groupings using initial funds from a re-electionist senator.

The pilot products will quality for inclusion in a comprehensive
marketing campaign that goes with the project.

She said, however, that projects like this could not be done by the
business chamber alone; it needs community support.

Castillo said the project is backed by the Davao City local government
for legislated incentives for accredited firms. She cited a resolution
already being deliberated in the city council for support mechanisms.

When legislators approve the resolution, it will give way to the
approval of an ordinance creating the accreditation body and the
formulation of guidelines for accreditation in the system, she said.

Among the issues raised by forum participants from a mix of local
industries was how to sustain the project.

Castillo said among the challenges they will have to address in the
piloting of the project is the sustainability plan following the
failure of the Proudly Philippine Made campaign started during the
Aquino administration.

Once put in place, it will be the first local accreditation system for
local branding in the Philippines.

DCCCII, joined by government agencies, announced it will push for the
promotion of the branding system first in the local level, then in the
national and international markets. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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