The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Pangasinan provincial office has launched the Gawa’d Pangasinan trade fair and exhibit to support and honor the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) amid the pandemic.
“Gawa’d (a Pangasinan term) means made in Pangasinan as the exhibitors are from the province and their products are all made from the province as well. It can also mean Gawad (Filipino word) as in honoring the MSMEs for their resilience as they continue with their business despite the trying times,” said DTI provincial director Natalia Dalaten in an interview on Thursday.
Balaten said this was the first trade fair initiated by the agency since the pandemic to help the MSMEs in the province showcase their different products.
There are 66 MSMEs exhibitors; 40 of them are members of the Pangasinan Entrepreneurs Association Inc. while the 26 are members of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. in Region 1 (Ilocos).
“The area where they display and sell their products was provided for free by the SM Center Dagupan. They did not pay any fee, it is for free from Oct.1 to 30,” Dalaten said.
The trade fair showcases Pangasinan MSME products ranging from handicrafts, woodcrafts, bamboo crafts, candles, native and processed foods made from known products of the province such as milkfish, fish paste, and mango, among others.
“We also asked the MSMEs to even the price since they did not pay any fee for this trade fair,” she said.
Raymond Iglesias Rusell of Denmark Candle in Bayambang town thanked the DTI and SM Center Dagupan for initiating the trade fair.
“This is a very good event for us. DTI always finds ways to help us (MSMEs) even during lockdown. They conduct webinars to keep us updated and they also help us as they buy products from us to keep us afloat,” he said.
Janice Gonzales of Jensmith Bag Shop of Bugallon town shared the same sentiment.
“The trade fair is very helpful to us especially for businesses like ours who are most affected since there is no face to face classes. We are hoping that since we are at a mall, there will be people who will buy our products even if it is not their necessity but just because they like it,” she said.
Joy Perez of Joy Crafters Cornhusk Products said the exhibit will help them sell their products and test the market on how they could innovate their existing products and to determine the direction of their businesses.
“We thank the DTI, ma’am Natalia Dalaten for fighting for us during this time,” she said. (PNA)