Balanga City’s Cooperative (Coop) Night 2017 showed that homegrown industries are on steady growth in the city.
Coming from all towns in Bataan, various cooperatives held their annual evening celebration at Plaza Mayor on April 3. Among the cooperatives present, Balanga City had 11 delegate-groups, all of which are tied with the City Cooperative Development Office (CCDO).
The evening celebration was originally exclusive to Balanga’s cooperatives. This year, however, it was expanded to include those groups outside Balanga, thus, making it a province-wide trade fair.
Aside from promoting the province’s local trades, the Coop Night marked the start of Balanga’s Trade Fair, one highlight of the city’s month-long foundation day celebration. Earlier in the day, Mayor Francis Anthony S. Garcia formally opened the Balanga City Trade Fair.
Gov. Albert Raymond S. Garcia attended the Coop Night and spent time visiting the booths around the Plaza.
Board Member Jose “Peping” Villapando and Balanga City Councilor Jorescel “Joy” Panganiban, respective chairpersons of Bataan’s and Balanga’s Committee on Cooperatives, expressed their support to the ever-growing grassroots economic organization.
Regional Cooperatives Director Marieta Hwang extended the government’s support to cooperatives. Hermosa Mayor Jopet Inton was represented by wife Ann Lorraine, who is also an advocate of local industries.
Entertaining numbers, especially the search for ‘Ms. Hebigat 2017’, capped the evening. Ms. Marianne De Leon of Morong was crowned ‘Ms. Hebigat’, while Balanga City’s Ms. Jocelyn Perez was hailed as Ms. Congeniality.
Focus on Knowledge-Based Business
Though the city government directs much of its efforts to the promotion of knowledge-based businesses, it also recognizes the startup potential of native industries.
Rich in marine products, Balanga has a number of small, yet successful businesses.
Amanda’s Marine Products was one of the first local trades promoted by the city government. Through the city’s initiative on online commerce, Amanda’s was able to take its products to more competitive markets.
Though local trades are collectively represented as ‘One Town, One Product’ (OTOP), Balanga City aims to launch aggressive promotion of its micro-businesses both in the traditional and tech-based market. |Arli Joshua Atienza