NegOr consumer advocates train new Siquijor consumer group

By Jennifer C. Tilos

CAI - VICAS
he Consumer’s Advocates, Inc. (CAI) of Negros Oriental and the core group of the Vigilant Consumers Association of Siquijor (VICAS) pose outside the Department of Trade and Industry Provincial Office in Siquijor, Siquijor after the organizational development and planning seminar-workshop conducted by CAI.(MGarcia/PIA-NegOr)

The Consumer’s Advocates, Inc. (CAI) of Negros Oriental trained a new consumer group in Siquijor province on April 14 at the Department of Trade and Industry Provincial Office in Siquijor, Siquijor.

A team of 10 CAI members, led by its president Linda Basmayor, handled the whole-day organizational development and planning activity for some 12 core members of the Vigilant Consumers Association of Siquijor (VICAS).

“We wanted VICAS, our counterpart in Siquijor, to feel more vigilant and empowered in promoting consumer rights and welfare by providing them with the necessary tools in working effectively as an organization, advocating their cause, and closely coordinating with government agencies, such as the DTI,” Basmayor said.

VICAS was only established late last year and is in the process of filing their papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is headed by its president Rhuan Dogon.

Basmayor shared: “During the training, we observed that there are a number of consumer concerns in Siquijor. The participants from VICAS floated the problem of restaurants and resorts refusing senior citizen discounts, stores giving candies as change, and the long queues for tickets at the pier of one of the country’s famous tourist destinations only to be later told that tickets have run out.”

VICAS, Basmayor added, has committed to promoting consumer education and coordinating with appropriate agencies to help address the issues identified.

This is the second time for CAI to help train consumer groups outside Negros Oriental. Three years ago, it also trained an umbrella organization for all consumer groups in Bacolod City.

Both trainings by CAI in Bacolod and Siquijor were done in close partnership with and at the initiative of Angeline Pauline Gonzalez of DTI. Gonzalez used to be Chief of the Consumer Protection Division of DTI Negros Oriental and is currently OIC Provincial Director of DTI Siquijor.

CAI was formed when Gonzalez was still with DTI Negros Oriental. Now that she is with DTI Siquijor, CAI works with her in ensuring that a new consumer group gets registered and accredited by DTI Region VII.

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Local artist from Negros Oriental and Siquijor showcase their creations at the 6200 PopUp Arts Fair

By Roi Lomotan

 

Different Artworks and items created by artists in Dumaguete City and Siquijor are now on display at the 6200 Pop Up Arts and Crafts Fair inside a local mall in this city.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Negros Oriental spearheaded the launch of the said event yesterday at Robinsons Place Dumaguete. It features creations made by 52 young artists.

The 6200 Pop Up Arts and Crafts Fair is a rebranding of the Dagit Artsfest also organized by DTI in 2016 and 2017. Its new name 6200 is taken from the actual zip code of Dumaguete City.

“It really represents Dumaguete as a hub for interactions for artists, writers. We know that we have two national artists in Dumaguete; the National Artist for Literature Dr. Edith Tiempo and also the filmmaker Eddie Romero,” Event Director and Artist Curator Ra’z Salvarita said when he explained to the exhibitors and other guests the rationale of the event.

“The pop energy is brewing on this community. I’m thinking also that Pop Up is easily recognizable word for a lot of visitors. It’s really recognizing that this city is a space for interactive cultural experience for a lot of us,” Salvarita added.

 

DTI Provincial Director Nimfa Virtucio disclosed that the event aims to develop young and budding artists.

“We are showcasing kaning mga batan.on nga artist. We want to develop them. Art also is a business. Kanang ma-sustain nila ug mahimo nilang livelihood (We are showcasing these artists. We want to develop them. Art is also a business which they can sustain and turn into livelihood),” Director Virtucio told the members of the local media in an interview after the launching ceremony.

“Ganahan pod mi na ang Negros Oriental, the community, ma-aware pod sila na there are young artists na naa diha sa daplin na wala nagpagawas. Most of us think work of art such as these are expensive, actually they are not. Mas mahal pa ang gadget. If you can afford to buy gadget every year why don’t you buy artwork na makatabang pa ta sa mga batan-on na gasugod pa. (We also want that the community in Negros Oriental to be aware that there are artists at the fringes who have not come out yet. Most of us think work of art such as these are expensive, actually they are not. Gadgets are more expensive. If you can afford to buy gadget every year why don’t you buy artworks that can help our budding artists),” Virtucio further said.

Some of the artworks that are on display and for sale at the trade fair include paintings, postcards and posters made by digital artists, literary books, landscape photographs, fashion items, handicrafts and other novelty items.

One of the objectives of the event is to provide an opportunity for artists to exhibit and market their work to local buyers and also encourage local art collectors to purchase affordable artworks and crafts.

On the other hand, Provincial Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council (PSMEDC) Chair Ed Du congratulated the exhibitors for joining this endeavor he also cited some measures on how the council can give support to the local artists.

“This is part of our advocacy sa creative industry. This will become an annual activity for the creative arts industry,” Du remarked.

Aside from, Du also shared that they can assist artists in organizing themselves into an artist guild.

“They have to organize para ang ilang mga product pwede ma-showcase kay kung usa ra ka (lisod). Mao ni amo gihimo; organize and hopefully match them with the buyers. Mostly and buyers ani foreign (They have to organize so that they can showcase their product because if they do it alone (it will be difficult). (That’s what we do; organize them and hopefully match them with the buyers. Most of the buyers are foreign),” Du said.

The 6200 PopUp Arts and Crafts fair will run until April 24, 2018.

DTI appeals for public understanding over spike of fish prices in Dgte

By Roi Lomotan

Press con 1
DTI Provincial Director Javier Fortunato Jr. (left) in a press conference together with BFAR Provincial Fishery Officer Florencia Mepaña and Dumaguete City Public Market Superintendent Engr. Ronnie Fortin on Jan. 8, 2018 at the DTI Office to discuss the issue on the spike on prices of fish sold at the city market.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Negros Oriental appealed for deeper understanding from the public in line with the occurring spike in the prices of fish sold at the city’s public market.

DTI Provincial Director Javier Fortunato Jr., together with Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Provincial Fishery Officer Florencia Mepaña, and Dumaguete City Public Market Superintendent Engr. Ronnie Fortin recently met with some members of the media and representatives of the fish vendors’ association in a conference held at the DTI office to discuss the complaints of consumers raised in social media on the high price increase of fish in the city market.

A Facebook user lamented the skyrocketing of prices of local fish like tarugho which is sold at P800 per kilo, tugnos at P280 per kilo, bangus at P200 per kilo, malalangse at P100 per kilo, tamarong at P200 per kilo, and titina at P200 per kilo.

This prompted DTI to organize a conference so that agencies involved can present their sides on the issue.

During the conference, it was disclosed that the increase in prices is attributed to the low supply of fish versus the high demand of consumers.

Market Superintendent Engr. Ronnie Fortin supported the claim of shortage of supply as he cited that in December, the average ton of fish supply in the market recorded was 14 tons, which is 16 tons short of the average 20 to 30 tons of fish needed to meet the daily consumer demand in the market.

“This can be the reason for the price increase of marine products in the public market. There is really a shortage in supply. Hopefully, this is only seasonal,” Engr. Fortin said.

Dumaguete Public Market Fish Vendor’s Association Representative Judy Managat also disclosed in the same conference that right now there is no supply of fish in Negros Oriental particularly in Bayawan City where they usually get their supply of big fishes like tuna.

“Pagkakaron panahuna wala gyud gikan ug Bayawan. Ang among suki na taga-Bayawan mao nang nag-kompra niadto sa Antique, Bacolod. Didto sila nikompra ug tuna. Mao ilaang gihatod dire. Mao ang suplay (Right now, there is no fish sourced in Bayawan City. Our suppliers there would get fish from Antique or Bacolod then they bring it here. That is our supply),” Managat explained.

Fortunato added that factors such as the previous storms that affected the province, episodes of full moon, and the approaching cold season contributed to the short supply of fish.

BFAR Provincial Fishery Officer Florencia Mepaña said that during the colder months, the supply of fish is not abundant because it is not spawning much while some species like tuna migrate to temperate seas during this season.

Mepaña disclosed that BFAR conducts price monitoring but they do not have a part in regulating the price of fish sold in the market.

Fortunato also said that DTI does not regulate prices of fresh fish because they only cover manufactured or canned fish products.

He assured consumers that the department will still continue to monitor prices of fish in the local market.

With this, Director Fortunato appealed for deeper understanding from the public regarding the situation.

“We want people to understand that na menos gyud karon and number two; you have a choice. If you can afford it to buy it at that price, well and good but naa pod other alternatives. Karne na lang, sardinas, or bulad (We want people to understand that the supply is not enough and you have a choice. If you can afford to buy at that price, well and good, but there are other alternatives like meat, sardines, or dried fish),” Fortunato said.