TAGBILARAN CITY – Over P42.14 million sales were generated from last month’s Sandugo Trade Expo 2019 at the Island City Mall here, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Central Visayas reported.

The fair’s biggest sellers were furniture, furnishings, and GDH (gifts, decors and housewares).

DTI Regional Director Asteria Caberte told Manila Bulletin the Sandugo Trade Expo racked up P33 million in sales last year, “We were expecting about P40 million sales this year but we exceeded our expectation at P42.12 million, Caberte said.

This year there were 190 exhibitors from 11 regions showcasing good quality products including those under the One Town One Product (OTOP) program, MSMEs under the Kapatid Mentor Micro Entrepreneurs (KMME) program and products from the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) communities.

DTI Assistant Secretary Blesila Lantayona, in her message during the fair’s opening ceremony, said the Sandugo has expanded into a national trade fair, with exhibitors from all over the country joining.

Laytona said DTI’s Bureau of Domestic Promotions is helping invite international buyers.

The Sandugo was a DTI concept that aims to provide a venue for home and cottage industry products from Bohol’s 47 towns and a city. It used to be a provincial fair which grew into a regional event. Now other regions in the country are joining, Caberte said.

This year’s expo showcased cacao and coffee are among the top six products that must be promoted this year.

Bohol’s cacao/chocolatiers, coffee and with the Philippines Great Women Project put up the innovative “Tsokolaterya,” a chocolate snack nook which also aims to mainstream the cacao industry and further strengthen the dream to bring back and bank on the heirloom cacao, she said. (By Minerva Newman, Manila Bulletin/ Foto, SunStar)