ILOILO CITY - The week-long Iloilo Business Expo (ILOBEX) organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Iloilo will help participating micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which are the most affected sector by the pandemic.
Jordan Toledo, one of the PCCI-Iloilo directors, said on Wednesday that they hoped to generate half a million pesos out of the income-generating project that will run until Jan. 23, 2022 inside two of the malls here.
"Our primary aim is to help entrepreneurs, businessmen and women in Iloilo. Due to the pandemic, one of the adversely affected is the business sector," Toledo said in an interview.
He added that with the expo, PCCI, which serves as the voice of the business industry, the MSMEs' products will be brought closer to the market.
The expo has around 20 exhibitors at the Festive Walk Mall and more or less 50 at the SM City selling handicrafts, food, health and wellness, and other products and services.
He said that due to movement restrictions, some of their participants from Bacolod and Capiz were unable to join.
The event employs face-to-face transactions but obediently observes health protocols imposed by the management of the malls.
"We plan to do live selling to show to those who could not come to the mall the products that are available," Toledo added.
Before the start of the event, PCCI made use of the social media platforms to blast the biz expo as they saw this as one area that should be improved based on their previous trade fairs.
"Hopefully Ilonggos can visit our venues and do our share to help our MSMEs recover. A lot of businesses closed during the pandemic, especially the small ones," he said.
He added that buying their products will not only support the MSMEs but the Ilonggo culture as well since the goods are produced by Ilonggos.
Annually the PCCI holds a trade fair but this is the first time that it has a brand name, which is ILOBEX.
In a previous interview, Gabriel Umadhay of the Iloilo City Covid team said that the city government has allowed the conduct of the exhibit since it has been considered as normal economic activities that had been happening before the Dinagyang Festival.
He said that Mayor Jerry P. Trenas does not want to deprive Ilonggos of having economic activities.
In addition to the business expo, other allowed Dinagyang events are the novena masses, Dinagyang warrior costume exhibit, voucher sale, car and motor display, Sto. Nino motorcade in various venues.
Events that will be done virtually are the Dinagyang TikTok, Miss Iloilo 2022, religious sadsad (merrymaking), tribes competition, drumbeats competition and awarding ceremony. (PNA)