WE identified ourselves as the “double exposure” owing to our obviously shining skinhead at the Holiday Gym wherewe used to workout regularly before Covida Loca struck. Who would think that the hunk of a popular joker that is Jude Constantine S. Jaugan is capable of doing dance aerobics, yoga with ‘Nyora Joanna Christina Lizares-Co, weightlifting, and boxing with so much sound effects produced in the few hours that he used to spend religiously in the gym to maintain his macho image. Yes, that was before he transformed into the serious and hardworking (he claims) Region XII’s Department of Trade and Industry Director when his glowing presence was terribly missed by the gym rats and trainers of Holiday Gym.
“SOCCSKSARGEN, also known as Region XII, is located in Central Mindanao. The name of the region is an acronym that stands for the region’s four provinces and one of its cities: South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos. The region used to be called Central Mindanao. The regional center is Koronadal located in the province of South Cotabato; while the center of commerce, industry, transportation, and the most populous city is General Santos,” Director Jaugan informed me knowing well that I have yet to set foot on the soil of his naturally blessed kingdom. It is only General Santos City which I’ve already visited.
“SOX is the region’s nickname intended for marketing promotions and easy recall. The region is branded as the 12th paradise of the Philippines. The region’s major exports consist of fresh/canned/frozen tuna and other fish products; fresh/canned pineapples; coffee; frozen octopus/shrimps; fresh bananas; coconut and crude/cochin-type coconut oil; copra pellets; asparagus; abaca pulp; garments; aquaculture products; gifts and houseware products,” the DTI-XII Director enumerated ever so proudly as he continued with his lecture, “The Department of Trade and Industry-XII is composed of four provinces—North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sarangani Province, and Sultan Kudarat; and five cities—Koronadal, Tacurong, General Santos, Kidapawan, and Cotabato. The agency’s regional office which I head is located in Koronadal, South Cotabato.”
Being the lead in assisting Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME), DTI-XII recognizes the vital role that MSME plays in the local and national economy. As such, the agency focuses on providing technical interventions that enhance MSME ability to be flexible, innovative, and competitive.
In SOX’s bid for a spot in the fashion industry of the Philippines, DTI-XII launched its project “Modernong Obra: Disenyong Atin” featuring its painstakingly handwoven fabrics of life namely the T’nalak of the T’boli women of Lake Sebu; the precious Mabil Tabih of the B’laan community; the royal Inaul of the Maguindanaon weavers, to mention some of the valuable traditional fabrics of the lumad communities of South Cotabato. DTI-XII under the leadership of Director Jude Constantine S. Jaugan has also acknowledged and paid tribute to the traditional dream weavers of the various lumad tribes for their admirable effort in the preservation of the rich and colorful cultural heritage of South Cotabato. Celebrities like Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray; Consul of Hungary Baby M. Montemayor and her daughter Marga M. Nograles of Kaayo fame; noted Davao fashion designers led by the veteran Alfonso Guino-o; fashion accessory designers like May and Carmaela Braceros Alcantara; Philippine Women’s College of Davao educator/researcher cum fashion designer Emi Englis; among many others, have been supporting and championing the cause to Go Lokal! Buy Lokal! to preserve and maintain our precious cultural heritage while at the same time conscious of providing for the livelihood of our indigenous tribes.
In line with the celebration of the 2020 MSME week held last July 20-24, the DTI-XII conducted the “PASINAYA: The OTOP Digital Market Showroom and Online Trade Platform” which promoted the agency’s “One Town, One Product (OTOP).” Pasinaya debuted to launch the region’s “New Normal” trade fairs.
“Through the Zoom Meeting App, institutional and individual buyers were able to meet, source and connect with the best of the OTOP homegrown regional exhibitors digitally. I am confident that with the quality of the products along with the charm and negotiation techniques of the MSME, the virtual trade fair generated a fair amount of sales,” said Director Jaugan with a confident smile. May the Force be always with you, Director Jude Constantine S. Jaugan, DTI-XII and MSME of Region XII.