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The Department of Trade and Industry-Region 02 and the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) had a long history of cooperation, the latest of which is an existing Partnership Action Plan which has started in 2015 and is expected to fold in 2020. The partnership focuses on one side of the DTI’s two fold mission- MSME development.

As almost 3 years had elapsed, CESO and DTI conducted a mid-term evaluation mission under the leadership of CESO Lead Volunteer Advisor (LVA) Bruce McPherson and DTI OIC- Regional Director Ruben Diciano. The mission’s objectives are: 1) To review planned and actual PAP assignments and 2) To refresh the strategy for the remaining 2 years of partnership.

As part of his mission and being an expert in Project Monitoring and Evaluation, LVA Bruce facilitated series of regional and provincial workshops: first, with the top and mid-management of DTI-R02 and the rest with the previously assisted clients under the partnership in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya. The clients represented a cross-section of the different areas of assignment provided by CESO. Joining him in his mission was Mr. Matt Navalta, Philippines’ CESO Country Representative.

In his exit meeting, LVA Bruce presented his findings and observations. He noted the excellent project management of the DTI02-CESO PAP and commended all project officers who worked with all the assignments. He also noted that DTI Region 02 has the most number of actual assignments conducted and the most number of beneficiaries.

However, as the PAP is now limited to the two remaining years and as agreed with the DTI-02 management, each of the provinces had identified 3-5 MSMEs which will be the focus of the interventions. Among the planned assignments under the refreshed PAP are the following: Assistance in the Development of Marketing Plan and Strategies, Organizational and Operations Management, Product Branding and Marketing abd Capacity Building on Project Monitoring and Evaluation.

Taking off from the success of Region 4A’s BEAMS (Building Entrepreneurs through Advisory and Mentoring Services), DTI-R02 is set to replicate the same which it will call as LAMP (Local Advisory and Mentoring Program). CESO will provide assistance in the development of the procedures specifically to DTI-Cagayan Provincial Office as the pilot.