Valencia’s Negros Oriental local government unit, in collaboration with other government, business, and civilian players, is promoting a dark chocolate bar made by cacao producers at the foot of Mt. Talinis as its One Town, One Product (OTOP).
Edward Du, a Dumaguete businessman who proposed the idea six years ago while president of the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NOCCI), told the Philippine News Agency on Wednesday that a draft ordinance and a memorandum of agreement were presented for finalization during a meeting here on Tuesday.
Making Mt. Talinis Dark Chocolate Valencia’s top product under the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) OTOP program is being considered in light of the Supreme Court’s Mandanas verdict.
Once accepted, the LGU and partner stakeholders will be able to start the process of obtaining funding, giving training, establishing a factory, and penetrating both the domestic and foreign markets, he explained.
Initially, 11 cacao farmer associations are being considered for inclusion in the project, which will require training and other processes once it begins.
Mt. Talinis Chocolate Bar, the proposed OTOP, will be a ready-to-eat confection made of around 70% dark chocolate, according to Du.
According to Du, the project will be 100 percent Filipino-owned, with no foreign investors allowed to participate.