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CITEM names homegrown talent as new Executive Director

Ms. Romleah Pulido Ocampo

Marking a new beginning in leadership at the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the first Monday of June 2024 saw Ms. Romleah Pulido Ocampo officially take the helm as the agency’s new Executive Director (ED). She previously held the position of Regional Director for Region 2 of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Delivering her first address, the new Executive Director thanked Officer-In-Charge Malou Mediran for the opportunity and support in her new lead role. She shared her vision for a reinvigorated, stronger CITEM that will reassert its place as the lead export promotions arm of the country. “We shall be collaborative and strategic, inclusive, and an important and indispensable part of a robust ecosystem that supports MSME development, industry development, and export development.”

Part of her plans include reinvigorating the CITEM corporation and its brand as a whole, enhancing its core mandate and institutional strengths toward unmatched credibility and industry authority in export promotions. She expects the organization to intensify its efforts in all of CITEM’s channels and platforms, including social media presence. Additionally, CITEM will focus on expanding regional export development and participation throughout the country. She also stressed the importance of building more partnerships through activation of other sectors, such as research and development institutions, the academe, and local government units among others.

Ms. Romleah Pulido Ocampo

The CITEM leader is also expecting more initiatives toward adapting global best practices and marketing benchmarks while simultaneously encouraging development and training, and providing other efficiency tools crucial for capacitating the agency workforce.

A homegrown talent of CITEM, Executive Director Ocampo began her career at CITEM in 1984, rising through the ranks and building a solid 23-year career in export marketing and promotions, as well as industry and MSME development. Resuming her government service career in 2009, she continued to excel in her craft, overseeing many of CITEM’s signature export promotions events as she led the project management team for Manila FAME, IFEX Philippines, CREATEPhilippines, and overseas trade fairs across the globe.

She pressed on as a prominent force in various development programs when she moved to DTI Region 2 in 2019. With her directorship came key positions that further immersed her in the challenges faced by MSMEs and tested her mettle in transformative public service. Her committed efforts have delivered capacity-building opportunities for the agri sector in the Cagayan Valley Region, which covers the provinces of Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino, and Nueva Vizcaya.

Innovative and responsive initiatives have always been a signature of ED Ocampo’s body of work. During her tenure in Cagayan, she helped bridge the gap between supply and demand chains during harvest season and calamities with the Walang Sayang Project, to create a conducive space for digital and financial literacy for local farmers in the process. In July 2021, the Buy Local Advocacy she set in motion for the region became official, resulting in guaranteed sales for local MSMEs. Under this resolution, government agencies and units are to appropriate 10% of their procurement budget for local products. Today, more than 90% of the region’s LGUs are helping sustain the local market with this advocacy.

Ending her speech, she underscored the need for CITEM’s goals and work programs to be aligned with that of the DTI, while reminding everyone that “the way we measure our success is by realistically defining our success measures.”

A nationwide top 3 Career Executive Service Officer III of her CESWE batch and qualified by a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences with majors in Economics and Sociology from the University of the Philippines, Executive Director Ocampo earned her Masters degree in Government Management at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.

Leah Pulido Ocampo sworn in as CITEM Executive Director

Ms. Romleah Pulido Ocampo

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) Board of Governors and key officers welcomed Leah Pulido Ocampo as she took her oath of office as CITEM Executive Director at the CITEM Board Room on June 04, 2024.

Executive Director Ocampo was sworn in by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo during the board meeting as witnessed by LANDBANK Senior Vice President Elcid Pangilinan, National Food Authority Deputy Administrator Mario Andrada, and CITEM Deputy Executive Director Ma. Lourdes Mediran along with other CITEM officers.

DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual and other DTI officials also joined the meeting via Zoom and congratulated the Executive Director on her latest role as she further strengthens the agency’s standing as the lead authority in the country’s export trade promotions.

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