THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said its food logistics action plan could be implemented this year, with economic managers declaring their support for the proposal.
Trade Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo told reporters on the sidelines of the Post-State of the Nation Address discussions in Pasay City last week that the members of the Economic Development Group (EDG) have been supportive of the proposal.
“Yes (it can be rolled out this year) … We have short-term, immediate-term plans. There are things that we can do now,” Ms. Castelo said.
“There were a lot of questions and then the challenges that it posed, but generally, the other members of the EDG are kind of supportive. We hope that this (support continues) until it reaches the President,” she added.
The EDG members include the DTI, Department of Finance, the National Economic and Development Authority, the Presidential Management Staff, the Department of Budget and Management, and Department of Agriculture.
According to Ms. Castelo, the projected budget for the logistics plan is still being prepared.
“The enumerated deliverables are due by 2026, if we (start) now,” Ms. Castelo said.
On July 25, Ms. Castelo presented the DTI’s food logistics plan, which also seeks address hoarding and smuggling.
Ms. Castelo said the plan would require an executive order or legislation before being implemented.
Some of the measures included in the six-point agenda include a moratoriums on pass-through fees and additional port fees and charges, as well as zero tolerance on gray costs and legislation to regulate high international shipping charges.
“Controversial, but once it’s done, it’s going to provide us the results that we want,” Ms. Castelo said.
Ms. Castelo added that the DTI will adopt a supply chain control-tower approach that would oversee the supply chain from the farm gate to retail.
“The food supply chain involves multiple stages from farmgate to storage, distribution, and retail. Implementing a control tower approach in the food sector could provide real-time visibility into food availability, pricing, demand, and potential disruptions. This could help in managing food security issues, reduce food waste, and curb cartelization, among other benefits,” Ms. Castelo said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave