PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has approved a three-year plan to upgrade the food distribution network, saying that the logistics industry remains hampered by the lingering impact of the pandemic.
The Three-Year Food Logistics Action Agenda seeks to “modernize” the food distribution system, reduce transport and logistics costs, increase investment in logistics infrastructure like transport and storage facilities, and address “other supply chain gaps,” the Palace said in a statement.
It said the plan also seeks to deter hoarding and smuggling, as well as food imports that are not immediately moved from the ports to the markets.
The plan calls for increased monitoring of warehouses and cold storage facilities and harnessing information and communications technology “to improve logistics performance.”
“The action plan’s general objective is to ensure the availability, accessibility, and affordability of food, and that consumers reliably get the right product at the right time,” the Palace said.
It said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is currently seeking to integrate food terminals into the logistics network. It is currently building additional food hubs in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.
“By integrating food terminals, the supply chain from producers to consumers could be shortened, with standardized logistical processes and transportation system directed towards specific destinations,” the Palace said.
The food hubs would operate as central command centers to effectively maintain “balance between demand and supply.”
The Philippines ranked 60th of the 160 countries in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index in 2018.
Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said in a statement that the DTI is endorsing logistics-related measures for inclusion in the priority legislative agenda, including a proposed International Maritime Competitiveness Act that would task the Maritime Industry Authority with regulating shipping lines and keeping shipping charges in check. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza