DTI’s 3-year food logistics agenda approved

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DTI’s 3-year food logistics agenda approved
Cabinet meeting where President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr approved the Department of Trade and Industry's three-year food logistics action agenda. Photo from the Presidential Communications Office.
  • President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. approved the Department of Trade and Industry’s 3-year food logistics action agenda
  • The agenda aims to transform the food distribution system, cut transport and logistics costs and ensure an efficient food supply chain
  • The plan will also implement measures against hoarding/smuggling, overstaying food imports, checking warehouses and cold storage sites
  • In addition, DTI is pushing logistics-related measures for inclusion in the priority legislative agenda, such as the International Maritime Competitiveness Act
  • The act aims to empower the Maritime Industry Authority to regulate shipping lines and guard against excessive shipping charges

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. approved the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) three-year food logistics action agenda aimed at transforming the country’s food distribution system, reducing transport and logistics costs, and ensuring food supply chain efficiency during a meeting in Malacañang on August 29.

The plan seeks to ensure availability, accessibility and affordability of food, DTI said in a statement.

The agenda contains six strategies:

  • Revolutionize the Philippines’ food distribution system from farm to port;

This strategy requires upgrading food terminals and piloting agro-industrial business corridors in such areas as Baguio, Bataan, Clark and Cavite, according to Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo in a post-State of the Nation press briefing on July 25.

  • Reduce transport and logistics costs;

Castelo in the press briefing said the agency is eyeing a moratorium on pass-through fees, and on the imposition of additional port fees and other charges; zero tolerance on gray costs; and legislation to regulate high international shipping charges.

  • Increase investments in logistics infrastructure for transportation and storage;

Castelo said budgetary support is necessary for this strategy. She added DTI wants a cold chain integrative distribution system, specifically full implementation of the system provided under the Philippine Cold Chain Industry Roadmap.

  • Address other supply chain gaps such as logistics and distribution, post-harvest management, market linkages, market information and market access to finance;
  • Heighten enforcement measures against hoarding, smuggling, and overstaying food imports, monitoring warehouses or cold storage facilities;

Castelo said DTI has begun discussions on cold storage facilities with the Department of Agriculture (DA). DTI also wants to revitalize the sub-task on economic intelligence through potentially an executive order.

  • Use information and communications technology to improve logistics performance from streamlining and automation of government permits and licenses to integration of systems within the logistics ecosystem.

The creation of the agenda was one of the directives of Marcos during the 8th Cabinet meeting in September 2022 to the DA, DTI, Department of Transportation, Department of Public Works and Highways and Department of the Interior and Local Government to develop a food logistics chain, cold chain industry, ports infrastructure and farm-to-market roads.

Logistics-related measures

DTI is also pushing logistics-related measures for inclusion in the priority legislative agenda, such as the International Maritime Competitiveness Act, which aims to empower the Maritime Industry Authority to regulate shipping lines and guard against excessive shipping charges.

The logistics action agenda has been developed in collaboration with the DA, DOTr, DPWH, DILG, Department of Information and Communications Technology and other development partners as part of the President’s directive to make the Philippines a logistics hub in Asia.

RELATED READ: Philippine Cold Chain Industry Roadmap launched