To reduce the cost of food in the country, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. stressed the need to solve logistical issues in the agricultural sector on Thursday, August 19.
This came after concerns regarding the transportation of agricultural products were discussed during a cabinet meeting in Malacañang last Wednesday, August 18.
“We cannot afford to do that anymore. The logistical challenge is clear, and we are not handling it,” Marcos, who concurrently heads the agriculture department, said.
Forwarders and cargo handlers reportedly complained about local government units’ (LGUs’) rules and the prevalence of checkpoints.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said he would discuss the matter with the heads of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), focusing on the revival of express lanes for food trucks that were implemented during pandemic-induced lockdowns.
Abalos told the chief executive: “Actually, sir, kung tutuusin hindi talaga dapat, eh. Dapat free-flowing eh. Pero sometimes they use – possibly because of avian flu et cetera ‘yung mga ganun. Baka ginagawan ng excuse, eh (Actually, sir, after all, it really shouldn’t be. It should be free-flowing. But sometimes they use – possibly because of avian flu et cetera ‘those like that. Maybe they’re just creating an excuse).”
Technology application was suggested as another answer to the issue.
“For instance, agricultural products will be tracked along the way to identify bottlenecks and raise possible issues with the concerned LGU with the help of the DILG.“
The government said it might transport their produce to areas where there are food shortages by utilizing technology to identify areas with good harvests.
While production is the foundation of food security, experts assert that distribution is also a crucial element that must be taken into account.