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Cutting logistics cost, investing in energy to beat inflation–DTI

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THE Philippines will be able to beat inflation with programs on logistics in place and investments secured for the energy sector, according to Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual.

“Inflation is a global problem. We have a lot of imported inflation that pushes up local prices in the Philippines but we’re doing our part,” Pascual said in a televised interview on Wednesday.

According to the Trade chief, the logistics programs under way is one solution to beat inflation “because if we can cut down the cost of logistics from the current 27 to 30 percent of cost of produce …that will be a big drop in the cost to consumers of Agricultural products, for example.”

Pascual said he is “upbeat” that the country can overcome the rising prices of goods as there are programs or factors within control that the Philippines can work on.

Among the programs cited by Pascual is the Logistics Efficiency and Transport Seamlessness to Enhance Agribusiness Trade (LETS EAT Program), that is “highly focused” on improving road infrastructure along truck routes which are used to transport food and agribusiness products to markets, manufacturing centers, ports and airports, and logistics facilities such as warehouses and cold chain storages.

Another program is the Logistics Efficiency and Transport Seamlessness for Growth Outcomes (LETS GO), a “convergence” program with the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

In a statement on December 2022, the trade department said this program will identify logistics-related infrastructure such as ports, airports and rail that DOTr will prioritize and implement to help increase trade, reduce logistics costs, and improve efficiency.

These two programs were among the agreements Pascual inked in December. However, the Trade chief noted that these programs cannot be completed within the year due to “physical impossibility” given the limited resources and the available budget for the purpose. There is a program, a food logistics plan, which covers a three-year period, though.

Pascual said another means to combat inflation is to ensure that the country will get investments into the local power or energy sector.

President Marcos highlighted the key role of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal facility of Lopez-owned First Gen and Tokyo Gas in the country’s energy security. (PND)

“The other solution that we are doing is making sure we get investments into our power sector, energy sector. In Japan, for example, there were commitments or pledges made for investments in renewable energy,” Pascual said.

The Trade chief referred to the investment of Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd., in partnership with First Gen Corp., in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Philippines.

Pascual said, “that’s an investment solution to the problem of inflation in the country… that we are able to bring down the cost of utilities. That’s a major source.”

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