THE government is drafting a national strategy for the logistics sector for launch next month, with the goal of attracting more investment into the industry, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

Assistant Secretary Mary Jean T. Pacheco said on Thursday on the sidelines of the Procurement and Supply Institute of Asia (PASIA) World Global Annual Educational Conference 2022 in Pasay City that the national logistics strategy is expected to be launched on Dec. 19.

“We are currently drafting a national logistics strategy that will identify and set the roadmap for the short term, medium term, and long term. It is akin to a roadmap but this is more like laying out the strategies,” Ms. Pacheco said.  

“It involves everything in logistics such as adopting technology, modernization, reducing costs, addressing issues, private and public investment, and workforce development,” she added.

According to Ms. Pacheco, government agencies involved in developing the national logistics strategy include the DTI, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Public Works and Highways.

“We need a long-term plan that will address logistics in the country. We are an archipelago. We need to make sure that the country is connected especially now in the era of e-commerce,” Ms. Pacheco said.

“We need to have unimpeded movement and North to South connection,” she added.

PASIA Chairman Jesus Carlos P. Villaseñor said the Philippines needs to become a member of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement.

“We need to be a part of the RCEP. We need to get it signed because economies are trying to position (around) regional blocs and we cannot just depend on big economies for output. We need to be self-reliant as well. The time to move is really now because the time is working against us,” Mr. Villaseñor said.

RCEP, touted as the world’s largest free trade agreement, started taking effect in the various member countries on Jan. 1. It involves Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Philippine participation in the RCEP has yet to be decided following concerns regarding the lack of safeguards for the agriculture sector. The Philippines and Myanmar are the only remaining countries yet to ratify RCEP. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave