By Azer Parrocha
MANILA: The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has adopted the recommendation of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to address and manage the country’s supply chain issues.
In a virtual presser on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said NEDA’s recommendation includes the creation of the Sub-Task Group for Supply Chain.
The IATF-EID has also adopted the launch of the Supply Chain Analytics (SCAN) IATF Reporter Mobile App, which will help the task force determine where logistics bottlenecks are located.
The development of the SCAN Dispatch Optimization sub-dashboard for medical supplies was also adopted, he added.
“Panigurado na mula pumasok ang mga pangangailan natin, ay makakarating ito sa kinakailangan puntahan (sa) lalong mabilis na panahon, lalong lalo na po pagdating sa mga medical supplies at equipment na kinakailangan natin (It will ensure that our basic needs would reach their destinations in the soonest possible time, especially medical supplies and equipment),” he said.
Meanwhile, Roque said the IATF has also adopted a Food Security Framework and Food Safety Guidelines for the agriculture and fishery sectors.
“Ibig sabihin panigurado na hindi tayo mauubusan ng kakainin (This is to ensure that we will not run out of food supply),” he said.
The prevailing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, has established a system of checkpoints that have caused delays in the flow of cargoes carrying basic goods.
Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or Republic Act 11469, the government should ensure the unhampered flow of cargo and their workers to maintain the continuous and steady supply of food, goods, and other essential supplies.
The NEDA earlier said the Covid-19 outbreak, which has resulted in restrictions in production supply chains and global trade flow, led to a decline in Philippine trade last March.
On Wednesday, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the country’s total merchandise trade dropped to USD11.44 billion — its lowest level in two years.
This trade performance is 25.7 percent lower than the USD15.4 billion recorded in the same month in the previous year.
Both exports and imports registered declines of 24.9 percent and 26.2 percent, respectively.
“Merchandise trade may recover in 2021, but this will depend on how fast we can contain the spread of Covid-19 and mitigate its economic impact through government policies to support affected industries and workers,” acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said in a statement.
Chua said to improve the country’s trade performance, export manufacturers are encouraged to use digital technology and innovative approaches to continue operation and secure new markets.