Author Topic: The Philippine National Railways in the supply chain equation  (Read 216 times)


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The Philippine National Railways in the supply chain equation
June 29, 2022 | 4:35 pm

A press report stated that Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. would take over the Department of Agriculture (DA) upon his assumption of the Presidency today. The major reason cited for this extraordinary step is the food crisis and the need to unclog the supply chain that starts with food and crops being produced at the farms and ends with consumption. That description of the supply chain would be in its simplest terms. The chain is, however, as strong as its weakest link. Production, an integral part of the supply chain, has its own sub-supply chain if one were to consider the planting materials or seeds that have to be transported to or grown within the farm, the fertilizer and pesticide to be used to maintain and protect the crop, the water to be pumped into the field from irrigation systems, the farm implements and machinery, the credit used for working capital and so on and on until the product is ready for harvest, for processing, and eventually to become part of another supply chain.

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While traffic management is a key priority, keeping the roads safe and traffic moving and providing for commuters’ needs without overburdening the transport network, is a different issue from transportation as pointed out by Department of Transportation (DoTr) planners. They emphasize that transportation is the mandate of the DoTr in coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) while traffic management is the mandate of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Local Government Units (LGUs) outside of the MMDA jurisdiction.

Both DoTr and DPWH are, however, crucial to influencing the supply chain and food production and distribution. Food security and sufficiency are problems that the Agriculture department cannot solve by its lonesome. Just like all major impactful issues, a coordinated and synchronized multi-disciplinary/inter departmental approach is required. How can farmers produce at optimal cost if the transport costs of inputs are prohibitive because there are no transport systems plying their farm areas due, in turn, to the absence of farm-to-market roads and major highway or rail systems as outlets? How can they be provided with production credit if the rural banking system in one’s area is almost non-existent?

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The challenge is there to revive the railway system and make the supply chain more efficient and cost-effective.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2022, 10:26:06 PM by adroth »