Investments in logistics to drive 'Build Build Build'
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - January 3, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Finance (DOF) has urged corporate giants in the logistics industry to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) take advantage of the benefits of state-of-the-art distribution network.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government needs the full support of the private sector in investing in infrastructure projects such as the logistics facility that Fast Logistics has just built for Unilever Philippines in Cabuyao, Laguna.

He explained the Duterte administration has anchored its strategy of rapid economic expansion on an ambitious Build Build Build infrastructure program to pull down the cost of transporting goods, improve linkages across the archipelago, encourage efficient agriculture and clear the way to inclusive growth.

“We need the enthusiasm of the private sector to make the investments that will make expenditure for new infra worthwhile. We need thousands of small and medium enterprises that will complete the supply chain of larger industries. We need facilities that will help aggregate rural produce and deliver efficiently to the cities,” he said.

He pointed out there is a need to foster the chains of integration to produce more coherent economic growth.

The state-of-the art warehouse was built and fully engineered by Fast Logistics to speed up the sorting and distribution of Unilever products and was designed to accommodate various transport vehicles needed to ensure fast delivery.

“This great facility is a perfect example of how the private sector could help fill the gaps in our national logistics system. The quicker we are able to deliver the goods, the faster our economy can grow. In the end, the better we will be in bringing down poverty incidence and building a more hopeful future for our people,” Dominguez said.

He said inefficient infrastructure adds to production costs and diminishes competitiveness, leads to high food prices for urban consumers and worsens poverty.

The infrastructure gap, Dominguez said, has been exacerbated by the country’s archipelagic nature, which has led to the uneven development of island economies, and aggravated by the concentration of economic activities and congestion in large urban centers. 

He said the Philippines would need “a thousand more facilities” like the one built by Fast Logistics for Unilever and other companies to transform the country into a “truly modern economy.”

“The country’s logistics system has fallen behind those of our progressive neighbors in the region. One may speak of an infrastructure gap between our neighbors and us. This is the result of many years of underinvestment in infra as we struggled with working down our foreign debt,” he said.

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