The Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Agriculture (DA), and Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday signed a tripartite memorandum of agreement to strengthen and expand the implementation of the “Palamigan ng Bayan” program of the DOTr and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
In a Facebook post, the DOTr said Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade, Agriculture Secretary William Dar, and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi signed the agreement that would lead to the formulation and implementation of policies and activities necessary to ensure the success of the program.
It said the agreement would establish standard operating procedures to have a “coherent coordination mechanism,” ensure the stability of prices and steady and affordable supply of agro-fishery products, develop new and emerging technologies for the agro-fishery sector, provide technical and other support to local farmers and fisherfolk, and encourage continuing technology innovation.
“The MOA also provides for the different responsibilities that each agency shall undertake, for the effective and efficient implementation of the program,” the DOTr said.
A joint technical working group, it said, would be established from among the involved agencies to discuss and address policies, technical requirements, and related concerns on the project.
Tugade said the DOTr sought the cooperation of other government agencies to expand and accelerate the rollout of the project.
“Uusad at mapapabilis ang proyektong ito. At kung uusad at mapapabilis natin ang proyektong ito, makakatulong tayong masolusyunan o mabawasan ang problema sa food shortage at presyo ng pagkain (This project will push through and will be hastened. Once we speed it up, we would be able to help reduce our problems on food shortage and food costs),” he said.
The Palamigan ng Bayan program aims to provide local fishermen with needed cold storage facilities to help preserve their catch and maintain freshness before distribution and delivery to local markets and other areas.
This is aside from promoting the use of refrigerated container vans as cold storage to address concerns on food quality and productivity.