Policy Notes:
MBC Meeting with DA Sec. Kiko Tiu Laurel,
and Food Security Summit 2024

On March 25, MBC members met with the Department of Agriculture (DA) Sec. Francisco Tiu Laurel. Sec. Kiko talked about his Eight-Point Plan – specifically his plans to address logistics bottlenecks. 40% of fruits and vegetables go bad before reaching the Metro Manila markets, Sec. Laurel said. Tiu Laurel also emphasized delays in unloading agricultural products from ports, the demurrage is 30 days just to unload from the port.

Danielle Del Rosario (PHINMA) supported DA’s focus on logistics, and talked about PHINMA’s recent expansion into cold storage solutions to help address food security issues.

Victor Paterno (Seven Eleven) emphasized price transparency so farmers in provinces know how much their produce is selling in Metro Manila. Sec. Kiko mentioned that he’s able to get farmgate prices every two weeks, DA is working on a platform to have this publicly available by Q3 204.

Chris Ilagan (PepsiCo) and Joey Uy (Nestle) talked about the current supply of sugar, and requested for DA to allow importation to address the sugar needs of the industry.

Dr. Aris Alip (CARD-MRI) and Lito Tayag asked about efforts to aggregate farmers and professionalize cooperatives. Both said that cooperatives do well under professional managers but quickly go under if management changes. Sec. Kiko proposed a solution: large companies “adopt” and provide professional managers and accountants for a set number of cooperatives.

On April 25, NEDA released AO 20 which addresses many of the issues brought up during the meeting mainly streamlining importation, prioritizing unloading and release of imported agricultural products, and assigning a team to monitor implementation.

MBC will be holding a Food Security Summit in September 2024. In the lead-up to the Summit, we are convening four (4) Working Groups on Cooperatives, Logistics, Agri-tech and Food distribution composed of MBC members, industry experts, and DA officials to identify potential solutions. Should this be interesting for you, please reach out to our Director for Policy and Projects, Catch Ofilada at catch.ofilada@mbc.com.ph




Edgar Chua, MBC Chairman 

Victor Paterno, MBC Trustee and 7/11 

Dr. Aristotle Alip, MBC Trustee and CARD-MRI

Lito Tayag, MBC Trustee

Danielle Del Rosario, PHINMA

Chris Ilagan, Pepsico

Jose Uy, Nestle

Don Tutaan, Universal Robina

Vicky Yap, Universal Robina