Message from the President

DORIS P TORRES - PISFAIt is a great honor and privilege to be elected PISFA President for the 2015-2017 term.

Not too long ago, our industry faced devastating crises such as the super typhoon Yolanda and the port congestion. Those problems exposed the vulnerability and weaknesses of our country’s logistics platform.

Now a new challenge is at our doorstep — the ASEAN INTEGRATION. Once more the resiliency of our industry will be put to a test. Friends, with your cooperation and support, we hope to rise above the challenges coming our way.

Our association is taking the initiative by building the road to ASEAN community through SMARTER choices and STRONGER networks.

The saying “Dig the well before you go thirsty” clearly underscores the smarter approach by planning ahead. I hope to apply this approach in all our PISFA endeavors beginning with the ongoing Philippine Multimodal Transport and Logistics Roadmap, now in its final stages.

The roadmap, which heavily takes into account ASEAN integration, helps us work smarter by proposing measures that will set right government policies hindering the forwarding industry’s growth or create new ones when needed.

One of the key roadmap recommendations, is the creation of a national accreditation agency for multimodal transport operators. The creation of such a mechanism is crucial to our ability as freight forwarders to compete head on with our ASEAN neighbors when regional integration finally kicks in.

The roadmap is also pushing for the creation of a curriculum for the freight forwarding industry that will be validated by the government, specifically by TESDA. This curriculum, we hope, will eventually be recognized by other ASEAN nations, helping our industry professionals who wish to practice their profession in the region.

Other roadmap recommendations are the streamlining of various regulations across a wide sector of the transport community — as they relate to customs, land, sea and air transport operations, even to the so far non-existent cargo rail transportation.

On the legislative end, the roadmap is pushing for the passage of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act as well as the Freedom of Information Act. The former will, as you all know, bring Philippine customs regulations and services to the 21st Century, and the latter will, among others, free up government data which we can all use in our business planning.

All of these recommendations hopefully help us make SMARTER and more relevant business decisions – decisions that will also hopefully lead us to look at the big picture.
We all know an orchestra is an ensemble of several sections of musical instruments. No matter how skillful each musician is at playing an instrument, if this musician is not sensitive to other orchestra members, the end result is an irritating noise, not beautiful music.

Each of us plays an important part in the logistics community. Our sensitivity to other industry players and to industry developments is the key to a well-orchestrated logistics community. After all we live in an interdependent environment.

As we try to work smarter, we will also endeavor to build STRONGER ties. Our industry is no different from a rope made up of groups of yarns twisted together. On our own, we are relatively fragile but together, synergies can be created that can propel us forward.

These ties will be tested when ASEAN integration comes along. We can only hope our shared interests are greater than our individual need to succeed.
The tasks ahead are difficult but I hope we can rely on your support for our various PISFA initiatives. But more than that, we hope we can live up to the trust you have so generously given us.

Thank you.