MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Thursday stated that the implementation of the Kadiwa ng Pasko project will continue even beyond the Christmas season, as he acknowledged the importance of offering more affordable products to Filipino consumers.
Marcos sought partnerships with local government units (LGUs) during the Kadiwa ng Pasko caravan in Quezon City to ensure the success of the project.
“Magtutulungan na ang Office of the President (OP) at ang ating mga LGU para lahat dahan-dahang kumakalat ang dami nito. Kaya’t ‘yan po ang ating dapat ipagpatuloy (The Office of the President and the LGUs will work together to spread more [Kadiwa] stores. We will continue the project,” Marcos said.
“At masasabi ko na kahit pagkatapos na ng New Year ay hindi naman namin ititigil ‘yung Kadiwa ng Pasko. Patuloy nang patuloy na ‘yan. Hangga’t maaari ay patuloy ang Kadiwa para naging national program, para lahat ng buong Pilipinas ay makikita naman nila at makakatikim naman sila nung savings doon sa kanilang mga binibili (I would say that we will continue the Kadiwa ng Pasko project even after New Year. That will proceed so the entire country will enjoy more savings with the products they are buying [from the caravan]),” he added.
The Kadiwa ng Pasko project, an initiative of the Office of the President and led by the Department of Agriculture, was formally inaugurated on November 16 to promote affordable and high-quality products.
The initiative provides consumers the opportunity to purchase more affordable goods and provides a market to local agricultural producers as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Marcos underscored that the program enables the government to supply rice at a cheaper price of only PHP25 per kilogram.
Marcos stated that the Kadiwa ng Pasko program is his administration’s “good” Christmas gift to the Filipino people.
“Kaya’t palagay ko ay maging magandang pamasko (I think it is a good Christmas gift),” he said. “I hope it is the gift that keeps on giving. And that is what we have been working towards.”
He likewise thanked the Kadiwa caravan partners and participants, including the Quezon City LGU which serves as the government model in the implementation of the project.
“Maraming, maraming salamat sa inyong lahat sa inyong pakikilahok. Nagtutulungan po tayo. Kailangan po talaga tayong magtulungan, makahanap ng paraan na tayo ay magkasama. Tayo pagka sabay-sabay ang ating galaw, kahit na anong gugustuhin natin, kahit na ano na ating pinapangarap ay makakamtan po natin (Thank you to all of you, for your participation. We are helping each other. We need to help each other and find a way to reach our goal),” Marcos said.
Stabilizing market prices
In addition, Marcos aimed to stabilize local commodity prices by the first quarter of 2023.
In the event that market prices become “equal to what we can give in the Kadiwa [caravan],” as he stated, the objective of the Kadiwa project will change.
“Once we get to a point where it’s no longer necessary, where the prices in the markets are the same as what we can give in the Kadiwa, then we don’t need the Kadiwa anymore. Maybe [we’ll implement the project] just for distribution para sa mga [to those in] far-flung areas,” Marcos said.
“But we’re not yet there at that point, pinapakalat lang natin (we have to create more stalls) around the country right now. As it stands right now, in terms of supply, we’re okay until at the very least, February, March of next year. Hopefully by then, the prices of commodities in the market will have normalized,” he added.
The Kadiwa ng Pasko project was launched to address inflation and price surges associated with the Christmas season.
It establishes a direct farm-to-consumer food supply chain in order to eliminate many marketing layers and increase the income of local agricultural producers.
The caravan is being organized in collaboration with the departments of trade, interior, local government, social welfare, and labor.