‘PH close to achieving P20/kilo rice’
PRESIDENT Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said the Philippines is close to achieving the aspiration of bringing down the price of rice to P20 per kilogram.
In his speech during the simultaneous launch of the "Kadiwa ng Pasko" project in Mandaluyong City, Marcos said the National Food Authority (NFA) is now selling rice at P25 per kilogram.
"If we get rice from the NFA, if we get from the buffer stock, the NFA will not earn. You can see that the price of rice is P25," Marcos said.
"We are close to achieving the dream of having rice priced at P20 per kilo, but we have to take things slowly. We will be able to reach that goal," he added.
Marcos, who is concurrently the country's agriculture chief, said they "cannot do anything" amid the rising prices of basic commodities, noting that this is due to external forces "that we cannot control."

"A lot of things are happening. We can't do anything because the soaring prices of commodities were brought by external forces that we cannot control," he said.
But the President said he is committed to add more Kadiwa stalls in the country to provide consumers with more affordable and high-quality local products.
"We will expand this to ensure national coverage. Aside from that, it will continue after Christmas, even if it is named 'Kadiwa ng Pasko'. We will not stop it," Marcos said.
"I hope this could help you. May these affordable products enable you to have a Merry Christmas despite the challenges we faced since the onset of the pandemic, followed by recent developments," he added.

The Kadiwa ng Pasko project, an initiative of the Office of the President and spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture, aims to promote affordable and high-quality products.

The program was launched to address inflation and price surges associated with the Christmas season. It provides a direct farm-to-consumer food supply chain to eliminate several marketing layers and help boost the income of local agricultural producers.
Fourteen Kadiwa stores have opened nationwide — 11 in Metro Manila, one in Tacloban City, one in Davao de Oro, and one in Koronadal City, South Cotabato.
First lady Louise "Liza" Araneta-Marcos launched the Kadiwa ng Pasko project in Parañaque City, along with presidential sons Ilocos Norte First District Rep. Ferdinand Alexander "Sandro" Marcos 3rd in Quezon City and Joseph Simon Marcos in San Juan City.

Special Assistant to the President, Secretary Antonio Lagdameo Jr., also graced the opening of Kadiwa stores in Makati City, Presidential Management Staff Secretary Zenaida Angping in Pasay City, Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo in Valenzuela City, and Office of the Press Secretary Undersecretary Emerald Ridao in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
During the event, Marcos visited the Kadiwa stalls, which featured the products of farmers and fisherfolk, as well as micro, small and medium enterprises.
The President, after delivering his speech, received several gifts from the sellers, including several pairs of Marikina-made Seacrest shoes.

He thanked the participants in the Kadiwa caravan and expressed optimism that the project would benefit both local suppliers and consumers.
"This is one of the administration's undertakings to give our countrymen a more comfortable life," Marcos said.
"So, thank you. I am grateful that this Kadiwa is being implemented because this is really a good program," he added.
The Kadiwa market system was created during the time of the Chief Executive's late father, former president Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.

Farmers' group urges DA to expand 'Kadiwa ng Pasko'
In a related development, farmers' group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura President Rosendo So on Wednesday urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to expand the areas covered by the Kadiwa ng Pasko project to allow farmers to sell directly to outlets to minimize middlemen.
During the Laging Handa briefing, So added that the P25 per kilo of rice being sold at 14 branches of Kadiwa ng Pasko will benefit the consumers.
"This will be a big help to the consumers. Of course, if more Kadiwa are established in the country, Filipinos who cannot afford to buy basic commodities at high prices can now have access to cheaper products," So said.
"At least farmers can now have direct access to the Kadiwa stores," he added.
So said he is now coordinating with DA Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista to connect farmers in the provinces to the Kadiwa outlets.
"The DA should expand Kadiwa and if it's possible, the stores should be fixed in one place where our farmers can directly sell their produce.
It will benefit not only the farmers but the consumers as well with the low prices of agricultural products," he said.
At the same time, So said that retail prices of agricultural products are starting to normalize after the effect of Severe Tropical Storm "Paeng."

Date: 17-Nov-2022