MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on Wednesday said government would set up additional "Kadiwa" stores nationwide so that more Filipinos would have access to cheaper agri-fishery products as the prices of commodities continued to rise.
These stores sell vegetables and other products at a lower price since government shoulders transportation costs and other expenses, Marcos noted during the launch of the "Kadiwa ng Pasko" project in Mandaluyong.
"Mahirap talaga ang naging buhay nating lahat ngunit meron ding paraan para makatulong," said Marcos, who heads the agriculture department.
"Ipagpatuloy natin [itong Kadiwa] kahit na pagkatapos na ng Pasko... Ito ay isa sa mga maaaring gawin ng inyong pamahalaan para tulungan ang taongbayan para mas maluwag ang buhay ng ating kababayan," he added.
(Life was really difficult for all of us, but there are ways to help. We will continue this even after Christmas. This is one of the ways government can help the people.)
With the help of the Department of Agriculture, 14 new Kadiwa stalls were opened on Wednesday. Eleven outlets were located in Metro Manila and one each in Tacloban City, Davao De Oro and Koronadal City, South Cotabato.
The Kadiwa ng Pasko will allow local farmers and fishermen to sell their products directly to the government, the Office of the Press Secretary said earlier this week.
"Kami naman bilang inyong pamahalaan, wala tayong magawa doon sa presyuhan, tumulong na lang tayo sa kakayahan ng pagbili," Marcos said.
(As your government, we cannot do anything with the rising prices but we are helping with the people's capacity to buy.)
In October, inflation hit 7.7 percent, its highest level in nearly 14 years.
Marcos said in his first State of the Nation Address in July that he would revive his father's Kadiwa centers as part of efforts to boost the agriculture sector.
The agriculture department, meanwhile, said it would launch more "Kadiwa on wheels" near church grounds through a partnership with Caritas Manila and parish priests. The agency said it also set up online platform E-Kadiwa, where farm products could be sold.