December 4, 2022

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said the government is now closer to fulfilling its pledge to lower the price of rice to 20 pesos a kilo.

During the nationwide launch of the Kadiwa ng Pasko project in the city of Mandaluyong on Wednesday, the president said they can now sell rice at P25 per kilo through the National Food Authority (NFA).

He explained the NFA is able to sell its rice at the same price as it bought it from farmers.

“The NFA does not benefit from this. The price when buying the rice is the same when he resells it, so the price is 25 pesos,” Marcos said in Filipino.

“We are close to our sales claim [rice] at P20 [per kilo]. We will do it gradually. We can achieve that, but we still have a lot to do to achieve that,” he added.

Based on the Department of Agriculture (DA) price monitoring report, as of November 15, 2022, the price of imported and local rice is now sold between Pest 38 and Pest 50 per kilo.

Extended coverage

Marcos, who also serves as agriculture minister, said he will continue to advocate for affordable food for the public by further expanding the outreach of the government’s national Kadiwa program.

At its launch, the program initially covered only 14 areas, 11 of which are in the National Capital Region, one in Tacloban City, one in Davao de Oro and one in Koronadal City, South Cotabato.

Under the Kadiwa program, the government can sell groceries at lower prices compared to retailers by buying directly from suppliers and then reselling them to consumers.

The other expenses to get the goods to market, such as transportation costs, are borne by the state.

It is a joint initiative developed by DA together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Home Affairs and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE ) is routed.

Marcos said they decided to launch the national Kadiwa program this month so consumers preparing for the Christmas holidays could save on their grocery bills.

“We will continue to do this after Christmas as it is among the actions the government can take to ease the burden on its citizens,” the president said.

Credit: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP