By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

KADIWA STORE. Sellers begin offering more affordable agriculture products during the opening of the Kadiwa ng Pangulo bazaar at the Rizal Park in Manila on Wednesday (March 1, 2023). The program was launched by no less than President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (Photo from Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos)

MANILA – Nearly PHP1 million in total sales have been collected in two days since Kadiwa stores opened in Cebu City on Feb. 27, Malacañang said Wednesday.

In a statement, Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil touted the substantial sales following President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s launch of the “Kadiwa ng Pangulo” at the Cebu Provincial Capitol grounds in Cebu City on Monday.

“Kadiwa organizers reported a total sale of PHP931,329.66 in the two-day Kadiwa ng Pangulo in Cebu,” Garafil said.

Garafil noted that around PHP412,799.30 were earned on the opening of Kadiwa ng Pangulo bazaar in Cebu City.

The following day, the program generated about PHP518,530.36 on Feb. 28, Garafil said.

“The Kadiwa program is a farm-to-consumer market chain that eliminates intermediaries, allowing local producers to generate higher income by selling their produce directly to consumers,” she said.

“President Marcos, who also serves as the Department of Agriculture secretary, earlier vowed to extend the Kadiwa program beyond the Christmas season to continue helping Filipinos amid the rising cost of basic commodities due to inflation,” Garafil added.

Marcos on Monday launched the Kadiwa ng Pangulo in Cebu City following the success of the “Kadiwa ng Pasko” caravan which gives 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).

During the launch of Kadiwa ng Pangulo bazaar in Cebu City, Marcos stressed the need to extend the program beyond the Yuletide season to help Filipinos cope with the effects of rising food prices and increase the income of local farmers, fisherfolk and MSMEs.

On Wednesday morning, Marcos graced the simultaneous opening of Kadiwa stores at the Rizal Park in Manila and the City of Santo Tomas in Batangas province.

In a speech delivered in Batangas, Marcos said his administration aims to set up more Kadiwa pop-up stores in the country.

Marcos made the vow, as he noted that there are already more than 500 Kadiwa stalls nationwide.

A market linkage facilitation program of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Kadiwa ng Pangulo aims to make rice, fish, poultry and livestock, fruits and vegetables, and other basic commodities accessible and affordable to the poor.

The DA report showed that from Nov. 5 to Dec. 31, 2022, Kadiwa activities have generated around PHP136.14 million in sales nationwide. (PNA)