By Azer Parrocha
MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday led the launch of the “Kadiwa ng Pangulo” program at the Cebu Provincial Capitol grounds in Cebu City, the rebranded version of the “Kadiwa ng Pasko” bazaar that sells food and agricultural products at a cheaper price.
In his speech, Marcos underscored the importance of extending the program beyond the Yuletide season to provide more consumers with affordable products amid the country’s rising inflation rate.
“Habang tumagal ang panahon, tapos na ‘yung Pasko, e sabi ko dapat naman siguro ipatuloy na natin kaya naging Kadiwa ng Pangulo na ngayon ay sinimulan natin sa Cebu (As time goes by, Christmas is now over, and I said maybe we should continue it. So it became ‘Kadiwa ng Pangulo’ that we started in Cebu),” he said.
He also assured the public that more Kadiwa pop-up stores would be set up across the country.
“Hindi lamang po sa Cebu ito, sa buong Pilipinas natin ginagawa. Labis na sa limang daan ang Kadiwa na ating ginagawa sa iba’t-ibang lugar sa Pilipinas… Patuloy naming gagawin ito, padadamihin natin, lalo na sa mga lugar na talagang hirap ang tao at hindi pa kaya ang mga presyuhan kung nasa palengke (This will not only be in Cebu. This is being done in the entire Philippines. There are now more than 500 Kadiwa stores in different parts of the Philippines… We will continue doing this, we will increase the number of stores, especially in areas where people are struggling and cannot afford the prices of products in the markets),” he added.
The President said the expansion of the Kadiwa pop-up stores would not only help Filipinos cope with the rising prices of goods but also increase the income of farmers, fisher folk, and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“Nung kampanya, sinisigaw namin, kailangan natin tulungan ‘yung mga MSMEs. Kaya’t binigyan natin ng pagkakataon ang ating mga MSMEs na mayroon ngayong merkado, mayroong palengke para sa kanilang product (During our campaign, we were emphasizing the need to help MSMEs. That’s why we gave MSMEs a chance to showcase their products),” he said.
At least 50 exhibitors are participating in the two-day Kadiwa caravan where consumers can buy rice at PHP25 per kg., fish and agriculture products, and some of Cebu’s popular delicacies and handicrafts.
Launched in November last year, the Kadiwa ng Pasko project is an initiative of the Office of the President and led by the Department of Agriculture, which is headed by Marcos.
It provides a direct farm-to-consumer food supply chain to eliminate several marketing layers and help boost the income of local agricultural producers.
To date, there are nearly 500 Kadiwa stalls nationwide, more than 40 of which are located in Metro Manila.
Kadiwa stalls were a brainchild of Marcos’ parents, the late president Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. and former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos.
Kadiwa Para sa Manggagawa
Meanwhile, Marcos bared that his administration is also planning to launch a “Kadiwa Para sa Manggagawa” program that would be led by the Department of Labor and Employment.
“Gagawa pa kami ng Kadiwa Para sa Manggagawa dahil nga talagang nakatutok para sa ating manggagawa para sila din ay magkaroon ng pagkakataon (We will also launch a ‘Kadiwa Para sa Manggagawa’ so they too would have more opportunities),” he said.
He also thanked the Cebuanos for delivering the highest number of votes for his tandem with Vice President Sara Z. Duterte during the May 2022 elections.
“Eto pala ‘yung una kong bisita sa Cebu mula nung eleksyon. Kaya’t ito na ang pinaka-una kong pagkakataon na magpasalamat sa lahat ng Cebuano sa inyong tulong, inyong suporta na ibinigay sa amin sa nakaraang halalan. Kami ni Inday Sara. Tama yung sinasabi ni Governor Gwen. (This is my first visit to Cebu since the election. This is my very first time to thank all Cebuanos for the help and support you gave us during the election. What Governor Gwen [Garcia] said is true.) It was history-making and you were part of that history and for that, I will always be grateful for the rest of my life,” he said.
Marcos got more than 1.5 million votes in the country’s most vote-rich province while Duterte got 1.7 million votes.
He became a majority president after obtaining 31,629,783 votes or 58.77 percent of the votes cast in the May 2022 polls. (PNA)