By Filane Mikee Cervantes
MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday vowed to provide Filipino consumers continuous supply of quality and safe food items being sold at the Kadiwa ng Pangulo outlets to cushion the effects of inflation.
During the Kadiwa ng Pangulo launching in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, Marcos said the initiative will be replicated in various parts of the country, noting that these food outlets would provide consumers with fresh and affordable products, as well as provide ready market to farmers and producers.
“Kaya’t tinitiyak namin na magkaroon ng magandang supply sa susunod. Hindi na natin kailangan alalahanin na mauubos (We assure you that there will be more supply next time. There’s no need to worry thar products will run out),” Marcos said.
Marcos said the Kadiwa program aided micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in regaining their footing following the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their businesses.
“Kaya’t binibigyan natin ng pagkakataon ang ating mga MSMEs, binibigyan natin sila ng isang lugar, isang palengke, isang merkado kung saan sila makapunta para naman maibenta nila ang kanilang mga produkto (We are giving MSMEs the opportunity — a single place or market where they could sell their products),” he said.
Kadiwa is a market linkage facilitation program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) that aims at making products such as rice, fish, poultry and livestock, fruits and vegetables and other basic commodities accessible, available and affordable to the poor.
The program also seeks to establish an additional market for small farmers and fisherfolk to sell their products and increase their income and ensure a stable price and supply of food and other basic commodities within poor areas.
To date, Kadiwa total sales have reached to more than PHP415 million, benefitting farmers, fisherfolk and other businesses.
It also said the program has so far benefitted more than 1 million families and 26,000 farmers and fishermen.
More aid to Filipinos reeling from effects of Covid-19
Marcos also noted that the government is also finding ways to extend assistance to Filipinos who are still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as those reeling from rising inflation.
Aside from the Kadiwa launch, Marcos also led the distribution of various forms of aid to residents of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.
“Ang pamahalaan ay ginagawa ang lahat upang tulungan ang ating mga kababayan, upang tulungan ang ating mga maliliit na negosyante, upang tulungan ang lahat ng nangangailangan, na kahit papaano ay talagang naabutan nung ekonomiya ng pandemya, ay nalugi na, nagsara na ‘yung mga kanilang negosyo, walang mahanap na trabaho (The government is doing its best to help Filipinos, small businesses and those in need who were hardest hit by the economic impact of the pandemic. They went bankrupt, had to shut down their businesses and lost their jobs),” the President said in his speech at the convention center in San Jose del Monte City.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian joined the President during the rollout of the Kadiwa ng Pangulo in San Jose Del Monte City.
During the event, five Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) associations from DSWD Central Luzon field office distributed various products such as bags, belts, wallets and various food delicacies, among others.
Marcos and Gatchalian also led the distribution of PHP5,000 cash assistance and food packs from DSWD to over 480 recipients identified by the LGU of San Jose del Monte City.
The DSWD likewise launched the food-for-work-program, wherein beneficiaries will be engaged in community service in exchange for the provision of food packs.
Marcos said the administration will also be focusing on generating not just jobs, but decent and quality work for Filipinos.
Upon his arrival at the convention center, Marcos personally turned over three combine harvesters to the Biyaya ng Matangtubig Irrigators, Sta. Catalina Matanda Bata Irrigators, and Magmarale Farmers’ Field School.
Marcos also handed over 10 Negokarts, worth PHP30,000 each, and three sari-sari store packages worth PHP20,000 each to identified beneficiaries during the event.
Various government agencies, such as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), gave livelihood assistance worth PHP1 million to 50 members of a local coffee farmers’ group in the area.
The DOLE through its Integrated Livelihood Program also extended PHP4.7 million worth of assistance to 946 beneficiaries under its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers Program (TUPAD).
Meanwhile, the DA also awarded certificates for the construction of a warehouse with mechanical grain dryer worth PHP5 million and Integrated Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion worth PHP5.5 million to the Dulong Bayan Farmers’ Association.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development likewise distributed food packs worth PHP5,000 each to the residents under its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program while the Department of Trade and Industry provided loan assistance worth PHP3.4 million under its RISE UP Loan Program to selected beneficiaries.
During the event, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority also provided residents in the area free training and assessment and distributed starter toolkits for shielded arc welding. (with reports from Zaldy De Layola/PNA)