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The government wants to cut food costs by using a cost-effective supply chain.

According to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., supply chain efficiency is always being increased to ensure that affordable food and other necessities are accessible not only through Kadiwa ng Pangulo centers but also in markets all around the country.

In an interview with broadcaster and former secretary of social welfare Erwin Tulfo, Marcos stated that the government has strengthened measures intended to ensure the availability of affordable goods, especially in the provinces. The goal is for commodity prices to decrease, such as the price of rice at around PHP20 per kilo.

While they aim to expand the number of Kadiwa ng Pangulo centers around the nation, he added, there is a need to strengthen domestic supply and avoid relying on imported goods, which occasionally have higher prices.

“The Department of Agriculture’s pag-aayos is not complete at this time. Ngunit, ‘yung kailangan natin gawin’ namin dahan-dahan alam na. ‘Yun ang aming mga tinitingnan ngayon,’ alam niya kung saan ‘yung matibay ang sistema, ‘Yung medyo mahinang sistema, ‘Yung puwede talagang… kailangan talagang tulungan. (We haven’t finished dealing with problems at the Department of Agriculture. But we’re gradually figuring out what to do. We have identified the system’s strong points, some of its weaknesses, and the areas that require assistance. We are currently there),” he remarked.

Kadiwa is DA’s market linkage facilitation program created to give the underprivileged access to inexpensive supplies of basic goods like rice, fish, poultry, and animals, fruit, and vegetables.

The program, which was first introduced as Kadiwa ng Pasko in December 2022, was renamed Kadiwa ng Pangulo, with the first outlet debuting in Cebu City on February 27. It now has more than 300 locations across the country.

Rice is a major meal in the nation, and Marcos wants to reduce its cost to PHP20 per kilo.

At the current PHP22 per kilo rate at Kadiwa centers, Marcos is confident that he will finally reach his objective.

To aid both consumers and farmers, he emphasized that it is crucial to expand the availability of supplies rather than simply lowering commodity prices.

“Kaya’t ‘yun, dahan-dahan ay pinapaganda natin at sana… darating [ang] oras na hindi lang tayo sa Kadiwa nakakaramdam ng mababang presyo kung hindi sa lahat na ng mga palengke, dahil marami na tayong supply, marami na tayong produksyon. I’m not a big importer, unfortunately. (For this reason, we are gradually upgrading the system in the hopes that one day, when we have sufficient supply and production, we will be able to purchase items at lower prices not only from Kadiwa but also from other markets. We won’t rely on imports exclusively, he added. (PNA)

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