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Palace: Marcos admin’s Kadiwa outlets served 1.22 million households

The Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) on Saturday said the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. established a substantial number of Kadiwa stores and outlets all over the country as part of efforts to ensure food security and shield consumers from rising prices.

Citing the administration’s year-end report, the OPS said that, as of November this year, the 19,383 Kadiwa selling activities generated P418 million in sales.

The Kadiwa selling efforts served 1.22 million households and benefitted 450 farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs) and agri-fishery enterprises nationwide, it said.

Under the Kadiwa ng Pasko caravan, which the administration intends to continue beyond the holiday, more than P15 million were generated in sales as of December 11.

Aside from putting up Kadiwa outlets, the government operated Agri-Pinoy Trading Centers (APTCs) and Diskuwento Caravans to stabilize sugar supplies and prices, the OPS said.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) operates 15 APTCs nationwide, benefitting 219,201 farmers and fishermen, it said.

Through the APTCs, the DA facilitated the trading of 214,758.21 metric tons (MT) of crops, 90,248 heads of livestock, and 1,789.94 MT of fishery products valued at P16.65 billion.

On the production side, the OPS said that the administration concentrated this year on distributing unused agricultural lands to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) to increase productivity. Some 52,000 hectares of unused land have been identified for distribution.

A total of 19,199 Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) were distributed to 11,938 ARBs since Marcos assumed office up to December 10.

“The government also distributed seeds, fertilizer, and fuel discount vouchers, farm inputs, and materials, and provided farmers with irrigation facilities. The beneficiaries included 1.06 million rice farmers and 3,528 farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs),” the OPS said.

“In terms of credit and financial assistance, the government extended P1.25 billion in loans to 10,586 small farmers and fishers (SFF) and 119 registered micro and small agri-fishery enterprises (MSEs)/ Farmer and Fisherfolk Organizations (FFOs) through the Kapital Access for Young Agripreneurs (KAYA) and Agri-Negosyo (ANYO) Loan programs,” it added.

The OPS said that P482.52 million in loans to 35,222 SSFs and one MSE borrower under the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Assistance Programs were disbursed.

“Some 179 sugarcane farmer-borrowers were also given P120.93 million in loans under the Sugar Industry Development Act (SIDA) Socialized Credit Program,” it said.

“Moreover, P345 million worth of loans and P2.6 billion Farmers Financial Assistance were released to rice farmers through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Program,” it added.

To lower transport costs for food and other basic goods, the Marcos administration carried out the Unified Logistics Pass (ULP), which aims to facilitate the seamless movement of trucks transporting agricultural products and other basic goods.

The government also imposed a moratorium on the collection of pass-through fees and constructed more rural infrastructure.

From July to November 2022, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) constructed 75 kilometers of farm-to-market roads (FMRs) and as of October 30, it was implementing 533 projects under the DPWH-DA convergence Agri-Infrastructure Support Program, completing 67 projects, according to the OPS.

The government also outlined in its report its plans for next year to ensure stable food sources, prices, and supply.

“To attain its goal, the administration said it will focus on increasing production using research and modern technologies, improving value chain efficiency, and increasing farmers’ income to encourage more Filipinos to venture into agriculture, particularly the youth,” the OPS said.

“And to reduce transport and logistics costs, the government plans to formulate a Three-Year Development Plan to improve food logistics, strengthen the regulatory functions of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), and continue its efforts to promote alternative modes of transportation,” it said. — DVM, GMA Integrated News