Establishment of Kadiwa centers nationwide pushed

AGRI Party-list Representative Wilbert T. Lee urged the House leadership to immediately take up his proposed measure with regard to the establishment of Kadiwa Agri-food Terminals in every city and municipality to help farmers and fisherfolk alleviate the high prices of basic commodities amid the problem of inflation.


Lee made the statement after the country’s inflation rate spiked to 7.7% in October, the highest since December 2008.


“Amid the rising prices of food, the scaling up of innovative solutions cannot be overemphasized. One of the successful initiatives is the establishment of Kadiwa centers to make food products affordable,” Lee said.


“Sa bilis ng pag-arangkada ng inflation, naiiwan na may mas mabigat na pasanin ang ating mga consumer. Kasama dito ang ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda na katiting na nga lang ang kinikita, problemado pa sa nagtataasang presyo ng bilihin,” he added.


The “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita Program” is an initiative of the Department of Agriculture (DA) that helps link local farmers and fishermen directly to consumers. Through this program, consumers have availed essential food and products within their communities at prices that are usually cheaper by 10 to 20 percent.


However, there is no law mandating the establishment of these Kadiwa centers all over the country. House Bill No. 3957 or the “Kadiwa Agri-Food Terminal Act” which was authored by Lee, seeks to address this.


The said legislation will institutionalize a program for the creation of a nationwide system of agricultural and fisheries food terminals. The DA, in close coordination with Local Government Units (LGUs), is mandated to establish and manage these terminals.


Lee reiterated that through Kadiwa centers, farmers and fisherfolk will be freed from the control of unscrupulous traders and middlemen. These will also effectively promote the growth of local agricultural markets.


“Nakita natin kung paano sinusuportahan ng ating mga kababayan ang mga Kadiwa centers na umiikot sa iba’t ibang panig ng bansa. Dumagsa rin ang mga mamimili sa proyektong ‘Kadiwa ng Pasko’ ng Office of the President sa Sta. Cruz, Maynila dahil sa ibinebenta doon na mas murang agricultural products mula sa mga farmer cooperatives,” the lawmaker from Sorsogon pointed out.


“Isipin po natin ang napakalaking pakinabang at serbisyong hatid ng panukala nating batas na paglalagay ng Kadiwa Agri-food terminal sa bawat lungsod at munisipalidad. Masisiguro natin ang pangmatagalang tulong para mapataas ang kita ng mga magsasaka at mangingisda, at maiibsan din ang pasanin ng consumers. Mas maraming Kadiwa centers, mas maraming murang bilihin, Winner Tayo Lahat,” he added.


If enacted into law, an amount of P25 billion will be appropriated for the initial year of implementation of the program, and P10 billion will be included in the DA budget for its implementation and continued expansion.