President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the government is now closer to realizing his commitment to lower the price of rice to P20 per kilo.
During the launch of the nationwide Kadiwa ng Pasko project in Mandaluyong city on Wednesday, the president said they are now able to sell rice at P25 per kg through the National Food Authority (NFA).
He explained that NFA is able to sell rice at the same price when it buys it from farmers.
“The National Football League is not taking advantage of it. The price when you buy rice is the same as when you resell it, which is why the price is at P25,” Marcos said in Filipino.
“We are close to our aspirations to sell [rice] at p20 [per kilo]. We will do it gradually. We can achieve it but we still have to do a lot of things for it.”
Based on the Department of Agriculture (DA) Price Watch Report, the price of imported and domestic rice now sold is between P38 and P50 per kilogram as of November 15, 2022.
Marcos, who is also serving as Minister of Agriculture at the same time, said he will continue to push for affordable food to the public by expanding coverage of the government’s Kadewwa National Program.
During its launch, the program initially only covered 14 districts, with 11 in the National Capital Region, one in Tacloban City, one in Davao de Oro, and one in Koronadal City, South Cotabato.
Under the Kadiwa programme, the government is able to sell foodstuffs at lower prices compared to retailers by purchasing directly from suppliers and then reselling them to consumers.
Other expenses for bringing goods to market, such as transportation costs, are borne by the government.
It is a joint initiative led by the DA with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Home Affairs and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Marcus said they decided to launch the National Kadiwa Program this month to enable consumers, who are preparing for the Christmas holidays, to save on their food expenses.
“We will continue this even after Christmas because it is among the measures that the government can take to provide relief to its citizens,” the president said.
Image credits: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP