By Stephanie Sevillano

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) assured Friday it is doubling efforts to increase the number of Kadiwa sites, as President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. vowed to extend its operation until March next year.

At the Laging Handa public briefing, DA Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista said Marcos, the concurrent Agriculture chief, wanted to benefit more consumers with more affordable and accessible agricultural commodities.

Nabanggit po iyan ng ating mahal na Presidente dahil nakita nga po niya na malaki po ang difference ng presyo ng mga produktong ibinibenta sa Kadiwa kumpara po doon sa mga binibenta sa ibang mga lugar, at ito po ay talagang nakakatulong sa ating mga consumers (Our beloved President mentioned that because he saw that there’s a huge difference between the product prices sold in Kadiwa compared to other markets, and that it truly helps our consumers),” she said.

Other regular Kadiwa sites of the DA are also being modified as Kadiwa ng Pasko to welcome more government agencies.

Ang ating Kadiwa ng Pasko po, again ito iyong partnership po sa mga iba’t ibang mga ahensiya, inisyatibo po ito ng Office of the President, mayroon na po tayong more than 15 sites for our Kadiwa ng Pasko (Our Kadiwa ng Pasko, again, this is the partnership with other agencies, an initiative of the Office of the President, it has more than 15 sites),” she added.

Evangelista lauded local government agencies across the country for working closely with the DA as she urged other government agencies to open more Kadiwa sites in various areas.

She said the LGUs are so involved they are the ones helping identify strategic prospects for Kadiwa sites, considering the number of consumers and the volume demand.

With this, the DA urged consumers to continuously support the Kadiwa ng Pasko, as it also benefits farmers directly.

Sana po ay tangkilikin nila ang ating Kadiwa at lalo na po ang ating Kadiwa ng Pasko. Patuloy po tayong maghahanap ng mga lugar kung saan puwede po tayong mag-Kadiwa ng Pasko, lalo every payday po. And then, ang sabi nga po ng ating mahal na Presidente, itutuloy natin ito hanggang mga Marso and hopefully makakatulong sa ating mga kababayan (We hope you will continue to support our Kadiwa, especially the Kadiwa ng Pasko. We are continuously looking for areas wherein we can do Kadiwa ng Pasko, particularly every payday. And then as our beloved President said, we will sustain this until March. And hopefully, it will help our fellow Filipinos),” she said.

As of Friday, Kadiwa stores can be found in 256 areas all over the country, 44 of which are in Metro Manila.

More affordable agricultural commodities are sold at a much lower price in Kadiwa sites including rice at PHP25/kilo with a maximum buy of 4 kilograms per person; PHP70/kg for sugar; and PHP170/kg of red onions, among others. (PNA)