Solon bats for food terminals with cheaper goods amid inflation woes

A rookie congressman is prodding the House leadership to quickly take up his proposal to establish "Kadiwa Agri-food Terminals" in every city and municipality as a way of tempering the problem of costly basic commodities amid fast inflation.

AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee (Facebook)

“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,” AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee said in a statement Wednesday morning, Nov. 9.

Lee, author of House Bill (HB) No.3957 or the “Kadiwa Agri-Food Terminal Act”, gave these remarks after the country’s inflation rate spiked to 7.7 percent in October--the highest since December 2008.

“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 (Consumers are left suffering by the high inflation rate. Also affected are our farmers and fishers, whose little earnings are further reduced by high prices of goods),” 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 of essential food and products within their communities at prices that are usually cheaper by 10 to 20 percent when compared to the market.

However, there is no law mandating the establishment of Kadiwa centers all over the country. Lee's HB No. 3957 or the “Kadiwa Agri-Food Terminal Act” is meant to address this.

The piece of 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 hubs of cheaper produce.

The Bicol solon underscored that through Kadiwa centers, farmers and fisherfok will be freed from the control of unscrupulous traders and middlemen. These terminals will also effectively promote the growth of local agricultural markets, he said.