Kadiwa progam to continue throughout 2023, DA assures House panel

The Kadiwa store program, which gives Filipinos access to relatively cheaper local produce and products amid the prevailing fast inflation, will continuously be implemented throughout 2023.

Marikina City 2nd district Rep. Stella Quimbo gained this assurance from the Department of Agriculture (DA) Wednesday morning, Jan. 25 during a briefing hosted by the House Committee on Agriculture and Food.

During the hearing, Quimbo, senior vice chairperson of the Committee on Appropriations, asked the DA panel at the hearing regarding the status of the Kadiwa program.

"Ongoing pa po yung mga regular Kadiwa natin sa National Capital Region (NCR) and some major cities po nationwide (Our regular is ongoing in the NCR and and some major cities nationwide)," answered DA Chief Administrative Officer Junibert de Sagun.

Quimbo subsequently asked De Sagun on the veracity of reports that Kadiwa stores "had to be stopped momentarily because of the expiry of certain MOAs (memoranda of agreement)".

"Your honor, madam congressman, yung mga ongoing regular Kadiwas po ay still ongoing pa rin po naman siya, wala naman po tayong pinapatigil. Subject to schedule po yung Kadiwa natin (The ongoing regular Kadiwas are still ongoing, we didn't order to stop anything. Our Kadiwa is subject to schedule)," De Sagun said.

Afterward, the lady lawmaker asked, "So in short mukhang mayroon naman kayong sapat na budget para sa taong 2023 para mapagpatuloy ang Kadiwa? (So in short it looks likes you have enough budget this 2023 to continue Kadiwa?)"

"Yes po your honor kasi minimal subsidy lang naman po ang ginagawa (Yes your honor because we only carry out minimal subsidy)," replied the resource person from DA.

"Physically, marketing linkages lang yung ating ginagawa (Physically, we only do marketing linkages) with the assistance of other government agencies and especially local government units (LGUs)," added De Sagun.

He further clarified to the congressmen that DA doesn't purchase goods for the Kadiwa stores.

"We only facilitate the marketing linkage so we identify areas in the wherein they can establish their own Kadiwa, just selling activity. And we link then farmers and fisherfolk association so that they can sell their produce. We do not purchase po," he said.

"OK salamat. So may assurance tayo na magpapatuloy yan (OK thank you. So we have an assurance that it will continue)," Quimbo said.

The House panel hearing focused on issues surrounding local onions, particularly the current surge in price, which have reportedly reached an absurd P700 per kilo.

In Kadiwa stores, onions are sold for as low as P100 per kilo.