(File photo)

MANILA – Following the success of Kadiwa rolling stores and the opening of the “Kadiwa ng Pasko” project, a party-list representative on Wednesday urged the House leadership for the immediate passage of a measure that will establish Kadiwa Agri-food Terminals in every city and municipality to help farmers and fisherfolk market and trade their products at affordable prices.

“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 Partylist Rep. Wilbert Lee said as he pushed the passage of House Bill 3957.

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 (We saw our countrymen’s support to Kadiwa centers that are going around in various areas of the country. Consumers also flocked to the Kadiwa ng Pasko project of the Office of the President in Sta. Cruz, Manila because of the cheap agricultural products being sold there coming from) farmer cooperatives,” the lawmaker said.

The Kadiwa ng Pasko was launched by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. last Saturday.

The Department of Agriculture (DA), headed by Marcos, is the lead agency of the program that markets the agri-fishery products of local farmers and fisherfolk and help address price surges associated with the Christmas season.

In the meantime, the “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita Program” is DA initiative 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.

Lee, however, pointed out that there is no law mandating the establishment of these Kadiwa centers all over the country.

“HB 3957 seeks to address this,” he said.

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.

Le said that through the nationwide establishment of Kadiwa centers, farmers and fisherfolk will be freed from the control of unscrupulous traders and middlemen.

At the same time, Kadiwa centers adjacent to communities will also effectively promote the growth of local agricultural markets by allowing farmers and fisherfolk to sell their products without travelling far, while also providing consumers easy access to cheaper and fresh agricultural products.

“Isipin po natin ang napakalaking pakinabang at serbisyong hatid ng panukala nating batas. 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 (Let’s think about the huge benefit and the services provided by our proposed measure. We can ensure of sustainable aid to our farmers and fisherfolk in raising their income, while easing the burden of the consumers. The more Kadiwa centers, the more affordable products),” Lee said. (PNA)