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Marcos repeats promise of Philippines ‘getting closer’ to P20/kilo rice

Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Just three months after saying that “it’s a long road” towards his goal of bringing the price of rice down to P20 per kilo, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. now reiterates the Philippines is “getting closer and closer” to this dream panned by critics as implausible.

Marcos repeated the claim Thursday during his visit in Quezon City to one of the 12 "Kadiwa ng Pasko" stores in the country, which aims to provide communities with agricultural commodities like rice and onions at significantly lower prices than the prevailing retail prices.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., joined by Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and other national and local officials, lead the launching of the Kadiwa ng Pasko at Quezon City Hall on Dec. 1, 2022.
Office of the President

READ: Marcos: Rice at P20 per kilo possible but not right away

“We are getting closer and closer to my dream price for rice, especially, because we are able to sell this for P25 [per kilo,]” Marcos said.

Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the event, Marcos said Kadiwa stores would be phased out “once we get to a point where it’s no longer necessary.”

“When the prices in the markets are the same that we can give in the Kadiwa, then we don't need the Kadiwa anymore,” Marcos said. “But we’re not yet there at that point.”

At present, price of rice in the retail market is far from P20 per kilo. According to the price monitoring of the Department of Agriculture, which Marcos currently heads, rice retails at P38 to P50 per kilo as of November 30.

Kadiwa stores can afford to sell rice at cheaper prices because these come from the National Food Authority’s buffer stock, which should be reserved for calamities and emergencies.

The concept of Kadiwa stores was first introduced during the time of Marcos’ father and namesake to help bring down the prices of agricultural commodities. 

Marcos said he wants to expand the Kadiwa program nationally through tie-ups with local government units so it can be implemented beyond the holidays.

The president, joined by Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and other national and local officials, led the launching of “Kadiwa ng Pasko” at the Quezon City Hall Thursday.

— Xave Gregorio

FERDINAND MARCOS JR.

KADIWA

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