Agri Party-list Representative Wilbert Lee on Tuesday expressed his support for the extension of the Kadiwa ng Pasko program beyond Christmas to help Filipino families cope with high food prices.
“We support the continuing Kadiwa ng Pasko beyond 2022. In fact, we should be looking at institutionalizing this program and implementing it on a much larger scale because this is a program that helps not just consumers but also producers,” Lee said.
The program, which was launched nationwide in November, aims to provide a market to local farmers and small enterprises while also giving the public access to affordable food and other basic necessities.
Consumers can buy National Food Authority (NFA) rice for as low as P25 per kilo, and sugar at P70 per kilo, at the Kadiwa ng Pasko rolling stores.
According to Lee, the Kadiwa stores provide the ideal template that the country should achieve to fulfill the public’s right to cheap and healthy food, and ensuring the viability of farmers’ and fisherfolk’s livelihood.
The lawmaker also said that the extension of the Kadiwa program would be “at least a year-long gift for Filipino families groaning under the weight of expensive food.”
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ fourth-quarter Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) noted that Filipino consumers’ sentiment was “more pessimistic”.
The overall consumer index weakened to -14.6 percent from the previous quarter’s -12.9 percent due to concerns over surging commodity prices and household expenses, low income, and fewer available jobs and working family members, the BSP said.