PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said Wednesday, November 16, 2022, that Filipinos can now purchase rice at P25 per kilo, close to his pronouncement that his administration will work in lowering the price of rice to P20 per kilo.

Marcos, concurrent secretary of the Department of Agriculture, led the grand launching of the Kadiwa ng Pasko held in Barangay Addition Hills in Mandaluyong City.

The project aims to promote homegrown products and empower the farming community by providing a direct farm-to-consumer food supply chain that eliminates several marketing layers, allowing producers to earn more while at the same time providing consumers with affordable high-quality local products.

“Nagiging mas mura dahil ang pamahalaan, unang-una, ‘pag bibili ng bigas, kinukuha sa NFA (National Food Authority), kinukuha sa buffer stock doon lang hindi kumikita ang NFA. Kung ano ‘yung pinambili nila ganoon din ang presyo kaya’t ‘yung nakita ninyo ‘yung bigas P25,” said Marcos.

“Palapit na tayo doon sa aking pangarap na mag 20 pesos pero dahan-dahan lang. Aabutin din natin ‘yan pero marami pa tayong gagawin. Eh ang dami pang nangyayari. At wala naman tayong magawa dahil ‘yung pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin ay hindi naman nanggaling sa ekonomiya natin, nanggaling ‘yan sa mga pangyayari sa iba’t ibang lugar na hindi naman natin makontrol,” he added.

(We are getting closer to my dream of P20 per kilo but let’s take it slowly. We will reach that but we still have a lot to do. There’s a lot going on. And there is nothing we can do because the increase in the price of goods does not come from our economy; it comes from events in different places that we cannot control.)

During the campaign period, Marcos vowed to work on lowering the price of rice, a staple food in every Filipino family’s table, to P20 per kilo.

Marcos said the government will continue to establish more Kadiwa stalls across the country even beyond the Christmas season to further ease the effects of rising prices of basic commodities due to several factors, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine brought about by the Russian invasion.

The Kadiwa ng Pasko launching was also held in 14 other sites in Metro Manila, as well as in provinces, such as in Tacloban City in Leyte, Koronadal City in South Cotabato and Monkayo Municipality in Davao de Oro.

First Lady Liza Marcos led the activity in Parañaque, while their sons Ilocos Representative Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos and Sandro were in Quezon City and San Juan, respectively.

“Sana naman ay kahit papaano ito’y makatulong sa inyo para makamura sa mga bilihin at para naman Merry Christmas naman tayo nang kaunti kahit masyado tayong binubugbog ng kung ano-ano mga pangyayari,” the President said.

(I hope that this will help you save money and for us to have a little Merry Christmas even though we are being beaten too much by various events.)

“Sinimulan na ng pandemya, sinimulan — tapos nasundan pa ng kung ano-ano pangyayari, mga Ukraine. At nagkataasan ng presyo. Mahirap talaga ang naging buhay natin lahat. Ngunit mayroon din mga para-paraan para makatulong,” he added.

(The pandemic started it — and then it was followed by some kind of incident in Ukraine. And the price has increased. Life has been really hard for all of us. But there are also ways to help.)

Marcos also expressed gratitude to the DA and the support agencies, including the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department of Labor and Employment for organizing the project. (SunStar Philippines)