Picture of Rommel Hallares
No more middlemen! House bill to expand food terminals’ presence in PH
by Rommel Hallares - Monday, 5 September 2022, 01:45 PM
 
MB: September 2, 2022, 12:56 PM

AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert Lee has filed a measure that would institutionalize a program for a nationwide system of agricultural and fisheries food terminals.
Lee’s House Bill (HB) No. 3957 or the proposed “Kadiwa Agri-Food Terminal Act” bats for the higher mobility of locally produced products within the whole country at a cheaper cost. It also seeks to temper the high prices of basic commodities amid the problem of inflation.

“In line with the clear direction of the current administration to prioritize helping our agriculture and fisheries workers and make food products affordable, it is clear how scaling up the Kadiwa initiative in many regions across the country can be a concrete and immediate intervention to the food crisis we face,” Lee said.

“Through this measure, we also liberate farmers from the control of unscrupulous traders and middlemen. Talo ang mga mapanlamang na middleman (This is a loss for abusive middleman). Panalo naman ang mga magsasaka, mangingisda, pati na ang mga mamimili—sa mas malaking kita at mas murang mga bilihin (This is a victory for farmers, fishermen, and even consumers since there will be bigger profit margins and lowered prices of goods),” he added.
The “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita Program” is the agribusiness and marketing initiative of the Department of Agriculture (DA) that helps link local farmers and fishermen directly to consumers. Kadiwa products are typically cheaper by 10 to 20 percent.

Under HB No.3957, the DA, in close coordination with the local government units (LGUs), is mandated to establish and manage agri-food terminals and shall select among the following modes:

1) Kadiwa Retail or direct selling – establishing physical food terminals to accommodate farmers and fisherfolks products for sale to customers and food suppliers,

2) Kadiwa on Wheels – using rolling stores in vehicles to bring agri-fishery products to barangays and villages, and

3) Kadiwa sa Pamahalaan – establishing trading centers within the proximity of the government’s property/office through partnership with DA or other government agency within the LGU.

If enacted, some P25 billion will be appropriated for the initial year of implementation of the program, and P10 billion will be included in the DA budget for its implementation and continued expansion.

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