Stores akin to ‘Kadiwa’ to open soon in Bangsamoro provinces
MANILA, Philippines — Community stores similar to the “Kadiwa” outlets operated during the administration of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos will be opened in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to provide livelihood to wives, widows and orphans of former combatants in the region, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said these stores, called “Padian na Bangsamoro” (Market in Bangsamoro), would be patterned after the Kadiwa stores operated by the National Food Authority in the 1970s to the early 1980s, where food items and agricultural products were sold cheap in poor districts around the country.
The Kadiwa market system eliminated middlemen and provided producers and consumers a direct link. This resulted in lower prices of basic household and food items.
The program will begin in August with the establishment of 50 stores — 10 in each of the five provinces under BARMM (Lanao del Sur, Sulu, Maguindanao, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi) — that will sell rice, canned goods, milk and spices, among others.
It will eventually serve as the government’s distribution and marketing arm for agricultural supplies such as seeds and fertilizers.
The DA will provide each store a P500,000 no-interest, no-collateral loan through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, the department’s rural credit agency.
Beneficiaries, composed of wives, widows and children of former Moro fighters in the area, will be identified and organized by Minister Mohammad Yacob of BARMM’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform.
They will, in turn, receive training on financial literacy, accounting and simple business management through the government’s partner company, SM BDO Foundation.
All stores will be linked by a computer network that will monitor sales and activities of each outlet. Once proven successful, the Padian stores will be expanded to cover all other areas in BARMM, especially the remote island communities, the DA said.
Piñol said the project was part of the DA’s initiative to help the strife-torn region as part of his new designation. President Rodrigo Duterte recently announced that Piñol would be his “point person” to oversee and coordinate the implementation of the government’s commitments in the area.
Piñol, a former Cotabato governor, remains as the agriculture chief as the President has yet to announce any officer in charge for the DA. —Karl R. Ocampo
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