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ADB considering providing financing for Dali discount grocery expansion in PHL


THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it is considering providing financing for the Philippine expansion of Dali Modern Food Retail, a discount grocery chain, to increase access to groceries for the poor and boost female employment.

“The project is expected to provide access to affordable food and non-food products in rural and peri-urban areas in the Philippines. It also aims to provide more than 4,000 additional jobs, 45% of which will be for women,” the ADB said in a document uploaded on its website.

The “Dali Modern Food Retail Expansion Project” proposal provided no details on the project’s total cost or financing options.

Dali is a discount grocery chain that currently has over 200 branches in the Philippines. It calls itself a “hard discount” retailer, offering affordable prices and a limited but quality product line.

“By establishing new stores, more people will have access to basic food and non-food products. Those in the lower class will especially benefit as Dali offers these products at discounted prices. Establishing new stores will also generate jobs for the neighboring communities as Dali prioritizes hiring locally,” the ADB added.

From 2019 to 2021, 43.8% of households in the Philippines were deemed moderately or severely food insecure, more than double the average in Southeast Asia (18.8%). Filipinos spend an average of 41.9% of their household income on food, one of the highest ratios in the world, according to the ADB.

The bank said that the project is consistent with its goal of scaling up agribusiness, address remaining poverty, reduce inequality, and promote rural development and food security. 

“The project also aligns with ADB’s Country Partnership Strategy on accelerating infrastructure and long-term investments, promoting local economic development, and investing in people,” it added.

The ADB said that the project also boosts opportunities for women producers, in line with its goal of equal participation in the labor force.

“The project has strong potential to enhance gender equality standards in the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) provisions. Gender due diligence will look at gender design features that would enhance gender sensitization in the company’s culture and among staff, improve on gender sensitivity in the corporate policy framework,” it added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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