DSWD to roll out P3,000/month food stamp program starting July 18

James Relativo - Philstar.com
DSWD to roll out P3,000/month food stamp program starting July 18
Photo of DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian, July 15, 2023
Released / Department of Social Welfare and Development

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development is now ready to pilot the Walang Gutom 2023: Food Provision through Strategic Transfer and Alternative Measures Program (Food Stamp Program) starting Tuesday.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian shared this to the public on Saturday, this after around 2.7 million families experienced involuntary hunger, according to a Social Weather Stations survey published last May.

"We are ready for the kickoff. Tuesday is the kickoff of the pilot. The pilot would take within that six months to fully mature," according to Gatchalian on Saturday in a mix of Filipino and English.

"We have already identified beneficiaries for the kickoff. They are made up of the poorest food-poor families and pregnant and lactating women."



Under the program, electronic benefit transfer cards loaded with food credits worth P3,000 would be given to beneficiaries per month. They could use the credits to buy select food items from DSWD-registed or accredited retailers.

The secretary said that there is already a card that people could use starting Tuesday. The "Kadiwa ng Pangulo" will be used as a modality to show that the program is a full spectrum of farm-to-table.

The program is implemented to help local farmers and fisherfolk in having a platform to sell their agricultural products, this while addressing the domestic problem of hunger.

Job generation feature

Gatchalian said the program is not merely a "temporary solution," as alleged by peasant groups who are calling for the improvement of local food production as a long-term solution.

Beneficiaries of the program will be required to attend capacity building and development training, as well as become part of the labor workforce.

"You may look at the Food Stamp [Program] as a temporary solution... If their energy is low, they cannot work. The goal here is to help them start in the span of three or four years that they will be part of the program, eat right so they can find enough energy to be part of nation-building," the DSWD secretary said.

"When the person has found a job, then he can leave such a program, then we have done our job already."

The program will start on July 18 in Tondo, Manila. It was reported to be financed fully by grants from the Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency and French Development Agency.

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