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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Palace declares food stamp as flagship program

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Malacañang has issued Executive Order (EO) No. 44 declaring the “Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program” as a flagship program of the administration through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“The DSWD shall undertake the necessary steps for the successful implementation and expansion of the Food Stamp Program including, but not limited to, the identification of eligible beneficiaries and collaboration with relevant stakeholders to ensure efficient and timely distribution and use of food stamps,” read the EO signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin.

The “Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program” aims to decrease the incidence of voluntary hunger experienced by low-income households.

It provides monetary-based assistance through Electronic Benefit Transfer cards that can be used in purchasing select food commodities from eligible partner merchant stores.

Its implementation is in line with the Philippines’ commitment to realize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 2 of ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture by 2030.

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WORLD FOOD DAY WALK. Doctors, nurses, health workers, health students, and health advocates led by the Justice for Negros Campaign group launch the ‘Walk for Negros’ ahead of World Food Day’ on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in Manila. The group notes increased hunger in Negros due to lack of food security and land problems. Norman Cruz

Under the EO, the DSWD was mandated to work with other national government agencies and local government units (LGUs) for its implementation, the Presidential Communications Office said on Sunday.

The DSWD will determine the appropriate staffing pattern and corresponding qualification standards for the creation of additional positions necessary for the administration and operation of the Food Stamp Program (FSP) and submit this to the budget department for review and approval.

The EO’s implementing rules will be crafted by the DSWD, 30 days from its effectivity. Its implementation will be funded by DSWD’s appropriations and its partner agencies.

A total of 3,000 families are targeted for the six-month pilot nationwide.

The DSWD will then evaluate the results and move to the scaled-up program, which aims to reach the one million families who belong to the food-poor bracket or those with a monthly income of less than P8,000.

“If the results are good, then we move to the scaled-up where it will be initially 300,000 families and then another 300,000 the year after until we reach the one million food-poor families,” DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian previously said.

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