DSWD mulls digital food stamps to tackle hunger
MANILA, Philippines — In a bid to stifle hunger in the country, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday said that it is vying for digital food stamps.
DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian had previously floated the idea of food stamps when he was sworn in as the department’s new secretary in early 2023. The plans, however, were further explored with the Metrobank Foundation, Inc.
“During the meeting with Metrobank Foundation Inc., Sec. Gatchalian discussed the initiatives and programs of the DSWD to mitigate hunger and achieve food security, including the provision of digital food stamps that may be used by its recipients to buy goods in grocery stores and supermarkets,” said the agency in a statement.
According to the DSWD, the Metrobank Foundation Inc. President Aniceto Sobrepeña has promised to assist the agency should the plans fall through.
“Metrobank Foundation’s Sobrepeña pledged his foundation’s readiness to assist the DSWD in the implementation of digital food stamps by sharing their technical banking and financial expertise, as well as locating and finding development and hunger bonds that may fund the anti-hunger program of the Department,” said the DSWD.
Gatchalian also met with officials from the World Food Program, the National Food Authority, National Nutrition Council, and the Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute for other possible programs and collaborations to tackle hunger.
Hunger alleviation was Gatchalian’s vow when he was appointed as DSWD Chief by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in January 2023.