Pilot run of DSWD’s food stamp program to start July 18
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Saturday said the pilot run for its food stamp program will begin on July 18 in Tondo, Manila, benefitting an initial number of 50 families.
DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said the program will be in its “pilot” implementation for six months to assess its effectiveness.
“After six months ng takbo ng pilot, titingnan natin iyong resulta. Kung maganda iyong resulta, then we scale up, where it will be initially 300,000 na pamilya and then another 300,000 the year after, hanggang sa maabot natin iyong isang milyong Pilipinong pamilya na food poor kung tawagin,” said Gatchalian in a Saturday News Forum held in Quezon City.
(After six months of the pilot run, we will assess the results. If the results are good, then we will scale up, where it will be initially 300,000 families and then another 300,000 the year after until we reach that one million Filipino families who are so-called food poor.)
Under this program, eligible families will receive electronic benefit cards loaded with P3,000 food credits per month.
“They can use these cards at accredited retailers, such as Kadiwa stores, groceries, and small supermarkets. Purchasing using the cards will also require biometrics as part of its security features to ensure that the beneficiaries are directly using the provisions of the program,” said Gatchalian.
The DSWD official likewise disclosed that the beneficiaries of the program will adhere to a limited menu crafted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute. The menu of available food items will have 50 percent allotted for sources of carbohydrates, 30 percent for sources of protein, and 20 percent for sources of good fats.
“Gusto nating maturuan ang ating mga kababayan lalo na iyong mga food poor nating mga kababayan na bumili ng tamang pagkain, magluto ng tamang pagkain… kasi ayon sa datos, ang mga Pilipino marami pa ring maling mga pagkain na kinukunsumo,” Gatchalian explained.
(We want to teach the public, especially the food poor, to buy the right food and cook the right food… because data showed that Filipinos still consume the wrong food.)
The pilot implementation of DSWD’s program was funded by the Asian Development Bank and other development partners for $3 million.