The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is set to conduct the full-scale pilot implementation of the WALANG GUTOM 2027: Food Stamp Program (FSP) by December of this year, according to a senior official of the agency. DSWD Undersecretary for Innovations Eduardo Punay made the announcement at the 3rd Nutrition Education Session and 4th Redemption Day of pilot beneficiaries at the Torres Covered Court in Barangay 154, Tondo, Manila on Wednesday. 'Right now, we are doing the pilot implementation. Three thousand families sa loob ng limang pilot sites ang target (in five pilot sites are our target), and we will go full blast on the pilot implementation come December,' Punay said during an interview with the media. He added that with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s issuance of Executive Order No. 44, which establishes the FSP as a flagship program of the current administration, the implementation of the program will be assured of funding to help more food poor families in 2024. 'Secondly, and very important, is yung (the) participation ng other agencies because through the EO, DSWD is assured of support from other agencies,' Punay said. The FSP provides food augmentation to food poor families, including pregnant and nursing mothers like Jennifer Suarez, a housewife and mother of two. 'Malaking tulong po kasi hindi po sapat yung kinikita ng asawa ko sa pang araw-araw po namin lalo na nag-gagatas, diaper pa yung mga anak ko (The program is a big help because my husband's income is not enough for our daily needs, especially since my children are still on milk and need diapers),' Suarez said. Jennifer said she also appreciates the knowledge she gained from attending Nutrition Education Sessions. Attendance to the monthly Nutrition Education Sessions is one of the conditions for FSP beneficiaries in order for them to regularly receive their monthly food credit of PHP3,000. 'Natututunan po namin kung paano mag-budget ng kakainin po sa araw-araw, kung paano po maging masustansya yung kakainin po namin sa araw-araw (We learned how to budget our daily meals and how to make them more nutritious),' the young mother said. Alongside the nutrition education sessions venue is a Kadiwa pop-up store where beneficiaries can buy cheap and nutritious local agriculture and food products. 'Nagpapasalamat po ako sa bumubuo ng programa, sa DSWD po dahil isa po ako sa napili na maging benepisyaryo ng Food Stamp Program. Malaking tulong po ito sa amin sa pang araw-araw po naming pangangailangan (I thank the program proponents, the DSWD for choosing me as one of the beneficiaries of the FSP. This is a big help to us in our daily needs),' Suarez said. The FSP provides a holistic approach to address involuntary hunger by providing its beneficiaries with access to monetary-based assistance and also encourages them to become more productive citizens since they will be required to participate in capacity building and training to improve their employable skills.
Source: Philippines News Agency