DSWD to scale up food stamp program in July 2024

The Philippine government will scale up its food stamp program (FSP) to 300,000 more food-poor Filipino households by July 2024, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said. At the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City, DSWD Undersecretary Edu Punay said the 'Walang Gutom 2027' pilot run for the initial 3,000 beneficiaries will end in May 2024. After a review in June, the DSWD will fully roll out the program in July. 'Come next year, we'll have the full implementation of the program, which targets one million households nationwide. When we scale up next year, there will be 300,000 household beneficiaries,' Punay said. The program will be finally given a working budget from the General Appropriations Act after President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr issued Executive Order 44, which establishes the FSP as a flagship program of the administration. The projected budget to cover the 300,000 beneficiaries for next year is at PHP6 billion, according to Punay. 'We've already met with the Department of Budget and Management and they committed to provide for the financial budgetary requirement of the program,' he said. 'We're very happy that this will be implemented next year na talagang may working budget na (with a working budget), thanks to the EO 44,' he added. Under the FPS, a beneficiary family will get an electronic benefit transfer card loaded with PHP3,000 worth of food credits that can be used to purchase a select list of commodities from DSWD-accredited local retailers. Filipino families tagged as 'food-poor' are those belonging to the lowest income bracket, or with a monthly income below PHP8,000. The DSWD started the pilot test among 100 households in Tondo, Manila and Dapa, Siargao in July. The full-scale pilot implementation will begin in December. The pilot is funded by the USD3 million (approximately PHP163 million) grant from the Asian Development Bank

Source: Philippines News Agency