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3,000 Tondo households are first beneficiaries of PH food stamp launch

Family food packs are being carefully handled by an unidentified worker. (Photo courtesy: DSWD/file)

MANILA, (PIA) -- The Department of Social and Welfare Development (DSWD) has set the pilot run of the food stamp program on July 18 in Tondo, Manila, where the first 50 families out of the 3,000 identified for the "Walang Gutom 2027" program will benefit Marcos administration.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said the program is still in pilot run to study its effectiveness for the target of one million poor families nationwide under the agency's Listahanan.

After six months ng takbo ng programa, 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,” Gatchalian said.

On the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the “Walang Gutom 2027” program will cater to qualified families who will receive electronic benefit cards similar to tap cards, filled with food credits instead of cash.

They can use these cards at recognized retailers, such as Kadiwa stores, groceries, and small supermarkets.

The card will also require biometrics as part of its security features to ensure that beneficiaries directly use the program's provisions.

Ang layunin nito ay bigyang kapangyarihan ang ating mahihirap na kababayan – ang mga mahihirap nating mga mamamayan na makakapili nang tama na pagkain na naaayon sa pangangailangan ng kanilang pamilya (The purpose of this is to empower the poor - so that our citizens can make the right choices in food according to their family's needs),” Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian also discussed specific conditions for program participants, including following a restricted menu.

The menu of available foods has been carefully created by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), with 50 percent allocated for sources of carbohydrates, 30 percent for sources of protein, and 20 percent for sources of "good fats."

Beneficiaries are also attended nutrition development classes to address the issue of improper food consumption within households.

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 para over the next four years na part sila ng program iyong social behavioral change – kasi ayon sa datos ng mga Pilipino marami pa ring maling mga pagkain na kinukunsumo (We want to teach our compatriots, especially our food poor kababayans, to buy the right food, cook the right food so that over the next four years they will be part of the social behavioral change program - because according to the data of the Filipinos still consume many wrong foods),” the DSWD chief said.

The pilot program is funded by a $3 million (P162,949,500) loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other development partners.

Gatchalian assured that the government will allocate funds for the continuation of the program in the coming years.

The program also aims to support local farmers by ensuring that their products are purchased by beneficiaries. (PIA-NCR)

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