In a press conference on Saturday, June 3, 2023, DSWD Undersecretary Edu Punay said the food stamp program includes a condition where beneficiaries are required to be involved in labor capacity-building.
“We want them to enroll in training programs of DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) and Tesda(Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) so that we can capacitate them to stand on their own,” he said.
“While we’re helping them with their food requirements, siguro iyong maitutulong natin na pagkain sa kanila, pambili ng pagkain – gamitin na lang po nilang pamasahe papunta sa Tesda, papunta sa DOLE, paghahanap ng trabaho – iyon po ang target nitong programa na ito so that when they graduate after three or four years mayroon na silang trabaho. They can sustain their livelihood. They can sustain their food requirements. So, iyon po ang ilan sa mga conditionalities po natin sa programang ito,” Punay added.
(While we’re helping them with their food requirements, maybe the food assistance we can provide to them could be used as transportation fare going to Tesda, going to DOLE, looking for a job — that’s the target of this program so that when they graduate after three or four years, they already have a job. They can sustain their livelihood. They can sustain their food requirements. So, those are some of the conditionalities we have in this program.)
Punay admitted that some beneficiaries of government assistance, like the 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program), no longer want to be removed from the list, even though they are already due for “graduation.”
He said that under the food stamp program, beneficiaries should exit the program after three to four years once they move out of the poverty line.
“Of course, walang forever po ‘di ba kasi ayaw nating nale-left sa forever sa ayuda. Limited resources po ang gobyerno kaya kailangan, we maximize, we make use of our resources to help our poor get out of that poverty line,” he said.
(Of course, there is no forever, right? Because we don’t want to be forever reliant on assistance. The government has limited resources, so we need to maximize and make use of our resources to help our poor population escape the poverty line.)
The food stamp program or the “Walang Gutom 2027” aims to provide electronic benefit transfers that will be loaded with food credits amounting to P3,000 to purchase a select list of food commodities from DSWD-accredited local retailers.
(The food stamp program, or the “Walang Gutom 2027,” aims to provide electronic benefit transfers that will be loaded with food credits amounting to P3,000 to purchase a select list of food commodities from DSWD-accredited local retailers.)
It intends to target the bottom one million households from Listahanan 3 who belong to the food-poor criteria as defined by the PSA. They are the families that do not earn beyond P8,000 monthly based on a PSA gauge.
DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said they are set to pilot-test its food stamp program in the second half of the year with the help of the Asia Development Bank which committed to provide $3 million. (SunStar Philippines)