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Marcos OKs pilot run of food stamp program, says Gatchalian
Marcos OKs pilot run of food stamp program, says Gatchalian
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Marcos OKs pilot run of food stamp program, says Gatchalian
by Ellicia Del Mundo13 June 2023
Screengrab from Radio Television Malacañang Facebook

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. has given his approval on the pilot run of the food stamp program, also called the “Walang Gutom 2027”, Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian said on Tuesday.

“The President approved the run of the pilot, which is fully funded through grants – grants from the ADB [Asian Development Bank], JICA [Japan International Cooperation Agency], and the French Development Agency. So, that will be US$3 million all in all,” Gatchalian said during the press briefing in Malacañang.

Gatchalian said the program’s first pilot run will allow them to "see the nuances" and also identify the items that needed to be improved and removed.

He also mentioned that there is a provision to expand the “Walang Gutom 2027” program, and another trust fund from the ADB is still in works.

According to Gatchalian, the conduct of a pilot test run will also help the social welfare department in avoiding "wasteful spending”.

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“We want to make sure that when the program does expand the program for its regular run, even if the President already approved it, we want to learn about the pilot. We want to start right, that was the main take away,” he added.

The pilot test is expected to begin next month, in July.

The “Walang Gutom 2027” program aims to benefit families whose monthly income does not make ₱8,000.

Under this new initiative, households will be given tap cards, loaded with ₱3,000 credits, that can be used to purchase foods at selected accredited local retailers.

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Earlier, the DSWD chief said they would pilot the food stamp program in places with with varying “modalities”. He mentioned that Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which is a former conflict area with high criminal cases, will be among the pilot sites.

Gatchalian said they are also eyeing to conducting the pilot test the program in the mountain or island areas; areas under urban poor clusters; calamity-stricken areas; and rural poor areas.

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