MANILA — The government’s food stamp program would require around P40 billion during its full implementation covering 1 million poor families, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Saturday.
Social Welfare Undersecretary Edu Punay said the Asian Development Bank has provided them a $3-million grant for the technical assistance of the food stamp’s pilot program which would begin next month and would last until December.
The pilot program needs at least P12 billion during the pilot implementation, covering 300,000 families, Punay told ABS-CBN News in a text message.
The DSWD undersecretary said they are still looking for other sources of funding.
“Under discussion pa po kung paano ito popondohan next year, kung masasama ba ito sa budget natin internally, sa pondo ng gobyerno o tayo po ba ay tutulungan ng mga partner agencies,” Punay said in a media briefing in Quezon City.
"We will still have discussion with the economic team how to, you know, source. Alam ninyo naman sa gobyerno ito ay talagang challenges because of the limited resources that we have," he added.
"But since mayroon po tayong discussions na with development partners such as ADB, nandiyan po iyong ibang World Bank, we have received offers actually for funding," he said.
Punay said the P3,000 food credits per family monthly could not be used elsewhere, as this would be credited directly for food. Each family will have a tap card, and they could use these to get the food from partner supermarkets and stores.
This will be enough for a family to have at least one meal daily, he said, to prevent Filipino families from acquiring a culture of dependency.
He also said this would be targeted and conditional, adding they want beneficiaries to have training in TESDA and the Department of Labor and Employment to “capacitate them into standing on their own.”
“We are drafting the design in such a way that we will require our beneficiary families to get themselves involved in labor capacity building,” said Punay.
“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,” he added.
Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian earlier said in a Palace briefing they plan to fully roll out the program by the “first quarter of next year.”