ADB provides $3M for food stamp program pilot testing

At a glance

  • Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rex Gatchalian announced that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided close to US$3 million for the pilot testing of the national food stamp program

  • The pilot implementation of the project, which is still under planning and design, will run for six months this year

  • Five sites such as war-conflict areas, geographically-isolated regions or provinces, urban poor settings, calamity-stricken areas, and rural poor sites have been identified for the pilot testing

The proposed national food stamp program has received close to $3 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the program's six-month pilot implementation, a Cabinet member said.

DSWD Sec Rex Gatchalian.jpg
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian (Photo courtesy of PCO)

"[T]he ADB was kind enough to provide close to three million US Dollars for the six months pilot that will run in the middle part of this year towards the latter part of this year," Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian said in a Palace briefing on Tuesday, May 23.

This came after President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. met with  ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa during a reception hosted by the latter on Monday.

“Walang Gutom 2027” or the national food stamp program will provide food augmentation to some one million poor families in the country.

According to Gatchalian, the program 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 Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), he added.

For this year, the program will undergo design and pilot testing before it will be implemented in progression starting next year until the succeeding years.

"So this year, we’re in the design and piloting stage. What does that mean? In every large scale program, you don’t want to launch it without studying it and going through the details," Gatchalian said.

Five pilot sites have been identified. These are the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), geographically-isolated regions or provinces; urban poor settings; calamity-stricken areas; and rural poor sites.

"So the remainder part of the six months fully funded by grants from the ADB that’s why the President opened it yesterday in ADB and we are thankful, the DSWD is very thankful to the technical support and grant support that the ADB has extended to us," Gatchalian said.

The DSWD, Gatchalian said, estimates around P40 billion for the full scale implementation of the program.

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