Malacañang has issued Executive Order (EO) No. 44, establishing the “Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program” as a flagship program of the national government.
“The ‘Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program’ of the DSWD is hereby declared as a Flagship Program of the National Government. The DSWD, as the primary government entity responsible for the implementation and management of social welfare development programs in the country, shall be the lead implementing agency of the Food Stamp Program,” said the EO, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on Thursday.
“The DSWD shall undertake the necessary steps for the successful implementation and expansion of the Food Stamp Program including, but not limited to, the identification of eligible beneficiaries and collaboration with relevant stakeholders to ensure efficient and timely distribution and use of food stamps.”
The DSWD was also mandated by the order to work with other national government agencies (NGAs) and local government units (LGUs) for its implementation. It also ordered relevant NGAs and all participating LGUs to provide full support to, and cooperate with, the DSWD to ensure the effective implementation of the order.
The DSWD was also directed to determine the appropriate staffing pattern and corresponding qualification standards for the creation of additional positions necessary for the administration and operation of the Food Stamp Program and submit to the budget department, for review and approval, the proposed changes in the organization structure and staffing pattern of the DSWD.
The EO’s implementing rules will be crafted by the DSWD, 30 days from its effectivity. Its implementation with be funded by DSWD’s appropriations and its partner agencies.
The “Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program” is one of the major programs of the DSWD, which aims to decrease the incidence of voluntary hunger experienced by low-income households by providing monetary-based assistance through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards that can be used in purchasing select food commodities from eligible partner merchant stores.
For the Food Stamp Program to be successful, a whole-of-government approach is required, enjoining all NGAs and LGUs to participate and support the program.
Its implementation is in line with the Philippines’ commitment to realize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 2 of ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture by 2030.
In addition, one of the objectives of the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 launched in June this year as well as the administration’s 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda is to ensure food security and proper nutrition in the country by providing accessible, safe and nutritious food for all Filipinos. | PND
Photo Courtesy of MB