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Food stamps program beneficiaries to also be linked in DA, DTI job programs —DSWD

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Monday that it will help beneficiaries of the government’s food stamps program to find jobs through the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Aside from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), DSWD Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez said they will also facilitate the enrollment of the beneficiaries in the job-generating programs of the DA and DTI so that they can acquire necessary skills to improve their lives.

“Ang ating mga kababayan, hihingan rin natin ng compliance. May tinatanggap kayo na meron kayong food stamps program, pero ang hinihingi namin sa inyo ay ‘yung job network services or ‘yung employment promotion activities,” he said in an interview on Unang Balita.

(Our countrymen will also be asked for compliance. You will be covered by the food stamps program, but we will ask you for job network services or employment promotion activities.)

“Mage-enroll kayo sa mga programa nila nang sa ganon ay ma-empower namin kayo. Binibigyan rin namin kayo ng skills para sa ganon matuto kayo sa paghahayupan, pagsasaka,” he added.

(You will enroll in their programs so that we can empower you. We will also give you skills so that you can learn about livestock farming and rice farming, among others.)

DSWD Undersecretary Eduardo Punay explained on Sunday that this requirement aims to end the Filipinos’ “culture of dependency” on the financial assistance typically provided by the government.

The DSWD said that the estimated P40-billion budget requirement for the food stamps program will cover the P3,000 per month allowance of targeted one million poor families.

Beneficiaries will be given "electronic benefit transfer cards" that will be loaded with food credits to purchase a select list of food commodities from the DSWD-registered or accredited local retailers.

Lopez said the pilot run of the food stamps program will begin in July in the National Capital Region, CARAGA, MIMAROPA, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“Ito ay inaasahan natin by next month po ay ipapatupad natin ang ating tinatawag na pilot implementation nito. Ang target talaga natin dito ay poorest of the poor natin,” he said.

(We expect to conduct the pilot implementation by next month. Our target here is the poorest of the poor.) —KBK, GMA Integrated News