Hunger mitigation

TACLOBAN CITY-About 48,261 ‘poorest of the poor’ from the four provinces of Eastern Visayas have been targeted under the government’s food stamp program (FSP).

This was disclosed by Grace Subong, the regional director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the lead agency of the program which aims to address involuntary hunger and malnutrition, on Tuesday (June 11) in a press conference spearheaded by the Philippine Information Agency.

“For this program, out of the 300,000 identified target nationwide, 48,261 will come from Region 8 who will be receiving P3,000 worth of food stamps,” she said.

Subong said that the 46,261 targeted beneficiaries will come from the provinces of Northern Samar (5,073); Samar, 12,258; Eastern Samar, 7,618; and Leyte, 48,261.
Biliran and Southern Leyte were not included citing that these provinces were no longer considered as food- poor provinces, the DSWD regional head said.

It was learned from Subong that the identified beneficiaries of the FSP were culled from their ‘Listahan’ or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) which is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are in the country.

For this program, which will have a regional launching in July, the national government allocated P5.21 billion covering the three year implementation of the program, or until 2027, in Eastern Visayas.

Subong said that the beneficiary will be receiving their cards or electronic beneficiary transfer cards from accredited stores, including the Kadiwa centers, on their localities, wherein they are only to purchase nutritious foods to help address the malnutrition problem and at the same time, help the local businesses.

“There’s no cash involved; it’s strictly for purchasing goods in the form of food. It’s explicit that the funds are to be spent solely on nutritional items,” she clarified.