VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video on DSWD’s P3,000 ‘Food Stamp’ credit NEEDS CONTEXT

Needs context

A Facebook (FB) video’s claim that the government is now providing a monthly cash assistance amounting to P3,000 to indigent families needs context. This assistance will be in the form of food credits, not cash, and has not been rolled out yet.

On June 8, an FB page published a 15-minute video with the following caption:

“Wow Seniors & Families! Bagong Ayuda! 3,000 Kada Buwan Ipapamahagi Na (New cash aid! Monthly P3,000 will now be distributed)!”

With the video narrator sharing the “good news,” the video played a part of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) May 23 press briefing introducing its hunger alleviation program called “Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program”.

This claim needs context. The actual implementation of the program will start in the first quarter of 2024. DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian also said the P3,000 will be given as food credits, not cash.

According to Gatchalian, the food stamp program is still in its “design stage” and will begin its “piloting stage” from July to December in five selected areas in the country, namely: 

  • Former conflict areas (specifically in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao), geographically isolated regions or provinces, calamity-stricken areas, urban poor communities and rural poor areas.

Instead of cash, Gatchalian said the targeted bottom one million households under the food-poor criteria – families that do not earn beyond P8,000 monthly as identified by the DSWD’s Listahanan 3 – will be given “digital cards” loaded with food credits worth P3,000 strictly used for select commodities through DSWD-accredited retailers.

“The tap cards will not be loaded with money, but they will be loaded with food equivalents,” the DSWD Secretary said, adding that eligible families will choose from multiple food baskets composed of 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 20% fats.

FB page Baby Franchesca Vlogs (created on Aug. 23, 2020) published the video days after DSWD Undersecretary Eduardo Punay said beneficiaries of the food stamp program are required to enroll in the job programs of the Department of Labor and Employment and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. It garnered over 4,100 reactions, 1,300 comments, 1,300 shares and 112,000 views.


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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)