PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has issued an executive order making his administration’s food stamp program a flagship project and tasking the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to implement its expansion.

Signed on Oct. 12, Executive Order (EO) No. 44 aims to address hunger experienced by low-income households by giving them monetary-based assistance through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards that can be used in purchasing select food items.

Under the order, the DSWD shall identify eligible beneficiaries and collaborate with relevant stakeholders, including local government units, to determine the appropriate staffing pattern and corresponding qualification standards for creating additional positions necessary for the program’s implementation.

The DSWD is tasked to create the EO’s implementing rules 30 days from its effectivity. Its implementation will be funded by DSWD’s appropriations and its partner agencies. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza