The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is targeting to have the final and complete list of poor households in the country by next year.
DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said they are eyeing to complete its “Listahanan 3” or the third round of assessment of poor families in the country by December as they have already assessed some 14 million households.
“Ang intent po namin na by next year ay talagang meron na kaming listahan. Ito po ‘yung bagong listahan na nagsasaad kung sino talaga ang i-include sa 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) and other programs wherein ayun na po ang magiging basis natin,” he told the House Committee on Apporpriatons during its recent deliberations on he DSWD’s proposed P169-billion budget for next year.
(Our intent is that by next year, we will have the list. This will be the new list that will identify who will be included in the 4Ps and other programs, that will be our basis.)
The DSWD is targeting to cover 16 million households for the updating of the “Listahanan” or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).
Listahanan or the NHTS-PR is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are. It is updated every four years.
Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo welcomed Bautista’s pronouncement.
“It is great news kasi andaming problema na nag-arise as a result of the listing (because many problems arose as a result of the listing),” she said.
Bautista informed the panel that during the outbreak of COVID-19, he directed the temporary suspension of the conduct of the house-to-house validation for Listahanan 3.
It was last June when Bautista gave the green light to resume the third round of the household assessment by approving the National Action Plan for the continuation of the data collection, encoding, and validation operations for Listahanan 3.
During the deliberations, DSWD Assistant Secretary for Policy and Plans Joseline P. Niwane said it is a “possibility” that the number of poor families might increase to around 20 million, considering the increasing number of people who lost their jobs because of the pandemic.
The DSWD had clarified that those who were included in the Listahanan 3 are not automatically entitled to receive any cash assistance from the government or be included in any of its programs.
“However, the data that will be generated by the program will be used by national government agencies (NGAs), local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs), and other institutions as a reference for beneficiary selection to ensure that qualified poor households will be prioritized for poverty alleviation programs and other appropriate interventions,” it said.
During the virtual ninth town hall meeting initiated by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on July 6, Director Justin Batocabe of the DSWD-NHTO said in 2009, the DSWD assessed 10.9 million households, 5.2 million of who have been identified as poor.
In 2015, 5.1 million households were identified as poor, he said.
According to Batocabe, among the objectives of Listahan are “to formulate a unified criteria for the identification of the poor population through scientific means, to facilitate sharing of quality database to public and private social protection stakeholders, and to reduce leakage or inclusion of non-poor and under coverage or exclusion of poor in social protection programs and services.”