GENERAL SANTOS CITY, South Cotabato—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) field office 12 through the National Household Targeting Unit (NHTU) recently conducted a training of Area Supervisors (AS) and Enumerators (Ens) for the special validation on Social Pension (SOCPEN) program for the indigent senior citizens.

A total of twenty nine hired field workers, all residents of region 12, participated the three-day training held at Phela Grande Hotel, General Santos City recently.

The extensive training was aimed at enabling the AS and Ens to understand the goals and objectives of the NHTU and the Special Validation process for SOCPEN beneficiaries. Moreover, it was aimed at acquiring knowledge and skills on how to administer the validation form, clarifying the responsibilities and duties of the AS and Ens and knowing the process of handling grievance and complaint.

Also, part of the training was simulation of the enumerators in preparation for their house to house visit and interview. According to NHTU Regional Field Coordinator, Ashraf Dirampatan, the simulation measured the field staff’s readiness for the field visit.

“Most of our hired field staffs are experienced enumerators thus we did not have a hard time demonstrating to them how to relate to our target senior citizens” Dirampatan said.

According to him, NHTU will not tolerate even minimal mistakes by the field staff this time as it will greatly affect the quality of the database that DSWD is aiming to complete.

“Though we saw very minimal weak areas where they (field staff) needed improvement on, we cannot let the previous mistakes to reoccur and so this time we are making sure that the field staff are able to identify their mistakes and learn how to correct them”, Dirampatan explained.

Meanwhile, as the enumerators become the front line of DSWD, Dirampatan tightly instructed the former to use the term Listahanan during field visit when referring to its former brand name, the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).

“We believe this special validation is also a way to advocate our new brand name so I have obliged the field staff to use Listahanan instead of NHTS-PR to end and prevent confusion among the general public”, Dirampatan added.

Also present during the orientation was SOCPEN Focal Person Labinia Bañes. She discussed the need for the SOCPEN special validation this is to equip the field staff for possible queries of the interviewed party.

“Most of the senior citizens who will be interviewed by the field staff will most likely ask questions concerning the SOCPEN so it is very important they understand and know how to address the concerns” Bañes explained.

Moreover, Bañes plead the honesty of the field workers during the enumeration so as to target the deserving poor senior citizens.

Accordingly, the names of non-Listahanan poor senior citizens who have been receiving SOCPEN benefits in previous year and are identified by the National Household Targeting Office (NHTO) will be the subject for the special validation to be conducted this semester.###(SMU)