A total of 835,604 children in Region XII are identified to be poor by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

According to the Listahanan or National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) database, the sector of children constitutes 52.2% or 835,604 out of the 1,601,225 poor individuals in the region. North Cotabato registered to have the highest number of children in poor households with 284,387 or 34%, followed by South Cotabato with 198,205 or 23.7%. Sultan Kudarat holds 172,552 or 20.6% of the total poor individuals, Sarangani Province with 128,494 or 15.4% and Cotabato City with 51,966 or 6.2%.

Meanwhile, the population of Children sector is found greater in rural areas with 80.4% or 671,638 poor individuals than in urban areas with 19.6% or 163,966 poor individuals.

In terms of educational attainment of poor children, 42.0% or 350,630 of the total number of poor individuals in Region XII have reached elementary grade and 12.7% or 106,151 were able to attain high school level.

These results are based on the Listahanan, an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are nationwide, as of July 2011. DSWD through the National Household Targeting Unit (NHTU) has assessed and subjected to Proxy Means Test (PMT) a total of 581,853 households in the four provinces, five cities and 45 municipalities in Region XII. Out of these, 296, 043 households were identified as poor.

Listahanan has a nationwide coverage. It can provide national up to household –level data including list of the identified poor families (segregated by Region, Province, City/Municipality and Barangay), Family Identification (i.e. address and length of stay in barangay), Socio-economic Information (i.e. roof materials, toilet facility and water source) and Family Roster (i.e. name of the family members, educational attainment, occupation and health center).

Meanwhile, DSWD continues to advocate among the National Government Agencies (NGA’s), Local Government Units (LGU’s) and private sectors the utilization of the Listahanan as mechanism for identifying poor households who shall be recipients of their social protection programs and services.

For more information on the Listahanan, NHTU can be reached through land line numbers 2286009/2282086/2293181, email address fo12@dswd.gov.ph, or visit them in DSWD field office XII Policy and Plans Division Office, Purok Bumanaag Barangay Zone III, Koronadal City and/or website www.fo12.dswd.gov.ph.End###