The members of the Regional Social Development Committee (RSDC) in region 12 recently met in Koronadal City to discuss the DSWD’s indicators used in identifying poor families in comparison with those used by the Philippine Statistics Authority in the conduct of Small Area Estimates (SAE).

Ms. Sohra P. Guialel, Chief of the Policy and Plans Division together with Assistant Regional Director – Ms. Gemma N. Rivera and Mr. Almanzor M. Dataya, Planning Unit Head of DSWD XII, presented during the said meeting the indicators of DSWD’s Listahanan in identifying poor families.

Guialel said “there are forty-six (46) variables in the Family Assessment Form (FAF) that collects pertinent information about the welfare level of a family. Indicators collected in the FAF are based on official government surveys and censuses such as the 2009 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES), Labor Force Survey (LFS), and 2007 Census of Population.”

“And also among others, a statistical model which is called Proxy Means Test (PMT) is used by Listahanan that approximates family income based on observable and verifiable proxy indicators of the family’s income such as materials used in housing structure, family’s access to basic services and facilities like water and electricity, and ownership of specific assets”, Guialel said.

Guialel also said that Listahanan as a database management system aims to have a unified set of criteria for identifying the poor that would enable synchronization and convergence of all resources into a particular group of poor families.

As identified in the Listahanan, each program has its own eligibility criteria in selecting their beneficiaries and being “poor” is usually just one of the eligibility criteria.

Dr. Joseph George L. Lechonsito, Vice Mayor of Tacurong City asked about the coordination of field staff with the LGU officials. Guialel said, “All activities of Listahanan as assured by Guialel at the field level are coordinated with the Local Government Unit. This includes courtesy calls and orientation activities to ensure that LGUs know and understand the project implementation.”

An initial list of poor families will be posted at the barangay for the communities to provide feedback. With this, Guialel said that “Listahanan is now on its 3rd cycle of implementation which is known as the Validation and Finalization phase. Families who were not visited during the regular enumeration are given a chance to appeal and be assessed. A Local Validation Committee (LVC) is formed in each municipality act on complaints and grievances. Finally, final list of poor families is shared with data users to serve as their basis in selecting beneficiaries of social protection programs.”

“Not being a beneficiary of social protection programs does not automatically mean that a household was excluded from the Listahanan database”, Guialel said.

Towards building a history, Guialel informed that members of RSDC that Listahanan make database of families available AT NO COST. With the Executive Order 867 mandates NGAs to adopt Listahanan as mechanism for identifying poor households who shall be recipients of social protection programs nationwide.

DSWD spearheads the process of identifying the poor in the Listahanan through National Household Targeting Office (NHTO) where all DSWD Field Offices also organized its National Household Targeting Units (NHTU).

Said RSDC meeting was attended by RSDC XII, DSWD XII, PhilHealth XII, HUDCC XII, Local Government Executives of Region XII and members of academe.


By: Salahuddin Macacuna AbdelGafur