In this picture taken May 21, 2019 shows Residents of Barangay Upo, Maitum town in Sarangani Province. (DSWD-12 Photo by Jeoffrey B. Maitem)

KORONADAL CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will hold next month a region-wide assessment to identify the number of poor families for possible inclusion in the state’s anti-poverty programs,  a senior official announced Tuesday, as the government vows to strengthen social protection programs for the people. 

Cezario Joel Espejo, regional director of DSWD-12, said the office will deploy 2,362 trained workers all over Central Mindanao to carry out the 45-day house-to house assessment for “Listahanan” or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), including in areas under Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. 

Used by other national government agencies and social protection stakeholders as pioneer database of poor families nationwide, Listahanan, updated every four years, is DSWD’s information management system that identifies poor families who will benefit from social protection programs.  

Dir. Espejo said survey will cover pre-identified 815, 343 households in Region 12 and 556,555 in BARMM inclusion in government programs such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino  Program, National Health Insurance Program,  Social Pension fund, among others.

With the increasing demand from poor families for inclusion in any government programs, Dir. Espejo called on residents to coordinate with their respective village officials as well cooperate during the assessment.

“We cannot do this alone that’s why we need the support of our partners in the local government units and other line agencies,” Dir. Espejo said.

Last year, while the World Bank cited the government needs to modernize the database on poor Filipinos qualified to receive social protection programs, more government agencies have been using the Listahanan to reach the poorest communities in new social development projects. (DSWD-12 / JBM and SAM)