DILG to local governments: Cooperate in DSWD's data collection or face sanction

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) warned barangay officials to cooperate with the social welfare agency's household data collection drive or face sanction.

DILG Undersecretary Martin Diño gave the warning during a press briefing on Monday, October 7, at the launch of the 3rd assessment of the Listahanan – the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).

Listahanan is the data collection system of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that identifies who and where the poorest households in the 42,000 barangays in the country are. 

In past assessments, the DILG said, it had been difficult at times to get the cooperation of barangay officials because they lacked understanding of how to receive the deployed DSWD field workers.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya urged barangay officials to just facilitate and not interfere with the data collection.

Diño said he would request DILG Secretary Eduardo Año to release a circular to compel local governments to participate, or else they would be face sanction.

With a P2.7-billion budget, this year’s Listahanan will deploy 36,000 field workers nationwide to gather data on the target 16.1 million households.

Clearer communication

The 3rd round of Listahanan now partners with the DILG through a memorandum of understanding to put in place a system of communication with the local governments. This ensures their participation in reaching even the most far-flung areas. 

Aljo Quintans of the NHTS-PR Operations Division said that they had received complaints about families not being included in the Listahanan, but it boiled down to full participation.

At the same time, being on the list does not automatically grant immediate action because it depends on program implementations. 

The list is not a poverty reduction program in itself, rather a database used to help identify beneficiaries for such programs. These include the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the Unconditional Cash Transfer program that assists poor families affected by the tax reform law.

It is conducted every 4 years. The last Listahanan conducted in 2015 identified 5.2 million poor households.

Listahanan 3's final results are expected for release by July 2020. – Rappler.com

Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a researcher-writer at Rappler. Possessing the heart and soul of a feminist, she is working on specializing in women's issues in Newsbreak, Rappler's investigative arm.

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