DSWD seeks P2.7 billion for new Listahanan

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said it will need some P2.7 billion for household assessments in the next round of the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (Listahanan), slated to take place in 2019.

In a press briefing Friday, December 14, DSWD Undersecretary Florita Villar said the budget will cover about 16 million households or 70% of the country’s household population.

The Listahanan identifies poor households, which aids in targeting beneficiaries for government poverty-reduction efforts. A review and update of the list is done every 3 years, with the last one completed in 2015.

According to Villar, there are currently 5.2 million poor households in the government’s Listahanan.

Why this matters: Government, international organizations, and civil society organizations use the Listahanan data for their poverty-reduction programs. It allows the government and other groups to focus resources on those who need assistance most.

For instance, the DSWD uses the data for the 4Ps or the Conditional Cash Transfer program. (READ: Where in the PH are the Pantawid beneficiaries?)

It is also used to identify beneficiaries of the department's Unconditional Cash Transfer program, which aims to shield the poorest families from the effects of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Law.

In another government agency, such as the Commission on Higher Education, the Listahanan data is used to identify priority students who can receive education subsidies in its free higher education program.

Asked if the assessment for the next Listahanan would be affected by a reenacted budget for early 2019, Villar said the DSWD did not forsee any complication as it is scheduled to begin July 2019. (READ: Congress adjourns, fails to pass 2019 budget on time)

Villar said the DSWD will assess households from July to October 2019, with the assistance of its consultant Dr Dennis Mapa, Dean of the University of the Philippines Diliman School of Statistics. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.