The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region IX launched the Regional Profile of Poor Households on May 24, 2013 at Astoria Hotel, Zamboanga City.

DSWD-IX Assistant Regional Director Consejo Usman’s unveiling of the life-sized copy of the “Regional Profile of the Poor” highlighted the event. The regional profile features statistical data describing the condition of the 369,293 poor households in the region. These households were identified through DSWD’s Listahanan or National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), which conducted its nationwide household assessment in 2009. From the 10.9 million households assessed, 5.2 million have been distinguished as poor.

“Listahanan used 34 observable and verifiable variables in the process of household assessment. These underwent a Proxy Means Test (PMT) which estimated the household income using indicators such as the housing conditions, occupation, education, household members and the likes.” said ARD Usman as she explained how the project ensures objectivity in identifying the poor who will be beneficiaries of social protection programs.

The NHTS-PR database of poor households currently serves as basis for selecting beneficiaries of anti-poverty programs and services of the government such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Sustainable Livelihood, Social Pension, and Philhealth’s National Health Insurance Program (NHIP). “Users of this database are not limited to government agencies”, stated ARD Usman, as she encouraged non-government organizations (NGOs) and local government units (LGUs) to secure a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the department and use the database for the benefit of the poor.

Following the press conference, DSWD-IX premiered “TATSULO: Stories of Hope”, a documentary film directed by Zamboanga-based indie filmmaker Zurich Chan. The documentary features the life stories of the poor households who have become beneficiaries of DSWD’s core anti-poverty programs: Pantawid Pamilya, KALAHI-CIDSS and Sustainable Livelihood.

Listahanan is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are. This makes available to national government agencies and other social protection stakeholders a pioneer database consisting of a comprehensive organization of information about poor households nationwide. The project is expected to update its database in 2014.