Evangeline Roz is a volunteer health worker in Barangay Bani, San Narciso, Quezon Province. She has 9 children and because of limited income, the needs of their children could hardly be, until their household was surveyed and an opportunity for a better life begun.

This survey referred to by Evangeline and many other poor households is the household assessment conducted in every locality by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction or NHTS-PR, now known as Listahanan.

According to Dir Leticia T. Diokno of DSWD Field Office IV-A, the Listahanan is a targeting system developed in order to have a clear basis for identifying the poor and determining where they are, and eventually generating a masterlist of poor families in every locality. This masterlist in turn would be used as basis for identifying beneficiaries of programs and services for the poor, thus ensuring that funding and resources are directed or benefited by those who need them the most.

“Noong nagsurvey-census sa aming barangay, akala ko ay simple lang ito at dati’y gawain din namin ang pag-census taon-taon dito sa aming barangay, ngunit ito pala ay isang programang makakatulong ng malaki sa bawat isa sa amin,” Ms Roz shared.

Her family is one of the 3,783 identified poor households in the municipality in 2008. The families are the initial family beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Most of them were unaware of the importance of the household assessment conducted and were doubtful if there are any benefits from it.

Marcelina Yanela, a mananahi from Perez, Quezon proudly shared the result of being identified in the Listahanan database as a poor household.

“Noong nag-survey sa aming tahanan, maraming katanungan na kailangang sagutin ng wasto, at dapat tamang datos ang ibigay. Nang sumapit ang buwan ng Marso 2010, napasama ang aming pamilya sa Programang Pantawid at naging malaking tulong ito sa pang-edukasyon at pang-kalusugang pangangailangan ng aking mga anak,” Ms Yanela relayed.

For 2014, DSWD will be conducting a second round of assessment of the poor household under the Listahanan. It is expected that stakeholders, including the beneficiaries themselves will have a stronger participation and involvement in this and the recall of the targeting system be better as well.

“The main reason for the change of name of this targeting system is to enhance name recall. Community members refer to it as survey, but it is actually NHTS-PR which unfortunately cannot be easily remembered. Hopefully, with the new name Listahanan, beneficiaries and other stakeholders would be able to distinguish this from concrete programs and services for the poor like the Pantawid. Listahanan is merely a targeting system not a program, but it is aimed to be the start of any social welfare and development endeavor not only to poor families but to the entire community as a whole,” Dir. Diokno said.***

Written by Joseph Arceo, Regional Information Officer, DSWD 4A