The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will conduct the learning forum dubbed as “People at the Edge: Defining the Near Poor of the Philippines” on October 7, 2014 at the Sulo Riviera Hotel, Quezon City.

During the activity, DSWD will present the results of the study entitled, “Analysis of the Near Poor Challenge and Strategy Development Ideas”  by Dr. Vicente Paqueo, an economist and public policy expert, of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).

One of the salient points of his study is the proposed definition and threshold of near poor.

Near poor are non-poor families that live at a knife-edge with little or no buffer against the economic shocks. They can easily become poor when faced with crisis.

The panel of reactors for this event will include Dr. Mahar Mangahas of the Social Weather Station (SWS), Dr. Ana Maria Tabunda of Pulse Asia, and Romeo Recide, the Interim Deputy National Statistician of the Philippine Statistical Authority.

The learning forum is part of the month-long celebration of the 25th National Statistics Month (NSM) with the theme, “25 and Beyond: Solid and Responsive Philippine Statistical System in Support of Globalization and Regional Economic Integration”.

As the lead agency in social protection, DSWD is mandated to develop, implement, and coordinate social protection and poverty reduction programs and services for and with the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged.

Consistent to this mandate,  DSWD, with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), initiated the study that will put forward a national policy on the near poor.

“This policy will allow us to define and identify members of this sector that cuts across the vulnerable and disadvantaged in the Listahanan 2nd round of assessment, and find ways how we can effectively address their concerns,” stated Secretary Corazon-Juliano Soliman, who will give the opening remarks in the said activity.

Listahanan is the DSWD’s information management system that aims to identify poor families who will be beneficiaries of social protection programs and services. With the near poor threshold, the project will be able to identify the near poor.

Social protection programs will be able to extend its assistance to keep the near poor from becoming poor.  ###Listahanan Social Marketing Unit