Following reports that a congresswoman is calling for an inquiry on the evaluation of households qualified for social protection programs and services such as the Pantawid Pamilya, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) clarified that it applies the enumeration strategy of saturation or total enumeration in all rural barangays and pockets of poverty in urban barangays. These pockets of poverty are areas within a barangay where clusters of poor families reside.

Nueva Ecija Congresswoman Estrella Suansing was concerned when she discovered in one barangay in Guimba that a DSWD staff or the head enumerator, after being given an estimated number of household in the Barangay, allegedly set a limit on the number of households to be interviewed and explained that not all of the households will be interviewed because their barangay is in urban area.

“The difference between the targets set for rural and urban barangays is based on the 2011 Listahanan data which shows that most of poor families come from rural barangays,” explained DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman.

“Although there is a target set for urban barangays, selection of areas where the assessment will be conducted should follow the guidelines on identification of pockets of poverty. We are willing to meet with the Congresswoman and we welcome these opportunities to provide additional information about the 2nd round assessment”, clarified DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman.

Identification of these areas are coordinated with the Local Government Unit (LGU). The LGU provides a list of proposed pockets of poverty with estimated number of households based on a set of indicators. These indicators include access to potable water, housing materials used in majority of housing units within the area, and status of ownership of house and lot by majority of the residents, among others. Areas listed will be validated through an ocular visit conducted by the Listahanan Area Supervisor.

Poor families, who were not assessed because they reside in an urban area not classified as a pocket of poverty, will be given a chance to appeal and be assessed during the validation phase.

“We will ensure that there will be an announcement of the validation phase in all barangays, so that everyone will be able to participate,” Secretary Soliman stated.
In the case of Guimba, Nueva Ecija, the DSWD assures that further investigation of the incident will be made.

The DSWD through the Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) is undertaking a nationwide assessment to identify the families who are qualified to receive assistance from social protection programs and services of the national government such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Although the activity is being conducted nationwide, the allotted resources will not be able to cover all twenty million households in the country. The DSWD targets 15.3 million households which comprise of 9.7 million households from rural barangays and 5.6 million from urban barangays. The DSWD follows the classification of barangays derived from the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) 2010 Census of Population.

As of August 27, 2015, the DSWD has already assessed 13 million households, completing the target for rural areas. Of these number of households, around 12.2 million family assessment forms (FAF) have been encoded. The result of the 2nd round of assessment is expected to be launched in November 2015.