The Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) advocacy forum dubbed as​,​“People at the Edge: Defining the Near Poor of the Philippines”​,​ as awarded as Best Statistical Information dissemination Activity in the 25th National Statistics Month (NSM) Awards.

This is the first recognition received by the Department under the NSM awards.

NSM Awards is an activity incorporated in the annual NSM Celebration. It recognizes the efforts of government agencies, local government units, academic institution, media and the private sector in promoting and instilling appreciation for statistics through activities they conduct in support of the NSM.

The awarding was held during the Opening Ceremony of the 26th NSM at the Heritage Hotel in Pasay City on October 1, 2015.

I​nitiative to ​address ​n​ear-​p​oor ​c​hallenge

The Department’s advocacy forum, which was conducted
​ ​on​​ ​October 7, 2014, featured a presentation by Dr. Vicente Paqueo, Asian Development Bank (ADB) consultant and author of the near poor study entitled​,​​​ ​“Analysis of the Near Poor Challenge and Strategy Development Ideas”.

He presented the results of his study to a panel of experts in the field of social statistics and economics, who included Dr. Mahar Mangahas of the Social Weather Stations, Dr. Ana Maria Tabunda of Pulse Asia​,​​​ ​and Mr. Romeo Recide of the Philippine Statistical Authority, to gather​ ​inputs, comments and support on the crafting of a near poor policy.

“The Department initiated this study on the near poor to enable us to come up with a policy that will allow us to identify them and provide the necessary assistance to keep them from becoming poor,”said DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman.

The study defines the near poor as non-poor families who have a high probability of becoming poor when faced with shocks and disasters.

The comments and suggestions by the participants and panelists were integrated into the draft joint resolution between the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cabinet Cluster (HDPRC) and National Economic and Development Authority-Social Development Committee (NEDA-SDC),​​ adopting the near poor definition of households within the 10% above the total poverty threshold. The resolution also specifies the DSWD’s Listahanan as the source of names and statistics on near poor.