Philippines: Department of Social Welfare and Development Launches 2015 Database of the Poor

April 5, 2016

Manila, April 5, 2016 - The National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) also known as Listahanan today unveiled an updated database of the poor in the country from the government’s latest round of assessments in 2015.

Secretary Corazon ‘Dinky’ Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) led the launch that convened over 300 members of national government agencies, government officials, international agencies, non-government organizations and the media. 

The DSWD implements Listahanan which identifies who and where the poor are in the Philippines through rigorous identification and validation method.

“What is important to emphasize is that this is a tool that puts a face to the poor. It is not just a number or an entry in the data base – it is a face, a name, a mother, a father, children in a house, in a community. The second we would like to emphasize, aside from the fact that Listahanan is transparent data base that uses an objective, scientific method to identify the poor and vulnerable, is that Listahanan empowers families to demand good governance,” said Secretary Soliman.

“The families know that they are chosen for government assistance because of their situation of poverty and vulnerability and that it is their right to be served by their government,” she said.

She stressed that through Listahanan, “The government is able to focus public resources to those who need it most and anyone, any citizen and the government agencies can report to DSWD those households that may be excluded or are not poor but included in the data base. There is regulated and transparent grievance process for that.”

The first wave called Listahanan 2010 was implemented over 2009/2010 when data from 10.9 million households was collected and processed. The results were released in 2011 through the Profile of the Poor or Listahanan 2010 that identified 5.2 million poor households.

Listahanan enables government organizations and agencies to accurately and objectively identify poor and vulnerable beneficiaries of their poverty reduction programs to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of government resources.

More than fifty national government agencies including Philhealth, and more than 1,200 local government units and non-government organizations use Listahanan to identify poor and vulnerable beneficiaries of services in education, nutrition, health, maternal and childcare, employment, water, sanitation, electricity, shelter, and environment.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is one of the users of Listahanan.  All current beneficiary households of the 4Ps program - 4.4 million of them - have been initially identified using Listahanan.  No household can be enrolled in the Pantawid, unless they are first identified as poor by Listahanan.

The development and implementation of Listahanan since its inception in 2008 has been supported by the World Bank and the Australian Government Department of Trade and Industry.

According to the World Bank Country Director Mara K. Warwick, “The Philippines has taken significant steps forward in transparency and good governance, and Listahanan is helping drive these advances.”

She added that, “The system has been an anchor for government programs that are targeting public funding for poverty reduction where it is needed most- to the poorest and the most vulnerable.”

As mandated by Executive Order 867, the database serves as the basis for government agencies involved in social protection programs and should be updated every four years.


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