Soccsksargen poverty survey nears completion

Soccsksargen poverty survey nears completion

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) is targeting to finally complete in the next few weeks the assessment of poor households in the area that could be included in the government’s social protection programs.

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-Region 12 director, said Wednesday they are already in the final phase of implementation of the expanded “Listahanan” or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) in the region.

He said their personnel have completed the actual survey of the target households and are now validating the collected data.

“This is to ensure that our database will be accurate and reliable,” Espejo told reporters.

DSWD-12 had targeted a total of 815,343 households from the region’s four provinces and five cities for the survey.

Some 257,700 of these are from North Cotabato; 223,559 from South Cotabato; 154,351 from Sultan Kudarat; 97,986 from Sarangani; and, 81,747 from Cotabato City.

Conducted every four years, NHTS-PR is an information management system that identifies the poor households in the country.

DSWD-12 started the survey in January last year but its completion was delayed due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Espejo said the validation stage is a venue for communities and local government units to review the list of poor households in their areas.

He said it was designed to correct wrong entries in the household records, include those that were not covered in data collection and analysis phase and accommodate changes from the households based on merit.

“We have posted the lists in strategic areas within the barangays, municipalities and cities to allow the public to check or scrutinize them,” he said.

The official said those who have complaints with the posted data may file grievances through the field workers assigned in their areas.

By the end of the process, he said they expect to come up with “accurate and credible” list of poor households in the area.

Espejo said they will share the database with other government agencies and other concerned stakeholders to help expedite the identification of households that might be eligible to avail of various interventions. (PNA)

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