DSWD-12 readies for national poverty survey

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/09 September) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 is set to deploy some 2,649 field workers in various parts of the region for the implementation of the second National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) assessment.

Jackiya Lao, DSWD Region 12’s NHTS-PR unit head, said they are now finalizing the region’s pool of field workers for the scheduled launching of the second round of the NHTS-PR survey later this month.

Region 12, which is also known as the Soccsksargen Region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

She said the agency has been closely coordinating with the National Statistics Office (NSO)-12, National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP)-12 and local colleges and universities for the hiring of the survey or assessment workers.

While DSWD-12 conducts the final assessment for the field workers, the shortlists are recommended by the NSO, NCIP and the academe, she said.

Lao said they are making sure that they hire the most qualified workers as the completeness and accuracy of the assessment database of the poor households depend mainly on how well the field personnel perform their roles and functions.

“Choosing the right field workers is just as important as training them as we want to ensure the completeness, accuracy and reliability of the NHTS-PR database,” she said in a statement.

Lao said that out of the 2,649 field workers that they are targeting to hire, 1,615 will be assigned as enumerators, 323 as area supervisors, 65 as area coordinators, 323 as encoders and 323 as verifiers.

She said the field personnel that will be hired will undergo a week of intensive training before their deployment.

She said the region’s unit personnel were recently sent to Manila for a training-orientation for trainers.

The five-day training conducted by the DSWD’s National Household Targeting Office was aimed at capacitating regional workers in facilitating the training of the field personnel that will be hired.

“We cannot just deploy these people who will have significant roles in developing the second cycle of NHTS-PR without equipping them with everything they have to know about the project,” Lao added.

DSWD central office delisted in the last three years around 162,000 households that were erroneously listed as beneficiaries of its anti-poverty initiative Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program based on the results of the initial NHTS-PR survey.

Officials admitted that the first NHTS-PR results had “inclusion errors” that were committed by enumerators hired by the agency for the survey. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)