Second family poverty survey slated in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/05 September)– The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 is set to assess the socio-economic status of 775,335 households in the region as part of the second nationwide assessment of the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).

Ashraf Dirampatan, DSWD Region 12’s NHTS-PR regional field coordinator, said Thursday the survey is scheduled to begin later this month and will cover households within the region’s 50 local government units (LGUs).

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

Dirampatan said in a statement that all provinces, municipalities and cities in the region will be covered by the assessment.

He said they are specifically targeting to “visit and interview” a total of 245,055 households in North Cotabato; 212,590 in South Cotabato; 146,777 in Sultan Kudarat; 93,178 in Sarangani; and, 77,736 in Cotabato City.

It will cover a total of 1,194 barangays, 168 of which are classified as urban and 1,026 rural barangays.

NHTS-PR is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor households are, a program briefer said.

It said its system guarantees the establishment and management of a national socio-economic database of poor households using a globally-accepted methodology.

The NHTS-PR database was the sole basis for the selection of beneficiaries of the national government’s anti-poverty programs, among them the continuing Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or the conditional cash transfer initiative and the social pension for poor senior citizens as well as other marginalized and vulnerable sectors.

During the launching of the NHTS-PR in 2009, DSWD-12 assessed a total of 581,853 households in the entire region.

The assessment results showed that some 296,043 households in the area were considered as poor and eventually targeted for various social services of the national government.

For the second NHTS-PR survey, Dirampatan said they are targeting to assess a total of 193,482 poor households in the region.

He said the DSWD central office aims to assess around 15 million households in the country through the initiative.

The agency’s National Household Targeting Office, in coordination with the National Statistics Office and the National Statistical Coordination Board, has generated a list of all urban and rural barangays as well as residents that will be covered by the assessment based on the 2010 census of population. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)