Poverty survey renamed to reach “poorest of poor” households

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 22 October) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 has launched a new brand name for the second National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) assessment in the region, in a bid to reach a wider audience.

Bai Zorahayda Taha, DSWD Region 12 director, said Tuesday the survey is now dubbed “Listahanan” to depict its goal of enlisting every “poorest of the poor” household in the area into its social protection programs.

Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao (also known as the Soccsksargen), comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Taha said the survey’s “new official brand name” was derived from Filipino words listahan or list and tahanan or home.

“(The rebranding) is aimed at making it more familiar to residents. We’re hopeful that it will eventually find its way to becoming a household term,” she explained in a statement.

Aside from the new brand name, Taha said they have adopted a new tagline and logo for the initiative, which is part of the scheduled nationwide NHTS-PR assessment.

The survey’s new tagline is: “Talaan ng Pamilyang Nangangailangan.”

Taha said the new brand balances the assessment’s authority and objectivity, which represents the scientific accuracy of the list, with compassion or care and protection of the poor, which are consistent with the image of the agency.

“We merely changed the name of the NHTS-PR to “Listahanan.”  Its overall aim to identify who and where the poor are remains the same,” she said.

Taha also said they are targeting to start the second nationwide household assessment later this year or within the first quarter of 2014.

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 poor and eventually targeted for various social services of the national government.

For the second NHTS-PR survey, DSWD-12 aims 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.

The agency earlier said it is targeting to assess a total of 193,482 poor households in the region for the survey. (MindaNews)