For four consecutive years, the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development DSWD has been trusted in providing complete, accurate, and reliable data to all its stakeholders in rendering services for the poor and the needy. The number of data users keeps on rising as they recognize the profound integrity of its database in identifying who and where the poor, who are potential beneficiaries of social protection programs that may lead them to an improved quality of life.
In Ilocos Norte, there are five municipalities with existing Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department such as Dumalneg, Bangui, Nueva Era, Pinili, and Marcos. Meanwhile, there are also six municipalities in Ilocos Sur to include Cervantes, San Vicente, Santa Cruz, Sugpon, Tagudin, and Alilem which currently utilizing the NHTS-PR database. Three municipalities in La Union such as Agoo, Bangar, and Pugo and five in Pangasinan namely Asingan, Bugallon, Laoac, Manaoag, and Urbiztondo are also among the data users.
The Provincial Governments of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and La Union are still supporting the utilization of the database up to now through a MOA by the Provincial Governors.
All these years, more data users are encouraged to enter into a MOA with DSWD for them to have a focused and efficient targeting of potential beneficiaries of social protection programs and services.
On its second cycle of household assessment this coming September, NHTS-PR ensures that the identified poor will benefit from social protection programs. Coupled with this commitment is a new brand and logo of the project, called Listahanan which will be launched in October.
“Thousands of work forces to include Area Coordinators, Area Supervisors, Enumerators, and Encoders/Verifiers are needed to conduct the household assessment in over 900,000 households (HHs) in the entire Region 1”, said Regional Field Coordinator Joan M. Nuesca. Saturation approach will be employed in collecting needed data for all rural barangays while pockets of poverty will be identified for urban barangays, she further added.
All of the hired Field Support Staff will be deployed in all the barangays in the four provinces (Ilocos Norte-111,464 HHs, Ilocos Sur-138,769 HHs, La Union-143,262 HHs and Pangasinan-535,138 HHs) to conduct household assessment. Prior to their deployment, they will undergo intense training for necessary data collection skills in the field.
With these plenty of households to be assessed, all field support staff only carry with them Household Assessment Forms (HAF) which now have 41 observable variables to estimate a household’s income as against the provincial poverty threshold to classify them as poor or non-poor after the Proxy Means Test (PMT) run.
Trek for the Poor
Once deployed, mountainous terrains, winding, rocky and rough roads, risky bridges over deep rivers and the scorching heat of the sun are along the way to reach the most remote and depressed areas of the region just to conduct household assessment.
Reaching a household located in a far flung area means bringing hope as they will get close to the government and helping them realize that they are still part of a growing community.
Visits to distant barangays are opportunities to meet the poor and able to see with the naked eye their present situation and this could be the start of something new for them when they become part of the NHTS-PR database.
By Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Administrative Assistant V, NHTS-PR