OPEN FORUM: DSWD officials answer questions from media during the Listahanan regional launch

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 4-B launched the 2015 Listahanan Database: Regional Profile of the Poor with the theme, “Tuloy ang Pagbabago” in Palawan on June 30.

The 2015 Listahanan database reveals that from the 569,316 households assessed and validated regionwide, 207,863 or 35.5 per cent are identified poor compared with the 242,633 or 47.2 per cent poor in 2009 assessment. The magnitude of poor households decreased by 11 per cent.

A total of 53,323 poor households were identified in Oriental Mindoro; 37,983 in Occidental Mindoro; 13,177 in Marinduque; 19,860 in Romblon; and 83,520 in Palawan.

“To identify the poor, Listahanan uses Proxy Means Test of PMT, a statistical formula that estimates household income using verifiable variables indicated in the family assessment for (FAF),” said Project Development Officer Euberto Gregorio.

The FAF is the main tool used by the DSWD. It contains questions on demography, sectoral and household, family and individual profile.

PMT estimated household income is compared to the existing provincial threshold set by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). An income that falls below the poverty threshold is considered poor while household income above the threshold is tagged as not poor, Gregorio added.

“In MIMAROPA, the top three (3) towns with the highest magnitude of identified poor are Balabac and Rizal in Palawan, and Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro,” said DSWD Regional Director Wilma Naviamos.

Aside from the profile of the poor, the new database can generate data on women, children and youth, senior citizens, person with disability, and indigenous peoples. It can also provide access to services like electricity, water source, health and education.

However, Listahanan data can only be accessed upon the execution of data sharing through a Memorandum of Agreement, Naviamos continued.

DSWD clarifies that Listahanan result is not the official poverty incidence. Listahanan is a mechanism to identify who and where the poor are nationwide. It serves as the basis for selection of government programs and services beneficiaries.

The regional launch was attended by representatives from national government agencies, local government units, academe, civil society organizations and media.

“We hope with this updated data of poor, strengthens our partnership and the continuous data utilization towards our vision: a society where the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged are empowered for an improved quality of life,” Naviamos concluded.

By: Jason Eco Oliverio, DSWD 4-B