TUBOD, Lanao del Norte -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has started reviewing its list of beneficiaries for the government’s conditional cash transfer program, otherwise known as the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps).

The review of the Listahanan, known as the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, aims to reassess the list of the poorest of the poor in the country -- whether those in the list would still be included as 4Ps beneficiaries or would be given other government interventions aimed at reducing poverty incidence in the country.

In Lanao del Norte, which has the second highest number of poor families in Northern Mindanao, more than 793,989 targeted households are targeted for reassessment.

In Tubod town alone, more than 13, 000 households have been targeted, wherein 4,000 are registered as 4Ps beneficiaries.

Governor Khalid Dimaporo said the various programs of the National Government aimed at bringing development to the grassroots have improved the delivery of basic services.

“There are no reasons why we cannot let development happen in our province and we have to prepare for our counterpart funds for the various projects,” Dimaporo said.

The Listahanan was started in 2008 and in Northern Mindanao, about 400,000 of the more than 700,000 respondents to Listahan survey were given the needed intervention. The 400,000 will be reassessed during the conduct of the second round based on the levels of wellbeing -- survival, subsistence and self-sufficiency.

The rest of the respondents who are already beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya would be re-evaluated. Less privilege households with children 0 to 18 years will qualify as beneficiaries for the program.

Tubod Mayor Nelieta Noval said that since the implementation of the 4Ps, there are now less indigent families who ask for assistance from her office.

“Many of those who run to the mayor and other elected officials asking for assistance are now beneficiaries of the Pantawid program,” Noval said.

Truthful answers

Aldersey de la Cruz, DSWD-Northern Mindanao assistant regional director for operations, said they are hoping the needy would open their doors and welcome the DSWD field workers and provide truthful answers to assessment questions so that government interventions would come based on their needs.

Ian Putong, DSWD regional field coordinator, said that the second round gathering of data would be more reliable, fast and with less error compared to the previous conduct of the assessment.

“With the advance technology that the DSWD is using in data gathering, we are hopeful that the Listahanan would come out with less error, particularly on the 'inclusion and exclusion' issue where some of the respondents were falsely categorized and listed as poor while the real poor were not included, apart from respondents misrepresenting themselves and giving false answers to the questioners,” Putong said.

Innovations

Innovations in this year’s conduct of the Listahanan include the use of gadgets like tablets that are readily connected to the internet, the lowering of the ration between area supervisors and enumerators to 1:5, and the lessening of enumerators’ quota of households to be covered to 16 family assessments per day.

He said the re-evaluation process of the respondents is necessary for the DSWD to come up with a more credible data base that will also be the bases for other agencies to identify and locate the poor families, the potential beneficiaries of social protection programs and services.

In the entire country, the Listahanan project will cover an estimated 15 million poor households in all rural and urban areas. The project would need 48,000 field staff who will be using tablets, servers, laptops and other information technology equipment, where signals are available, for fast dissemination of data to the DSWD central office.

DSWD-Northern Mindanao has at present more than 260,000 active 4Ps beneficiaries.