AN OFFICIAL of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced that the agency is set to conduct another household assessment to update the National Household Targeting Systems' (NHTS) data.

DSWD Regional Planning Officer Hasan Alfad said the assessment or On-Demand Application (ODA) aims to provide an opportunity for households who were not included or assessed during the initial enumeration conducted from April of 2009 until March this year, but whose place of residence was identified within the target areas.

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Alfad, who is the focal person for NHTS, said the ODA will be primarily pursued in 16 priority areas--13 towns and three cities--in the Zamboanga Peninsula sometime this month until September.

Alfad said each the 16 areas will have an assessment period of 10 days where the local government units through their social welfare offices will assist the hired supervisors in the conduct of the assessment.

The 16 areas are: Buug, Diplahan, Imelda, Kabasalan, Naga, Siay and Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay province; Aurora, Guipos, Josefina, Labangan, Molave and Ramon Magsaysay in Zamboanga del Sur; and, the cities of Isabela, Pagadian and Zamboanga.

The house-to-house interviews in the 16 areas will be handled by the area supervisors hired by DSWD, Alfad said.

Alfad said the hired supervisors have recently undergone an orientation on the conduct of the ODA with the respective municipal social welfare officers of the 16 places.

He said the DSWD in its drive to target the real poor households of the country as basis for government programs and services came up with the NHTS in 2009.

The NHTS is a data bank and an information management system that identifies who and where the poor stays.

The system guarantees the generation and establishment of a socio-economic database of poor households which were gathered by enumerators from the barangays during the nationwide conduct of survey last year.

As a process, the data culled from the communities are encoded and elevated to the national project management office who administers the feeding of the data to a proxy-means test system which generates the list of poor and non-poor households.

This master list will then be downloaded to the DSWD regional office concerned which will further verify the accuracy of the data through a validation process.

The validation process includes the posting of the master list in a conspicuous area in the community for further verification.

Results based on the 2003 released statistics of the National Statistical Coordination Board showed that 30 families out of 100 are living in slums, or makeshift houses of indigenous materials, do not have access to clean water, are unable to send their children to school, and are generally denied of other essential services including hospitals.

Out of the 30 families, 24 do not have enough food to eat. (Bong Garcia)