DSWD identifies 8,128,231 poverty stricken households for 2009

January 2, 2010 11:08 am 

MANILA, Jan. 2 — In line with the national government efforts to identify and provide aid to poverty stricken households in the country, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced that it has identified 8,128, 231 families living beyond the poverty level for 2009 and has provided them with the necessary assistance.

DSWD Secretary Esperanza I. Cabral said the 8,128,231 households’ accounts for 86.40 percent of the 9,407,146 targeted households for 2009.

”The year 2009 also marked the realization of a long time dream to start an accurate identification of who the poor really are and where they are. The DSWD pioneered and set the national household targeting system for poverty reduction (NHTS-PR) with the goal of establishing a database of households classified according to poverty level. The system intends to rationalize the allocation of government resources to those who most deserve the assistance,” she added.

The DSWD chief said the identification started in the 20 poorest provinces based on the family income expenditure survey in 2009 and the poorest municipalities in these provinces based on the small area estimates of 2003.

Households are assessed through interviews by trained enumerators using a two-page household assessment form (HAF).

Cabral said HAF contains verifiable indicators that are good proxies of income such as family composition, employment, education of household members, housing conditions, access to basic services, ownership of assets, tenure status, health and other regional variables.

She also added that information generated by the NHTS-PR on poor households can be used by groups and organizations involved in social protection programs.

Data sharing can also be for academic advancement, research and project development.

As this develops, Cabral also disclosed that the DSWD’s “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” (4Ps) the country’s conditional cash transfer program, continues to provide monthly cash grants of as much as P1,400 to P700,000 to poor families to meet their health, nutrition and education needs.

By the end of 2009, 300,000 additional beneficiaries will have been identified and shall start receiving the conditional grants by the beginning of 2010.

A study on the impact of 4Ps in the four pilot municipalities, namely; Esperanza and Sibagat in Agusan del Sur (CARAGA), and Lopez Jaena and Bonifacio in Region X revealed that:

Enrollment rate of Day Care pupils increased from 44.36 percent to 87.46 percent and attendance rate improved from 82.75 percent to 88.75 percent;

Enrollment rate of preschool pupils increased from 20.09 percent to 56.02 percent and attendance rate improved from 79.5 percent to 94.27 percent;

Enrollment rate of elementary pupils increased from 74.82 percent to 86.71 percent and attendance rate improved from 87.9 percent to 92.14 percent;

Enrollment rate of high school students increased from 56.86 percent to 63.56 percent and attendance rate improved from 90.93 percent to 96.4 percent;

The number of children who received deworming pills in 2007 and 2008 increased from 20,590 to 25,001 registering a 21.42 percent increase;

The percentage of children who were fully immunized increased from 2,700 to 3,408 registering a 26.22 percent increase;

Total number of pregnant women with complete pre-natal visits increased from 1,223 to 1,778 registering a 45.38 percent increase

With this positive developments, Cabral said the World Bank approved a loan amounting to US$ 337.4-million for the continued implementation of 4Ps as part of the US$ 405-million loan for the social welfare and development reform agenda project. (PNA) LBV/PFN

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