Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian said on Tuesday (May 16) that the ‘Listahanan’ poverty database program will end this year with the full implementation of Republic Act No. 11315 or the Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS) Act beginning 2024.
The newly-confirmed DSWD Secretary made this known during the Committee on Appointments (CA) panel meeting, a few hours before Secretary Gatchalian was confirmed by the CA plenary.
“The beauty about next year is the CBMS law that Congress passed. Listahanan will end its life this year. We will no longer be creating another Listahanan. So with CBMS being the main driver for a database, LGUS (local government units) will be empowered to make it more responsive,” Secretary Gatchalian said in reply to a question from Camarines Sur 2nd District Representative Luis Raymund Villafuerte.
Listahanan is a poverty database, indicating where and who the poor are, which was created by the DSWD as a primary reference for the identification of possible beneficiaries of social protection programs and services.
According to the CBMS Act, the creation of a database will be the responsibility of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Compliant to this provision, DSWD will no longer be creating another Listahanan database in support to the full implementation of the CBMS law by 2024.
“Listahanan is not responsive as naging kongkreto na yung bahay, nasa Listashanan pa din. Humirap na yung tao pero wala pa din sa listahan (concrete houses are in the Listahan, while those households which became poor are still not included in the list.),” the DSWD secretary pointed out.
Rep. Villafuerte manifested that the DSWD should carefully study the list of beneficiaries, such as the list of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
The Camarines Sur congressman also suggested that DSWD should entrust to LGUs the pay-outs of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) since the Department lacks the manpower.
Secretary Gatchalian agreed and said that the DSWD looks at the LGUs as partners in development.
He added that a MOA for partnership has already been forwarded by the Department for the information of the LGUs.
As DSWD continues to innovate its services and validate program beneficiaries, Secretary Gatchalian assured that the Department will work with the LGUs with due respect to their infrastructures and their knowledge of their constituents.
Secretary Gatchalian emphasized that the LGUs are DSWD’s core partners in development to more efficiently respond to the social welfare and developmental needs of the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized sectors.