THE House of Representatives, voting 157-0, approved on third and final reading a bill establishing a poverty database in aid of the government’s social protection programs.
House Bill 8217, “Establishing A Consolidated Poverty Data Collection (CPDC) System Act,” seeks to provide local government units with a tool to improve targeting of poor households entitled to benefits from government programs.
The proposed measure will allow government to generate “updated and disaggregated data necessary in targeting beneficiaries, conducting more comprehensive poverty analysis and needs prioritization, designing appropriate policies and interventions, and monitoring impact over time.”
The bill authorizes the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to lead implementation of the CPDC System; while the local government units will serve as the primary data collecting authority.
The PSA will also ensure that LGUs have the capacity to perform data collection through the Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute, with help from state universities and colleges.
The data collected by the LGUs will be submitted to the PSA, which will be collated and included in a national CPDC System databank.
Under the law, the Department of Information and Communications Technology will develop an institutional data-sharing arrangement, while the Department of Interior and Local Government will be in charge of regular dissemination of information regarding the CPDC System.
The bill provides for data collection to be conducted every three years for the first six years after enactment; from then on, synchronized data collection will be conducted annually.
The law requires participation in data collection to be voluntary, with respondents also retaining the option to sign a waiver allowing the LGU to disclose their identity and other information to other government agencies. — Charmaine A. Tadalan