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Bill on Consolidated Poverty Data Collection approved on second reading

House Bill 8217 was approved on the second reading by the Philippine House of Representatives, according to a recent report.

This bill seeks to establish a Consolidated Poverty Data Collection (CPDC) system.

The CPDC will generate updated and disaggregated data necessary in targeting beneficiaries and guaranteeing that they will have access to social protection and welfare programs that address their minimum basic needs.

Moreover, it will help the government in conducting more comprehensive poverty analysis and needs prioritisation.

The government will also be able to design appropriate policies, intervention and monitoring impact over time.

The Bill declares that the use of the CPDC system is in pursuant to the policy of the State to free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, deliver a rising standard of living, promote full employment, and make available an improved life for all.

The bill refers to the CPDC system as the generation of data at the local level, serving as basis in targeting poor households in the planning, budgeting and implementation of government programs geared towards poverty alleviation.

This merges the methodologies used in data collection activities of all national agencies, geotagging, and the Community Based Monitoring.

It will entail a census of households undertaken by the local government units (LGUs) with the participation of the community using accelerated poverty profiling system in the data-collection, processing, mapping and analysis of data.

Geotagging, according to the bill, is the process of generating metadata about government projects through various media and of uploading to a web-based application.

This enables the mapping of all areas in the country and allows the government, the citizens, and other stakeholders to check the progress of projects in real time.

The bill dictates the establishment of a CPDC system in every LGU as an economic and social tool towards the formulation and implementation of poverty alleviation and development programs.

These programs are specific, targeted and responsive to the basic needs of the poor. Each LGU shall be the primary data collecting authority within its locality.

For this purpose, each LGU shall have a statistician whose primary function is data collection, preservation and safekeeping of the data retained at the city or municipal level.

Regular and synchronised data collection shall be conducted by every LGU at an interval not longer than every three years for the first six years of implementation of the Act.

Annual synchronised data collection shall be done thereafter.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) shall be the lead agency in implementing the CPDC system.

The Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute, in collaboration with state colleges and universities, will aid the PSA in capacitating the LGUs in collecting poverty data at the local level.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) shall develop institutional arrangements on data-sharing.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), on the other hand, will regularly disseminate information relating to activities of the CPDC system.

Through an institutional arrangement, national government agencies shall request the PSA for specific CPDC system data for use in their particular social protection and welfare programs and projects.

The right to privacy of every respondent is inviolable. Participation in all data collection activities shall be purely voluntary.

To wage a successful war against poverty, it is important to know who the poor are, where they are, and why they remain to be poor.

There is very little, up-to-date, and disaggregated data available relating to the different dimensions of poverty.

Under the bill, the data collected shall form part of a nationwide databank that may be used by national government agencies and LGUs.

Data can be used in formulating and implementing focused and targeted poverty alleviation and development programs as well as in monitoring the impacts of these programs on the quality of life of Filipinos over time.

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