DSWD Listahanan – National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR)

We know that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has several social welfare programs aimed at the poor and vulnerable sectors of society. We also know that these programs are important in helping the poor cope with their daily challenges and improving their quality of life. One of these is the Listahanan.

The Listahanan, also known as the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), is a project of the DSWD that seeks to identify who and where the poor are in the country. It does this by collecting data on households all over the Philippines through interviews and surveys. This data is then used to come up with a list of households that are considered to be poor, based on certain criteria.

The Listahanan is important because it helps the DSWD and other government agencies identify which areas and sectors of society need the most assistance. It also allows for more targeted and efficient social welfare programs, as well as improved monitoring and evaluation of these programs.

As big an agency as DSWD is, order and organization are still important. And it is precisely here that the DSWD Listahanan comes in. This makes it easier for the agency to access its target sectors, especially those unfamiliar with this government agency’s work. The Listahanan also includes information about how you can avail of these services.

DSWD Listahanan Program how to apply

What is the DSWD Listahanan?

The Listahanan is an information management system that uses empirical methods to compile a database of who and where the country’s poor are. It is tapped by National Government Agencies and other stakeholders of Social Protection, so they can find out who may benefit from their programs and policies.

The purpose of this program is to summarize the current status of household-based targeting in the country and discuss its limitations. This will be done through an examination of some key issues, including (1) The existence and use of “scientific” means to identify poor households; (2) Maximizing the benefits of social protection programs by developing evidenced-based services to the poor; (3) Minimizing wastage by ensuring that only those who are deserving benefit from social protection programs; and (4) A call for sharing high-quality data on poverty among public and private service providers.

Brief History

Since it was first made public in 2010, many agencies and groups have used the Listahanan database to find out what the poor need and meet those needs. Several government agencies have used it to ensure their programs don’t forget about the poor.

The database was used to identify the beneficiaries of various state programs, such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Philhealth for Indigent of Health Insurance Corporation.

Although the Listahanan database is not a financial assistance program, it does serve as a reliable record of the people who avail of various government services and programs. For instance, unlike programs such as the Unconditional Cash Transfer Program, which provides cash grants directly to the recipients, the Listahanan database is not just used to identify the people who are receiving these benefits.


Several benefits come with the DSWD’s Listahanan program.

  1. Allows local government units (LGUs) will have access to the official list of poor families as identified by the DSWD.
  2. A better understanding of poverty in each locality, helping LGUs plan and implement more effective development interventions.
  3. More than 5 million families have been categorized as poor and are now being assisted by various social protection programs.
  4. Social protection programs can be designed to address the multiple dimensions of poverty.
  5. Enhance the impact of social protection programs and, minimizing the wastage of resources.

Legal Bases of Listahanan

  • Department Order No. 1 Series of 2008. Adoption of the Targeting System for Poverty Reduction as a Mechanism for Identifying Potential Beneficiaries of the DSWD Social Protection Programs and Services.
  • National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) Resolution No. 18 series of 2009. Recognizing and enjoining support to the Targeting System being implemented by the DSWD as a Tool to Identify Beneficiaries of Social Protection Programs.
  • Executive Order 867 series of 2010. Providing for the Adoption of the NHTS-PR as the Mechanism for Identifying Poor Households who shall be Recipients of Social Protection Programs Nationwide.

Process Utilized by the DSWD to Build/Update the Listahanan

Listahanan’s method of identifying the poor is different from other methods because it uses a systematic process to determine the real poverty level in the country. It does not rely on personal preference or political influence.

The four phases of the Listahanan process are designed to ensure that the identification of the poor is carried out with accuracy and reliability. These include the data collection and analysis, the validation and finalization, and the reports generation and management phase.

Preparatory Phase

The Preparatory phase involves identifying the areas that will be assessed and developing a data collection strategy that will be appropriate for these areas.

The household assessment is carried out in all provinces, cities, and municipalities. It will be conducted in phases. For instance, in rural areas, the assessment strategy will involve saturation. On the other hand, in urban areas, the saturation strategy will involve identifying pockets of poverty.

This phase also includes the updating of the proxy means test model and the training of the field staff. Other activities such as the establishment of information technology systems and the orientation of project partners are additionally included in the assessment.

Data Collection and Analysis Phase

The DSWD uses a form known as the Household Assessment Form to collect basic information about household members. This data is then entered into a database through an application for data entry.

The data collected during the household assessment is then forwarded to the PMT for processing, where it will be used to estimate the household income. Based on the provincial poverty threshold, the households will be classified as poor or non-poor.

Validation and Finalization Phase

This Validation and Finalization includes the household assessment and involves identifying the poor households and posting their list in prominent locations within the communities.

Report Generation Phase

After the list of poor has been finalized, the NHTO then produces a report that describes the characteristics of the poor. This is then disseminated to various social protection groups and local government units.

Listahanan Info Kit

The DSWD has uploaded an info kit regarding the Listahanan, which serves as a system for identifying the poor. The kit contains information on the Listahanan, its benefits, and how LGUs can use it for their poverty relief services. You may find the document here

The Difference between DSWD Listahanan and Social Ameliorization Program (SAP)

DSWD Listahanan is the official list of poor families as identified by the DSWD. It is a tool for identifying and assisting the poorest households in the country. The Listahanan database can be used for a variety of purposes.

The database can be used to identify potential beneficiaries for social assistance programs. With the available sociological information, data users can see which families or communities need specific intervention. For example, the Listahanan can tell you which households require sanitary toilet facilities or do have access to potable water. The list of poor and non-poor households and their profile can be used to select eligible beneficiaries for specific programs.

The database can also be used as a planning tool. With the available socio-economic information, data users can see which families or communities need specific intervention. For example, the Listanahan can tell you which households need sanitary toilet facilities or do have access to potable water. The list of poor and non-poor households and their profile can be used to select eligible beneficiaries for specific programs.

On the other hand, the goal of the Social Amelioration Program or SAP is to help vulnerable families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was implemented last year after the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.

Here is an infographic to better understand the purpose and key differences between the two:

Video: Who are Eligible to Get Listed to Be Given Assistance by DSWD?

As the number of “poor” individuals and households is on the rise, there is a need for the DSWD to identify the poor properly. The Listahanan is a tool that LGUs can use to help them identify the poor in their respective jurisdictions and their needs.

As such, the agency has decided to “clean up” this list to ensure that it is more accurate and up-to-date. This is something that the DSWD has been doing for many years now, as it continues to be at the forefront of the government’s efforts against poverty.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is involved in the DSWD Listahanan targeting?

Through the NHTO, the DSWD coordinates the process of identifying the poor and ensuring that they are properly identified and supported. In addition, the agency’s field offices are also equipped with the necessary resources to carry out effective household targeting operations. These include coordinators, supervisors, and verifiers.

The field staff members who participate in the assessment are not assigned to areas where they might influence the data collected from households. The NHTO regularly consults with its NTAG, which comprises experts in various fields such as economics, statistics, and demography.

The NHTO’s National Targeting System Committee also has representatives from various operational clusters. These individuals provide the agency with their recommendations regarding the project implementation.

2. Why are family assessments being conducted by the DSWD instead of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which regularly produces poverty statistics?

In 2010, the government assigned the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to identify and provide financial assistance to the families of poor individuals. As the agency that handles the implementation of various social assistance programs, it is its responsibility to ensure that the programs are carried out in an efficient manner.

One of the most important factors that the DSWD has to consider when it comes to implementing its programs is the establishment of a target system that is based on a scientific and objective criteria. This will help the agency identify the most vulnerable individuals and improve the efficiency of its operations.

Unfortunately, the agency’s poverty estimates are not able to identify all the households in a province or region that are in need of financial assistance.

This is because the data collected by the PSA is bound by a confidentiality clause that was established in the Commonwealth Act of 1940. This means that the agency can’t reveal the identities of the poor families in a province or region. This is the reason why it is important that the program implementers are able to identify the exact locations of the families in need of assistance.

3. Since the DSWD is not a data collection agency, what is the assurance that the data collected by DSWD are credible and reliable?

  • The PSA is a part of the NTAG, and they have been providing technical advice to the NHTO on how to collect and use data.
  • The NHTO has enlisted the help of the PSA in developing a data collection tool and enhancing its manual for its enumerators.
  • The Listahanan uses various variables to identify the poor, such as household surveys and censuses, which are all administered by the PSA.

In order to ensure that the data collected is correct and that it is stored in a secure database, Listahanan has implemented various measures to ensure that the information is collected and stored properly. These include conducting random interviews and monitoring the activities of its employees. Citizens’ feedback is also considered to ensure that the information is accurate and that the database is maintained.

4. What is the role of LGUs in the implementation of Listahanan?

The local government units (LGUs) play a vital role in ensuring that the operations of Listahanan are successful. They coordinate all of the company’s activities from the start of the project to the report generation phase. In addition to regular orientations and calls, the LGUs help identify and hire qualified individuals for various positions.

Through their local knowledge, the LGUs can also help develop a deployment plan. In addition, they are asked to provide a certificate of completion to show that the project has completed its assessment in their respective communities. The DSWD also ensures that the local chief executives and their staff members are involved in the validation phase to ensure that everyone can participate in the process.

After the validation of the list of the poor has been completed, the DSWD agrees with the local government units to provide them with the final list of the poor, which will serve as the basis for their programs and services. The LGUs can also use the database to validate the data that they use in their development planning.

5. Who benefits from Listahanan?

The use of Listahanan can help the poor by allowing them to access the services and programs that are available to them. This database is used by various private and public agencies to provide various social services.

6. How is the family assessment conducted?

The first nationwide household assessment was conducted from 2009 to 2011. It involved identifying the target households and mapping out the strategy for their enumeration. The geographic distribution of the provinces, cities, and municipalities that were prioritized for enumeration was based on the 2006 poverty estimates and the data from the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP).

The second phase of the survey involved conducting an interview with the households to collect information about their household composition, education, and housing conditions. The data collected from the HAF were then used to estimate their per capita income.

The income estimates were then compared with the official poverty rates in each province to identify the households that are living below the poverty line.

7. What is Proxy Means Test (PMT)?

The proxy means test is a statistical model that measures the welfare level of a family based on the verifiable and observable proxy indicators of its income. It also takes into account various non-income indicators such as access to electricity and water, and ownership of certain assets.

8. Why does the DSWD need to update or enhance the model used to identify the poor?

Situations can change in a couple of years. This means that the NHTO needs to consider the changes in the way it identifies the poor. When new census data or surveys are released, the agency needs to make sure that the criteria used to identify these households are still valid.

After conducting a review of the model, the agency needs to make sure that it is still valid. This process should be carried out periodically to update the Listahanan database. According to the NHTO, more detailed information about a family’s income is needed to improve the identification of the poor.


As part of its commitment to serving the poorest in the country, NHTO seeks to identify the poor households and make sure that they are included in its programs. One of the ways it does this is by making use of census data and surveys to determine which households have an income below a certain threshold. The agency needs to periodically review these lists to ensure they are still valid and up-to-date.

And while this system is conducted by the agency in its own terms and with its own methods, it is important to understand how the list is put together and what methods are used. This way, we can be assured that only those who deserve to be included on the list are there, that no one is mistakenly left off, and that services are administered fairly and equitably.

We hope that you’ve gained important information from this article, and that you feel more informed about the process of the DSWD in coming up with the Listahanan. If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share this article with them. We’d like to spread the word about how important it is for our country to have a comprehensive list of its marginalized citizens and an efficient and fair method for updating this list.

DISCLAIMER: This post is only for information purposes and does not constitute legal advice. You may contact the nearest DSWD field office for advice if you have specific questions about your particular case.