Listahanan in the Eyes of Listahanan Trainers

What does it take to train a large number of people and account for every one of them? What does it take to affect a huge number of people in a positive way and eliminate their bad habits to the absolute minimum to be able to bring the very best in them? What does it take to wake up early in the morning and sleep late at night and keep an energetic spirit going throughout the day? What does it really take to be a Listahanan trainer? Let us get to find out.

Defying Challenges

Some people would say that they do it for the challenge. Some people shy away from challenges either because they are too afraid to try or the challenge is too hard to overcome. But some relish difficulties and problems. They want to defy conventional wisdom especially when the odds are against their favor because they know that when they push through and succeed, the norms will forever be shattered and new possibilities will be opened.

Mr. Matthias James Ryan Tangonan, DSWD Field Office 2’s Regional Information Technology Officer (RITO) said that mingling with his colleagues was the biggest challenge that he had to overcome, but with the help of the people closest to him, he was able to build lasting friendships.

“To build trust with my colleagues was the biggest challenge due to the reason that I was a bit of a loner for the past few years. My mentor, the late Sir Phil, taught me how to get along with people and trained me to be open to ideas. This training molded me to become what I am today: a better man,” Mr. Tangonan said of his struggles and eventual triumph towards building connections.

Testing the Untested Waters

Some people would say that they do it because it is something rare and different. People don’t usually get the chance to help such a large number of needy people in such a short period of time and when the opportunity comes, some people accept the responsibilities that it demand because these moments are few and far between. This may only come once, we never know. The sheer unpredictability of the event makes accepting the responsibility too hard to decline.

Christopher Soriano, DSWD Field Office 2’s Regional Field Supervisor, is one of those who consider the experience of being part of the Listahanan project as something different.

“Being part of Listahanan is a bittersweet experience. Hundreds or even thousands of hours of sleep were given up just to train and deploy field staff to ensure that no families are left behind. From time to time, our bodies would grow weak but our hearts and minds would push us to remember the purpose of what we are doing. Being a part of Listahanan is to be a part of something bigger than ourselves,” Mr. Soriano said.

Supporting the Underprivileged

Some people would say that they do it to foster change. We have been seeing poor people from all walks of life as long as we can remember and it is time to change it. It is time for a revolution. Assistance should be given in all forms to change their situation.

One person who wants to cultivate change in the lives of the poor is Mr. Reymund Ferrer, DSWD Region 2’s Regional Associate Statistician.

“Ako, isa lang ang motivation ko, makatulong, lalo na sa mga mahihirap para magkaroon sila ng mukha dahil siguro naman panahon na para mabawasan ang paghihirap nila,” Mr. Ferrer said when asked what identifying the poor would mean in advocating change in their lives.

One for the Family

Some people would say that they do it for their loved ones. They want to work to be able to help the people that they care about. Work is really fulfilling when your motivation is your family and for civil service as well. Work is easier to do and you feel less stressed when you have a family behind you, ready to support you all the time and willing to be there for you when you need them.

Ms. Julie Pearl Mendoza, an Administrative Assistant III for DSWD Region 2’s Cash Section but also works as a documenter for Listahanan said that she goes through the hardship of identifying where the poor are because of her family and to be able to help other people as well.

“Gusto kong tulungan pamilya ko at para na rin makatulong sa mga mahihirap,” Ms. Mendoza said.

Rewarding Effort

Some people would say that they do it because it is fulfilling. How many of you feel a genuine sense of happiness when you help someone? How many of you feel fulfilled when you do civil work for the benefit of others? Doing work for the benefit of other people is more than gratifying. A person is more defined by the work that he does to help other people than the work that he does for his own cause. What people will remember more often than not is what you did for them, not what you did for yourself.

Mr. Andres Abong, DSWD Field Office 2’s Computer Management Technologist 1 of the Regional Information and Communication Technology Management Unit or RICTMU said that it is quite satisfying to be able to land a hand to help train field staff for Listahanan.

“Masaya ako na naging part ako ng assessment kahit hindi talaga ako part ng Listahanan, yung makatulong ka sa kanila para matuto sila,” Mr. Abong said of what he feels about being a part of the training team in preparing the field staff for the assessment.

We in DSWD work for different motivations but the end result is the same. We all work to be able to help people, especially the poor. Listahanan is in the midst of the busiest and certainly hardest part of its program, identifying who needs assistance the most. The staff involved in the project certainly has motivations, sometimes the same, sometimes it varies. But we all work to help people, to identify them, for them to have a representation, for them to have a face. It’s not that the staff is impervious to fatigue and stress, they are, but the goal is much larger than the sum of all the pains that they experience on a daily basis just to get it done. The fulfillment of achieving the goal after months of hardship is what motivates each and every one who is working for Listahanan. The project is in the stretch run and there is no turning back. It almost feels like there’s no tomorrow. Will the staff achieve their goal? Will they be able to pull off the daunting task in front of them? We are about to find out. ### Written by Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, Listahanan Information Officer

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NHTSPR/ Listahanan FO2 Set to Capacitate Field Staff

It was a triumph as the Training for Field Staff for the 2nd Round of Family Assessment in Field Office 2 exemplified the excellence of the human spirit as the more than one thousand trainees from the 5 provinces of the Region pushed their way to meet the requirements to be qualified as Area Coordinators (AC), Area Supervisors (AS) and Enumerators (EN).

The training included discussions on what the Listahanan is all about, field simulation to get the participants ready for their upcoming field assignments and speeches from Regional Director for Region 2, Director Remia Tapispisan, Assistant Regional Director for Administration and Deputy Regional Project Manager for Listahanan, Ms. Delia S. Sto Tomas and Acting Policy and Plans Division Chief and Regional Focal Person, Ms. Pasencia T. Ancheta to get the trainees’ collective juices flowing.

The set of trainings were conducted for 3 months from April to June, 2015 in different provinces of the region.

The training conducted was to prepare the field staff in their deployment of assignment. It was emphasized that when they conduct assessment to the families, the enumerators should be honest and no one will be left behind in the assessment of families in the rural areas while in the urban areas, the enumerators will be using tablets as a means of conducting assessment to the identified list of families. They were reminded that the assessment of families will be conducted in the house in order to have a better assessment.

The field simulation was one of the highlights of the trainings as participants braved the sweltering heat of the sun in order to have a first hand experience of the field atmosphere that they would get into once they are done with the training. The field simulation was needed to really get to know who among the trainees were ready for the actual assessment.

With the arduous set of activities and discussions that the trainees went through, DSWD Field Office 2 is confident that they will be able to gather the necessary information from the households all throughout Region 2 with the aim of knowing the poorest of the poor that will be part of the database of Listahanan. ### By CHESTER CARLO M. TRINIDAD, Listahanan Information Officer

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Remember when you get hurt if you walk barefoot on rocks, sand or on pavements under the sun? Remember when you see ordinary people walking without slippers like its normal? Or when you see farmers trudge their feet on mud grounds before sunlight until after sunset without ever complaining? You are probably too busy to wonder how they do it but we are all witnesses. We see them everyday and we have grown accustomed with it.

The Barefoot Lady

It broke my heart to see an old lady in her mid seventies wearing nothing on her feet during one of the field simulations that DSWD Region 2 did in preparation for the 2nd Round of Family Assessment or Listahanan. You can see her labor as she walked on uneven ground. Every step was calculated, slow, arduous and unbearably painful. Why does she need to experience this? If only I was rich that time. If only I was powerful enough to change her condition.

When she finally reached the doorsteps, her radiant smile greeted us. It was AMAZING. How can she probably smile with all the things she is going through? You know what I realized? She saw HOPE in us. Perhaps finally, after decades of painful struggles help is coming her way. It puts pressure on people working for DSWD Region 2 to deliver. But at the same time it is a gratifying type of pressure because if you succeed, you know that the needy will finally get assistance. They will finally get the help that they deserve.

Hope Restored

We can only do so much as individuals. We help someone in need and then you turn to another direction and a lot more beg for help. You turn to your resources and realize that it is not enough to help all of them.

We need a beacon of hope, something that the needy people from Region 2 can look up to. That’s where DSWD Region 2’s version of Listahanan comes in. The Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are in the country. The system makes available to national government agencies and other social protection stakeholders a database of poor families as reference in identifying potential beneficiaries of social protection programs.

Now, all of a sudden, there is a reason to hope again. Just when the poor people of the region think that they are down and out, they now have a chance to be lifted up again.

With the financial assistance that will be distributed after Listahanan identifies the poorest of the poor, they can have the leeway to buy basic necessities. No need to take on the beating by walking, running and working barefoot anymore. They can now have a remedy for their aching feet.

Saving the World, One Feet at a Time

It all starts with their feet. It takes a pair of slippers for them to stand again. It takes a pair of slippers so they can learn to walk again. It takes a pair of slippers so they can start running again. It takes a pair of slippers for them to start chasing their dreams again.

Jesus said that when we lend, we should not lend to people who can pay you back because what good would that bring? When they pay for what you gave, doesn’t that cancel the good act that you did? Jesus said even tax collectors who are considered sinners lend to the poor. He teaches us that we should lend to people who cannot pay us back because that is where real goodness comes in. We should help without expecting something in return. Listahanan works that way. It pinpoints the poor people that will benefit from the financial aid without expecting anything in return. It helps because it can and it has the resources to assist poor people.

Dream all you can. It is free and it is something that no one can take away from you. Believe that social workers are doing their best to identify where the poor are. It is never too late to foster change.

Listahanan will usher the help they need, one foot at a time. A little less foot scarred by the earth, a little less reason to feel hopeless. What difference does a pair of ‘tsinelas’ make? A LOT it seems. ### By CHESTER CARLO M. TRINIDAD, Listahanan Information Officer

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Golden Opportunity

Time is fleeting. You only get limited chances to succeed; sometimes you get none at all. Chances to succeed are few and far between. This is the unspoken reality where we live at the moment. Poverty creeps like a leper in the night. You have to be one or two steps ahead so as not to get overwhelmed with the problem of limited chances of work.

Sometimes people work long hours and only get meager salaries despite their hard work. People may feel cheated because they don’t get any fruit for their labor.

DSWD Region 2’s Training for Enumerators for its Listahanan program is one way of alleviating the lack of work opportunities for our fellow Region 2 citizens. The department’s advocacy works in two ways, help the poor people in the region that badly need assistance while at the same time giving opportunity for job seekers to land a job where they get to earn for themselves and for their family as well.

Hard Work, Harder Pay

If a person has a job, most of the time it is meager and it is only enough for a day’s meal, sometimes even less. You have to work hard in order to earn a dime. When asked what job she had before landing an enumerator position in DSWD, Mrs. Sandra P. Lunag, an enumerator trainee from Nueva Vizcaya, said that she never had any decent job aside from selling rice cakes on the streets. “Wala sir, bale nagtitinda lang ng kakanin, ganun,” Mrs. Lunag said.

“Salamat at meron niyan (Listahanan) para tuwing suweldo may pandagdag puhunan,” Mrs. Lunag added about the potential help that working for Listahanan could have on her.

With the opportunity that DSWD Region 2 is now giving them, the participants say that it will be of great help as they will now have a chance to earn more. Aside from that, they will no longer be just a face in a crowd. They will now be the face in the crowd.

Mrs. Catherine Soberano, an Area Supervisor trainee from Nueva Vizcaya said that the disparity of salary is really big when comparing the salary that she will receive from being an enumerator for DSWD from the salary that she received from her numerous sidelines before. “Ako po sir… iba’t-ibang sidelines… kung ikukumpara malaki po, okay siya,” Mrs. Soberano said.

Fleeting Chance

The trainees also understand that opportunities like this are hard to come by and that DSWD is one, if not the only, department that can give them a great working opportunity. “Wala naman po kasing nag-oopen (job openings), DSWD lang,” Mrs. Soberano said.

A great man once said, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” It is the department’s mandate to uplift the morale of the Filipino people, especially the poor. It was given years ago the ability to use its given resources to create programs and opportunities with the aim of helping the needy and the less fortunate.

The department understands that it can never help everyone in need, but it can definitely help someone. One hand that it saves is one less needy person. By opening the door for the thousands of job-seeking people to have a well-paying job, it can foster change. It can inspire people to keep pushing until they get the job that they aspire. ### By CHESTER CARLO M. TRINIDAD, Listahanan Information Officer

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Hope Springs from Trust

There are only three things that you can never take back: a stone when it has been thrown, words when they have been said and time when it has passed. Being careful is crucial in order to not commit the mistake of saying or doing something without properly weighing your options.

Sometimes our perception of someone or something can get muddled because of what we hear or what we see. Sometimes we no longer resort to giving the benefit of the doubt because of premature judgment.

The Challenge

It is common for people to be adversarial towards the government and its departments because of unmet demands and, justified or not, their general lack of trust and dissatisfaction of the government’s overall performance. This has been happening for quite some time now and history suggests that it is something difficult to eradicate. It should be the crusade of the government to win the trust of the people again.

DSWD is not without its liabilities. It had and not because of incompetency but more because of things that are out of its control. As they say, no matter what you do, you cannot control what people say or think about you. You can only control your actions and make sure that you do it well.

The Solution

The Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are in the country. The system makes available to national government agencies and other social protection stakeholders a database of poor families as reference in identifying potential beneficiaries of social protection programs.

It starts with the people and ends with the people. The department’s mandate is to aid the people in need. As its name suggests, it is for the peoples’ social welfare and development. It ends with the people too because after the department does its work, it is the people who will have to give a sign of approval or an indication of discontent. The first and foremost loyalty of the department is to the people.

You have to play with the cards that you’re dealt with. The department cannot choose the people that they’ll help or govern which makes the implementation of programs harder than it should be. But through all the countless struggles that it had to endure, the Department is standing firm, stronger than ever because it has experienced everything it could handle. What doesn’t destroy you makes you tougher as they say.

Changing Perception

You try to talk to common people and ask them about one word that they can associate with DSWD and they’ll come up with words like help, aid, assistance, support and the like. You can see people slowly embracing and acknowledging what DSWD Region 2 has accomplished for the mass and the promise of continuous assistance that the department offers for the future. They are again giving their trust with full optimism that this time is different from years before.

Mr. Dexter Addatu, an enumerator for Listahanan in Tuguegarao City said that he associates DSWD Field Office 2 with help or assistance to the poor people of the region. “Gobyernong (department) tumutulong sa mga mahihirap at nangangailangan,” Mr. Addatu said.

He also thought that DSWD Field Office 02 is definitely doing its part in identifying the poor people that needs assistance through Listahanan. He said that if ever he gets the opportunity to be a part of DSWD for more than just the duration of the assessment, he will definitely take it.

Ms. Jovelyn R. Perucho, an encoder for Listahanan said she believes that the agency is doing its function of helping the people, especially the poor. She also said that she will relish the opportunity, if given, to be a part of DSWD Field Office 2 so she can get some needed experience and to be able to share her insights as well. “Yes, to learn more and share my knowledge,” Ms. Perucho said when asked why she would be open to working in the department full-time.

Change is the Only Thing that’s Constant            

Times are changing and with it the ravages that it bring. On a personal level, time affects people through aging: you slowly start feeling your age, white hair start to appear on your head, you forget things more often than before and you gasp for air after activities that were easy to do just a couple of years ago. You begin to feel weak to the point where eating meals is a struggle. On a macro level, time affects communities, rural and urban through industrialization or urban and rural decay. We have polluted our world in the last hundred years even more than the total pollutants that were created in the first few billion years that our world has existed. On a positive note, time has brought about advancement in technology such as eco-friendly cars, solar power, and medical breakthroughs including cures for diseases that previously didn’t have treatment.

DSWD Region 2 has gone through changes with time albeit a positive one. Through the hard work of its employees it now reaches more people in the region than in previous years. Programs that target the needy is up and running. More people are getting assistance and as a result, you see people smiling and cheering again. People are not alone anymore. They believe that DSWD Region 2 through Listahanan will do its best to include them in the list of poor households and soon enough get the assistance that they deserve.

People have waited long to be recognized and be included in the list of the needy and it is about time for them to be a part of it. Listahanan was created for this very purpose and it is with this very purpose that the DSWD staff working behind it gets the inspiration to wake up before the sun rises and work way after the sun comes down to be able to include everyone that need assistance. ### By CHESTER CARLO M. TRINIDAD, Listahanan Information Officer

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