CBMS seeks to create database to plug leaks in social protection programs

The national government aims to end leaks in local and national social protection programs through the institutionalization of the Community Monitoring System (CBMS).

At the launch of the CBMS on Monday, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said the lack of granular data has always prevented local politicians from targeting their plans and programs to their constituents.

Therefore, and to address the lack of granular data on where their constituents are, what they need and how much is needed to respond in their respective regions, they will implement a “shotgun” approach when they will provide assistance.

“Ngayon Kasi it really is a shotgun. There are so many leaks with the shotgun approach,” Gatchalian said. “CBMS is really for local governments to use [in their projects].”

Gatchalian said the shotgun approach is allocating funds to specific projects and programs. They often tasked barangay chiefs with distributing the aid to their constituents and hoped that this would later lead to changes in the life of the communities.

With the institutionalization of CBMS under the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Gatchalian said, local government units (LGUs) could already move away from the shotgun approach and rely on CBMS to obtain localized information.

National Statistician Claire Dennis S. Mapa said the CBMS intends to generate granular data, particularly that which will help create the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) as well as monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs).

The CBMS would specifically collect data on household health and nutrition status; type of housing structure; household access to water and sanitation; education; literacy; community involvement; and sources of livelihoods, among other indicators of socio-economic development.

“The information that will be collected will include demographic characteristics and various aspects of household life and living conditions in the country,” Mapa said.

“This is one of the objectives of the CBMS: to know the different realities of each community. These types of information help paint a picture of each community, the type of government interventions needed, and the households and individuals most in need of assistance,” he pointed out.

More than 600 cities and municipalities across the country have signed up to be part of the first CBMS. Mapa said the CBMS, once completed, could already be used by LGUs in creating their local plans and conducting programs.

As a database, the CBMS could be used as the basis even for national programs such as the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program. The existing database for cities and municipalities that are not yet part of the CBMS could however be used.

Earlier, a report by SocialWatch and Oxfam found that Covid-19 social protection programs funded by loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) excluded millions of Filipinos. and small businesses during shutdowns.

The report said the exclusion of three key social protection programs was due to “bureaucracy” and a focus on assisting formal sector participants.

The programs were the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) for workers through the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through Social Security System (SSS) and Ministry of Finance (DOF); and the Social Improvement Program (SAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The results showed that at least 842,014 families received duplicate assistance under the SAP. These families were identified after cross-referencing with databases from the DSWD Emergency Grant Program and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino (4Ps) Program.

Regarding the SBWS, the report revealed that the program was only able to reach 146,000 MSMEs and 3.59 million workers. This meant that the program had barely reached 15% of its target.

The report found that CAMP had turned away almost a million workers by the end of the application period in mid-April 2020. SocialWatch and Oxfam noted that this was a time when workers were struggling with losses daily. of income.

Joel C. Hicks