Press Release
February 11, 2019

Gatchalian seeks institutionalization of community-based monitoring system vs. poverty

Senator Win Gatchalian is pushing to institutionalize a system that will best equip policymakers and program implementers with reliable and evidence-based information in their fight against poverty in their respective communities.

Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs, recently filed Senate Bill No. 2184 or the "Community-Based Monitoring System Act," which seeks to institutionalize a system that will generate critical data required for more comprehensive poverty analysis and needs prioritization, design of appropriate policies and interventions, targeting of beneficiaries, and monitoring of impacts over time.

The lawmaker said he believes the measure will be of great help in stamping out poverty in the country by formulating and executing programs that are truly responsive to the needs of the people.

"To date, various ways of collecting household-level information at the local level have been implemented and used by policymakers and program implementers in the Philippines, but a community-based monitoring system has not yet been institutionalized. The aim of this system is to reduce wastage by the normal shot-gun approach in poverty alleviation programs," Gatchalian said.

"To effectively wage a successful battle against poverty, it is important for policymakers and program implementers to be equipped with reliable and evidence-based information at the local level that can be used for tracking the impact of macroeconomic reforms and various policy shocks," he added.

In a nutshell, SBN 2184 paves the way for the establishment of Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) in every city and municipal planning office "as an economic and social tool towards the formulation and implementation of poverty alleviation and development programs at the local level."

Each city or municipal planning office shall have a statistician, whose primary function is data collection, preservation, and safekeeping of the data retained at the city or the municipal level.

The bill mandates that LGUs conduct regular and synchronized data collection every three years. They are also enjoined "to collect data at shorter intervals and at their own expense for purposes peculiarly useful to them."

Moreover, the measure paves the way for the creation of a CBMS Council, composed of the Philippines Statistics Authority, Department of Interior and Local Government, and Department of Information and Communications Technology in order to achieve secure and efficient data sharing arrangements between and among concerned municipalities and national government agencies.

A joint Congressional Oversight Committee, composed of fourteen members from the Senate and House of Representatives, will also be created to review the implementation of the Act.

"In so doing, policymakers and program implementers will have a comprehensive picture of the different dimensions of poverty at a particular point in time, and will be able to identify and implement appropriate interventions," Gatchalian said.

"This can also improve local governance, ensure community participation, and promote transparency and evidence-based decision-making," he added.

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