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70 Percent of Residents in Dagupan Are Indigents?
« on: November 17, 2010, 05:07:49 PM »
The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) here expressed alarm over a report of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) that at least 70 percent of the population in Dagupan City is considered indigents.

The figure given to the SP in last Monday’s session by Leila Natividad, CSWDO officer-in-charge raised some eyebrows if not furor because it would make it appear that the city of some 150,000, which is the trading center of the north, is now teeming with mendicants.

Though Natividad clarified that the 70 percent is a rough estimate, Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez, chair of the city council, said this is quite alarming because it could be assumed that there are now about 105,000 warm bodies in Dagupan who are indigents.

She said though the number of indigents in the list are divided into four categories, the first category of which are those belonging to the poorest of the poor.

The OIC CSWDO classified indigents as those belonging to families whose monthly income is not enough to pay for their needs, like food, shelter and clothing.

Natividad appeared before the SP to appeal for the passage of a resolution that would formalize the composition of the Local Verification Committee (LVC) whose members were already designated by Mayor Benjamin Lim as gleaned from his letter to the SP dated November 11, 2010.

The creation of the LVC was in connection with the implementation of the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction Project (BHTS-PR) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as gleaned from an October 29, 2010 letter to the SP of DSWD Regional Director Leonardo Reinoso.

Natividad was endorsed by Mayor Lim as one of five members of LVC. The others are James Louel Fernandez, project evaluation officer II of the City Planning and Development Office, Lina Tan of the Liwawa Ed Asinan Foundation, a non-government organization; Romualdo Siapno, president of the Dagupan Bangus Jaycees; and Pastor Mario Tomboc, school administrator of the Living Lights Foundation, a faith-based group.

According to the DSWD, the LVC will validate and finalize the list of poor households in every barangay based on a survey conducted by NHTS-PR in 2009. This seeks to enlist other potential households that were not part of the earlier list. - pna

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