Using CBMS data to inform localized COVID responses in the Philippines

April 2020 | The Philippines

Local government units are using their existing CBMS databases to identify and target priority beneficiaries of relief programs

The community-based monitoring system (CBMS), implemented through several PEP-supported research projects around the Global South, is designed to generate and monitor household- and individual- level data on an array of welfare dimensions - including income and livelihood, but also health, nutrition, education, housing, accessing to water and sanitation, and security indicators. It also generates data on access to programs, disaster preparedness and other community-specific indicators.

While the methodology has been used by a great number of local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines for several years, in April 2019 the government of the Philippines announced a new law (Republic Act 11315, referred to as the CBMS Act) establishing the use of CBMS in all cities and municipalities (and appropriating funds therefore) as a tool for the formulation and implementation of poverty alleviation programs. As of February 2020, more than half the LGUs in the Philippines had already implemented CBMS. 

In light of the ongoing global COVID-19 crisis impact, LGUs are at the forefront of implementing national policy measures to provide necessary assistance, particularly to the most affected sectors of the population. Many LGUs, with established CBMS databases, were able to use their CBMS data to identify and prioritize beneficiaries while planning and implementing relief programs - see list of examples below. 

The CBMS Network team, based in Manila, is currently providing technical assistance to the LGUs seeking support and guidance in interpreting their CBMS data, to help target specific beneficiaries in their localities.

  • In Davao del Norte, the City Government of Tagum identified through their CBMS data around 28,000 households which qualify as beneficiaries for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP). Among the identified beneficiaries are poor households, senior citizens, PWDs, pregnant women, solo parents, IPs, and workers belonging to the informal sector, all of which were identified using CBMS data. 
  • In the Municipality of Magallanes, Cavite, the LGU used their CBMS data as reference for identifying 5,394 households to be provided with relief packs, hygiene kits, and seedlings.
  • In Tacurong City, the City Government prioritized distribution of relief goods to 8,468 poor families identified using the LGU’s CBMS data.
  • Similarly, the food pack distribution by the City Government of Imus, Cavite, to the poorest of the poor, 4Ps beneficiaries, PWDs, solo parents, and families with total income of P10,000 and below was facilitated by their CBMS data.
  • In the municipality of Orani, Bataan, the LGU was able to distribute relief goods to 8,600 poor households. The LGU prioritized families of persons under monitoring (PUM) and persons under investigation (PUI), tricycle drivers, construction workers, and other daily wage earners identified using CBMS data.
  • On the other hand, the Municipal Government of Apalit in the province of Pampanga was able to identify 19,000 households from their CBMS database for their provision of free rubbing alcohol.
  • In the Province of Oriental Mindoro, the LGU of the Municipality of Naujan was able to identify 23,108 households from the CBMS database of the LGU to receive relief goods while about 5998 families was identified by the Municipality of Gloria as qualified beneficiaries for their social amelioration program.
  • Meanwhile, in the Municipality of Valderrama in Antique Province, the LGU’s available CBMS database is used for identifying indigent families as LGUs are required to provide a list to different national agencies as basis for distribution of financial assistance under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
  • Other LGUs using their CBMS data for covid crisis related program interventions in their communities include the Province of Dinagat Islands, Province of Oriental Mindoro, Province of Zamboanga del Sur, General Santos City, Iligan City, Municipality of Pangantucan, in Bukidnon, Municipality of Naguilian in La Union, Municipality of Noveleta in Cavite, Municipality of Goa, Camarines Sur, Municipality of Banga in South Cotabato, and Tabaco City in Albay among others.
  • Even at the village level, village chiefs were able to use their CBMS data for relief operations. In Barangay 173 of Pasay City in the National Capital Region, village officials were able to provide relief goods and hygiene kits (procured using the barangay’s (village) funds) to all 600 households in the barangay. Meanwhile, a total of 367 household beneficiaries in the same barangay are set to receive relief goods (procured using the city government’s funds).

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