The National Household Targeting Unit (NHTU) will officially conclude the conduct of Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) validation in the Province of Sulu on or before Friday.  “We expect to finish on June 8 with our validation activity in the remaining municipalities of Sulu,” said Ben Nasser B. Isnain, Regional Field Coordinator of NHTU-BaSulTa.

The BaSulTa Region with three island provinces has a total target of approximately 141,000 poor households for validation. Sulu has the biggest target at 96,063 households, followed by Basilan (27,123) and Tawi-Tawi (18,288) respectively. “We started last April 15 in Tawi-Tawi and April 17 in Basilan. Both provinces were able to complete the validation last May 15, while the Province of Sulu began its validation last May 5,” added Isnain.

Moreover, a total of 471 validators and 42 administrative aides were deployed in the said provinces. Based on the partial report dated June 1, 2018, there were 25,773 and 17,082 households validated in Basilan and Tawi-Tawi respectively, while 68,258 were validated in Sulu. On the contrary, 982 households were not validated excluding those from the latter.

According to Isnain, some of the target households had already migrated to other places such as Malaysia, neighboring provinces, municipalities, and even cities due to “financial and economic reasons.” Furthermore, he also noted that others were displaced or forced to transfer because of the peace and order situation and other similar concerns.

During the whole duration of the activity, the RFC mentioned that they “…encountered a series of problems such as the presence of Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA), unpredictable weather conditions, no regular transportation, and pre and post-election tensions, among others.”

Right after all forms are encoded, a final list will be recommended to the Central Office. “By following the process flow of the validation, a final list will be recommended afterwards to the UCT National Program Management Office (UCT-NPMO) who shall identify the potential beneficiaries of UCT Program,” ended Isnain.

The payout for 2018 is expected to happen on the 3rd quarter of the year after the Data Collection and Analysis Phase.

Following the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, to reduce the impact of increase in prices of products affected by the tax reform, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is mandated to provide social mitigating measures to protect the poor and vulnerable who will not benefit from the lower income taxes but accordingly will be adversely affected by the rising prices. The UCT Program is one of those identified mitigating measures. Meanwhile, the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) shall determine the remaining 2.8 million potential beneficiaries (out of 10 million) by conducting a validation activity to ensure that only the poorest of the poor will be part of the program. ###