Representatives of the local government units of Arakan and Kidapawan City visited Tacurong City to learn strategies on the conduct of the tablet-based Community-based Monitoring System-Accelerated Poverty Profiling or CBMS-APP, 5 November 2015.

LGU-Tacurong is the first implementer of tablet-based CBMS-APP in Region XII. Household survey in Tacurong was conducted on November 2014 to March 2015 with 24 enumerators equipped with Android tablets that allow them to encode and store data directly to an online database.

Innovations & best practices

During the benchmarking activity, Tacurong CBMS Technical Working Group and Mayor Lina O. Montilla stressed the role of the barangay in the success of the project.

Since Tacurong’s CBMS-APP project is implemented mainly to supply accurate data for disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM), the LGU earmarked P1 Million pesos for the project from its DRRM Fund. Each of the 20 barangays also allocated a portion of its barangay DRRM Fund for the meals and snacks of the survey team.

Barangay officials and health workers also served as guides and key informants during the household survey. “Malaki ang role ng barangay dahil mas kilala nila ang mga residente nila; alam nila ang lahat ng sulok kung saan may households,” said Elmer Felongco, Tacurong CBMS Project Coordinator.

LGU vehicles were also used to reach the communities. The City Health Office was also tapped to give enumerators free vitamins.

These interventions are important in promoting the welfare of the enumerators. Each enumerator was paid P25 for every household that he/she had surveyed. “Maliit ang sahod pero we make them feel important because what they are doing is really important for the development of the communities,” said Alberto P. Sero Jr., Tacurong DILG Officer.

Enumerators had undergone a rigid screening process. Those who were hired and trained are all computer literate, with experience in conducting surveys, and are not more than 40 years of age. “Using gadgets such as tablets can cause eye stress so preferred to hire those who have clear vision,” said Alberto P. Sero Jr., Tacurong DILG Officer.

Another crucial factor cited by the Tacurong TWG is monitoring. To closely monitor the progress of the survey, Tacurong CBMS-APP Team conducted the survey one barangay at a time. “Hindi namin pinagsabay-sabay ang lahat ng barangay dahil gusto namin na closely monitored ang survey sa bawat barangay,” Felongco stated.

Editors and supervisors, including project coordinators, were deployed in the field with the enumerators. “Sama-sama kami kaya nakikita namin kaagad, first-hand ang progress at kahit ang loopholes. Nakikita naming kung valid ang concerns and if properly filled up ba ang e-questionnaire,” added Felongco.

The LGU, on the other hand, assigned regular and contractual employees to serve as editors. This is to ensure that data collected from households will still be properly processed and organized even after the conduct of the actual survey.

LGU-Tacurong had set a pilot area before the formal implementation of CBMS-APP. Pilot-testing, according to the TWG, helped them identify uncertainties that may arise during full implementation.

Goodwill

“We are willing to share our experience, to our LGU counterparts..everything from the glitches and to the feats. Buliganay guid kita. Kung may nakita sila nga hindi maayo, it will serve as their guide to make better strategies,” said Mayor Montilla.

Focal persons of CBMS-APP of LGU-Arakan and LGU-Kidapawan showed enthusiasm on the strategies that they have learned. They even invited the Tacurong CBMS-APP Team to the training of their enumerators and even in the actual conduct of survey to give inputs.

“Nakita ko sa sharing na crucial ang role ng enumerators, editors, and supervisors. Kailangan valid ang data para walang ma-left behind kapag may projects in the future,” said Julia Geveso, Municipal Government Operations Officer of Arakan, North Cotabato.

JLBillano-Fabreag