Tripartite cmte tackles CBMS concerns

THE City Council committees on social services; on planning, innovation and development; and on finance, budget and appropriations, respectively chaired by Councilors Joyleen Mercedes L. Balaba, Ian Mark Q. Nacaya and Edna M. Dahino, yesterday discussed the completion of the city’s Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS).

This is an offshoot of the special report of Councilor Balaba during the regular session on January 24, 2022.

Ramir M. Balquin of the City Planning and Development Office said the first CBMS survey was conducted in 2018 and ended in 2020. It was managed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in partnership with De La Salle University (DLSU) and the Angelo King Foundation, the holder of the system of the CBMS 1.

The data on population, poverty status and other relevant information gathered from the survey were all transmitted to the portal managed by DLSU, which entered into an agreement with DILG and with the city mayor, Balquin said.

According to the consultants engaged by the city, CBMS 1 is already statistically substantial. This means it is already acceptable as far as usefulness is concerned. In fact, its results were already availed of by several offices of the city government, they cited.

Pursuant to a republic act signed by the President in 2019, the setting up of CBMS was transferred from DILG and assigned to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

With the new requirements set by the PSA, Balquin said the CPDO has identified some issues that may affect the city’s CBMS implementation.

The CPDO, as the process-holder of the CBMS at the local level, said one concern is the budgetary requirement, which is approximately P79 million, as calculated by the PSA. The city only approved P4 million for the purpose, he pointed out.

According to PSA, only fifth and sixth-class cities and municipalities will be supported by PSA in terms of funding for their survey activities in 2022. First to fourth-class cities and municipalities shall have to finance their own.

Because surveyors have to move from house to house, COVID-19-related concerns as experienced during the first CBMS were also considered. It was learned that some, if not almost all responders are reluctant to participate in the activities.

Logistical challenges, inventory of existing ICT equipment, list of supplies and 62 units personal computers, employment of its corresponding number of personnel/workers as well as additional office space were also identified.

The prohibition of some LGU activities under the election ban period also comes as a great challenge for the CPDO, Balquin added.

For his part, Councilor Nacaya said the city may proceed with the activity considering it is already “seasoned” or expert in the undertaking.

“Wala nay question ang this year. Ang ato lang is kanang time table (timeline) wala na ta, out na ta. But with the guidance of the budget officer, kung pwede ma-spread nato kung unsay sequence of activities. I-move or adjust lang nato ang timeline and figures for our consideration,” the councilor manifested.

The matter was referred back to the CPDO particularly on the reconfiguration of manpower and the budgetary allocation required by the PSA.