The Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Listahanan said Friday that if your relationship status is “It’s complicated”, you have nothing to worry about because 5,167 individuals in the MIMAROPA listed theirs as “Unknown”.
Jason Eco Oliverio, information officer for Listahanan of the DSWD Field Office MIMAROPA, said 452 of the total figure are residents of Puerto Princesa City.
“Ayon sa opisyal na talaan ng DSWD Listahanan, umaabot sa 5,167 indibidwal sa buong MIMAROPA ang may status na ‘unknown’ na nagbabadyang ‘it’s a complicated relationship,'” he said.
Unknown refers to those household respondents who refuse to disclose their particular marital status.
Oliverio said this is the result of a 2015 household assessment or house-to-house interview that Listahanan enumerators conducted when respondents were asked about their civil or marital status.
The result was included in DSWD Listahanan’s December 2016 database which was made available recently.
Based on Listahanan’s observation, he said “unknown’ was indicated as the marital status of 2,391 males and 2,776 females in the MIMAROPA provinces.
“Option kasi ng marital status sa form that they need to fill up ay single, married, separated, widow, and unknown. Kapag di sila puwede sa naunang apat, ang tina-tag nila ay ‘yong No. 5 choice na ‘unknown’,” he said.
The municipality of Bulalacao in Oriental Mindoro, he said, listed the most number of individuals with “unknown” relationship status at 995, followed by Puerto Princesa City with 452, and Sta. Cruz town in Occidental Mindoro with 439.
“Wala naman tayong divorce sa Pilipinas so hindi siya option. Wala din ‘yong annuled, ang meron lang separated, so kung hindi pasok ang relationship status nila sa ano man na naka-indicate, doon nila i-i-identify sa unknown talaga,” he explained.
He said it appears that this is a dilemma that many residents in MIMAROPA are now facing because they cannot put a definition or label in their relationship statuses.
Oliverio said one concern they have identified is that an individual whose civil status is “unknown” may experience conflict in receiving government support for the poor.
“Yong isang concern na nakikita natin dyan sa ‘unknown’ ay kapag ang household ay lumabas na mahirap since covered po sila ng PhilHealth. Maaring magkaroon ng conflict doon sa bahagi ng program level implementation kung di po sila masasabing married o kung ano talaga ‘yong kanilang specific at totoong marital status,” he pointed out.
The Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) “identifies who and where the poor people are in the country.”
It is a system that provides to national government agencies and other social protection stakeholders the database for poor Filipino families which they can use as their reference in identifying social protection program beneficiaries.