Frequently Asked Questions

The Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) is an organized process of data collection and processing at the local level and of integration of data in local planning, program implementation and impact monitoring. It is a system that promotes evidence-based policymaking and program implementation while empowering communities to participate in the process. It was developed in the early 1990s under the Micro Impacts of Macroeconomic Adjustment Policies (MIMAP) Project-Philippines to provide policymakers and program implementers with a good information base for tracking the impacts of macroeconomic reforms and various policy shocks. Further development of the CBMS methodology, instruments and training modules is being spearheaded or implemented by the CBMS International Network Coordinating Team (INCT).
Standard poverty monitoring systems in the Philippines generally rely on surveys such as income-expenditure surveys, health surveys, censuses, etc. However these national censuses and representative surveys:
  • Are too costly to be replicated frequently;
  • Are conducted at different time periods making it impossible to get a comprehensive profile of the different socio-demographic groups of interest at a specific point in time; and
  • Have sampling designs that do not usually correspond to the geographical disaggregation needed by local governments.
In addition, the implementation of decentralization policy, which devolves the delivery of basic services to local governments, creates greater demand for data at the local level. CBMS seeks to address the existing data gaps at the local level for diagnosing extent of poverty at the local level in determining the causes of poverty, formulating appropriate policies and program, identifying eligible beneficiaries and assessing impact of policies and programs. It also supports the decentralization process by capacitating LGUs to collect, analyze and use data in local planning and program implementation.?
The CBMS has several features that enhance the capacity of local governments in detecting and reducing poverty: (a) LGU-based while promoting community participation; (b) taps existing LGU personnel and community volunteers as monitors; (c) has a core set of indicators; (d) involves complete enumeration of all households; and (e) establish databanks at all geopolitical levels.?
Depending on the CBMS track that the local government unit will choose, a number of activities (as seen in the charts below) need to be carried out. The CBMS instruments and modules on data collection, data processing for generation of standard indicators, tables and digitized poverty maps, and use of CBMS data for preparation of socioeconomic profiles and development plans are being provided for free by the CBMS INCT. Technical assistance on the implementation and use of these CBMS tools are also being provided for free to LGUs by trained CBMS accredited trainers from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the CBMS INCT.
Computerized processing system software, such as the CBMS Scan,
CBMS Encoding System, StatSim and CBMS-QGIS, are also being
provided for free to partner LGUs.
The CBMS International Network Coordinating Team has partnered with a number
of agencies to scale up the implementation of the CBMS.
  • Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) – lead agency in providing capacity building support to LGUs on the implementation and use of CBMS for various thematic concerns e.g., grassroots participatory budgeting, comprehensive development planning, disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation, gender and development, etc. The DILG, together with the CBMS Network and National Anti-Poverty Commission, maintains the national repository of CBMS data which is used for policymaking and program implementation.
  • National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) – lead advocate for evidence-based policy formulation and budget allocation through generation of CBMS data. With NEDA and the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) support, the CBMS International Network Coordinating Team in collaboration with selected local government units, was able to formulate local status reports on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) using CBMS data.
  • National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) – spearheads the use of CBMS data in the preparation of local poverty reduction action plans (LPRAP). It has also been using the national repository of CBMS data in its oversight function over poverty reduction programs by national and local governments.
  • Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) – advocate for using the CBMS in improving migration policies and linking them to local development. The CFO’s Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino Program uses the CBMS in guiding overseas donor organizations and individuals in targeting their donations for greater impact.
  • Union of Local Authorities in the Philippines/League of Provinces of the Philippines/League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) – lead advocates of the CBMS in the provinces, cities and municipalities.
  • Academe – the De La Salle Philippines is using CBMS for its GIS learning and community mission programs. Meanwhile, the Xavier University collaborated with selected local government units in Misamis Oriental in the implementation of CBMS.
  • Development Partners – IDRC-Canada and UK DFID have been supporting the development and enhancement of the CBMS. Other development organizations such as UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNIFEM, GIZ, AECID, and World Bank, have supported the implementation of CBMS.?
The CBMS International Network Coordinating Team and its partners provide free technical assistance to local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines in the implementation and full-scale institutionalization of CBMS.?
The CBMS Accelerated Poverty Profiling (APP) entails the organized, systematic and efficient combined use of latest information and communication technology tools and the standard CBMS instruments for data collection (CBMS Scan and CBMS Portal), processing (StatSim), poverty mapping (QGIS) and data management instruments. It was built to fast-track the generation of CBMS results in order to serve as timely inputs in local development planning and budgeting. It uses both web technology and mobile devices to collect household and community data. The collected data are then transmitted to the CBMS web portal that serves both as the data repository and as a
hub for managing user accounts and workgroups. By integrating household and global positioning system (GPS) data capture and data entry, the CBMS APP is expected to enhance data collection procedure and data quality.
Although the CBMS can generate a wide range of LGU-specific indicators, at the very minimum there are 14 core indicators that are being measured to determine the welfare status of the population. These indicators capture the multidimensional aspects of poverty and have been confined to output and outcome indicators. Other information that can also be generated from the CBMS are the following: migration, overseas remittances, community/political participation, access to programs, MDG indicators, and vulnerability indicators of impacts of climate change and disaster risks, among others. All household level data from the CBMS can be disaggregated by population subgroups (e.g., ethnicity, income class, etc.) and by geopolitical level (e.g., purok, barangay, municipality/city, province). Moreover, all individual level data can be disaggregated by sex.
While CBMS was initially designed for poverty monitoring, its use has expanded particularly in areas of improving local governance, program design and implementation, and impact-monitoring. Specifically, CBMS can:
  • Build the capacities of LGUs and communities - CBMS can be used to further nourish if not build the capacities of local government units as well as members of communities in addressing the needs of their respective localities by maximizing the use of their existing resources.
  • Facilitate resource allocation - One the most common dilemmas among local chief executives is how to efficiently and effectively use and manage the meager financial resources of the local government unit given the many competing projects and programs that need to be delivered in their localities. CBMS tries to address this issue by providing the necessary information that would reveal to decisionmakers an up-to-date development situation of communities in terms of core areas of welfare.
  • Enrich existing databases - CBMS can complement existing databases by providing a regular source of information on socioeconomic attributes of communities to further enrich the contents and usefulness of existing databases. A number of local government units were able to get funding support from international organizations in the past for setting up databanks containing information on children, environment and the like. CBMS can help enrich these databases by providing a complete set of household, barangay, municipal/city and provincial level information.
  • Serve as inputs for preparation of development profiles - CBMS data also provide vital baseline information for the preparation of barangay, municipal/city, and provincial socioeconomic profiles, annual investment plans, local disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation plans, land use plans, infrastructure project proposals, and other related development reports.
  • Aid the design, targeting and impact monitoring of social services and development programs - CBMS provides disaggregated information that reveal the community’s needs based on the CBMS household census and corresponding explanations for such deficiencies as gathered during the validation forum and supplemented by information gathered from the barangay profile questionnaire.
  • Serve as inputs in poverty mapping - CBMS, through poverty and hazard mapping, aids in identifying the location of municipalities, cities, barangays and even households which are in dire need of basic services. It has also been found that the local policymakers and the communities’ understanding of the poverty situation in their localities was greatly facilitated by the use of maps.
  • Can be used as a tool in localizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - CBMS can be used as a tool in monitoring the MDGs at the local level. Through CBMS, indicators of the MDGs can be generated providing LGUs with critical information needed in the attainment of the MDGs.?

As of October 8, 2014, 73 provinces, 32 of which are province-wide, 862 municipalities and 69 cities, covering a total of 23,276 barangays have already adopted the CBMS and are at varying stages in implementing the system. A total of 115 cities and municipalities are currently implementing the CBMS APP. The costs of implementation have been borne largely by the local government units, indicating that they see the usefulness of the system. This bodes well for the sustainability of the system. In some cases, NGOs, donor agencies and other stakeholders have contributed to the implementation.

The National Data Repository houses all the CBMS data collected by local government units. Intended to be used for policymaking and program implementation, the repository is being maintained by the CBMS International Network Coordinating Team, the DILG and the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC).
Memorandum circulars and policy issuances have been prepared by key
national government agencies supporting the use of CBMS:
  • DILG Memorandum Circular 2001-105 - Issued in August 2001, the circular enjoins all local chief executives to undertake local programs on poverty reduction and economic transformation and emphasized the need to designate Local Poverty Reduction Action Officers (LPRAOs) and to formulate a Local Poverty Reduction Action Plan (LPRAP).
  • NAPC En Banc Resolution No. 7 - Issued in March 2003, the resolution directs LGUs to adopt the 13 core local poverty indicators as the minimum set of community-based information for poverty diagnosis and planning at the local levels and integrate such information in their local poverty monitoring system and local level action plans and program.
  • DILG Memorandum Circular 2003-92 - Issued in April 2003, it provides policy guidelines for the adoption of the 13 core local poverty indicators for planning. The guidelines shall aid the LGUs in assessing and understanding poverty and its dimensions at the barangays, municipalities, cities and provinces with the end view of formulating an LPRAP and implementing the plans and programs to reduce poverty.
  • DILG Memorandum Circular 2004-152 - Issued in November 2004, the circular encourages LGUs to intensify efforts in implementing programs, projects and activities towards the achievement of the MDGs.
  • National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) Resolution No. 6, Series of 2005 - Issued in January 24, 2005, the resolution recognizes and enjoins support to the community-based monitoring system as a tool to strengthen the statistical system at the local level. It resolved further that the NSCB Technical Staff should initiate and coordinate an advocacy program for the adoption of the CBMS by the LGUs, through the RSCCs, the technical arm of the NSCB Executive Board in the regions.
  • League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Memorandum Circular 027-2006-B - Issued in July 2006, the circular enjoins municipalities to adopt/ sustain the adoption of CBMS as tool for local poverty diagnosis and institutionalize it as part of the system of local governance.
  • Social Development Committee (SDC) Resolution No. 3, Series of 2006 - Issued on July 19, 2006, the resolution recognizes the CBMS as a viable and cost efficient system that can be used to generate the Core Local Poverty Indicators (CLPIs) and ensure uniformity and standardization of CLPI databases of all LGUs. It further enjoined the NAPC, DILG, other government agencies and LGUs to coordinate with the CBMS International Network Coordinating Team towards the fast-tracking and full implementation of the CBMS.
  • DBM-DILG-DSWD-NAPC Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1, Series of 2012 - Issued on March 8, 2012, the joint memorandum circular identifies the collection of relevant economic and social data, such as those that can be obtained from CBMS, as one of the main components in empowering poor LGUs and in the bottom-up planning and budgeting approach.
  • DILG Memorandum Circular 2012-73 - Issued on April 17, 2012, the circular provides that the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund can be utilized for disaster prevention and mitigation projects including the implementation of a CBMS with CCA/DRRM indicators.
  • DILG Memorandum Circular 2012-142 - Issued on August 10, 2012, the circular enjoins all local chief executives to utilize the CBMS in planning and project development. It also recommends for the adoption of CBMS to coincide with the synchronized local planning and budgeting calendar and with the bottom up planning and budgeting preparation calendar.
  • DBM-DILG-DSWD-NAPC Joint Memorandum Circular No. 5, Series of 2014 - Issued on October 1, 2014, the circular reiterates that one of the key roles that the local chief executive plays in the grassroots participatory budgeting process is making available information and data sets, such as those that can be generated from the CBMS, for poverty situation analysis.?