PSA hopes PH to regain top spot in World Bank’s Statistical Capacity Score

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 5 July) – The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) hopes the country will regain the top spot in the World Bank’s Average Statistical Capacity Score among developing member states of the Association of South east Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the implementation of the Philippine Statistical Development Program (PSDP) 2018 to 2023.

The World Bank’s statistical capacity indicator is a “composite score assessing the capacity of a country’s statistical system,” which is based on a diagnostic framework assessing the methodology, data sources, and periodicity and timeliness.

During the PSDP 2018 to 2023 Regional Dissemination Forum at the Apo View Hotel, Assistant National Statistician Candido J. Astrologo Jr. said the country, which used to rank first from 2008 to 2013, placed fourth from 2015 to 2017, falling behind developing ASEAN neighbors such as Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Cambodia came in last.

Astrologo said there have been no significant investments that would support statistical activities in the previous years.

He added that the country’s ranking might have declined as it has yet to rebase the baseline year of the national accounts from year 2000, which is non-compliant to the United Nations’ standards of not more than 10 years, making the data no longer reflective of the economic growth; and the generation of trade price index, which shows progress in the country’s exports over imports.

The six-year PSDP is a P30-billion national strategy for the development of statistics of the country and a mechanism for setting directions, thrusts and priorities of the Philippine Statistical System in the medium term for the generation and dissemination of statistical information for policy and decision-making of the government, private sector and general public.

It also contains priority statistical development programs and activities designed to provide vital information in support to national development planning and international commitments and a tool for integrating and coordination statistical activities.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte will issue an executive order to enjoin the support of the government agencies in the implementation PSDP, after PSA Board approved Resolution 5 in May 2018 for the implementation of the program, Astrologo said.

The statistical data are necessary to keep track of the progress of the government projects and implementation of the appropriate programs under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017 to 2022 and the Regional Development Plan (RDP), Astrologo said.

He said data in the PSDP would be used to monitor the Sustainable Development Goals.

Under PSDP, he said they plan to undertake 900 statistical development programs, of which 596 are high impact activities.

He said the PSDP will include all surveys, censuses, and statistical activities produced not only by the PSA but also by other government agencies from 2018 to 2023.

The goals of the program include enjoining all government agencies, including local government units, to produce adequate, timely, and reliable statistics, and increase the awareness and appreciation of the statistics by the government, private sector, media and state universities and colleges, he said.

In a message read by Davao City First District Councilor Maria Belen S. Acosta, Mayor Sara Duterte said the city recognizes the importance of research and policy-making in good governance and that the statistical data can aid local officials identify the solutions to issues through clear and objective numerical data.

“As public servants, it is our duty to identify the actual needs of our constituents… We craft policies to address the challenges of the society,” she said.

She said the PSDP is a crucial undertaking that serves as the “blueprint that corresponds to National and Regional Developments Plans.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)