Stat agencies to be merged with onset of new law

Subscribe Now August 01, 2013 at 09:02am

If ever it becomes a law, the proposed Philippine Statistical Act will merged different statistical agencies under one body.

National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) Secretary General Dr. Jose Ramon Albert said the proposed law which has been approved by the Senate and is just waiting for the signature of the President will merge NSCB with the National Statistics Office (NSO), the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics of the Department of Agriculture (DA-BAS) and the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-BLES) under one statistical body- the Philippine Statistics Authority which will be headed by the National Statistician.

The proposed law aims to reorganize the Philippine Statistical System by centralizing in one body the statistics-generating agencies of the government. The body will be attached to the National Economic Development Authority for policy coordination.

"There will only be one who will release official data or official statistics in order to ensure quality statistics." says Gervacio Selda, executive director of the Statistics Research and Training Council (SRTC). under the act the SRTC would be constituted as the Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute (PSRTI) which would conduct an independent review of statistics released by the PSA.

Carmelita Ericta, NSO administrator said under the law the positions of the head of offices of the NSO, NSCB, BAS, BLES will be abolished. She said the PSA can post its staff in government agencies when their expertise is needed.

She also said the law can answer the issues of the agencies being undermanned, of the present 70% of the NSO positions are filled while 50% for the NSCB.

The proposed law which began as House Bill 6229 was certified as urgent by President Benigno Aquino III and was passed by the Senate under the 15th Congress last June 6.

Meanwhile regional statisticians are welcoming the anticipated passage of the law. "We wholeheartedly welcome it." says Jaime Paller, Regional Director of NSO-XI.

It will also address the dual personalities of statisticians working for the line agencies under DA and DOLE who are torn between the mandate of their mother departments and being part of the Philippine Statistical Association.

One of the key essence of the law was to separate data-gathering and data-vetting function from the regular functions of these Departments. This would result in a more accurate and reliable statistical data which contributes to the formulation of policies and programs that addresses the country's social and economic development issues.

The heads of the country's statistical bodies were in Davao City last week as they graced the presentation of the 2012 Economic Performance of the Davao Region, an annual tradition held by the National Economic Development Authority in conjunction with the regional statistics-generating offices. The presentation was held last Thursday (July 25) at the Department of Social Welfare and Development-XI conference hall.


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