‘STATS FOR ALL’: National Statistics Month returns for 33rd year with physical activities lined up

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

The annual National Statistics Month, which will celebrate its 33rd iteration this October 2022, will line up various activities in physical format in keeping with its aim of raising awareness on statistics and data and their significance to the public.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)-Region 6 and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-Region 6 led a press conference on the celebration in Iloilo City on Wednesday.

Activities lined up by the Regional Statistics Coordinating Committee (RSCC) include an opening ceremony on October 11, a tree-planting activity, and the annual Regional Statistics Quiz for high school students, among others.

The activities above, and other activities will be sponsored by the NEDA-6 and PSA-6, while more activities will be mounted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, West Visayas State University, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Tourism, Land Transportation Office, Commission on High Education, and the University of the Philippines Visayas Statistical Society, among other private and public partners.

NEDA-6 Officer-in-Charge and Assistant Regional Director Cynthia Lumampao said the celebration will help increase awareness on the significance of data, not just for the public economic sector, but also for the ordinary people who go about in their daily lives.

Lumampao said the yearly celebration of the NSM always seeks to give meaning to sharing information and data that the people need to know, and how it affects their economic and social survival.

NEDA-6 heads the RSCC, the regional body tasked to provide guidance and direction to regional and local statistical development activities.

“We know the importance of data which we need as regional development planners, for us to see the true economic state of our region. With this awareness of what we will be doing here as part of our advocacy in statistics, I hope that we would be able to communicate across to a lot of the people of Western Visayas what statistics is all about,” Lumampao said.

Lumampao added that it is also a reminder for them at the NEDA, as economic policymakers, that part of their job is to translate socio-economic reports containing important data, such as inflation and Gross Regional and Domestic Products, among others, so that it may be understood by everyone.

“We produce socio-economic reports quarterly where we see the data needed to be known by the people. [I]t is also important that we translate this into simple terms so that the people would know our situation when it comes to our economy and other data that they needed,” she added.

Maria Goretti Novilla, Supervising Statistical Specialist of the PSA-6, said the NSM also seeks to make the public aware that statistics is not limited to what people commonly know, such as the census and economic data.

“We are here to encourage each and every one, to inform and give life to statistics. Statistics is multi-dimensional, not just focused on one dimension like prices or inflation. We also have [data on] agriculture, economics, the Community-Based Monitoring System, employment statistics, so there are many dimensions, and it never disappears from our everyday lives. That is why we and our partner agencies conduct information, education, and communication campaign, and at the same time advocacy campaigns for everyone to appreciate the value of statistics,” Novilla said.

The NSM was first observed in 1990, based on Presidential Proclamation No. 647 issued by President Corazon C. Aquino on September 22 of that year.

The observance of the awareness month, the proclamation indicated, is aimed as a “promoting, enhancing and instilling nation-wide awareness and appreciation of the importance and value that statistics provide the different sectors of our society, while at the same time insuring the support of the public at large in improving and enhancing the quality and standard of statistics in the country.”