Appointment of statisticians in LGUs pushed to ensure economic data accuracy
By Ernesto Delgado
MASBATE CITY --- A key official of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is urging local chief executives to appoint a statistician to ensure the accuracy and completeness of data on the economy of provinces, cities and municipalities.
In a forum on Monday, PSA Bicol Regional Director Cynthia L. Perdiz said the compilation of the economic performance of provinces was just in the pilot phase of the PSA project, making it premature to ascertain its sustainability.
The prospect of coming up with the gross domestic product (GDP) of provinces yearly would be better if every local government unit (LGU) had a “statistician who could assist the PSA in gathering and analyzing relevant information,” Perdiz said.
Perdiz aired the suggestion in response to remarks by planning officers of LGUs during the rollout of the first-ever GDP of Masbate.
The planning officers theorized that the GDP of Masbate could be “somewhat incomplete” as some information such as the volume of livestock being shipped out via roll-on and roll-off vessels was relatively difficult to collect.
Save for highly urbanized cities and big provinces, most of the LGUs do not employ professionals who apply statistical methods to collect, organize, summarize and interpret numerical data to provide information that can be used in development planning.
However, the Philippine Statistical Act of 2013, which reorganized and strengthened the Philippine Statistical System, requires LGUs to secure the services of statisticians who can contribute to data collection, analysis, and reporting for effective local development planning and the national statistical program.
“On the part of the LGU, I hope you will be empowered. It’s a must to have at least one statistician,” Perdiz said.
Perdiz said she also has taken note of the planning officers’ suggestion to PSA to come up with a GDP at the municipal level.
“It’s a good dream but we cannot promise yet,” she added. (PIA 5/Masbate)