Dennis S. Mapa, Ph.D.
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, PSA
Briefing on FY 2022 Statistical Budget Preparation
16 February 2021
Distinguished guests, resource persons from the Department of Budget and Management, and my colleagues from the Philippine Statistics Authority, a pleasant morning to all.
It is our pleasure to welcome all of you to the Briefing on the Fiscal Year 2022 Philippine Statistical System (PSS) Budget Preparation.
This Briefing aims to further enhance our skills in the agency budget preparation and to guide agencies in the PSS in formulating own 2022 budget proposals for statistical activities.
We, in the Philippine Statistics Authority, have always advocated for more investments in statistics. We believe that providing the right information to the right people at the right time, is the key to identifying the right policies and programs that can help all of us overcome this crisis and steer the economy back to recovery.
Like what Peter Drucker, the founder of modern business management, said, “what we cannot measure, we cannot manage.” Thus, statistics is important to win this war against the invisible enemy that has drastically altered our normal way of life, wreaking havoc to the global economy, and claimed millions of lives around the world, causing grave damages and uncertainties perhaps in similar magnitude as from the previous world wars. We are fighting an invisible enemy. We cannot see it but we can describe the enemy’s manifestations in terms of statistics. We can also measure the impact of the pandemic, not only in terms of the adverse effects but also the opportunities that this phenomenon has created through statistics.
True to our mandate under Republic Act No. 10625, the PSA will review and endorse budgetary proposals involving statistical operations and submit an integrated budget for the PSS. However, we hope that government entities which will propose statistical activities understand what needs to be considered and how to prepare statistical budgets. This briefing thus provides the best venue for us to get oriented and reoriented with the statistical budget review process, guidelines, and considerations. Most important of all, we need to align our proposals with the prevailing government priorities.
First, let us define “statistical budget.” Foremost, budget is a detailed estimate of all the costs needed to carry out or complete a project or activity. It is a translation of strategic plans into financial terms. Basically, when we say “statistical budget,” it is the estimated costs or the resources required for proposed activities such as statistical data generation, evidence-based researches, statistical planning/programming, and statistical advocacies which include the National Convention on Statistics which will again be held in 2022, the National Statistics Month, and other activities involving operations or procedures with statistics as its output.
Why is budgeting important? This is to ensure that funds will be available for the requirements of the activity or project. It also provides the basis for project cost evaluation and control to determine if the activity or project is progressing according to the plan or if corrective action is needed.
Budgeting is important especially during these times as we work with a limited fiscal space brought about by economic downturn due to the pandemic.
With this, we are requesting agencies to consider in your respective work and financial plans the budget allocation for statistical activities that are in line with the updated strategies of the government as laid down in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 Update. The updated PDP 2017-2022 identifies plans and programs that will enable the country to effectively respond to the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and quickly recover and transition to the new and better normal.
In coming up with our statistical budgets, it is necessary that we are aware of historical trends, prevailing rates, and rules and regulations of government. This awareness will help us strengthen linkage between statistical planning and budgeting and continually allocate funds to whichever programs/projects will be most beneficial for the PSS.
Though our budget proposals will later pass through the detailed scrutiny of the Congress or legislative branch, it is imperative that we also align our proposed statistical activities to what statistics we think are most needed or demanded by the economic leaders at this most challenging period that is unprecedented in the Philippine history.
With economic recovery still a top concern for the government vis-à-vis the tight fiscal space, our government decision-makers have to make tough choices, and these include prioritizing which activities to fund. But, our decision-makers must also recognize that it is also the high time to invest in statistics and make better use of data in order for us to monitor situations and our progress, and to reach out to those who are most in need. Good data allow for good government choices. These days, quality statistics makes a whole lot of difference.
At this point, I would like to thank everyone for your presence, be it physically or virtually, despite your busy schedules – agencies with designated statistics per Executive Order No. 352, PSA Board member agencies, and other agencies who are considering undertaking possible statistical activities in their work programs.
We are also grateful for the presence of our resource persons from the Department of Budget and Management who will share their expertise in budget preparation.
Let us continue this partnership and cooperation for an efficient statistical system amidst these unprecedented times. To minimize the uncertainties of our situation, the government must invest in more information.
Again, good morning, and welcome to the Briefing on Fiscal Year 2022 PSS Budget Preparation.