A freshman Chemistry student from the Central Mindanao University, Province of Bukidnon, bested 16 other hopefuls from various regions in the country to bring home the national championship trophy in the 16th Philippine Statistics Quiz (PSQ) held at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Diliman, Quezon City on December 4, 2007.
Sixteen-year-old Benson E. Dusaran answered correctly all the ten questions in the third and final (difficult) round of the contest. His winning this year's PSQ made him the first national champion from Region 10 (Northern Mindanao). Dusaran was awarded a cash prize of PhP25,000, a PSQ medal, and a specially designed trophy, among others. His coach, Rolito G. Eballe was also given a special recognition and PhP12,500 cash award.
Other national winners were Daniel Andrew O. Tan (National Capital Region), second placer and Cesar E. Higoy (Cordillera Administrative Region), third placer. Ten questions had not been enough to break the tie for the fourth and fifth places between the regional champions from Regions 1 and 3. In the end, Kenneth Jhim D. Infante (Central Luzon) and Jonas Paul B. Dela Cruz (Ilocos Region) shared 4th place.
Administrator Carmelita N. Ericta of the National Statistics Office (NSO) together with Pilipinas Teleserv, Inc. (PTI) Director for Marketing and Quality Assurance Raffy S. David awarded the top five national finalists and their coaches with their respective cash prizes and other goodies.
The announcement of the official list of national winners was made by Dr. Romulo A. Virola, Secretary-General of the National Statistical Coordination Board and Chairperson of this year's three-member Board of Judges for the national finals. The two other judges were Director Romeo S. Recide of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) and Dr. Mercedes B. Concepcion, a noted demographer and an academician from the National Academy of Science and Technology.
The PSQ aims to assess the competency and skills of college freshmen in statistics as acquired from high school. The NSO and the Philippine Statistical Association have been conducting the yearly undertaking since 1992 to promote public awareness and appreciation of statistics. The Commission on Higher Education began endorsing the annual competition in 1994.
Prior to the contest proper, International Statistical Consultant Tomas P. Africa delivered the keynote speech. In his message, the former NSO Administrator and Director of the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific emphasized the importance of data "in so many aspects of the society that many find a formal study of the collection and analysis of data - statistics - an indispensable, exciting, and even fun part of their educational experience."
Earlier, on November 13, regional finals were simultaneously held all over the country participated in by first-time Filipino freshmen representing various colleges and universities, both public and private. The champions in each of the 17 regions of the country who met the required cut-off cumulative score set forth in the contest mechanics were the official regional representatives to the 16th PSQ National Finals. They were also awarded plaques of recognition and medals during the pre-finals night. The colleges/universities where they are currently enrolled as well as the high schools where they graduated from were also given certificates of recognition.
The other regional champions who joined the national finals were: Shayne D. IbaÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â±es (Cagayan Valley), Justin Angelo P. Alvarez (CALABARZON), Althea D. Dagumampan (MIMAROPA), Michael P. PreÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â±a (Bicol Region), Joe Abad S. Lazaro Jr. (Western Visayas), Michael Angelo S. Joaquin (Central Visayas), Genesis G. Cuizon (Eastern Visayas), Fawzie A. Dagani (Zambonga Peninsula), Melvin P. Baldonado Jr. (Davao), Janaisha Bai M. Tito (SOCCSKSARGEN), Robelen-Ann G. Callanta (Caraga) and Hannan A. Dagandar (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao).
This year's contest was a collaborative effort of sponsors and partners from the government and the private sector. Major partners from the private sector were Unisys Philippines, APO Production Unit Inc., and PTI. Sponsors from the government were Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, NSCB, BAS, Statistical Research and Training Center, Bureau of Labor & Employment Statistics, and Department of Science and Technology. Congresswoman Jocelyn Sy-Limkaichong of the1st District, Negros Oriental also extended her support to the PSQ.
Other sponsors were Census Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Census Provident Fund Inc., UP-Statistical Research Foundation, Inc., China Banking Corporation, Nestle Philippines, InfoMax Systems Solutions and Services Inc., Union Motor Corporation, Advance Solutions Inc., Magneto Enterprise, Philippine Nikkei Jin Mutual Foundation Inc., and JRS Express Corporation.
Dr. Jose Ramon G. Albert, Senior Research Fellow, Philippine Institute for Development Studies served as the quizmaster for the 2007 PSQ National Finals while Statistical Sampling & Operations Division Chief Elsie B. Solidum of the NSO-Industry and Trade Statistics Department was the program host.