A freshman from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) topped the 2002 Philippine Statistics Quiz (PSQ) held on December 3 at the Philippine Christian University Auditorium in Manila. The PSQ is a nationwide search for young statistics whizzes that began in 1992.
Sherwin De Leon, a Computer Science student from the AMA Computer College in Baguio, emerged as the national champion after he beat 15 other national finalists. This fellow, whose favorite subject is mathematics, hit 27 of the 30 questions correctly in the three-round quiz. De Leon's coach was Ma. Caridad Bernal.
With his winning, CAR regained the PSQ national championship from Central Visayas, which bagged the finals in the last two consecutive years. CAR got its first trophy in 1999 when its regional bet Daryl Abiog made a perfect ten during the championship round of the 8th PSQ National Finals.
Davao's (Region 11) representative, Ma. Theresa Tarrazona of the University of the Philippines-Mindanao, closely pulled in second place. Placing third to fifth in rank were Simon James Mirandilla of Bicol Region, Ma. Katarina Velasco of the National Capital Region, and Giovanni Niadas of Central Visayas, respectively. National winners and their coaches shared a cash pot of P90,000, among other prizes.
Prior to the contest proper, Congressman Harlin Castillo Abayon of the First District of Northern Samar and Chair of the Committee on Higher and Technical Education, House of Representatives, delivered the keynote address. In his speech, he lauded the PSQ for "inspiring a convergence of higher education and the demands of national development." He also added that the Quiz "helps the rest of the government attune our higher education system to answer the country's requirement for technology manpower."
The PSQ is a yearly undertaking organized by the National Statistics Office (NSO) and the Philippine Statistical Association to test the knowledge of statistics among college freshmen and to promote public awareness and appreciation of statistics. This year, the PSQ attracted the participation of 586 high achieving college freshmen representing about 200 colleges and universities nationwide. The national finalists were the regional champions in the November 14 and 15 PSQ eliminations held all over the country.
Dr. Tito Mijares, an Academician from National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) chaired the three-member board of judges for the PSQ National Finals. The two other judges were Dr. Mercedes Concepcion, a noted demographer and professor emeritus of the University of the Philippines Population Institute, who is also an Academician from NAST, and Dr. Romulo Virola, Secretary-General of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB). Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) Director Romeo Recide was the Quizmaster.
This year's contest was a collaborative effort of partners from the government and the private sector. Supporters from government were the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Department of Science and Technology, Statistical Research and Training Center, Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics, NSCB, Commission on Higher Education, BAS, Philippine Information Agency, Government Service Insurance System and the Development Academy of the Philippines.
Others major sponsors and donors from the local government, the academe, and the private sector included Unisys Philippines; APO Production Unit Inc.; Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation; Pilipinas Teleserv, Inc.; A-Z Direct Marketing, Inc.; UP Statistical Center Research Foundation Inc.; Provincial Government of Cavite; China Banking Corporation, Microdata Systems, Primeline, RIMA, Santaray Realty, Vibal Publishing House, Fujitsu Philippines, Inc.; San Miguel Corporation; Finest Fiber Textile Studio; Alarm Security and Investigation Services; Census Provident Fund; and, Census Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative.