Welcome message of National Statistician and Civil Registrar General Dennis S. Mapa at the 30th National Statistics Month/ 14th National Convention on Statistics Opening Ceremony

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

It is my pleasure and honor to welcome you all to the joint opening ceremony of the 30th National Statistics Month (NSM) and the 14th National Convention on Statistics (NCS)! Thank you everyone for being here with us today. I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude, most especially to our partners since the first National Statistics Month in 1990. I would like to thank, in particular, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as our partner in charge of the closing activities of the NSM.

Every year, the Philippine Statistics Authority looks forward to October because we all get together to promote and foster nationwide awareness and appreciation of the importance and value of statistics. I, in particular, am thrilled to participate in this year’s festivities as the National Statistician and Civil Registration General for the first time.

This year’s celebration is made more special as it coincides with the triennial National Convention on Statistics. Now on its 14th year, the NCS has been a platform to discuss issues, challenges and ways to improve and develop the Philippine statistical system. This year’s theme `Data Innovation: Key to a Better Nation’ emphasizes the importance of data innovation in coming up with quality statistics that will serve as sound bases for reliable decisions and effective policies geared towards improving lives of the Filipinos. In this regard, we decided to include new sessions into the programme such as Industry 4.0, Statistics on Colored Economics, Big Data, and Statistical Literacy, among others.

The celebrations of these two events have been instrumental in strengthening the Philippine Statistical System’s role in upholding the importance of statistics in nation- building and in tracking the nation’s progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These have also been venues to discuss emerging concerns and challenges to our data ecosystem and to find means on how to improve it.

As a result, the PSA, along with other PSS member agencies, has been working on finding new and innovative ways to improve its services.

We have started with the use of CAPI or computer-assisted personal interviewing in the conduct of our surveys such as the Consumer Price Index and the Labor Force Survey (LFS). Beginning 2020, the PSA will be using the CAPI in conducting the 2020 Census of Population and Housing for selected areas.

Geo-tagging has also been put into operation to update existing digitized maps. This has made the maps we use more accurate and reliable for data collection, information dissemination, and spatial analysis, as well as in the development of sampling frames.

In addition, new and innovative data sources such as big data, open data, private sector and citizen-generated data, registries and administrative data are being examined and explored for use in official statistics. This will ensure we have timely and regular monitoring of the SDG indicators. In the future, we aim to integrate big data with traditional data sources in estimating our official statistics.

The PSA needs these new innovations as the organization embarks in two new endeavors: the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) and the Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS). Pilot registration for the PhilSys has begun on 02 September 2019 which signals our full dedication to deliver specific targets on schedule. It is a symbol of trust that the PSA is spearheading the implementation of the CBMS.

The PSA’s success and progress would not be possible without the help of our partners. In behalf of the PSA and the PSS, I extend our deepest gratitude for your unwavering support. Your unceasing commitment and service are truly admirable.

May this event be a venue for us to share statistical experiences, knowledge, expertise and skills to improve ourselves, the society and the quality of life of all Filipinos. There are a lot of things in store for all of you today and the following days so prepare to be challenged, motivated and inspired.

Good morning! Mabuhay!