A BS Mathematical Sciences student from Ateneo de Zamboanga University emerged as the national champion in the recently concluded national finals of the 2009 Philippine Statistics Quiz (PSQ) held at the Ramon Magsaysay Hall, Social Security Security System (SSS) Building in Quezon City. It was the first time for Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) to grab the national trophy.
Sixteen-year-old Abdel Aziz A. Alfad was only on second lead during round one of the Quiz. In the next round, he made it to the top along with two other national finalists. At round three, he was way ahead of the four other contestants who made it to the top five having answered 7 out of the 10 difficult questions on statistical theories and problems. As set forth in the contest rules by the Technical Committee, scores during the last round are doubled.
Alfad, being the 18th PSQ National Champion, was awarded a cash prize of PhP25,000, a PSQ medal, and a specially designed trophy, among others. His coach, Abner C. Alvarez was also given a special recognition and PhP12,500 cash reward.
Meanwhile, it was a neck-to-neck fight for the representatives of Bicol Region and Central Visayas who tied for the next top rank. Likewise, the next two national finalists from CALABARZON and the National Capital Region, who tailed behind them, also tied for the remaining slots in the top five. Thus, tie breaking questions had to be administered using the sudden death rule.
Second placer of the Quiz was Kevin Clyde Y. Chu, a BS Computer Science stude from University of San Carlos, Cebu City who toppled Bennyvic Joyce J. Esguerra, a BS Electronics and Communications Engineering freshman from Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges who settled for the third place.
Similarly, Roy B. Latayan, a BS General Engineering student from Batangas State University overpowered a BS Statistics major from University of the Philippines-Diliman Campus, Michael Van B. Supranes. Latayan was proclaimed as fourth placer, while Supranes landed on fifth place.
The announcement of the national winners was made by Secretary-General Romulo A. Virola of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) who chaired the three-member Board of Judges. The two other judges for the national finals 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.
Administrator Carmelita N. Ericta of the National Statistics Office (NSO) assisted by Statistical Research and Training Center (SRTC) Director Gervacio G. Selda awarded the top five national winners and their coaches with their respective cash prizes and other goodies.
This year's contest is a collaborative effort of sponsors and partners from the government and the private sector. Sponsors from the government are the SSS, Government Service Insurance System, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, SRTC, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation, Philippine Institute for Development Studies, BAS, Development Bank of the Philippines, Department of Science and Technology, NSCB and, Bureau of Labor & Employment Statistics.
Major partners from the private sector are Unisys Philippines, Inc.; APO Production Unit, Inc.; Pilipinas Teleserv, Inc.; AGB Nielsen Media Research; Census Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative; UP-Statistical Research Foundation, Inc.; Census Provident Fund, Inc. and, China Banking Corporation.
Individuals who also extended their support to the 18th PSQ were Senator Jinggoy Estrada and Ms. Ana Sy.
The PSQ aims to assess the competency and skills of college freshmen in statistics as acquired from high school. The NSO and the PSA have been conducting the yearly undertaking since 1992 to promote public awareness and appreciation of statistics. In 1994, the Commission on Higher Education began endorsing the annual competition.
Last November 12, regional championships were simultaneously held all over the country. First-time Filipino freshmen representing various colleges and universities, both public and private, participated in the contest. The champions in each of the 17 regions of the country who have met the required cut-off cumulative score set forth in the contest mechanics were the official regional representatives to the 18th PSQ National Finals.
The other regional champions who joined in the national finals were, John Ericson L. Millano (CAR), Aldrin N. Soriano (Ilocos Region), Dianne D. Razalan (Cagayan Valley), Gerald F. de Belen (Central Luzon), Marc Paulo M. Malco (MIMAROPA), Maja Sefra M. Peralta (Western Visayas), Mark Jeffrey S. Diaz (Eastern Visayas), Gratz Dale Noel G. Redoble (Northern Mindanao), Kriza Faye A. Calumba (Davao), Emelou L. Maning (SOCCSKSARGEN), Jesiree L. Serviano (Caraga), and Reanne Len C. Arlan (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao).
All PSQ national finalists were awarded plaque of recognition and medals. The colleges/universities where they are currently enrolled as well as the high schools where they graduated from were also given certificates of recognition.
NSO Chief of Information Technology Operations Division Elpido C. Nogales, Jr. served as the quizmaster for the 2009 PSQ National Finals while Noel G. Perez, Information Systems Analyst III, NSO-Information Resources Department was the master of ceremonies.