After twelve years, a freshman regained for her campus, the University of the Philippines-Diliman, the national championship in the 2003 Philippine Statistics Quiz (PSQ) held on December 2 at the Meeting Room 5 of the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila. The PSQ is a nationwide search for young statistics whizzes that began in 1992 and was first won by a UP-Diliman student.
Representing the National Capital Region, Elizabeth Anne Juliana David, a statistics major, bested sixteen other regional champions in the PSQ. David, who consistently topped all the three quiz rounds, correctly answered 25 of 30 questions. Her coach was Joyce Raymond Punzalan, an assistant professor in statistics at UP-Diliman. David earned her diploma in secondary education from Philippine Science High School. With her winning, she also reclaimed the honor for the National Capital Region, whose last winning bet in the national finals was back in 1993.
David had a five-point lead over second placer Joel S. Abiera, an accountancy major from the Mabini College in Daet, Camarines Norte (Region 5). Pulling rank in the third to fifth places were Cherry Mae Balingit of Northern Mindanao (Region 10), Benny Marie Ensano of Calabarzon (Region 4-A) and Nikka Lauda Abellon of Ilocos Region (Region 1), respectively. All five national winners and their coaches shared a cash pot of over a hundred thousand pesos, among other prizes.
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. Over the years, the PSQ has attracted the growing participation of high-achieving college freshmen representing almost two hundred colleges and universities nationwide. The national finalists were the regional champions in the November 13 and 14 PSQ eliminations held all over the country, including CALABARZON and MIMAROPA, the newly subdivided regions of Southern Tagalog.
Dr. Mercedes Concepcion, an Academician from National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and noted Philippine demographer, chaired the three-member board of judges for the PSQ National Finals. The two other judges were Dr. Romulo Virola, Secretary-General of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), and Director Romeo Recide of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics and current PSA President. Television personality Daniel Razon was the contest's 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, National Statistical Coordination Board, the Department of Science and Technology, Statistical Research and Training Center, Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics, Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, National Economic Development Authority, Commission on Higher Education, and the Department of Education.
Major sponsors from the private sector included Unisys Philippines; APO Production Unit Inc.; Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation; and, Pilipinas Teleserv Inc. Other donors included UP Statistical Center Research Foundation Inc., Census Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Census Provident Fund Inc., Atty. Michael J. Gurfinkel Law Office, and The Finest Fiber Textile Studio.