A Central Visayas student emerged as the national champion in the Ninth Philippine Statistics Quiz (PSQ) held on December 5 at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Cafetorium in Manila.
Sixteen-year-old Rogel Arnel Lusares, a Physics freshman from the University of San Carlos in Cebu, won with a thread-bare lead over the second placer. Clinching 22 of 30 questions, Lusares was only a point ahead of second-placer Marierose Rondael of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas.
Occupying the third to fifth places are Michael Dalingay of Southern Mindanao, Olie Marc Dela Luna of the National Capital Region and Mamerto Patricio II of the Cordillera Administrative Region, respectively. National winners shared a cash pot of P90,000 among other prizes.
The PSQ is designed to test the knowledge of statistics among college freshmen. The National Statistics Office and the Philippine Statistical Association have been organizing the yearly contest since 1992 to promote public awareness and appreciation of statistics.
This year's contest is a collaborative effort of sponsors and partners in government and the private sector. Sponsors from government are the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics, Statistical Research and Training Center, National Statistical Coordination Board, Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Finance, Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women and the National Economic and Development Authority.
Donors and sponsors in the private sector are Pilipinas Teleserv; Inc.; APO Production Unit; Manila Bulletin; UNISYS Philippines; American Technologies Inc.; A-Z Direct Marketing, Inc.; Metrobank Foundation, Inc; LBC Express, Inc.; UP Statistical Center Research Foundation, Inc.; Globe Telecom; Census Employees Credit Cooperative; Goodwill Bookstore; Santaray Realty; Planters Development Bank and Pacific Office Machines.
Catanduanes representative Leandro Verceles Jr. and Dr. Isidoro David, a statistician, delivered the keynote messages during the National Finals. In his speech, Verceles lauded the PSQ as an effort to instill the value of statistics and stressed that "statistics should be the very bases of all decision-making in the country even in legislature."
In November, PSQ organizers held eliminations all over the country to pick out sixteen regional champions who would later compete in the national finals. Dr. Tito Mijares, an academician from National Academy of Science and Technology chaired the three-member board of judges for the National Finals. The two other judges are Dr. Amelia Biglete, Director IV of the Commission on Higher Education, NCR and Dr. Mercedes Concepcion, a noted demographer and a Professor Emeritus of the University of the Philippines Population Institute. Quizmaster for the contest was television newscaster Christine Ong.