What is the Statistical Survey Review and Clearance System (SSRCS)?
The Statistical Survey Review and Clearance System (SSRCS) is a mechanism implemented by the Philippine Statistical System (PSS) through the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) which involves the process of evaluating the design and instruments of statistical surveys or censuses.
Republic Act (RA) No. 10625, also known as the “Philippine Statistical Act of 2013” mandates the PSA to establish an SSRCS to provide assistance and support to the statistical work of other government agencies in the PSS, including the local government units (LGUs) and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs). The Act which was passed into law on September 12, 2013 merged the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), National Statistics Office (NSO), Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), and Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) into what is now known as the PSA.
The SSRCS was formerly implemented by the NSCB by virtue of Executive Order No. 121, “Reorganizing and Strengthening the Philippine Statistical System (PSS) and for Other Purposes”, NSCB Resolution No. 4-88, “Clearance of Statistical Survey Forms/Questionnaires”, and NSCB Memorandum Circular No. 4-95, “Statistical Survey Review and Clearance System”, providing a new set of guidelines for the implementation of the SSRCS. The SSRCS is now under the purview of the PSA.
What are the objectives of the SSRCS?
The SSRCS was formulated to ensure conformity of surveys/censuses with standard definitions, concepts and classifications, and consequently, the reliability, comparability and accuracy of statistics generated out of said activities. Specifically, it aims to:
- Ensure sound design for data collection
- Minimize the burden placed upon respondents
- Effect economy in statistical data collection
- Eliminate unnecessary duplication of statistical data collected
- Achieve better coordination of government statistical activities
What is a statistical survey? A census?
A survey refers to a data collection activity in which the primary concern is to compile data or statistics on a particular class, segment, activity, or geographic area (sample) of a bigger population. It is a method of collecting information about the population in which direct contact is made with the units of study (e.g., individuals, organizations, communities, etc.) through systematic means such as statistical survey forms, questionnaires or interview schedules. Census is the process of complete enumeration in which every unit of the defined population being studied is included.
Are all statistical surveys/censuses subject to the SSRCS?
All statistical surveys and/or censuses, which are sponsored and/or conducted by government agencies including corporations are covered by the system, regardless of funding source or sample size.
Those surveys which are conducted by government agencies for their internal use, i.e., survey results will neither be published nor released to the general public, are exempted from review and clearance.
Are the local government units (LGUs), regional government offices and non-government organizations (NGOs) covered by the SSRCS?
The SSRCS is intended to be implemented nationwide, covering LGUs and regional government offices.
Surveys/Censuses which are sponsored by private agencies and NGOs are not covered by the review process. However, statistical surveys contracted by government agencies to NGOs and private organizations are covered by the system.
How and when should a survey proponent apply for a clearance?
The PSA requires survey proponents to secure clearance at least 45 days before the scheduled conduct of the survey to give ample time for the incorporation of PSA recommendations. The application for clearance should be supported by the following documents:
- SSRCS Form 1 (Statistical Survey Notification Form), downloadable from www.psa.gov.ph/ssrcs, together with the instructions for filling in the form
- Accomplished SSRCS Form 4 (Statistical Survey Monitoring Form), for previously cleared surveys
- Survey questionnaire/s
- Enumerators’ Manual/Manual of Instructions/Operations
- List of tables to be generated
- Compilation of policy uses of survey results
- Pre-test/Pilot survey results, if any, for new surveys and surveys with major changes in the forms content and sampling design Previous survey results, if any
- Previous survey results, if any
- Survey proposal, if any
- Any additional information not stated in the SSRCS Form 1
All documents should be submitted to:
JOSIE B. PEREZ
Deputy National Statistician
Censuses and Technical Coordination Office
Philippine Statistics Authority
17th Floor, Eton Centris Cyberpod Three,
EDSA corner Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
What aspects of a survey or census are being reviewed by the PSA?
The process of evaluating a survey and/or census proposal dwells primarily on the following aspects:
- The need for the conduct of the survey/census
- Unnecessary duplication
- Sampling design
- Forms content and tables to be generated
- Operational plan
- Statistical outputs
What period is covered by the clearance?
An expiration date, which is usually one year from date of application, is assigned for every clearance number given, except for regular surveys which are not often revised and are thus given up to three (3) years validity. If the clearance number is about to expire but the activity will be repeated in the following year/s, the proponent must again apply for renewal of clearance, following the same process as in the previous one.
For irregular or ad hoc surveys, the clearance number shall be valid until six months after the proposed schedule of enumeration.
How does the PSA indicate clearance or non-clearance?
Within a period of 15 working days from receipt of the complete documents, the PSA shall review the various aspects of the survey/census and transmit to the proponent the action, documented by the SSRCS Form 3. This form indicates whether the proposal has been approved or disapproved and includes other recommendations aimed to further improve the system of data collection.
If necessary, the PSA shall convene a meeting with the survey’s focal persons from the proponent agency and/or consult with other relevant agency to discuss and review the components of the survey.
If approved, the clearance number and the expiry date are indicated. If disapproved, the reason for such is also indicated.
How does the public know about the surveys that have been cleared?
The PSA clearance number together with the expiration date should be printed on the upper right corner of the first page of the questionnaire to be used in the survey. This indicates that the survey has undergone the SSRCS process and that the PSA allows its conduct. Likewise, the PSA issues press releases informing the general public of the surveys which have been cleared as a way of promoting and seeking the cooperation and support of the respondents.