PSA to make economic stats more accessible online
MORE Filipinos are seen to benefit from the growth of the economy through a more intensified Philippine Statistical Development Plan (PSDP) and for making economic reports more accessible to the public.
Ronaldo Taghap, Philippine Statistics Authority Central Visayas (PSA 7) director, said statistics serve as the basis of economic planners and policy makers in crafting development programs.
“We cannot plan if there are no numbers,” he said in an interview at the sidelines of a dissemination forum in a Cebu City hotel on Tuesday.
PSA 7 gathered around 30 representatives from the academe, media, and line agencies involved in the collection and production of data.
Taghap said the objective of the forum was to inform stakeholders about updates on the PSDP 2011-2017 and how they can contribute to achieve its new goals.
He said that without numbers and figures, which serve as evidence, plans and projects initiated by the government will fail.
Statistics play a vital role in development planning as it determines how many doctors, teachers, or engineers should be hired in the next five to ten years as well as dictate how many roads are needed and where it should be built during the same period, among others.
The Philippine economy grew on an average year-on-year rate of 6.9 percent during the first half of 2016 and economists predict this uptrend to continue until the end of the year.
Despite the robust economy the country is enjoying, one out of four Filipinos still live in poverty.
Taghap said that better data will result to better planning and, therefore, will translate to better programs for every Filipino.
Recent developments such as the digital revolution and the implementation of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) brought about the need to update the PSDP.
These goals, adopted by world leaders in September last year, seek to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.
The PSDP, Taghap explained, is the support system for the administration’s Philippine Development Plan (PDP), the current version of which will end this year.
He said the Duterte administration is set to come up with a PDP, which will run from 2017 to 2022.
The updated PSDP has seven objectives translated to four major themes — innovation, modernization, data revolution and institutionalization.
Part of the updated plan is the use of modern means of data gathering such as tablets and online surveys as well as crowdsourcing or the collection of data from social media platforms.
“There are other ways of gathering data. For example, the use of cellphones. We will learn which places have the most number of mobile service users by taking advantage of telecom signals,” Taghap explained.
He added that the way of gathering data has changed as demand for information is increasing, but digital innovations are also getting more accessible.
These new forms of data collection, however, will only be used to complement more traditional methods such as surveys, census gathering, and tapping admin-based information.
The PSDP also intends to make information more accessible to the public by posting all crucial statistics such as Gross Domestic Product or poverty incidence on the PSA website.
Also included in the plan is the earlier release of data for national and regional accounts.
Annual regional economic reports are usually released by the PSA six months after the year covered, but Taghap said under the updated PSDP, they will try to cut it short to four months.
Following the forum in Cebu, he said the PSA is also set to conduct dissemination road shows for other line agencies in the rest of the country.
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