MANILA—Lisa Grace S. Bersales, former vice-president for planning and finance of the University of the Philippines (UP) System and erstwhile dean of the UP Diliman School of Statistics, is the newly-appointed National Statistician and head of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan, who is also the PSA Board Chairman, led the oath-taking ceremony on April 22, 2014 at the NEDA Central Office, Pasig City. President Benigno S. Aquino III appointed her on April 21, 2014.

Prior to assuming the post, Bersales was the UP System’s Vice President for Planning and Finance, a position she has held since February 10, 2011. A member of the UP Diliman faculty for more than 30 years, she was director of graduate studies while also dean of the School of Statistics in the late 1990s.

Bersales earned her bachelor’s degree in Statistics, cum laude, in 1978, MS in Statistics in 1981, and PhD in Statistics in 1989 in the same university.

Her publications and research papers have mainly been on applying statistical analysis to a wide range of issues related to social development, agriculture, and the economy. She has been involved in several projects with government agencies, such as the former National Statistics Office (NSO) that is now under PSA, and the Departments of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Education (DepEd).

Her most recent projects include the “Enhancement of the Municipal Talakayan for the DSWD’s KALAHI-CIDDS Monitoring and Evaluation Team,” and the “Quantitative Assessment of the Project Impact on Beneficiaries from Particularly Vulnerable Backgrounds” for the International Labor Organization.

Among the duties of Bersales as National Statistician are the following: direct and supervise the general administration of the PSA; and prescribe rules and regulations, instructions, schedule and form of business of the PSA in the collection, compilation and dissemination of statistics and other information and in the conduct of any census.

Furthermore, she will also provide the overall direction of the Civil Registry Law’s implementation, technical supervision over the civil registrars, and will act as ex-officio Chairperson of the PSA Board Secretariat, among others.

The PSA was created by Republic Act 10625 on September 12, 2013. It consolidates the various statistical offices and bureaus of the different national government agencies under one authority, and is comprised of the former National Statistics Office (NSO), the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), and the Department of Labor and Employment’s Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES).