Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning

Philippine Statistical Development Program 2018-2023

National Dissemination Forum

Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria

17 May 2018




National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, Lisa Grace S. Bersales,

Distinguished colleagues from the Philippine Statistical System and the government,

Hard working co-workers in government,

Friends from the private sector and the media,

Esteemed guests,

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

I am happy and privileged to commune with you this morning in this National Dissemination Forum for the Philippine Statistical Development Program (PSDP) 2018-2023.

First, allow me to congratulate the Philippine Statistical System (PSS), especially the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), for its concerted efforts in formulating the PSDP 2018-2023. I am equally grateful for the various stakeholders who contributed their time and knowledge during the series of consultative workshops conducted this year as part of the formulation process of the program.

The PSDP underwent quite a rigorous process which started with the situational assessment of each PSDP Sector, followed by the review of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022, regional plans and local plans, as well as international commitments.

Such rigor was required to ensure that the statistical development programs that we formulate are in accordance with the requirements of the PDP, and are aligned with statistical needs for local development planning. The PSDP is envisioned to address the demands for emerging data requirements locally and internationally, such as the Core Regional Indicators, Big Data, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and various statistical commitments including the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data and the Asian and Pacific Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Decade.

After a thorough review of the statistical requirements, Statistical Development Programs were drafted by various interagency committees. The final output, which is the PSDP 2018-2023, was accordingly approved by the PSA Board just last week, May 9th, 2018, during the PSA Board Meeting, through Resolution No. 05-2018, upon the endorsement of the PSDP Steering Committee.

With the challenges faced by the Philippine Statistical System brought about by rapid change in technology, emerging demands for various indicators, compliance to the country’s international commitments, and the dynamics in the international statistics community, it is crucial that each sector understands its roles in the production, dissemination, and use of statistics. As we focus on the socioeconomic development of the country, I believe that the biggest challenge faced by the PSDP lies in the fulfillment of its vital role in addressing the statistical requirements of the PDP 2017-2022 and its accompanying Results Matrices. The statistical development programs embedded in the various chapters of the PSDP are all geared to provide quality information for the PDP 2017-2022.

Cognizant of the crucial role of statistics in mapping out the country’s development agenda, the PDP specifically mandates the crafting of the PSDP 2018-2023 by the Philippine Statistical System (PSS), spearheaded by the Philippine Statistics Authority, in coordination with institutions and other organizations in government and the private sector.

The PDP 2017-2022 aims to lay down a strong foundation for inclusive growth, a high-trust society, and a globally-competitive knowledge economy. It is intended to be the first of four medium-term plans geared towards the attainment of our long-term vision, Ambisyon Natin 2040.

Being a key mechanism for attaining our vision, the PDP should be dynamic, where its strategies are implemented based on established roadmaps and timeframes, its programs and activities are monitored and objectively measured, and the Plan itself is updated when and as necessary.

The PDP, therefore, needs to founded on quality baseline information, where statistics play an essential role in every stage of planning. Statistics likewise serve as an aid in prioritizing development programs pursuant of the Development Plan. Overall, the PSDP serves as the PDP’s “supporting” program, ensuring that the Plan’s achievements are monitored and measured.

While the PSDP 2018-2023 has been completed, its dissemination must be given utmost importance as well, as any information will be for naught if these are not utilized from lack of dissemination, particularly in development planning both at the national and subnational levels. Today’s PSDP National Dissemination Forum is an opportune venue to send the message, the call to strengthen our collaboration for providing good quality, timely, relevant, and reliable statistics. It is a venue to create awareness on the vast array of statistics available in the Philippine Statistical System; to implore cooperation among key players; to solicit feedback to improve on what is existing; and, to establish and strengthen linkages with other available information both in the government and the private sector.

What are the ways forward after the approval of the PSDP? The topic will be discussed in this Forum to engage the participants and stakeholders in identifying ways and means to optimize the use of PSDP 2018-2023. It is envisioned to be an effective tool to address the social, economic, political, and environmental issues confronting our country. As public servants, and as members of the PSS, it is our social-bounded responsibility to provide quality, timely, relevant, and reliable statistics for well-informed decision-making.

As the Chairman of the PSA Board, I commit to ensure that the PSDP will achieve its vision of having a solid, responsive, and innovative Statistical System for an empowered Philippines by 2023. I will see to it that the statistical development programs are implemented on schedule, within the budgets, and that these programs produce better statistics needed for better policymaking and making lives better.

Given all these, I hope that this Forum will raise the level of our appreciation on the importance of statistics in policymaking.

As I end, I would like to leave you with a quote from Henry Ford which says, “Coming together is the beginning. Staying together is progress. Working together is success.”

Thank you all for being part-takers and partners in achieving a solid, responsive, and world-class PSS.

Thank you and a pleasant day to everyone.