Press Release
June 6, 2013

Statistical system reorganization sought with passage of House bill

The Senate approved today on third and final reading a bill seeking to reorganize the Philippine Statistical System (PSS) in order to provide the public with access to more responsive and accurate data.

Sponsored by Sen. Manny Villar, chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee, House Bill No. 6229, otherwise known as the Philippine Statistical Act of 2012, takes into consideration Senate Bill No. 103 by authored by Sen. Chiz Escudero and Senate Bill No. 347, authored by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

"In this day of interconnectivity of markets, states, and its interests, there is a vital need to have useful information and statistics to be competitive in the global market. There is a need to develop an effective statistical system to provide such information to guide the leaders of this country in their decisions on what programs to promote and support that would be truly beneficial to our economy and the Filipino people," Escudero said.

House Bill No. 6229 seeks to repeal Executive Order No. 121 of January 1987, which reorganized the PSS, but did not provide for the separation of the planning and implementation from the statistical, monitoring and evaluation functions of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

"The official statistical data from the PSS contribute to the formulation of policies and programs that address the social and economic development issues in the country. However, there have been a number of concerns in the past years that directly affect the quality, reliability and timeliness of these statistical information," Trillanes said.

"This reorganization will effect a centralization of primary data collection, negating unnecessary duplication of work by the different agencies concerned with statistics. The problem of conflicting statistics and data gaps will also be addressed by this bill," he added.

Under the proposed measure, the National Statistics Office (NSO), National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB), Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) and Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) will be integrated into the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which will be the highest policy-making body on statistical matters.

The PSA will be primarily responsible for all national censuses and surveys, sectoral statistics, consolidation of selected administrative recording systems and compilation of the national accounts once the bill is enacted into law.

Penalties will also be imposed upon respondents who fail to give truthful and complete answer to statistical inquiries once the bill becomes a law, as well as to any person who breach the confidentiality of information whether by carelessness, improper behavior, behavior with malicious intent, and use of confidential information for profit.

"The service of this reorganized system must be efficient and must be sustainable in the long run hence it must be constantly updated with advanced information technology, methods and techniques so as to continually enhance its contribution for the advancement of statistics," Escudero said.

"Achieving this goal would enable the government to have well-informed decisions for the present and equally important predictions of future of this country," he added.

It's counterpart bill, House Bill No. 6229, is authored by Representatives Ramon H. Durano VI, Salvador Escudero III, Rufus Rodriguez, Maximo Rodriguez Jr., Neptali Gonzales II and Tomas Apacible. (APPLE BUENAVENTURA, PRIB)

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