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JUNE 11, 2013

NR # 3131

Philippine Statistical Act of 2012 passed by the 15th Congress

Members of the House committee which sponsored a measure included in the six priority measures of the Aquino administration finally breathed a sigh of relief when the House and the Senate approved a bill reorganizing the Philippine Statistical System with the House concurring with the Senate amendments before the sine die adjournment. Approved on third and final reading on June 4, 2012, the Philippine Statistical Act of 2012 allows the centralization of data collection and improved statistical coordination. The measure was transmitted to the Senate on June 6, 2012 which recommended its approval without amendment through Committee Report 600 on December 19, 2012. House Bill 6229, authored by Reps. Ramon Durano VI (5th District, Cebu), Salvador Escudero III (1st District, Sorsogon), Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City), Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. (Party-list, Abante Mindanao), Neptali Gonzales II (Lone District, Mandaluyong City) and Tomas Apacible (1st District, Batangas), aims to promote the orderly development of a statistical system capable of providing timely, reliable, accurate and useful data for the government and the public. Durano, chair of the Committee on Economic Affairs, which sponsored the measure, said the present PSS operates in a decentralized system. Agencies like the National Statistics Office (NSO), the National Statistics and Coordination Board (NSCB), Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES), Statistical Research and Training Center (SRTC), among others, separately conduct collections, compilations and other statistical operations. Durano, who completed his last term expressed that the PSS set up presents problems in duplication of functions, accessibility, statistical discrepancies and inconsistencies, outdated concepts and varying methodologies, which, altogether, resulted in a weakened system, undermining the quality and reliability of generated information as well as highlighting the lack of effective coordination among the different statistical agencies. The 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, Durano said. (30)