Dissemination Forum on Socio-Economic and Demographic Characteristics for the Province of Basilan

February 20, 2018News Article Ref No.: NL-ARMM-18-007
From left: Munib Madjirul (Assistant Provincial Planning and Development Officer) of Basilan, Asriff G. Tindick (CEO) of BAPESDA, Engr. Naser S. Usman (Chief Statistical Specialist) of PSA-Basilan, Dr. Abubakar S. Asaad (Regional Director of PSA-ARMM), Hon. Yusop T. Alano (Vice Governor) of the Province of Basilan, and Engr. Medzhor A. Tan (Chief Statistical Specialist) of PSA-Sulu.

PSA-Basilan conducted the Provincial Data Dissemination Forum on the Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics based on POPCEN 2015. The event was conducted last January 29, 2018 at Farmland Resort, Isabela and was spearheaded by Engr. Naser S. Usman, Chief Statistical Specialist of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)–Basilan.

Engr. Usman welcomed the participants from line agencies, local government units (LGUs), academe and stakeholders from private institutions in Basilan. Dr. Abubakar S. Asaad, the Regional Director of PSA-ARMM and Engr. Medzhor A. Tan, Chief Statistical Specialist of PSA-Sulu, also attended the forum together with other PSA-ARMM personnel. According to Engr. Usman, PSA is the primary statistical institution in the country and is mandated to collect, compile, analyze, validate and publish data.

Mr. Pedro P. Baradi, Jr., Statistical Specialist II of PSA-Basilan, discussed the background of the POPCEN 2015 including its definition, objectives, legal bases, standard procedures and data items involved in the census. Engr. Usman also presented the highlights of POPCEN 2015, specifically the population growth rate, age and sex ratio, dependency ratio, voting-age population, percentage of senior citizens, marital status, school attendance rate, simple literacy rate, highest educational attainment and average household size in the province as of August 1, 2015. He reported that Basilan posted a 3.23 percent population growth rate (PGR) between 2010 and 2015.

Dr. Asaad explained the use of statistics in evidence-based policy-making in all sectors. he reiterated what was mentioned by Usec. Lisa Grace S. Bersales, the National Statistician and Civil Registrar General of PSA, during her speech in the same data dissemination forum conducted by PSA-Tawi-Tawi in the previous month that the slogan “Better data, Better Lives” has been embraced by the International Community and that our very own Ambisyon natin 20140 is recognized as a major national effort, together with The Decade of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics and Sustainable Development Goals, the two major international efforts, intended to achieve better lives for the people in this planet. He also emphasized the importance of civil registration as another source of demographic information of the population.

Moreover, Dr. Asaad shared to the attendees of the forum that PSA has been continuously developing methods in order to maximize the quality and accuracy of statistics generated from surveys. He mentioned that PSA is currently geotagging household units in the whole country in preparation for the Census of Population in 2020 and for other future statistical activities, especially the conduct of the 2018 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES). He also mentioned that these activities also contribute to the economic growth of the province, not just its data results, but also in terms of employment of statistical researchers and enumerators from the local community.

For his keynote speech, Basilan Provincial Vice Governor Yusop T. Alano highlighted the critical role of statistics in effective and efficient politics and governance. He shared that during election, his team used statistics in determining the number of voters and the voting preferences of each age group and that statistics, especially the results of POPCEN, remained as their primary tool and basis for decision-making, most especially in formulating programs for economic and social development. He also said that the Province of Basilan uses statistics in identifying the needs of their people, set goals for development, and monitor the progress of the programs implemented. “Development is about improving the lives of people. Data tell us where these people are, how do they live and what do they need,” Vice Gov. Alano said.