Dissemination Forum on Socio-Economic and Demographic Characteristics for the Province of Sulu
PSA-Sulu conducted the Dissemination Forum on Socio-Economic and Demographic Characteristics based on POPCEN 2015. It was held last January 30, 2018 at Notre Dame Commercial Complex, Jolo, Sulu. Engr. Medzhor Tan, the Chief Statistical Specialist of PSA-Sulu welcomed the participants from the different line agencies, local government units (LGUs), academe and the stakeholders from private institutions in Sulu. Dr. Abubakar S. Asaad, Regional Director of PSA-ARMM and Engr. Naser S. Usman, Chief Statistical Specialist of PSA-Basilan, also attended the forum together with other PSA-ARMM personnel. Engr. Tan gave updates on the technologies and innovations used by PSA in conducting statistical activities to assure the quality and accuracy of data gathered. PSA is currently geotagging household units in preparation for the Census of Population and Housing (CPH) in 2020. In line with this, Engr. Tan asked for the participation and support of everyone in the 2020 CPH and other activities of PSA.
Mr. Moh. Sahnur S. Udjah, Supervising Statistical Specialist of PSA-Sulu, reported the background of the POPCEN 2015 including its definition, objectives, legal bases, standard procedures and data items. He also introduced major surveys conducted by PSA and the technologies used in each survey. Lastly, he discussed in detail the background and basic concepts of geotagging of building structures.
Engr. Tan 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.
In his message, Dr. Asaad, the Regional Director of PSA-ARMM, explained that the previous POPCEN 2015 Data Dissemination Forum conducted by PSA was limited only to the results on population count, population density and population by legislative district, whereas that day’s forum focused on the demographic and socioeconomic results of the said census. He explained the basic concepts of the census and differentiated POPCEN from the Census of Population and Housing (CPH). According to him, CPH is conducted every decade, as per international guidelines, but due to high demand for timely statistics, the Philippines decided to also conduct a mid-decade census, that is POPCEN.
Dr. Asaad quoted Usec. Lisa Grace S. Bersales, the National Statistician and Civil Registrar General of PSA, in her speech during the conduct of the same forum by PSA-Tawi-Tawi in the previous month, that the slogan “Better data, Better lives” has been embraced by the international community which also cited that there are three major national and international efforts in achieving a better life for the people in this planet, namely: The Decade of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics, Sustainable Development Goals and the AmBisyon Natin 2040 of the Philippines. Dr. Asaad hopes that through better data, the People of Sulu will be able to benefit from the outcomes of these programs.
Engr. Betrand Chio, Provincial Planning and Development Officer of Sulu, explained in his keynote speech that demographic data is the primary input in studying a population in different sectors. He also said that the government uses these data for political observation, scientists use them for research and businessmen use them for marketing. The Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) of Sulu has been relying on the results of census of population in the formulation of programs for health, education and infrastructure, among others. Thus, the Office of the Provincial Governor of Sulu has been very supportive to the statistical activities of PSA in Sulu. In fact, the two parties have just recently strengthened their partnership as the LGU sponsored the installation of a satellite internet connection for PSA-Sulu to improve their data processing, both for statistics and civil registration. With a better internet connection, Engr. Tan also announced that PSA-Sulu will now be able to accommodate applications for authenticated copies of civil registration documents through the installation of the Batch Request Entry System (BREQS) in the province.
During his closing remarks, Engr. Usman commended the strong coordination of PSA, LGUs and the general public in Sulu in generating quality statistics. He also shared to the participants that aside from the POPCEN, PSA can also offer a lot more demographic data focused on a specific sector such as the National Demographic and Health Survey, Family Income and Expenditure Survey and Labor Force Survey, among others. Results of these surveys can be accessed both in PSA’s national website and PSA-ARMM’s Official Website, or upon request from any PSA office.