PSA-ARMM, Philippine Marines discuss MOA in Tawi-Tawi
Philippine Statistics Authority in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PSA-ARMM) headed by Regional Director Dr. Abubakar S. Asaad showed the first draft of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to BGen. Custodio J. Parcon Jr., the commanding officer of the 2nd Marine Brigade (2MBDE) of the Philippine Marine Corps last February 28, 2018 in Sanga-Sanga, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi during the Blessing and Inauguration Ceremony of the 2MBDE for their new facilities. Dr. Asaad, together with Asec. Romeo S. Recide, the Deputy National Statistician of the Sectoral Statistics Office in PSA, Chief Statistical Specialist (CSS) Masil H. Mohammadsha of PSA-Tawi-Tawi, CSS Medzhor A. Tan of PSA-Sulu and other personnel from the central and field offices of PSA, were invited by the 2MBDE in this event.
The draft MOA is the result of several exploratory talks between the two institutions regarding the possibility of provision of security by the 2MBDE to PSA personnel during major statistical activities, most especially for the upcoming conduct of the 2018 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) and also the 2020 Census of Population and Housing (CPH).
Coordination between PSA and 2MBDE started when PSA Team, composed of Dr. Asaad and all of the CSSs of the provincial offices of PSA-ARMM namely CSS Naser S. Usman of PSA-Basilan; CSS Noronisa D. Macadadaya of PSA-Lanao del Sur; CSS Razulden A. Mangelen of PSA-Maguindanao; CSS Tan; and CSS Mohammadsha, paid courtesy visit to BGen. Parcon last October 16, 2017 in Tawi-Tawi. PSA was conducting the Regional Data Review on Agricultural Statistics for the 3rd Quarter of 2017 at that time. The partnership was strengthened further when Usec. Lisa Grace S. Bersales, the National Statistician and Civil Registrar-General of PSA, visited Tawi-Tawi on January 10, 2018 to attend the Data Dissemination Forum on the Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics of Tawi-Tawi.
The draft MOA is now being reviewed by the Legal Division of the PSA Central Office. Dr. Asaad hopes that the same coordination will also be established in the other four provinces of ARMM, namely Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguidnanao and Sulu. This is one of the efforts of PSA-ARMM in dealing with the challenging condition of the region in terms of peace and order which has been greatly affecting the regular operations of the PSA.