RSC-ARMM culminates 29th NSM celebration
Regional Statistics Committee in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RSC-ARMM) culminated the month-long celebration of the 29th National Statistics Month (NSM), with the theme “Exploring Philippine Wonders in Numbers: Statistics Towards Sustainable Tourism Development”, on October 31, 2018 at EM Manor Hotel and Convention Center, Cotabato City. This program was spearheaded by the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) of the Office of the Regional Governor (ORG), Chairperson of RSC-ARMM; Regional Planning and Development Office (RPDO-ARMM) and Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA-ARMM), the Co-Chairs of RSC-ARMM; together with Department of Tourism (DOT-ARMM) as this year’s host of NSM, in partnership with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Cotabato as the sponsor of the ceremony.
Hji. Razulden A. Mangelen, OIC-Regional Director (RD) of PSA-ARMM, welcomed the officials and representatives of line agencies and other stakeholders who attended the program. He discussed the legal basis of the celebration of NSM, as well as its objectives. According to him, NSM is celebrated to promote, enhance and instill awareness and appreciation of the importance and value of statistics to the different sectors of society; and to elicit the cooperation and support of the general public in upgrading the quality and standards of statistics in the country.
“For this year, tourism has become the focal point of our celebration. Through statistics, we have acknowledged the importance of the tourism industry as a major contributor to the economy. And also, through statistics, we will be able to formulate appropriate programs for the development of the said industry,” OIC-RD Mangelen stated.
OIC-RD Mangelen also reported that with strong coordination of RSC-ARMM with its data partners, the number of activities convened every NSM has increased over the years. He also thanked the data partners and stakeholders for their appreciation for statistics and support for statistics-related activities.
Mr. Assad Baunto Abdullah, Assistant Regional Secretary of RPDO-ARMM, congratulated everyone for a successful NSM. According to him, the celebration of NSM informs the employees of the role of statistics at work and reminds every one of its value in daily lives. Planners, like RPDO-ARMM, use statistics to make informed decisions, and better planning and programs needed by the communities. Asec. Abdullah gave an example of how an ordinary individual uses statistics. At the public market, people tend to collect information from a sample of vendors first before finally purchasing the best commodity in terms of its price and quality. Asec. Abdullah also reminded everyone that statistics can be a weapon. We can either make statistics to make stories or use statistics to make stories. Thus, data users should coordinate with each other in generating and disseminating correct information to the general public.
“Statistics, pangontra sa fake news,” Asec. Abdullah quoted.
In her keynote speech, Atty. Laisa M. Alamia, Executive Secretary of ORG-ARMM and Chairperson of RSC-ARMM, emphasizes the value of statistics in effective and efficient governance. The region celebrates NSM every year to remind us of the importance of a quality statistics; PSA conducts several dissemination forums to inform us of the latest statistics. But Atty. Alamia reminded everyone that data will just be numbers if we will not use them, statistics will become meaningless we will not live by them. According to her, statistics makes us powerful. With accurate data, we will know the real situation and we will know what to do.
“Stories of people are statistics with a soul which we should carefully listen to,” Atty. Alamia said.
Atty. Alamia pointed out that PSA will just provide the data of every Bangsamoro, it is ARMM employee’s responsibility that these stories will be told to the next government and that the next government will listen to them.
Like data, the Bangsamoro Organic Law will also be meaningless if the people will not live by every article of it. She said that if the attitude exhibited by some employees of ARMM will not be changed, the situation in the next government will be the same.
“The success of the government does not depend on the law or the leaders, it will depend on all of us, employees, followers, communities,” Atty. Alamia said.
Ms. Zarinah S. Aligsao, Acting Bank Officer IV of BSP Cotabato, introduced the participants to the National Payment Retail System and Currency. She discussed the methods for cashless method of payment transactions – InstaPay and PesoNet. According to her, these methods are more efficient than cash transactions in terms of convenience and security. However, Ms. Aligsao clarified that BSP does not aim to eliminate the use of coins and bills. Moreover, Ms. Aligsao presented the overview, legal basis and features of new coin currencies in the country.
During the month-long celebration of NSM, RSC-ARMM and other agencies spearheaded competitions among the line agencies and other stakeholders. The winners in these contests were awarded also in this ceremony. For the Poster Making Contest, the representative from Sultan Kudarat Islamic Academy (SKIA) was declared as the winner; the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-ARMM) bagged the championship and Mr. Mohammad-Aquil T. Ulama of PSA-ARMM was hailed as MVP for the 4on4 Friendly Basketball Game which was organized by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-ARMM); while PSA-ARMM’s entry was awarded the Best Statistical Exhibit. Winners received certificates, trophies and cash prizes, while other contestants also received consolation prizes.
Mr. Harris M. Ismael, Information Officer III of DOT-ARMM, delivered the closing remarks for this ceremony. He is happy to be partners with RSC-ARMM in the celebration of this year’s NSM. According to him, the conclusion of NSM leads to an opening to statistical growth in every agency. Finally, he extended his agency’s congratulatory critics to PSA-ARMM for the successful celebration.