PSA-ARMM to harmonize data with DAF-ARMM
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA-ARMM) and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF-ARMM) are set to harmonize agricultural statistics upon setting up of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) this year. This was agreed during the recently conducted Regional Mangement Committee (RMC) Meeting presided by Ms. Sttie Anida Tomawis-Limbona, Director for Admin and Finance in DAF-ARMM, last 13 February 2019 at EM Manor Hotel and Convention Center, Cotabato City.
The meeting aims to strengthen collaboration and enhance organizational efficiency in the implementation of various programs in the region. This was attended by several agencies such as DAF, RPDO, PCA, PhilRice, NFA, BFAR, among others. Mr. Razulden A. Mangelen, OIC-Regional Director of PSA-ARMM, tasked Mr. Mahmur H. Sarail, SOCD Chief of PSA-ARMM, to report the performance of agriculture in ARMM in 2018. SOCD Chief Sarail presented the growth rates of production of different sectors in agriculture such as Crops, Livestock and Poultry and Fisheries.
Representatives of DAF-ARMM raised issues on the inconsistencies of their data and that of PSA-ARMM. In some cases, low data released by PSA hinders the local government from receiving agricultural programs with high production level requirements. According to them, PSA should consider the programs implemented by their agency to the validation of agricultural statistics. DAF-ARMM is also aware that PSA-ARMM are just following the guidelines provided by its central office in conducting statistical activities and that the agency anonymously sends statistical researchers at enumeration areas to validate their data. However, DAF-ARMM also believes that some issues, specifically the inconsistencies of information of PSA with that of other agencies, are not raised to the central office.
OIC-RD Mangelen emphasized that statistics released by PSA have undergone a series of statistical methodologies to generate quality and unbiased statistics. Data are not collected in accordance with the objectives or for the benefit of a specific organization. Statistical operations and results are also regularly presented to PSA Board, which is composed of different stakeholders and concerned agencies, including the Department of Education. Thus, PSA is confident that it releases sound official statistics which can provide the actual sitiuation of the area that it describes through numbers. However, OIC-RD Mangelen admits that PSA has lack of information on the programs and projects implemented by the agencies which affect statistical trends in the region. According to him, this information is also vital in the generation of data, specifically in providing explanations for data movements between two periods in comparison.
PSA-ARMM and DAF-ARMM agreed to resolve this issue through data harmonization. OIC-RD Mangelen shared that, previously, technical staffs of DAF-ARMM participate in the quarterly agricultural data review of Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS – one of the four agencies merged into PSA). Through that, DAF-ARMM could immediately validate the data generated by BAS and provide their insights on the movements of data. However, this partnership was discontinued during the time of PSA. OIC-RD Mangelen said that reimplementing such practice will result to a harmonized agricultural statistics between the two concerned agencies. PSA-ARMM will review the agency’s policies to assess if the partnership is legally possible. To discuss further about this issue, the body agreed to conduct a meeting on the first week of March 2019.