PSA-BARMM hosts Stakeholders Forum on Economic Accounting of BARMM

November 13, 2019News Article Ref No.: NL-ARMM-19-039
Participants of the Stakeholders Forum on Economic Accounting of BARMM.

Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) of BARMM hosted the Stakeholders Forum and Workshop for Economic Accounting of BARMM last 14 to 16 August 2019 at Nursalam Hall, Alnor Hotel and Convention Center, Cotabato City. This was conducted by the Macroeconomic Accounts Service (MAS) of PSA Central Office. It aims to bried the officials and staff of BARMM government and other stakeholders in the Philippine System of National Accounts; to revisit boundaries of economic territory, data and data sources, industry classifications, accounting method, and statistical data presentation and analyses; and to strengthen data support and data collection activities for the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) compilation.

A total of 92 participants attended this event. This was composed of 44 representatives from 19 ministries, agencies and offices of BARMM, while the remaining 48 are officials and employees of PSA Central Office, PSA-BARMM and PSA-XII, including their support staffs.

OIC-Regional Director Razulden A. Mangelen of PSA-BARMM delivered the Welcome Remarks during the opening program. He provided an overview of the event that is being conducted, including its historical basis. The data landscape of the Bangsamoro region is significantly affected by the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) after the plebiscites conducted during the earlier part of 2019. This resulted to the establishment of the new regional government, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), replacing the ARMM. The region was further expanded through the addition of Cotabato City and 63 barangays from North Cotabato to the Bangsamoro territory. 

According to him, this significant event brought significant changes to the region’s ever distinct statistical landscape, particularly on the composition of the data users and producers. Because of the modifications in the geographical and economic boundaries in the Bangsamoro, PSA, which is the central statistical authority of the country, has to revisit its data collection mechanism in the region. This includes the boundaries of economic territory, data and data sources, industry classifications, accounting method, and statistical data presentation and analyses. 

Deputy National Statistician (DNS) Rosalida P. Bautista of the Sectoral Statistics Office (SSO) of PSA graced this event and delivered the message of the National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, Dr. Dennis S. Mapa. In his message, Dr. Mapa explained the significance of the conduct of this forum. According to him, this aims to introduce to the stakeholders the System of National Accounts, discuss the changes in the statistical landscape of the Bangsamoro region, and to strengthen PSA’s coordination with its stakeholders.

Hon. Ahod “Al Hadjj Murad” B. Ebrahim, the Interim Chief Minister of BARMM, was represented by Arch. Edward U. Guerra, Minister of Finance and Budget Management, for this event. In his inspirational message, Minister Guerra acknowledged the importance of statistics in evidence-based policy-making and good governance. He recalled the highlights of the 2018 Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) of ARMM which was reported last April 2019. According to him, it would also be better if we are able to account the transactions that are not officially recorded, particularly those which occur in under the shadow economy. Transactions under this economy are not necessarily bad for the region, but they are just considered illegal because they are not registered. These activities may also contribute to the Bangsamoro economy, thus the minister committed to exert more effort to provide registrations for the people involved in these activities. 

Moreover, Minister Guerra also proposed to PSA and those with other technical capacities the release of comprehensive analyses on the relationship of poverty situation of the population and economic statistics of the region. He then stated that with the plans and future investments of BARMM, everyone should expect that the region’s economic and social statistics will definitely improve. 

Lastly, Assistant National Statistician (ANS) Vivian R. Ilarina, Assistant National Statistician PSA-MAS, reported the Objectives of this forum. As mentioned earlier, this forum aims to revisit the concept of economic territory, data and data sources, industry classifications, accounting method and statistical presentation and analyses. It also targets to strengthen data support and data collection activities for GRDP compilation, and to provide brief discussion on the Philippine Standard Geographical Classification (PSGC).

ANS Ilarina also presented the Introduction to the Framework of Economic Accounting – System of National Accounts (SNA). She reported the role of PSA in economic accounting, significance of economic accounts, the framework of SNA and overview of the compilation process. 

Chief of the Production Accounts Division (PAD) Florande S. Polistico of PSA-MAS, lectured on the Measurement of the GDP in the System of National Accounts. He provided an overview of the Gross Domestic Product and discussed in detail its three approaches, namely Production Approach, Expenditure Approach and Income Approach.

In relation to the establishment of BARMM, PSA created a task force assigned for the computation of GRDP under this new landscape. Aside from the technical staffs in PSA Central Office, this group also involves those from PSA-BARMM and PSA-XII. The agency is also planning to release GRDP more frequently instead of its original annual schedule, or measure its provincial counterpart. According to NS Mapa, measuring the provincial GDP or the Provincial Product Accounts (PPA) is more feasible and useful than the other plan. This is expected to be realized in 2021. Moreover, PSA will also measure the contribution of housewives in the country. This will be categorized as unpaid work under the Satellite Accounts. 

Moreover, other technical staff of PSA MAS presented the industries of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; Mining and Quarrying; Manufacturing; Electricity, Gas and Water Supply; Construction; and Services. After the industrial and sectoral presentations, Lininding M. Lao, Assistant Regional Secretary of the Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG) in BARMM; and Emerson M. Aquino, Supervising Statistical Specialist of Statistical Classifications Division under Standard Service of PSA Central Office, discussed the Geographic Transition from ARMM to BARMM and Philippine Standard Geogprahic Code (PSGC), respectively.

After all of the presentations, Mahmur H. Sarail, SOCD Chief of PSA-BARMM, presented the summary of all issues and concerns raised during this three-day forum, as well as PSA’s ways forward. This was followed by the closing remarks delivered by Herlita G. Caraan, Provincial Statistics Officer of PSA-Sultan Kudarat.