City of Koronadal, South Cotabato– SOCCSKSARGEN Region was fortunate to have USec. Adoracion M. Navarro of the National Economic and Development Authority -Regional Development Office as keynote speaker during the opening program of the 28th National Statistics Month (NSM) on October 3, 2017 at Villa Amor Hotel, Koronadal City.

USec. Navarro gave her appreciation to SOCCSKSARGEN for inviting her to the event and commended Region XII for being one of the first regions to open the month-long NSM celebration. She hopes to see some of the regional heads in the Statistics Summit come October 19-20, 2017 organized by the National Statistic Committee, where NEDA sits as Chairperson.

According to USec. Navarro,  NEDA has been part in the release of the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP), the statistics that describe the economic performance of the region. The early release of GRDP 2016 in May of this year is an improvement in the statistical processes of the country. In September 2017, USec. Navarro participated in the United Nation General Assembly in the United States as the representative of NEDA. One of the concerns they discussed is the generation of multi-dimensional poverty that includes different levels of deprivation, like health status, education and access to other social services.  At present, the Philippine’s poverty data is income-based and the generation of multi-dimensional poverty would be another improvement in our statistical system, she added.

In her message, she emphasized the importance of evidence-based statistics in decision making. The process begins with the generation of information, then dissemination, interpretation and utilization.  Statistics are not just figures, tables, graphs or maps but they speak deeper meaning that need to be explained and interpreted in a rightful manner, depending on the level of understanding of the audience, USec. Navarro said.

Another point that she emphasized was the importance of factual information. The USec is very particular on one of the pillars of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022, which is the “malasakit”. The concern for the people really matters. She shared the line that says “Facing the truth hurts, but dealing with lies is worst”. She stressed the value of disseminating factual statistics to the people and not to justify and interpret them to the advantage of implementing agencies and decision makers.

The opening of the 28th NSM in SOCCSKSARGEN Region started with a motorcade from the Prime Regional Government Center, Barangay Carpenter Hill, passing through the city streets and ended at Villa Amor Hotel, the venue of the opening program.

The activity was highlighted with the presentations of basic sector poverty statistics by the Philippine Statistics Authority Region XII and the Ambisyon Natin 2040 and Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 by NEDA XII.

The NSM opening program was participated in by ninety-five (95) personnel from different government agencies and local government units. About ten (10) participants went home bringing with them Ambisyon Natin kit as prizes during the question and answer portion. (SANDRA J. ALIDO, NEDA XII-DRD)