Numbers can yield good gov’t policies

These interactive digital information kiosks contain database of offices, transactions, and services at the Iloilo City Hall. (Emme Rose Santiagudo)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

IN CELEBRATION of the 30th National Statistics Month (NSM) this October, government officials and local government units (LGUs) were again reminded of the importance of data, numbers, and analytics in crafting plans and policies.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Director Ro-Ann Bacal on Monday emphasized the importance of data and statistics when planning and crafting policies.

“For us data and information are very crucial. Before we plan, dapat nabal-an naton kon pila ka tawo ang sa Western Visayas, pila ang tawo sa probinsya para mabal-an ta where most of the people are located. We also have to look at the characteristic of the environment, and the economic activities. All of these provide information to better plan for our region,” Bacal said in a press conference on Monday.

All information and data are based on numbers, Bacal pointed out.

She added that it is only through looking and utilizing data that policy and decision makers can produce better outcomes.

“It’s really looking at these data and utilizing it into our decision-making process and that is what we are trying to disseminate on policy makers and decision makers, our governors, mayors. Look at the data when you plan,” she emphasized.

Bacal also underscored the importance of validating the information from the ground in making informed decisions.

“We need to validate information in order to have informed decision making, because informed decision making is crucial. Statistics and data are very important not only for its use but also in order to assure us that our decisions are based on facts,” she said.

The 30th NSM celebration started with a motorcade in major thoroughfares of Iloilo City, followed by the opening of an exhibit at SM City Iloilo.

Apart from poster-making contest and board games, other activities lined up for the celebration are regional statistical quiz, knowledge analysis contest, data board contest and information dissemination, among others.

Themed, “Data Innovation: The Key to a Better Nation”, this year’s statistics month is meant to recognize things that are happening in this world in terms of technology and innovation, according to Bacal.

In their organization, Jonny Pornel, chairperson of the Philippine Statistical Association Inc. (PSAI), said they aim to let people understand and appreciate statistics in their daily lives.

“We want students and teachers as early as pre-school to appreciate the role of statistics in their daily life,” he said.

Parts of the activities for the 30th celebration of NSM are poster-making contest for elementary pupils and board game for junior high school students.