Commentary: Statistics crucial to local dev't
Tacloban City (October 3) -- The importance of statistics in the development efforts of the national and local governments can never be underrated.
Local government units must realize the value of hard data and statistics in measuring the progress and effectiveness of their various programs. Good quality statistics are a necessary investment in local development.
Decisions based on sound statistics will produce the best choices for program implementers of government. It is for this reason that more investments must be put in statistics to be able to generate qualitative information.
To stress the importance of statistics in local development, October has been declared National Statistics Month under Presidential Proclamation 647 dated of September 20, 1990.
The observance of National Statistics Month each year is aimed to promote, enhance and instill awareness and appreciation on the importance of statistics in the formulation of policies for growth and development as well as elicit the cooperation and support of the general public in upgrading the quality of standards of statistics in the country.
This year's theme in the month-long celebration is "Statistics and Actions: A Road to a Better Life Through the Millennium Development Goals."
Millennium Development Goals or MDGs are policies envisioned to eradicate poverty, ensure human development and build prosperity for the greatest number of Filipinos.
It has six priority areas of concern, namely: eradication of poverty and hunger, achievement of universal primary education, promotion of gender equality, reduction of child mortality, improvement of women's reproductive health, and combat HIV/AIDs, malaria and other diseases.
In order to assess its progress and the effectiveness of its programs on poverty and hunger eradication, the local government needs hard core data and statistics.
The same is true with the other five areas of concern which are the hindrance to development of a community – achievement of universal primary education, promotion of gender equality, reduction of child mortality, improvement of women's reproductive health and combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
During the month of October, it would be good for the local government units that have not done so, to start determining how many of their primary school aged children are enrolled and how many are not; what is the child mortality rate in their respective localities, etc.
Indeed, good statistics, numerical information that has been collected according to agreed good practice, using appropriate methods for data collection, processing and dissemination are crucial as a tool for development. They provide an objective and replicable picture of the state of a locality, enable comparisons, both over time and space, and set benchmarks for measuring progress in the future. (PIA 8) [top]