The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) strongly agrees that reliable data is needed in government as the nation celebrates National Statistics Month this October with the theme ‘Statistics for Evidence-Based Decisions Towards Ambisyon Natin 2040.’
In the recent launch of the National Statistics Month, National Economics and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said that statistics are important, especially as the country works to achieve the Ambisyon 2040 vision of a developed nation. He added that government needs “credible statistics” especially in formulating consistent development plans, in making sound decisions, and in evaluating the progress of programs and services.
John Nery, a columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, added that accurate data are important especially in this period wherein there are issues of fake news. Hence, there is a big task for the government to provide accurate information to the public.
For her part, DSWD Assistant Secretary Aleli B. Bawagan said, “In this day and age when all sorts of information are easily accessible through the internet, the government needs to position itself as a reliable and accurate source of official information. We have to be the purveyor of facts and figures that reflect Philippine social realities, especially concerning poverty levels and the necessity of implementing solutions to the widespread lack of jobs and livelihood.”
She added that all agencies must work together to raise public awareness as to the reliability and timely dissemination of government information.
Asec. Bawagan noted that DSWD continuously works at improving its communication and information management system to ensure that the public has ready access to the right information.
An example of this is the continuous updating and utilization of the Listahanan poverty database of the DSWD which tells who and where the poor are. Also included in the recently updated Listahanan database are the information on the near poor households or those vulnerable to slide back to being poor.
Asec. Bawagan said “DSWD wants to share the database to serve as basis in the identification of beneficiaries for programs and services, and ensure that decision-making in public service is statistics and fact-based.” ###