Body backs Baguio, Benguet data-based development initiatives

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The Cordillera Regional Statistics Committee (RSC-CAR) approved resolutions supporting the local governments of Baguio City and Benguet province in their initiatives to strengthen their statistical databases and capacities during its second quarter virtual meeting on June 25.

The Committee endorsed the inclusion of Baguio City in the 2021 pilot testing of the enhanced Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS), established in 2019 by virtue of Republic Act No. 11315 or the CBMS Act.  The city affirmed its interest to be included in the pilot batch by allocating ₽45 million for this purpose.

The seven municipalities and cities in the country identified as pilot areas with funding from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) are as follows: Batac, Ilocos Norte; San Gabriel, La Union; Sta. Maria, Isabela; Samal, Bataan; Dauin, Negros Oriental; Baybay in Leyte, and Bayugan, Agusan del Sur.

PSA, as the program lead, could only accommodate additional five municipalities or cities in the pilot group considering the agency’s limited manpower and pandemic constraints. The additional local governments will be considered based on population size and their readiness in terms of the required budget and equipment, among others.

The CBMS aims to generate updated and disaggregated data necessary in targeting beneficiaries, conduct more comprehensive poverty analysis and needs prioritization, design appropriate policies and interventions, and monitor impact over time.

Similarly, the Committee passed the resolution requesting the PSA Board to endorse the request of Benguet for an exemption on the personal services limitation in the creation of plantilla position of Statistician in its municipalities to the Department of Budget and Management.

Only Benguet heeded the call of the PSA in 2019 enjoining national and local government to establish statistical units and/or positions. Said call responds to the need to enhance the usefulness and integrity of data for policy-making and program preparation and monitoring.

This initiative of Benguet shall ultimately enhance its local statistical system at the municipal units with the hiring of regular statisticians. Moreover, this will aid in the implementation of the CBMS as it rolls-out in 2022.

The RSC is a support committee of the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and is chaired by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Office with PSA-CAR as its Committee Secretariat.  By Marissa M. Cabato

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