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One thousand statisticians

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October is officially National Statistics Month. It was launched at last week’s National Convention on Statistics, with a thousand participants at Edsa Shangri-La Hotel paying registration fees of P1,000 (undergraduates, without meals) up to P6,700 (nonstudents, full board). The convention had 135 technical papers presented over two days, 10 simultaneous sessions at a time. The papers are available on CD; those interested may write to lsmitra@nscb.gov.ph.

Posted: October 5th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The reform of official poverty statistics

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The public release of new official statistics last April 23 was a great milestone in the monitoring of poverty in the Philippines. It was the first step into a system of officially counting the poor at least annually, rather than only once every three years.

Posted: May 3rd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Using statistics inclusively

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This visit has been short, tiring, and also satisfying. It was sheer good luck that I was able to catch the excellent special exhibition on precolonial Philippines, which opened at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at the museum Quai Branly, with just enough time left before my official business started at 2 p.m. that day. (I guess Vice President Jejomar Binay got an advance viewing when he was here on Monday.)

Posted: April 12th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The dread of poverty statistics

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One reason why many educated people avoid taking regular comprehensive physical examinations, even though they can afford it, is that they dread the discovery of a dire malady. They say they feel fine anyway. They resent being nagged about it, and claim personal responsibility for their health. Their loved ones practically have to drag them to hospital for checkups, lest by the time illness exhibits itself, it has become so expensive, and perhaps impossible, to cure.

Posted: February 15th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Statistics

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Last week, Argentina became the first nation to be censured by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) because of doubts concerning the credibility of its economic data. Specifically the Washington-based lender alleged that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government is not addressing reports it understated inflation figures that analysts say are actually more than double the 10.8 percent official rate.

Posted: February 11th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Focus on sharing the growth

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The big news this week was the Jan. 31 report by the National Statistical Coordination Board that the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the full year 2012 was 6.6 percent above the GDP for the full year 2011.

Posted: February 1st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Terraces of poverty

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When BusinessWorld’s headline last Monday said “Poverty numbers worsen,” it was only comparing September 2011, when SWS’ national Self-rated Poverty (SRP) incidence was 52 percent, and June 2011, when it was 49 percent. But a single quarter’s movement does not make a trend from which to expect continued worsening.

Posted: November 19th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Statistics by coercion?

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With respect to the 13 priority bills that President Aquino recently presented to the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council, the media reportage has focused heavily on the controversial ones—reproductive health and sin taxes—giving the impression that the other bills are innocuous and easy to pass. The one that caught my eye was the bill to reorganize [...]

Posted: August 26th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The paradox of growth and persistent poverty

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The Arroyo administration had been inordinately fond of citing the 10 years of economic growth during its tenure, peaking at a high 7.1 percent in 2007. And yet, in that decade of impressive growth, more Filipinos actually became poor. In 2003, for instance, the official poverty incidence rate for all individual Filipinos was only 24.9 [...]

Posted: June 6th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Unemployment worsens in Aquino’s first year

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THAT’S ACCORDING to the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations, commissioned by the BusinessWorld daily, and reported on Wednesday in all major newspapers except one. According to the SWS survey undertaken March 4 to 7, 27.2 percent of respondents reported they were jobless. The downward trend is pretty clear: the unemployment rate was 23.5 [...]

Posted: May 26th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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