For the Record
On the article entitled “PNoy doubts poverty data” which was published
on 26 April 2013 in Manila Standard Today
(Posted 09 May 2013)
This has reference to the article entitled “PNoy doubts poverty data” by Ms. Joyce Pangco Panares, Ms. Christine F. Herrera, Ms. Macon Ramos-Araneta and Ms. Maricel V. Cruz published on 26 April 2013 in Manila Standard Today.
We appreciate your interest in the 2012 First Semester Official Poverty Statistics we released last 23 April 2013. However, in the aforementioned article, one of our staff, Ms. Bernadette Balamban, was unfortunately misquoted in the following statements:
“Bernadette Balamban, the chief of the NSCB division that released the poverty statistics, confirmed that the NSO, not the NSCB, released erroneous data in the past, but the poverty statistics had no relation to the wrong NSO data.”
“We used data from the Family Income and Expenditures Survey for 2006, 2009 and 2012, based on the 2010 population report…"
Based on the information provided by Ms. Balamban, when she was asked, through phone inquiry, whether the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) used the population data referred to by the President, she responded that the first semester official poverty statistics that the NSCB released were based on the data on the first semester rounds of the 2006, 2009 and 2012 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) of the National Statistics Office (NSO). These surveys are considered independent activities from the collection of population data from censuses.
As may be implied from the abovementioned statement published in the Manila Standard Today, we would like to state that Ms. Balamban, in no way, said that the data from NSO are erroneous or wrong.
“… Our report had nothing to do with the 2007 data,” said Balamban, who was among NSCB officials surprised by the President’s remarks in Brunei.
Also, based on the information provided by Ms. Balamban, when asked of her comment on the reaction of the President that he has doubts on the poverty data that NSCB released, she simply said that it would be better to ask the NSCB Secretary General on this matter.
“"As part of the Philippine statistical system, we have independence from policy makers. That’s why we are a separate office. We stand by the data we released,” Balamban said.”
Per information provided by Ms. Balamban, she also noted during the phone inquiry that the NSCB, as part of the Philippine Statistical System (PSS), is independent from policymakers. Further, when she was asked whether she stands by the poverty estimates that the NSCB released, she simply said yes.
Moreover, we would like to emphasize that NSCB and NSO are both attached agencies of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). The NSCB and NSO closely work together in coming up with official statistics, including the recently released 1st semester poverty statistics.
We would like to emphasize that we, in the PSS, particularly the NSCB, perform our duties and responsibilities as official statisticians based on principles enshrined in the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics (UNFPOS) (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/statorg/FP-English.htm). We are almost certain that for responsible reporting, the media is also guided by similar principles expected to be observed.
We certainly hope that misquotes will be avoided in the future.