PSA RSSO VII has successfully conducted a Data Dissemination Forum on the Demographic and Socio-Economic characteristics of Central Visayas based on the 2015 Census of Population (2015 POPCEN) last November 14, 2017 at the Bayfront Hotel, Cebu City.
In his welcome remarks, Engr. Ariel E. Florendo, Regional Director of PSA 7 thanked the participants in gracing the forum despite their busy and hectic schedules. He emphasized three things using the acronym GOD. First is Good News because the
result is a reflection of our existence. Second is the Objective of the forum which served as an avenue of our national,regional, and local chief executives, policy makers, and programmers as bases in the formulation of social and economic development plans, policies, and programs. The census results can also be used by the private sectors, academe, and researchers in their studies to identify sites for establishing businesses, among others. Third is Decision, in which the forum is timely in the preparation for a 20 or 25-year evidence-based vision as we are advocating the importance of statistics for a Matatag, Panatag, and Maginhawang Buhay for all Filipinos.
Key officials of PSA 7 were the presenters during the said forum. The background of the 2015 POPCEN was discussed and presented by Engr. Felixberto M. Sato, Jr., Senior Statistical Specialist. followed by the presentation of the 2015 POPCEN Socio-Economic and Demographic Characteristics by Ms. Myrna Trinidad T. Cataluña, Senior Statistical Specialist. Ms. Aurelia M. Canda, Supervising Statistical Specialist presented the Population Density. Lastly, Engr. Leopoldo P. Alfanta, Jr., Chief Statistical Specialist presented the Population Counts by Legislative District.
The keynote speaker, Ms. Maria Teresa S. Alambra, Chief of the Policy Formulation and Planning Division of NEDA 7, stressed that she is a heavy user of data and information of the Philippine Statistics Authority. She commented that the results of the 2015 Census of Population confirmed what we are seeing and perceiving as an on-going trend in the Philippines and Central Visayas in particular. She cited two indicators: One is the increasing densification of Central Visayas, which makes Region VII, the fourth densely populated next to NCR, CALABARZON and Central Luzon. Central Visayas is the sixth smallest in land area which also explains why we are one of the densely populated. What she was looking forward in the data dissemination which was missing was the urbanization level or data on urbanization. Because looking only on the population density, this cannot get the total picture on population movements. The other scenario she cited was the “aging population” or maybe not aging but more matured or grows older population. There was an increase in median age, although 24.2 years old was still young but there was a tendency towards growing older or “aging population”.
Ms. Alambra also revealed that there was a growing concern on teenage pregnancy. A populous structure with a large working age population and a smaller proportion of young dependence is an appropriate situation in the pursuit of development. Bigger working force and smaller young dependent is said to have made so called demographic transition, which provide a vast opportunity for higher economic growth to take place termed as the demographic dividend, which is now a password of economic development of the government and of the country. Optimizing the demographic dividend is one of the key strategies to the Philippines and regional development plan to raise the economy’s potential growth to enable to achieve the Ambisyon 2040. The demographic dividend is attained in the transition that takes place when birth and mortality declined and the government spending less on the needs of the youngest and oldest age groups.
Another major strategy, Ms. Alambra added, is the establishment of sub national population and development data for planning and program formulation specially in planning interventions in health, education, employment, infrastructure and economic development. As often cited appropriateness of the interventions rest on the quality of data and information that reaches the planners and decision makers. The holding of the data dissemination forum on 2015 Census of Population based after the national planning conference was very timely as it allowed the issues pertaining to population and related demographic data to be discussed.
Ms. Alambra ended by thanking the PSA in conducting this forum and looking forward for similar fora for another data and key indicators for continuing effort to promote evidence-based planning. She quoted, “What is planned, based on validated data or evidence is a step to right direction”
An open forum followed right after the speech of the keynote speaker. This was facilitated by Mr. Noel Rafols, Information Officer of PSA 7, acting as the moderator. Right after the Open Forum RD Florendo announced the launching of the regional website of PSA Central Visayas. Then the giving of certificate to the keynote speaker followed.
Ms. Edwina M. Carriaga, Chief Administrative Officer of PSA 7, gave the closing remarks. Mr. Cayylord Niala, Statistical Specialist II of PSA 7 served as the emcee during the forum.