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Philippines Bureau of Agricultural Statistics launches its NADA named BEANS (29 June 2010)

Country / Regional Activity: Philippines
Date of Event: 29/06/2010

The third Philippines’ data archive was launched by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) at the Imperial Palace Suites in Quezon City on 29 June 2010. Tagged with a very catchy name, BEANS which stands for BAS Electronic Archive and Network Services, the archive includes the documentation of 23 surveys. BAS Assistant Director Maura Lizarondo, in her opening remarks, calls the ADP an opportunity for the Bureau and they have no regrets engaging in this endeavour, though they had to go through a difficult process at a time when they had so many concerns. As she sees it, the ADP pushes for data dissemination agencies to be ideal data producers who are not merely concerned with results and reports, but with every detail of the survey process. The IHSN toolkit, she comments, is as data intensive as the FAO sponsored CountrySTAT, which is a successful undertaking by the Bureau that has gained them global recognition as a data producer of the Philippines.
BEANS was comically launched with a simulation of a sky rocket shooting up into space. The audience was toured around the BEANS site with 2 surveys as features. At present, the surveys uploaded in BEANS are classified as licensed data which they plan to release as public use files (PUF). They also plan to set up a data enclave for selected surveys. The occasion was graced with the presence of the heads of the Philippine Statistical Association (PSA), Statistical Research and Training Center (SRTC), the National Statistics Office (NSO) and representatives from other statistical producer and user agencies who all gave valuable comments for the improvement of BAS data dissemination efforts. Transparency, consistency and completeness of information being disseminated were comments emphasized in the open forum which the BAS gladly took note of. Dr. Valdepeñas, PSA President, pointed out that this form of information dissemination is in line with then President-elect Aquino’s direction for full transparency in government. The new administration was assuming office the following day, 30 June 2010.
The BAS is just in the beginning stages of preparing public-use-files (PUF). Administrator Ericta expressed that the NSO is willing to provide technical assistance to the Bureau on matters of PUF development. She acknowledges that activities such as the NADA launch are pioneering efforts towards transparency and further stated the need for statistical agencies to sit together and lay down a standard policy for data access.
Assistant Director Lizarondo also closed the program in behalf of Director Recide who was in a meeting with the incoming Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. She expressed belief that while data documentation entailed a lot of work it was the right direction for the BAS.
The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), one of the 7 bureaus of the Department of Agriculture, is mandated to take charge of the production of statistics on agriculture, fishery and related fields. It is the third agency trained in the IHSN Toolkit in 2009 and third to launch its data archive in the Philippines. The two other agencies are the NSO which launched its data archive in October 2009 and Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) which launched its archive in early June.