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Data-driven governance now possible in Siquijor with community-based data turnover

SIQUIJOR, Siquijor (PIA) -- Mayor Cyrus Vincent Calibo of Larena town has long been hoping for a reliable system that he can use in his municipality to identify which among his constituents need specific government services and support. 

Calibo has often worried that people would accuse him of bias or playing favorites when he identifies who among the town’s residents would receive aid from the government. 

His worries were put to rest when the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) turned over the 2022 Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS) to his town on January 22. 

“I no longer have to worry about being accused of being biased in choosing the people who should be given assistance,” the mayor said. 

Information to action

The municipality of Larena is one of the four local government units (LGUs) in Siquijor that received the CBMS data from the PSA, along with Enrique Villanueva, Larena, Maria, and San Juan. 

The 2022 CBMS covers 13,265 households involving a total of 49,837 members from the 74 participating barangays in the four LGUs.

They are part of the 635 LGUs nationwide that have received the CBMS, said PSA Undersecretary Claire Dennis S. Mapa. 

“Your unwavering commitment to harnessing the power of data for the betterment of your communities is truly commendable,” Mapa said in his video message during the turnover ceremony.  

By actively participating in the CBMS operations, Mapa said the LGUs have demonstrated a dedication to uplifting the lives of their constituents and driving sustainable local development. 

“Today we celebrate not just the collection and processing of data but the transformation of information into actionable insights,” he said. 

What is CBMS? 

CBMS is a technology-based data collection and processing system that targets households and is used as a basis for poverty alleviation programs.

It entails a census of households undertaken by the LGU with the participation of the community using accelerated poverty profiling systems in the data. 

The data that will be generated by the CBMS are the compendium of localized facts, figures, and maps on the different dimensions of poverty such as health, nutrition, water, sanitation, shelter, education, income, employment, security, and participation.

Signing of the Data Turnover Agreement between the Philippine Statistics Authority and the mayors of four municipalities in Siquijor. (PIA Siquijor)
Needs and aspirations

According to Mapa, the CBMS data also represents the aspirations, needs and challenges of the people in each barangay.

LGUs can use the CBMS as an economic and social tool in formulating and implementing poverty alleviation and development programs that are specific, targeted, and responsive to the basic needs of each sector of the community.

PSA Regional Director Ariel Florendo explained that the CBMS data is critical in local government operations as “better statistics mean better policies and better lives for Siquijor.”

Florendo said PSA rolled out the 2022 CBMS in only four towns in Siquijor due to lack of funds, but more LGUs will be covered next year. 

“The good news is that next year, all the barangays from all six municipalities will be funded by the PSA,” he said. 

Pursuant to Republic Act No. 11315, regular and synchronized data collection shall be conducted by every city and municipality every three years. 

Mapa urged the mayors to maximize the CBMS data to its fullest potential. 

“Let us continue to turn data into meaningful actions, creating positive change and tangible improvements in the lives of our fellow Filipinos,” he said.

Mayor Roselyn Asok (2nd from left) of Maria, Siquijor receiving the 2022 Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on January 22, 2024. Photo also shows PSA7 Regional Director Ariel Florendo (3rd from left). (PIA Siquijor)
Data-driven governance

During the turnover ceremony, several local government officials have expressed their appreciation for receiving the CBMS and how it can help them achieve data-driven governance. 

Sangguniang Bayan Member Belinda Inao said the CBMS turnover is timely as they are currently revising their comprehensive land use plan (CLUP) at Enrique Villanueva town.

Ning-abot na gyud ang data nga akong gipangandoy nga atong gamiton sa atoang planning labi na gyud sa pagrevise sa atong mga plano sama sa CLUP. Nalipay gyud mi nga naa ni kay kami sa Enrique Villanueva, ongoing mi sa among pagrevise sa among CLUP. Gamit kaayo ni. (I’m happy that the data we have been waiting for is finally available for us to use. This is especially useful as we are now revising our CLUP in Enrique Villanueva,” said Inao. 

San Juan Mayor Wilfredo Capundag vowed to utilize the CBMS data wisely as he has seen the efforts exerted by PSA personnel to gather the data for the system. 

Salamat pag-ayo ninyo sir, ma'am sa inyong kakugihan. Kay dili basta-basta, ulan ug init gisagubang. Mao ng muingon laman ko sa lungsod sa San Juan mainiton nakong pagpasalamat ug pagdawat, atong paga-ampingan .(Many thanks to the Philippine Statistics team for their efforts going around the municipality. I warmly thank and accept and take care of this),” said Wilfredo. 

Maria Mayor Roselyn Asok said the CBMS data will give her a better picture of the status of her constituents. 

“With CBMS data, I can see pila ka buok senior citizen, pila ang mograduate, pila ka buok PWDs, pila ka buok nangamatay. (I can see how many senior citizens there are, how many are graduating, how many PWDs, and how many deaths),” said Asok.

She is grateful that she now has a tool to use for data-driven solutions.  

Kung tanan natong desisyon will be based on the data, what is your prioritization, subprojects, and infra projects will follow. (If all our decisions are based on data, we will know what to prioritize. Projects such as infrastructure will then follow),” said Asok. (RAC/PIA7 Siquijor with reports from Cynthia A. Guillepa and Marifel Faith Hammond)

About the Author

Rachelle Nessia

Assistant Regional Head

Region 7

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