BAGUIO CITY – “We have to be creative in communicating statistics”, expressed Regional Statistics Committee (RSC) Chair and NEDA-CAR Regional Director Milagros Rimando during the 2019 1st Quarter meeting of the RSC in Baguio City on February 19, 2019. Director Rimando emphasized the importance of making sense of all the data generated in the region. The RSC met to discuss the plans of the committee for 2019 and be updated on statistical development in the region. Several agencies presented reports on the program data that they regularly gather in their respective sectors.

On health, DOH-CAR Regional Director Amelita Pangilinan shared that as of the 2nd week of February 2019, measles cases have increased 11 times from the same period in 2018. There were 172 cases of which 100 are recorded in Baguio City. Director Pangilinan noted that spikes in measles cases historically occur every three years, DOH-CAR data show that since the implementation of school-based immunization, measles cases have declined.

On the CAR economy, Ms. Antonette Anaban of NEDA-CAR presented the Annual Regional Economic Situationer (ARES) which showed the consistently low inflation rate of the region. The region’s average inflation rate for 2018 was 3.8% which is lower than the national 2018 average of 5.2%. Agricultural production suffered losses in 2018 due to super typhoons Ompong and Rosita. Only coffee production significantly increased from 1,886.17 metric tons to 2,199 metric tons, a 16.6% increase. Corn, palay, fruits, and vegetables all decreased production in 2018.

Director Rimando noted that NEDA-CAR continues to improve in collecting data for its Annual and Quarterly Regional Economic Situationer (ARES and QRES). “We need to help each other connect all these data together as they make-up a data ecosystem”, she added.  The Regional Statistics Committee agreed to a half-day workshop on infographics and data storytelling to better interpret and communicate data to stakeholders. The workshop will be conducted back-to-back with the next meeting of the RSC.