The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) said that Filipino statisticians are among the lowest paid statisticians in the tiger economies within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
In a report posted on Friday, NSCB Secretary-General Jose Ramon Albert said that chief statisticians in the Philippines were paid less than $2,000 monthly (about P88,000), which is only equivalent to the salary of starting statisticians in Brunei and Malaysia.
“While the chief statisticians of Brunei and Malaysia enjoy a monthly basic salary of more than $4,500 [about P198,000]and that of Thailand NSO earn more than $2,200, the salary of the highest-ranking statisticians in the Philippines does not even reach the $2,000 level,” Albert said.
“This is quite disappointing considering that the Philippine Statistical System [PSS] has consistently outranked the World Bank’s ranking of AMS statistical systems from 2008 to 2013,” he added.
Based on the report, entry levels only earn minimum pay—$257 or about P11,000 monthly.
“In the Philippines, the salary of entry-level statisticians is [less than]$400 which is lower than the Asean average of $450,” Albert said.
Further, highest paid statisticians were Brunei with $7,637 (about P335,000) monthly salary for chief statisticians and $2,068 (about P115,000) for entry levels.
Malaysian statisticians came in the second highest with $4,890 (about P215,000) monthly salary for chief statisticians, while $657 (about P29,000) for entry levels.
Besides the Philippines, among the lowest paid statisticians in Asean include those from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia.
Albert said that because of the observed low salaries of government statisticians, the NSCB filed a request to the special committee handling the review of Republic Act 10615, or Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA), because the PSS may not be included in the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) passed in 2012 for government offices.
The SSL requires government employees, such as the state-employed statisticians, to only have a maximum of P79,946 monthly salary for highest-ranking employees.
“The [special]committee had discussions on whether it could be wise to recommend that the consolidated statistics office be attached to the [Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas] as the BSP is exempted from the SSL, or whether a separate career system for official statisticians outside of the SSL could be proposed, but no specific recommendation was made,” Albert said.
“Compared to those received by other heads of government offices, this [SSL salary] level is relatively much lower than: Cabinet secretaries earn P90,000, the President of the Philippines earns P120,000 while the governor of the [BSP] receives P900,000 monthly,” he added.
The PSA is a joint statistical agency whose creation in mandated by RA 10625. It merges different statistical agencies such as the NSCB, Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, National Statistics Office, and the Bureau of Labor and Employment.