By Karol Ilagan

PCIJ wins NSM Award, oct 2016
CITATION. PCIJ Executive Director Malou Mangahas (second from left) with Philippine Statistics Authority’s National Statistician. Dr. Lisa Grace S. Bersales, Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, and Dr. Johannes P/ Jutting, PARIS21 manager. Photo by Karol Ilagan

A PCIJ story on the pre-campaign ad spending of candidates who ran in the May 2016 elections won recognition in the 6th National Statistics Month (NSM) Media Awards held Monday, October 3, at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City.

PCIJ Executive Director Malou Mangahas, who wrote the report, won the online category award “for her invaluable contribution and support in promoting the use of statistics through media for the benefit of the Filipino people.” This is Mangahas’s third NSM award. In 2014, she received the award for the Online Investigative Category and in 2013, won the Outstanding Award for Print and TV Broadcast Categories.

In the report “Net worth vs. P6.7-B pol ads bill: Top bets in debt, deficit spending?,” Mangahas found that the many of the candidates running for national positions in the 2016 elections could not finance multi-million-peso ad campaigns because most of them have little to modest assets. The more affluent ones, she also found, would have gone bankrupt if they paid their pre-campaign ads using their own money.

To complete the report, Mangahas compared the value of pre-campaign ads bought by candidates to the net worth indicated in their 2014 Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth or SALN. The story was part of PCIJ’s three-part series on the election spending of candidates. PCIJ’s former Research Director Earl Parreno and Content Producer Vino Lucero also contributed to the report.

Angela Lorraine Celis of Malaya Business Insight bagged the print category award for her news report tackling poverty. Catherine Talavera of The Manila Times and Keith Richard Mariano of BusinessWorld were also recognized as finalists in the print category.

GMA-7’s documentary program I-Witness also won the television category award for its episode “Buwis Butil” by Jay Taruc. A special citation was also given to Francis Cancino of DZRB in the radio category.

The Philippine Statistics Authority, then the National Statistical Coordination Board, launched the awards in 2009 to recognize the role of journalists in promoting and communicating statistical information.

This year’s NSM Media Awards coincides the celebration of the 27th National Statistics Month and the 13th National Convention on Statistics with the theme “Sustainable Development: Making Statistics Count.”

In September 2015, member-states of the United Nations, including the Philippines, adopted a new development agenda “to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.” Building on the Millennium Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes 17 goals, 169 targets, and 230 indicators.

In May 2016, the Philippine Statistics Authority issued Resolution No. 4 to provide guidelines for government agencies to provide data support related to the monitoring and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. — PCIJ, October 2016

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