This afternoon, I and a friend hosted the city’s celebration of the 22nd National Statistics Month. It was actually my second time to do, the first was way back October, 2009. This year’s celebration has the theme “Quality Social Protection Statistics for Focused targeting: Improving Outcomes, Changing Lives.” The host agency is the Department of Social Welfare and Development whose functions are befitting to this celebration’s theme. Several government agencies attended the opening ceremony, including (to my surprise) the Philippine Postal Office and National Irrigation Administration.
A number of slideshows were presented, as well as the line-up of activities for the month-long celebration. In line with the theme of social protection, the presentations dealt with figures and statistics on the social status quo of the SOCSARGEN (South Cotabato, Saranggani, General Santos City) area. The information they contained were really sad and disheartening.
One of the presentations is actually a study conducted by the government every five years. It is about the abuses done to women. The results revealed that several women are being abused, whether physically, sexually, and emotionally, by their partners (husband or boyfriends), guardians (biological parents, step-father, or step-mother), and even by their work colleagues. And to my disbelief, the greatest incidence of violence of women, both physically and sexually, happened in the SOCSARGEN area. That is really a big OMG for me. Never thought a society as simple and rural (more or less) could hold so much cruelty and violence. It could only mean two things: one, I live in a very abusive society, or two, women here are more sensitive and bold to stand up for themselves. Data were collected last 2008, and hopefully, they would change for the good by 2013.
Another presentation dealt with children, whether they are at risk or in conflict with the law. Data gathered were for last year and for the first half of this year. It was revealed that more children are at risk in the urban areas than in rural communities. Children’s conflicts with the law involve theft, robbery, rugby sniffing, rape, and even murder. Of the two sexes, male are more at risk and with greater conflicts.
These information were overwhelmingly shocking for me. It broke my heart, but facts must be accepted and studied more. Truly, the women and children are two sectors that must be attended to since they have been less empowered and protected by the society.
Well, just to break the ice and give a lighter tone to the atmosphere, I also gave a little dose of statistics that I researched earlier in the day. I got this from the Social Weather Station website and they are really very intriguing. Accordingly:
- 55% of Filipinos are very happy with their love life, while 34% say it could be happier, and 11% have no love life.
- Filipino men are more likely to choose someone good-looking but poor (52%) for a life partner rather than someone rich but ugly (46%).
- On the other hand, Filipino women are more inclined to choose a life partner who is rich but ugly (57%) rather than someone who is good-looking but poor (41%).
These figures really brought cheer to the audience. See? Men would love to have a “trophy,” someone he could display around. Meanwhile, women would prefer someone who could truly “support” her. In the final analysis, men look for the outside while women look for the inside (of the wallet).
It was indeed an afternoon of learning for me, not to mention meeting those people who strive to impact changes in our society.