There is no single law like a Statistical Act in the country. The basic legal framework of the agricultural statistical system in the Philippines is found in Executive Order Number 116 (EO 116) which was signed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines and issued on 30 January 1987. The EO 116 which created the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) out of the then Bureau of Agricultural Economics (BAEcon) mandates the BAS to do the following:
The Philippine Republic Act No. 8435, otherwise known as the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA) mandates the BAS to do the following:
EO 116 serves as the legal basis for conducting various surveys and other statistical inquiries related to the agriculture sector. In the conduct of these surveys, the law requires that the statistical system gives due regard to the confidentiality of information provided by survey respondents. For this reason, statistical reports arising from the surveys provide data only in aggregate form; and in cases where household or enterprise level data are needed, they are given without information that would reveal the respondents’ identities.
On the other hand, the National Statistics Office (NSO) is the major statistical agency responsible in collecting, compiling, classifying, producing, publishing and disseminating general-purpose statistics as provided for in Commonwealth Act (CA) No. 591. It also has the responsibility of carrying out and administering the provision of the Civil Registry Law as provided for in Act No. 3753 dated February 1931. Specifically, the NSO is tasked to:
The operations and delivery of products and services of the agricultural statistical system in the Philippines benefit from the review and advice of experts groups with stakes and interests on the development of the agriculture sector, in general, and of the agricultural statistics, in particular. Lodged in the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), is the Inter-Agency Committee on Agriculture and Fishery Statistics (IAC-AFS). The IAC’s main function is to serve as a forum for the discussion and resolution of issues pertaining to the generation of agriculture, fishery and forestry statistics. Under this IAC are Technical Working Groups (TWGs) by agriculture sub-sector and/or commodity.
Other than the IAC-AFS, the BAS which serves as the focal agency for agricultural statistics, is represented and participates in various IACs and TWGs. A few examples are the IACs on Survey Designs, Poverty Statistics, Gender Statistics, Statistical Standards and Classifications, Labor, Income and Productivity and several TWGs and Task Forces under these IACs. Likewise, the interests and concerns of the agricultural statistical system are brought to some kind of advisory bodies which are lodged at the Department of Agriculture and the offices under it. Here, the areas of interest are more on the use of statistics, financial support and the like.