OCTA welcomes probe but House may not be 'proper venue'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 06 2021 10:15 AM

ABS-CBN News/File
ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - OCTA Research said Friday it was ready to face a formal inquiry into their credentials but cautioned a House of Representatives panel might not be the "proper venue" for it.

"Although we welcome the opportunity to discuss our methodology and address concerns on our credibility, I'm not certain if the House is the proper venue because they might not be the expert," OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David told Teleradyo.

He said lawmakers might be looking at the projections that the independent research group had been releasing since the start of the pandemic from a "layperson's point of view."

The inquiry should instead be held in a scientific venue where academics, scientists, and researchers can peer review their findings.

"They have the knowledge to analyze and assess what you are saying, your models," Guido said.

The group, composed of doctors, researchers and professors from different universities, maintained their projections were based on data from the Department of Health.

"'Yung datos namin exactly the same sa Department of Health... Kung luma ang datos namin, luma din 'yung ibang ginagamit ng ibang analysts, ibang health experts," he said.

(Our data is exactly the same with DOH. If our data is old, other analysts and health experts are also using an old data.)

While he was shocked by the proposed investigation, Guido said the group only wanted to use their expertise to help the government navigate the pandemic.

"We just wanted to contribute to the discussion and help the country, parang (like) we can use our knowledge to help the country. So, expertise talaga itong ginagawa namin (it's really our expertise), unlike what other people are saying," he said.

Guido is a professor of mathematics in the University of the Philippines. His main areas of interests are biomechanics, mathematical modeling, game theory, numerical analysis, mathematics of finance and artificial neural networks.

On Tuesday, 4 lawmakers filed House Resolution 2075, urging the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability to conduct a probe on OCTA Research in aid of legislation. 

The lawmakers want to ascertain the credentials and background of the research unit, focusing on their “qualifications, research methodologies, partnerships, and composition.”

OCTA describes itself on its website as a “polling, research, and consultation firm” that provides “comprehensive, holistic, accurate, rigorous, and insightful data analysis to help our clients in government, the private sector and the NGO community."