STATEMENT ON DATA INTEGRITY

13 May 2020

The Department of Health appreciates the concerns raised by the UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team in its Policy Note No. 6, dated May 8, 2020. The DOH has already taken note of the data errors found in the April 24 and 25 data drops.These issues have been resolved as early as April 26, as well as other inconsistencies communicated by private citizens through covid tracker@doh.gov.ph​. We very much appreciate the UP Resilience Institute for raising their concerns. 

 
We assure the public that the issues raised area nominal percentage of the whole data set, and does not prejudice the overall interpretation of data and decision making. Data is continuously rectified the moment we identify any issue, including but not limited to date formatting inconsistencies, case classification, and proper identification of residence. Nevertheless, the DOH remains committedto transparency, and we welcome feedback from the expert community. Moving forward, we will include more details on the specific rows that have changed from the previous day due to corrections. 
 
Building and using high-quality data systems normally takes months of effort, while the crisis has demanded that the existing systems be improved and scaled out in real-time.  
 
We are collaborating with a wide range of institutions, and we welcome other data engineers, data scientists, and specialists willing to contribute to this effort, as this a matter of national importance. The Department is grateful to the WHO, epidemiologists of the University of the Philippines Manila College of Public Health, and Thinking Machines Data Science for their immense supporting data validation and analysis. The daily data drops would not be possible without their guidancea nd expertise.  
 
We acknowledge that the system is not perfect but we continue to improve our datacollectionand reporting systems. DOH welcomes feedback as we respond to the information needs and the call for transparency from our fellow Filipinos in this national response against the COVID-19 pandemic.  
 
The Health Department is currently rolling out a new digital epidemiological surveillance information system “COVIDKAYA” developed with the World Health Organization Country Office. This new system automates several data collection processes which is expected to minimize encoding errors.