October 2000 marks the observance of the 11th National Statistics Month (NSM), with the theme, “Empowering the Filipino Women Through Gender Statistics” (Pagbibigay Kapangyarihan Sa Kababaihang Pilipina sa Pamamagitan ng Estadistikang Kasarian).
A major highlight of this month-long celebration is the BSP-DECS’ 1st National Oratorical Contest. For the past four years, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) had sponsored jointly the contest at the National Capital Region (NCR). However, for the first time, this year’s competition will be on a national level where nine finalists from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will compete for the national title on 26 October 2000 at the BSP Main Complex in Manila. The eliminations will start at the school level and will progress at the school division level and then proceed to the regional competitions. The 16 regional winners will be grouped into the three cluster island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, from which a total of 9 qualifiers will be chosen.
The contest is open to any 4th year high school student officially endorsed by any Philippine high school where the student is enrolled in, public or private, duly recognized by the DECS. Each contestant will be given 8–9 minutes to deliver his or her piece, in English or Pilipino. The piece must be developed along the NSM theme, and inspired by the BSP’s concerns on price stability and banking system’s soundness.
The national winner will take home a grand prize of P30,000 and a trophy, while the second and third prize winners will receive P20,000 and P10,000 respectively, including trophies. Each winning school will also get a trophy. Cash prizes are also at stake in the regional and island cluster levels of the competition.