Western Visayans urged to support census

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The public is encouraged to support the 2020 Census of Population and Housing (CPH) and be truthful in providing information to enumerators, 2,685 of them to be deployed in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City.

Marlene Alviar, officer-in-charge of the Regional Statistical Services Office 6, said that 9,819 enumerators, team supervisors, and area supervisors have been tapped to do the census in the region, and the month-long enumeration will start on September 1.

The enumerators to be deployed in Aklan number 735, Antique – 790, Capiz – 849, Guimaras – 202, and Iloilo city and province – 2,648.

The PSA tapped residents of the locality, who are already familiar with their community, to handle the census. Coordination has been done before the deployment Tuesday.

“Our barangay officials will assist our enumerators on how to go about enumeration in their area,” she said.

Given the current circumstances, PSA has adopted four modalities to be able to cover all household areas. These include the pencil and paper interview that requires enumerators to visit house-to-house; self-administered questionnaire where the questionnaire will be left in the household to be picked up later; phone interview to be done at the most convenient time of the household; and computer assisted web-based interview where respondent has to open a link provided by the PSA and answer a set of questions.

Alviar added that Republic Act 10625, or the Philippine Statistical Act of 2013, obliges the public to answer statistical inquiry of the government.

“We urge the public to please do this for our country. We have seen how important these census undertakings are,” she said.

In her recorded message during a virtual presser yesterday, Ro-Ann Bacal, director of the National Economic and Development Authority for Western Visayas, said the nationwide census will “give a general picture of the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population, housing, household, barangays, cities and municipalities, and regions of the countries”.

“All these information are important when we do planning, when we need to substantiate issues for policy reforms, when we formulate programs, design projects, when evaluating proposals for financing, when monitoring the progress of plans, programs and projects or simply preparing for socio-economic profiles,” Bacal, who is also chair of the Regional Census Coordinating Board for Western Visayas, said.

She added that the result of the census will provide input both to the government and the private sector in making vital decisions.

“We need the right information so we can give appropriate intervention to those who need them most,” she added.

The 2020 CPH is the 15th census of population and the seventh census of housing to be conducted in the country. It was initially set May this year but was moved to September due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Meantime, due to financial consideration, the enumerators are not subjected to swab testing before their deployment. However, they are provided with personal protective equipment, such as face mask, face shield, and disinfectant.

A risk control plan is in place should any of the enumerators get exposed to Covid-19 cases or they manifested symptoms of the disease, William Jaro, chief of the Civil Registration and Administrative Support Division of PSA VI, said.

Alviar added that while they hope to finish the enumeration by end of September, they also foresee delays in areas where there are lockdowns.

They aim to release the population count by the second quarter of 2021. Other statistics characteristics will be released on a staggered basis.

The enumerators can be identified through their uniform, vest, and identification card. They bring with them a bag containing the questionnaires.*PNA

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