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PSA mobilizes 113,000 for 2020 Census

Defying the pandemic

MB file. (Photo by Manny Llanes) 

Despite complications stemming from the ongoing pandemic, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) proceeded with the deployment of more than 113,000 field staff tasked to tally the population and housing from Batanes to Jolo.

After battling delays because of COVID-19 lockdowns in May, the PSA finally pushed the crucial 2020 Census of Population and Housing last September 1, with the goal of counting every living Filipino, from every house, across the country.

The 2020 census, the 15th census of population and the seventh census of housing to be undertaken since 1903, was originally scheduled for May 4 to June 1, but was moved to September 1 to 30, 2020 because of the pandemic.

According to the PSA, holding of the census despite the health crisis is necessary to provide the government with up-to-date information on population and housing, which will contribute in formulating its social and economic development plans, policies, projects, and programs.

Likewise, the data to be gathered by PSA’s 113,364 data enumerators and 22,000 supervisors will be beneficial to businesses, industries, and non-profit organizations, including research and academic institutions, the agency explained.

But the job of counting every Filipino for the 2020 census isn’t a walk in the park under the “new normal” situation as people are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Despite the health protocols in place, the 2020 census, consisting of an eight-page questionnaire, may still need to be administered through face-to-face interviews.

However, the PSA also allows data collection through self-administered questionnaires, over the phone or paper-assisted telephone interviews, and computer-aided web interviews.

Among the data that PSA enumerators need to gather are sex, age, marital status, education, religion, ethnicity, disability, occupation, and births and deaths.

Respondents will also be asked about information on the main sources of water, electricity, fuel resources, garbage disposal, toilet facility, ICT devices, vehicles, and internet access.

Family members residing or working overseas are also covered by the PSA census.

The PSA, meanwhile, assured that safety measures will be observed throughout the conduct of the census, especially in areas where there is a high prevalence of COVID-19 transmission.

Census enumerators will conduct the survey outside the respondent’s residence and wear personal protective equipment such as face masks and shield and observe proper social distancing.

The PSA enumerators are also required to get clearance from the barangay officials, while areas under temporary lockdown would be skipped.

The PSA estimated that the survey would last by around 15 minutes to 30 minutes.

The results of the 2020 census is targeted for release in the second quarter next year.

In last 2015 Census of Population, the country’s total number of Filipinos reached 100.98 million.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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