MINERVA BC NEWMAN
CEBU CITY— Census of Population and Housing (CPH) starts today, September 1 with more than 11,000 enumerators are fielded out to do the census in Central Visayas, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in a virtual press briefing recently.
PSA-7 regional information officer Noel Rafols said that the CPH was supposedly scheduled last May 2020 but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was moved to September with the census reference period of May 1, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.
Rafols added that these teams of enumerators had been trained by batches to do the CPH in August to ensure data accuracy and measures for their safety specifically those assigned in high-risk areas where COVID-19 transmissions are noted.
Each household respondent would have an average of 15-30 minutes of face-to-face time with the enumerators and they are deemed to cover all the houses in their assigned areas, Rafols said.
The 2020 CPH is a nationwide government undertaking that involves the collection, compilation, evaluation, analysis, publication, and dissemination of data on population count, demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population, housing characteristics, household characteristics, and barangay characteristics in each barangay, city or municipality, province and region in the country, Rafols explained.
The CPH also aims to provide government executives, policy makers, and planners with population and housing data as bases for social and economic development plans, policies and programs.
These also form the basis for policies and programs relative to basic service delivery, health, education, employment, housing, infrastructure, disaster relief and other concerns and the basis for allocation of revenues and resources, creation of political or administrative units or for redistricting policies.
For businesses, the number of people in an area guides business where to set up shops, which goods to put up, and still several other development concerns. The Census also provides popular data for population growth studies and geographic distribution for population projections.
With the first Philippine census conducted in 1903, the 2020 CPH would be the 15th census of population and 7th census of housing in the Philippines, Rafols added.
According to PSA-Bohol Provincial Statistician Jessamyn Ann Alcazaren that for Bohol alone there are 1,172 enumerators for the survey. These enumerators, team supervisors, census area supervisors and their assistants are properly equipped for the risk they encounter for the face-to-face interview with the respondents.
Alcazaren bared that they were given face masks, face shields, alcohol disinfectants, umbrellas and bags for their questionnaires and they were instructed to keep social distancing while gathering the data needed in the survey.
She said that there might be times when the one-meter distance is not be followed such as when respondents have hearing issues but, the enumerators have been briefed on their tasks.
“We are looking at 250,000 households in Bohol considering that the census also includes housing,” Alcazaren said.
PSA-7 appealed to the public to accommodate the enumerators and answer interview/statistical questions truthfully and completely because all responses are necessary as basis for government policies to create segments of the population such as infants, children, youth, elderly, women or reproductive age, voting ages and working productive ages.
The CPH data also creates segments for PSA Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace and Governance, and Synergy with corona virus disease (COVID-19).