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Census-takers to start headcount in mid-July

THE Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said it will start deploying census-takers in the middle of this month, with an eye towards improving government data on welfare beneficiaries.

The PSA announced on Tuesday the launch of its 2024 Census of Population (POPCEN) and Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS), which will start on July 15.

“To optimize government resources and to avoid fatigue to respondents, the PSA deems it necessary to integrate the POPCEN with the CBMS operations ahead of its original schedule in 2025,” it said.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. had ordered the PSA to conduct a new census to “ensure that the government’s anti-poverty efforts are responsive and effective.”

The PSA hopes to survey 27 million households for the census, employing 70,000 census-takers to conduct household interviews across 1,634 local government units.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said that the census is a “crucial tool of national and local governance.”

“It provides vital information about population size and spatial distribution, as well as population socioeconomic demographic characteristics down to the barangay level,” he said in a pre-recorded message.

“By law, it is the basis for resource allocation of all local government units or LGUs. The census data are helpful for businesses, development partners, researchers, and individuals.”

The CBMS focuses on health, education, and employment data.

“The data derived from this CBMS will also help identify the vulnerable sectors and communities that require immediate support and tailor our socio-economic interventions to be responsive to their specific needs,” Mr. Balisacan added.

Census participation is a legal obligation, though census-takers will issue consent forms to participants in the CBMS.

Those failing to cooperate with census-takers could face penalties of one years’ imprisonment or fines of up to P100,000.

By December, the PSA said it will release the national headcount while submitting the CBMS data to NEDA.

The CBMS data will be shared with local governments by the first quarter of 2025.

The overall budget for the POPCEN-CBMS is P5.2 billion, the PSA said. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson