NSO: Dog attacks, suspicious attitude hampering census

Dog attacks and a suspicious attitude by residents are hampering the ongoing national census particularly in Metro Manila and some urban areas.

The National Statistics Office (NSO) admitted this Tuesday as it appealed to the public to be considerate with census workers and cooperate with them.

"Dito sa urban areas mahirap, security-conscious ang mga tao. Kung may kumakatok di sila basta-basta humaharap. In that sense napakahirap mag-census lalo sa Kamaynilaan (In urban areas it is hard to conduct the census. People are more security-conscious. If our census workers knock, they are not greeted immediately. In that sense it is hard to conduct the census in Metro Manila)," NSO administrator Carmencita Ericta said in an interview on dzXL radio.

"Kung pwede, ilayo ang aso ninyo dahil may report sa amin kinagat ng aso (If possible, we ask residents to keep their dogs away from census workers. We have received reports of our census workers being bitten by dogs)," she added.

Ericta said the teachers conducting the census have conspicuous ID cards as well as questionnaires.

She also said there should be no problems as the NSO has coordinated the census work with the concerned subdivision and barangay (village) officials.

"Minsan sinasamahan kami ng kagawad. Kung subdivision nakikipag-ugnayan kami sa homeowners association (Sometimes we are accompanied by village officials. In the case of subdivisions, we coordinate with the homeowners' associations)," she said.

On the other hand, Ericta pointed out the census will only take 15 minutes of the resident's time.

"Kung maari harapin ninyo, 15 minuto ng oras ninyo, para sagutin ang mga tanong. Ang tanong mahalaga sa ating mga programa na pinaiiral sa pamahalaan maging sa pribadong sector negosyante at academe (If possible, we ask you to face the census worker and answer the questionnaire. It will take 15 minutes of your time, and the data will help our government and other sectors such as business and academe),"
she said.

Meanwhile, Ericta said the NSO has an agreement with the Department of Health to provide first aid for census workers bitten by dogs or encountering work-related injuries.

Earlier, teachers doing census have started complaining about the difficulties they encounter.

A group of teachers in Valenzuela City said Monday many people are reluctant and even suspicious of the teachers and do not welcome them in their homes.

In some subdivisions, they said it took them several days to secure permission to enter the gates.

They also said the NSO expects them to meet their quota of 340 households from May 17 to June 11 with failure on their part meaning they will not get their full pay of P11,500 for the job.

The 2010 census aims to verify the NSO estimate of 92 million Filipinos based on the 2.04 percent growth rate in 2007.

It will also obtain a complete count of population, demographic characteristics (population density, ethnicity, education level, health, economic status), and geographic distribution.

Also, it will study housing units or living quarters, their structural characteristics, available facilities and their geographic distribution, and other household and barangay characteristics.



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