Inquirer Headlines: Nation

A World with Extreme Poverty is a World of Insecurity.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Are there 88 Million Filipinos?

National Census will confirm soon
culled from the Business Mirror/June 22

THE much-delayed Census of Population is ready for implementation in August and would confirm earlier estimates that Filipinos now number about 88 million, the National Statistics Office (NSO) said on Thursday.

The P1.3-billion survey should also help the government determine how fast or how slow the Philippine population is growing, and from there formulate possible population-related policies, NSO Administrator Carmelita N. Ericta noted in an agency statement.

Its scheduled conduct last year was shelved after NSO failed to obtain the financial cover for it. NSO’s population census in 2000 put the country’s population at 76.5 million, and this year’s edition aims to confirm if the government’s assumption of a 1.95-percent population growth within 2005 to 2010 has been achieved. Also included in the Popcen questionnaire are questions on the occupation, economic activities, disability and ethnic grouping of the respondents.

Up to 50,000 census takers and NSO field staff will visit homes to solicit specific information on the household number, and the ages, sex, marital status, education, among others, of the members. Each interview takes about 15 to 30 minutes to finish.

Ericta further explained that new information gathered from the survey was important since this gives a more concrete reference for social and economic development plans and program.

Earlier government numbers indicated a 2.36-percent population growth during the years 1995 to 2000, which slowed down to 2.05 percent during the period 2000 to 2005. A 2.36-percent growth result for the August survey means the Philippine population will double in 29 years while a 1.95-percent growth means it would take 35 years.

Among its other uses, the NSO chief noted, includes being the basis for internal revenue allotment for local government units, the determination of congressional seats, the creation of new municipalities or provinces or their upgrades into higher levels.

“Businesses and industries [also] use the statistical information from the census in determining sites for establishing businesses, consumer demands for various goods and services and supply of labor for the production of goods and services,” Ericta noted in the statement.