The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which is set to begin a nationwide population census next week, is reminding the public that refusal to take part in the data collection is punishable under the law.

National Statistician Dennis Mapa said at a press conference yesterday that the PSA would start the collection of data for the census of population and the Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) on July 15.

For the census, he said there is a need to participate because the government will need to get the number of household members to update the country's population count.

'Failure to participate or provide accurate information may result in penalties as outlined in Republic Act 10625. That's the Philippine Statistical Act of 2013,' he said.

He emphasized individuals who fail to cooperate with statistical inquiries may face one-year imprisonment and a fine of P100,000.

As for the CBMS, which involves collecting data to be used for planning and program implementation at the local level, there will be a data consent form for individuals to indicate their willingness to participate.

'Of course, we are really encouraging everyone to participate,' Mapa said.

He said the government has allocated P5.2 billion for the data collection that involves the deployment of at least 70,000 enumerators across the country to visit an estimated 27 million households from July 15 until Sept. 15 of this year.

Enumerators wearing a shirt with the PSA logo and their IDs will be visiting homes for a survey that will take around 45 minutes, with household heads to be asked about the names, ages and places of work of individuals in their homes.

The data collection will adhere to the Data Privacy Act and the collected information will only be used for the government's planning of programs.

Mapa said the integration of data collection for the census of the population and CBMS is seen as a cost-efficient strategy.

Data collected will be used in updating the inventory of the country's population, as well as the list of beneficiaries of the government's social protection programs.

It will also serve as a basis for targeting households in the planning, formulation and implementation of poverty alleviation programs and projects.

Mapa said the country would have updated data on the population count by December this year.

Based on the last census conducted in 2020, the country's population count is at 109 million.

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