Chief Statistician Errol La Cruz is urging persons to be more receptive to personal questions on the census since all date is essential to decision making and all information is kept strictly confidential.
Chief Statistician Errol La Cruz, who oversees the ongoing National Census, has acknowledged concerns by members of the public that some questions being asked by enumerators are personal or intrusive.
In attempts to alleviate these concerns, he highlights that everyone working on the census and at the Bureau of Statistics takes an oath of secrecy, meaning that they can face legal action if they reveal any personal information obtained from the census data.
Furthermore, he stated that identifying characteristics for data taken from the census are removed when data processing for the final census report begins.
“Once you answer those questions and that comes here, one of the first things that happens to the data set is that we anonymize it,”
“We drop the personal identifiers; things like your name and other things that can be traced to you – these are things that are removed before it goes to analysis.”
La Cruz emphasised that all questions from the census play an important role in informing the country’s decision makers. Census data impacts economic development, healthcare, education, public infrastructure, housing and even non-profits.
“The census helps us to identify the development gaps. It quantifies and identifies where there are gaps that exist.”
Questions such as environmental issues affecting your community such as waste disposal, water contamination and flooding for instance, will help the government to better address these issues by identifying where they exist.