THE Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), together with the Negros Oriental Provincial Census Coordinating Board (PCCB), appealed to the public for its support to this year’s population census, as the survey starts August 1.

PSA statistician Ma. Felida Generoso said the census aims to make an inventory of the present population of the province that previously rose by almost 1.2867 million in 2010 from 1.1301 million in 2000.

The increase translates to an average annual population growth rate of 1.31 percent.

The mid-decade census intends to provide various government executives, policy and decision makers and planners with concrete and accurate population data that serve as basis of evaluation for funding development plans, policies and programs in all barangays in the country.

Generoso also called for all households with dogs to secure or leash their pets, so they will not pose a risk to the interviewers.

The enumerators will gather the data through house-to-house visits and personal interview of the household head or any responsible member of the household.

Generoso assured the public that any information gathered during the enumeration is held strictly confidential as guaranteed under Section 4 of Commonwealth Act 591.

She said the same Act provides penalty to any person that unreasonably refuses to provide answers in the census questionnaire, or to anybody who knowingly gives false or wrong information.

She added that one additional item that was not included in previous censuses is the registration of deaths among members.

This time, enumerators will be collecting names of household members who died in the last two years, sex, age at death, and whether the death has been registered or not.

Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental's capital, had the biggest population contributing 9.40 percent to the total population of the province.

The median age of the population was 23.23 years, which means that half of the population was younger than 23 years.

Males outnumbered females in the age groups zero to 64 years, but there were more females than males in the older age groups (65 years and over). (PIA)