ILIGAN CITY -- The national census will simultaneously start on May 17 to June 11, a week after the May 2010 elections.

Ruben C. Gamali, officer-in-charge of the National Statistics Office (NSO) in Iligan City, said the survey would be undertaken by teachers of the Department of Education (DepEd) who will not be involved and serve in the election process.

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Batas Pambansa 72 provides for the taking of an integrated census every 10 years beginning in 1980 in accordance with the plans to be prepared by the then National Census and Statistics Office (NCSO), now the NSO.

Part of the mandate is the creation of a regional, provincial, city and municipal coordinating board in coordination with other line agencies to ensure and oversee an effective and efficient system in the survey.

Gamali said the DepEd Iligan City and Lanao del Norte schools division superintendents have already assured to provide personnel for the survey.

However, he said the NSO will outsource if ever the survey team would not suffice.

Gamali said each personnel will receive an honorarium for the whole duration of the survey and won’t allow any sub-contract as enumerators.

He added that the NSO might tap military authorities for support in case there are areas whose security of enumerators is at stake.

“A maximum of P15,000 honorarium will be given to each enumerator depending on the number of days that the survey will be completed,” Gamali said.

He added that all the data, which contain 90 million questionnaires, will be feed to a digital counting machine that would automatically summarize and consolidate the data.

In Mindanao, there are only two electronic counting machines -- at the NSO in Davao City and at the NSO regional office in Cagayan de Oro.

Gamali said they would recommend to the national office to purchase additional counting machines to augment the consolidation process.

The relevant data given in the survey would also be utilized in the Unified identification (ID) system under the NSO and Social Security System (SSS).

With this, Gamali is urging the public to cooperate in the coming survey. (Richel V. Umel)