DUMAGUETE CITY, Aug. 9 (PIA) -- Representatives from various government agencies lauded the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for producing the latest population data which is essential in planning state policies and programs.
Officials from PSA presented to various government stakeholders the results of its 2020 Census of Population (2020 CPH) in a provincial data dissemination forum held on Aug. 6 where the agency announced that the population in Negros Oriental has reached 1,432,990 as of May 2020.
PSA Provincial Head Engr. Ariel Fortuito also reported that the province achieved a 1.18% population growth rate as per the latest census.
On the other hand, PSA Supervising Statistical Specialist Felida Genoroso reported that the province’s population density is at 264 persons per square kilometer over Negros Oriental’s total land area of 5,420.57 sq.km.
However, the data generated by the PSA did not disclose specific data as per gender, number of persons per households, and other key statistical figures for the province.
“We are in the process of processing other disaggregated data but for now, kinahanglan namo ipagawas ang (we need to present to the public the) data for the population and we assure you na as soon as that is available already, we will be having another data dissemination like this for age group including average household size,” Fortuito said.
Officials from other government offices congratulated the PSA on this endeavor, citing how this data can be applied in their respective agencies.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Dumaguete City Branch Official Atty. Jade Canonigo said the data derived from the PSA survey serves as input to BSP’s own agenda.
“As early as the second quarter of 2020, BSP had relied on PSA’s preliminary CPH numbers to come up with important economic forecasts," said Canonigo.
She added that the information on population density, which indicated Vallehermoso town in the northern part of the province as among the top 5 Local Government Units with high population density, could encourage financial institutions such as banks to establish another branch in the area to serve the people in the municipality.
“That municipality does not have any financial service access point. No bank or microfinance institution operates in Vallehermoso. While it may be easier to cross to San Carlos City in Negros Occidental, COVID-19 restrictions made crossing borders too difficult. The decision of the bank or a financial institution to put up a branch or any office in any city or municipality depends on numbers including population and housing,” she said.
Based on the 2020 CPH, Vallehermoso has 403 persons per sq. km. population density over its land area of 101.25 sq.km.
On the other hand, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer Anjelica Ana Cantalejo said the data from the census is helpful especially in the implementation of Programs, Projects, and Activities (PPAs).
Some of the practical usage of the 2020 CPH data she mentioned include hiring of COVID-19 contact tracers, conduct of audit, anti-illegal drug abuse functionalities, Violence Against Women and Children programs, peace and order council initiatives, and Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).
“Daghan audit ang amo gi-conduct sa LGU para ma-monitor namo unsa ka-functional. Usa ni ka dakong tabang kaning data on the census. We cannot identify PPAs if wala ni census (This census data is helpful to us in conducting several audits at the LGUs so we can gauge the functionality of a LGU. We could not also identify PPAs without this census),” Cantalejo said.
Provincial Senior Tourism Operations Officer Myla Mae Abellana also discussed the impact of the latest population data for the province’s tourism sector.
“Like for example, kaning situation sa Apo Island, it has reached na na-overpopulated na siya. It’s a concern kay mura bag nagkadaghan na sila didto na dapat being a protected seascape and landscape dapat wala siya tawo kung mahimo. The carrying capacity of the island is a big concern (Like for example, the situation in Apo Island. It’s a concern because there’s an overpopulation of the people. It’s a concern because people shouldn’t populate the area being a protected seascape and landscape. The carrying capacity of the island is a concern),” Abellana said.
Aside from this, population data is also important during the presentation of the provincial situationer to government officials, prospective investors, and tourists, she added. (RAL/PIA7 Negros Oriental)