Lawmaker asks PSA to temporarily halt door-to-door surveys due to COVID-19 risk

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 20) - Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda on Tuesday appealed to the Philippine Statistics Authority to temporarily halt the door-to-door data collection for the national identification system and for other surveys due to risks of COVID-19 infection.

"I appeal urgently to your office to temporarily suspend door-to-door and face-to-face data collection for the National ID system and other surveys until we could reasonably guarantee that enumerators will not be vectors for infection," read Salceda's letter to PSA Undersecretary and National Statistician Dennis Mapa.

Salceda noted that over 600 residents of Polangui town are currently under home quarantine due to contact with an infected PSA field worker.

"If infection is confirmed, the enumerator would have been a super-spreader," Salceda said.

"Even if a super-spreader does not take place, the protocols have forced contacts of the enumerator to quarantine, interrupting their livelihoods," he added.

The Albay lawmaker also said the PSA should make sure their enumerators are vaccinated if the agency will insist on conducting face-to-face registration.

"While I support the National ID system and completing it as soon as possible to help distribute necessary social programs, we should conduct data gathering activities in ways that do not endanger the lives of our citizens," Salceda said.

The Philippine ID system was signed into law in August 2018. The government is eyeing to shift to online registration by the second quarter of 2021.