MANILA, Philippines – A solon has called on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to temporarily halt its door-to-door data collection for the national identification system following reports of 400 persons being placed under quarantine after a data enumerator was found positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a letter addressed to PSA National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa, Albay Representative Joey Salceda said face-to-face data collection and other surveys should be suspended to prevent a super-spreader event.
“I appeal strongly 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,” Salceda said.
He said some 400 individuals are currently undergoing home quarantine in Polangui, Albay because of an enumerator who tested positive for COVID-19.
“If infection is confirmed, the enumerator would have been a super-spreader,” Salceda said.
“Even if a super-spreader event does not take place, the protocols have forced contacts of the enumerator to quarantine, interrupting their livelihoods,” he added.
The lawmaker also stressed that data enumerators themselves are also “at risk of being close contacts of the infected.”
“If the PSA will insist on face-to-face registration, enumerators should at least be vaccinated,” he said.
Salceda urged the PSA to look for ways to conduct data gathering acting that do not endanger the public.
“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,” he said.