Man ‘declines’ PSA survey, arrested
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, Romeo D. Marantal (The Freeman) - November 22, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — For allegedly refusing to answer the survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority, a former overseas Filipino worker was arrested in Mandaue City yesterday.

Cirilo Cuizon was arrested by police personnel inside the law office of his son where he is currently working.

The arrest warrant was issued by Acting Presiding Judge Amy Rose Soler-Rellin of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities Branch 3 in Mandaue City.

“Na-shock ko nga gipasakaan ko og kiha sa PSA nga wala man gyud mi nag-abot anang mga taga PSA nga nag-survey," said Cuizon when sought for comment after he posted his bail.

Noel Rafols, information officer of PSA-7, said that the arrest of Cuizon served as a strong warning to the public that their agency, being the body authorized by the Philippine government to conduct official surveys, is something that should be taken seriously.

Cuizon, who is a resident of Barangay Basak, Mandaue City, was charged for refusal to answer government statistical inquiries of the Family Income and Expenditures survey of PSA in violation of Section 25 of Republic Act 10625  or the “Philippine Statistical Act of 2013”.

Under Section 25 of the law, “the National Statistician shall determine whether a statistical inquiry or survey to be conducted is with or without an obligation to provide information. If such obligation is stipulated, all respondents whether natural or legal persons shall be liable to reply to the statistical inquiry or survey. This section applies to all statistical inquiries or surveys conducted by other statistical offices in the PSS.”

Rafols said the respondents under this Act are required to give truthful and complete answers to statistical inquiries or surveys of the PSA and other statistical offices of the PSS.

The respondent is considered to have complied with the obligation only upon receipt of the duly completed statistical inquiry or survey forms.

The law says that government shall provide franking privileges, charges and postings to the survey offices, unless otherwise disallowed by law.

 The PSA is authorized to gather data from other government agencies for statistical purposes.

Rafols said that Cuizon is the only one among the 5,000 selected respondents in Central Visayas who refused to be surveyed.

But Cuizon defended that the reason why he did not answer the survey was the blood test and urine test requirements.

“Wala man ko ni-decline. Pero kadtong nagpa-interview na unta akong asawa sa taga-PSA pero nanawag akong asawa nga dapat daw mo-undergo mi og blood test ug urine test. Unsa man nang surbiha?. Unsa mi mga druglord?” said Cuizon.

"Ngano gud tawon mo-require ang PSA anang urine ug blood test? Ang amo intawon gi-hope permi nga magpa-interview sila and that's all," Rafols said.

But Rafols said that their survey enumerators kept on coming back to their house for an interview but to no avail.

He said that Cuizon is among the respondents randomly pre-selected by PSA database.

Based on the order of Associate City Prosecutor Gloria Era Antonino of the National Prosecution Service, Prosecution Office in Mandaue City dated July 26, 2019, the filing of the case for such violation against Cuizon has been recommended.

The order stated that once randomly pre-selected, respondents are required to give truthful and complete answers to statistical inquiries of the PSA.

"Noteworthy too that PSA employees endeavored to communicate with the respondent and even seek assistance from the barangay but the latter remained uncooperative," the order read.

Cuizon added that he never got the chance to meet any of the PSA personnel as he works at 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.  JMD (FREEMAN)

PHILIPPINE STATISTICS AUTHORITY
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