National census extended to Friday

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A census official collects information. The census has been extended to Friday in highly populated areas. Supplied

As civil servants are working to account for citizens in the Kingdom during the third national census, a high-ranking official yesterday announced it has been extended by two days until Friday due to complications in some highly populated areas.

Hang Lina, director-general of the National Institute of Statistics, said the decision to extend the census period in the country’s most populated areas was based on an increase of population in some areas and uncooperative citizens.

Census officials pose for a group photo. Supplied

“One area could have up to 300 families now,” Ms Lina said, noting that the work could still be completed with the current amount of NIS civil servants, which number about 5,000. “We do not need new civil servants, we need current civil servants to work longer.”

Families have been reluctant in revealing some information, such as how many vehicles are owned and levels of education, she added.

“Some families do not want to reveal information,” Ms Lina said. “We tell them not to worry because it will all be kept secret.”

Yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen told citizens to cooperate with census officials.

Speaking to graduating university students in Phnom Penh, he said the census is needed for policy development.

“The census is necessary so we have enough time to shape our vision for the future,” Mr Hun Sen said. “It is for the future development of our nation.”

“The census can provide complete data on population,” he added. “It can provide information about local residents that we need.”

Mr Hun Sen said the government will use the data obtained from the census to update records at the Interior and Health Ministries.

Sam Oeun, 60, said his family has already been interviewed by a census official.

“I stayed at home and waited for the census official to come to my house,” Mr Oeun said. “He asked me about education, culture, jobs and personal properties.”

Census officials gather information from a couple. Supplied

“I did not hide information from him because I think that it’s important to have statistics,” he added.

So Pheavy, a Phnom Penh resident, said she has yet to be interviewed.

“For my household, no official has come yet, but I will wait because the survey period is not finished,” Ms Pheavy said. “My family will welcome them.”

Cambodia has held a census two times in the last 20 years. The first census in 1998 pinned the population at 11 million and the second in 2008 increased it to 13 million. It is estimated the current population is about 16 million.

WATCH: H.E. Mrs Hang Lina, Ministry of Planning In charge of Director General of National Institute of Statistics discussing Cambodia's Census 2019.

Posted by Khmer Times on Monday, 4 March 2019

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