Workshop on Improving Disability Data for Policy
|Documentation for the Workshop /
Country Papers : Philippines
Collecting National Disability Data in a Census in the Philippines
Amalia S. Sevilla*
Statistics are vital tools used for assessing development in a country. Both the government and the private sectors used statistics in their decision-making process. The availability of relevant information on how the population, education, economic and housing trends interact helps many of us in the government as well as in the private sector to identify issues of importance in achieving development in our own respective area of concern. The availability of these information plays an important role in the identification of needs of both domestic and international businesses.
In the Philippines, the official source on the size and distribution of the population as well as information about the demographic, social, economic and cultural characteristics is the Census of Population and Housing. It is one of the largest statistical undertakings of the National Statistics Office (NSO). Batas Pambansa Blg. 72 mandates the NSO to conduct an Integrated Census every ten years beginning in 1980. One of the information collected in the census is the information on persons with disability (PWD).
Collecting and producing statistics on disability in the Philippines cannot be set aside as it influences policy makers on how to organize their plans for development, make decisions, and make efficient and sustainable use of the available and scarce resources for the betterment of PWD. Worldwide, a number of countries also had been working on their own policies and programs in building the capacity of PWD. The United Nations for one, urge government agencies to develop and provide the needed programs or PWD in their proclamation of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons from 1903 to 2002 and its extension to another decade from 2003 2012. Hence, given the importance in promoting and developing better statistics and indicators on disability, the statistical system must first and foremost respond to the growing demands for disability statistics.
The official data on disability in the Philippines was first collected in a census during the 1990 Census of Population and Housing to provide planners with basis to prepare plans for rehabilitation, education development and preventive programs for PWD. Since then, disability data are collected by the NSO during census, and the most recent was the 2000 Census of Population and Housing (CENSUS 2000). In 1995, disability data were also collected in a special census called the 1995 Mid-Decade Census of Population.
II. COLLECTION OF DISABILITY DATA IN OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
Prior to the conduct of the 1990 Census of Population, in an effort to determine the prevalence of impairments in the non-institutionalized population in the country, the National Commission Concerning Disabled Persons (NCCDP) conducted the first National Disability Survey. In this survey, 1,470 out of 33,278 persons or 4.4 percent were found to have impairments. Among the limitations pointed out in this survey were: there was no functional assessment done to verify the answers, training was not standardized, stigma associated in reporting disability, and no data on response rate.
Another attempt was in 1995 when the Department of Health (DOH) embarked on a nationwide registration of persons with disability whose main objective was advocacy in order for PWD to go out and register and become part of their disability programs. The initiative went on from 1996-1997. However, the results were very low, and a large part of the data remained unanalysed, probably due to lack of resources and other technical difficulties. The registration encountered a lot of administrative problems like budgetary requirements, coordination among government agencies as well as among national agencies and local government units. From this experience, the DOH concluded that the magnitude of disability and the type of disability cannot be extracted from the nationwide registration.
Realizing the need to develop a system of reliable information on disability, a group of doctors in collaboration with the DOH, conducted a nationwide Disability Prevalence Survey. The objectives of this survey were the following:
The survey, which was conducted from July 2000 to October 31, 2002, utilized licensed nurses and physical therapist to administer the survey. The results of the survey yielded a crude prevalence rate of 2.9 percent, which was still below the 10 percent estimate of the United Nations for developing countries. Other limitations of the study, which was very medically approach, were the lack of adequate human resources that will gather information for the survey and the lack of adequate medical equipment to be used in assessing the type of disability. These factors were two of the reasons why it took some time to finish the survey. Further, there were other information needs in terms of services such as vocational training and livelihood training, which were not addressed in the survey.
Other agencies relied on the reports submitted to them by concerned PWD individuals or by their respective satellite offices as the need arise. For example, the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Security and Insurance System had available data on employed workers registered in their system who became disabled when they claim for benefits. The Department of Social Welfare and Development on the other hand, is able to collect disability statistics based on the submitted administrative forms on Social Services For Distressed and Displaced Population by their accredited centers in terms of client served by their centers and institutions. The Department of Education used the enrolment records of public schools and special schools where PWD are currently enrolled for their own planning purposes. The definition used by these agencies may be different from one another and that of the definition of World Health Organization as their scope and objectives were different.
The above developments recognized the importance of information on PWD in terms of provision of programs and services. Hence, in the conduct of CENSUS 2000, where the source of information collected are richer and the disaggregation is at a more detailed geographic breakdown (barangay the lowest political unit in the Philippines), the questions of disability were included.
III. COLLECTION OF DISABILITY DATA IN CENSUS 2000
3.1 CONSIDERATIONS ON DISABILITY ITEMS
One important activity during the census preparatory phase is to come up with the list of questions to be included in CENSUS 2000. This activity entails a thorough and careful review and evaluation of past census experiences since the success of the census will largely and collectively depend on them.
About 16 months before the main census operation, a consultative meeting with the data users was conducted through a public hearing. The objectives of the public hearing on CENSUS 2000 Items, Concepts and Definitions were:
The House Committee on Population and Family Relations sponsored the public hearing, which was conducted at the House of Representatives for 2 days.
Among the agencies (government agencies and non-government) that attended the public hearing were the Catholic Handicapped Development Inc., Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Education, and the National Council on the Welfare of Disabled Persons.
Data on disability were used by these agencies for monitoring and targeting purposes. The Department of Health (DOH) used disability statistics for targeting population to be provided with health services, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for opening doors for employment to persons with disability, the Department of Education (DepEd) for their program concerning provision of special education to persons with disability, the Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD) for targeting services needed by persons with disability (PWD), and the National Council for the Welfare of the Disabled Persons (NCWDP) for making policies for PWD.
In the public hearing, the recommendation was to use the World Health Organization (WHO) definition on disability as reference. Likewise, it was recommended to adopt categories, which are simple and operationally viable.
3.2 DEFINITION AND CATEGORIES OF DISABILITY USED
After the consultation with the data users and with the recommendations during the public hearing, the definition of disability used in the CENSUS 2000 was:
Disability refers to any restriction or lack of ability (resulting from impairment) to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being. Impairments associated with disabilities may be physical, mental or sensory motor impairment such as partial or total blindness and deafness, muteness, speech defect, orthopedic handicaps, and mental retardation.
The categories of disability used in CENSUS 2000 which were provided by the Catholic Handicapped Development were:
These categories (Appendix E) with detailed description of each type were included in the CENSUS 2000 Enumerators Manual used during the training of enumerators and which also served as their reference material during field enumeration. In addition to the Enumerators Manual, these were also included in the codebook used by the enumerators during the field operation.
There were two census questions asked to gather information on disability: For each member of the household or institutional living quarters the following questions were asked:
3.3 COVERAGE OF CENSUS 2000
The CENSUS 2000 adopted the de jure concept of enumeration, wherein the residents were enumerated in their usual place of residence. This means that all Filipino nationals residing in the Philippines were included in the total population count. Also included were Filipino nationals who were temporarily at sea or are temporarily abroad as of census date; Filipino overseas workers as of census date, even though expected to be away for more than a year; Philippine government officials, both military and civilian, including Philippine diplomatic personnel and their families, assigned abroad; Civilian citizens of foreign countries having their usual residence in the Philippines or foreign visitors who have stayed or are expected to stay for at least a year from the time of arrival in the country.
Also included in CENSUS 2000 were persons who are found living in Institutional Living Quarters (ILQ), who may have their own families or households elsewhere but at the time of census, are committed or confines in institutions, or they live in institutional living quarters and are usually subject to a common authority or management, or are bound by either a common public objective or a common personal interest.
Institutional Living Quarters in CENSUS 2000 are structurally separate and independent places of abode intended for habitation by large groups of individuals. Examples of ILQs in operation at the time of census that were included were:
3.4 DATA COLLECTION PROCEDURES
a. Method of Enumeration
The census methodology adopted a combination of complete enumeration and sampling. Households were simultaneously listed through mapping and canvassing procedures, and enumerated. The household members were listed and their characteristics were recorded on census forms through a personal interview of the household head or any responsible member of the household.
Households residing in areas which were identified as inaccessible or those with potentially high rate of refusals and those that were not interviewed after three visits were requested to fill up the questionnaire with the aid of the instructions for Self-Administered Questionnaire provided to them. The questionnaire was later picked-up based on the appointed date.
For selected areas depending on the size of municipality, a sample household questionnaire was administered. On the other hand, a common household questionnaire was used to non-sample households. The scheme used for the selection of sample households was systematic sampling with clusters as the sampling units. Each municipality was treated as a domain. The households comprising the first cluster were determined through a random start. The succeeding sample clusters were determined based on the sampling rate of the municipality. The different sampling rates used are listed below:
The respondent who was interviewed by the enumerator was any responsible household member who can provide accurate answers to all the questions in CENSUS 2000. The head of the household and the spouse were the one mostly interviewed in CENSUS 2000. For questions on disability, the chosen respondent was the one who answered the questions.
c. Reference Period
All pertinent data on population and housing were gathered as of May 1, 2000. Hence, for disability, all persons reported with disability were as of this reference period.
The period of enumeration was from May 1 to May 31, for a period of 20 days.
In CENSUS 2000, public school teachers were employed for the enumeration work, as this was what was stated in Section 7 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 72. In places where the number of qualified teachers was not sufficient to meet the required number of enumerators, persons considered and recruited were non-teaching personnel of the Department of Education, other government personnel and other qualified individuals.
The CENSUS 2000 questionnaires were written in the English language. However, translation guides were also prepared in eight major dialects to guide the enumerators in asking questions in local dialect. The translation guides provided the translated version of each question in the questionnaire. These were in Bicol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ifugao, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Tagalog and Waray,
f. Publicity and Information Program
The publicity program for CENSUS 2000 was done intensively for NSO by the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication Foundation Inc. (UP CMCFI). The information, education and communication (IEC) activities underatken covered communication research, training, multi-media, publicity and market promotions, program monitoring and evaluation.
Among the strategies implemented were the training of NSO personnel to increase awareness among employees; endorsement of CENSUS 2000 by the President of the Philippine through a television ad plug; press launching of CENSUS 2000; distribution of press releases, information sheets, posters and leaflets to all national agencies, supporters and partners; television appearances and interviews of the NSO administrator; television and radio plugs by well known personalities and public officials; newspaper ads; development of IEC campaign focused on hard- to-enumerate communities like the Chinese, Muslims and high-income groups, and other local strategies.
3.5 SCOPE OF CENSUS 2000
Since the methodology used in CENSUS 2000 was a combination of complete enumeration and sampling, there were demographic characteristics that were collected in CENSUS 2000 on a 100 percent basis and some on a sampling basis.
The demographic characteristics that were collected on a 100 percent basis were Relationship to Household Head, Age, Sex, Marital Status, Religious Affiliation, Ethnicity, Disability, Highest Grade Completed and Residence 5 Years Ago. On the other hand, the housing characteristics that were collected through complete enumeration were Type of Building, Construction Materials of the Roof, Construction Materials of the Outer Walls, State of Repair, Year Building Built, Floor Area, and Tenure Status of Lot. These characteristics are in the Common Household Questionnaire (Appendix B).
On the other hand, the characteristics collected on a sample basis in addition to the characteristics mentioned above were Citizenship, Literacy, Able to Speak Filipino, Able to Speak English, School Attendance, Place of School, Residence 10 Years Ago, Occupation, Type of Industry, Place of Work, and Class of Worker. Fertility characteristics were also collected from women 15-49 years old. While for housing characteristics, the additional variables collected were Floor Area of the Housing Unit, Fuel For Lighting, Fuel for Cooking, Source of Water Supply for drinking/cooking and for laundry/cooking, Tenure Status of Housing Unit, Acquisition of Housing Unit, Source of Financing, Monthly Rental of Housing Unit, Usual Manner of Garbage Disposal, Kind of Toilet Facility, Presence of Household Conveniences, Land Ownership, Language Generally Spoken in the Household, and Residence 5 Years from now. Appendix C shows the Sample Household Questionnaire where all these characteristics were gathered.
The characteristics gathered for institutional population (Appendix D) were the same as that in the Common Household Questionnaire, without the housing characteristics.
3.6 APPLICATION OF QUALITY CONTROL PROCEDURES
In all major phases of the operation, the following quality control procedures were undertaken to ensure quality of data collected and produced:
a. Conduct of Pretest
A census, being a massive operation, necessitates conduct of pretests and pilot censuses to be successful. Hence, prior to the conduct of the actual census, conduct of pretest and pilot census were conducted.
In order to determine the average time duration per interview to be used as basis in the computation of the output for the enumeration, a pretest of the 2000 Census of Population and Housing was conducted. Also, it aimed to check the efficiency of the questionnaire design such as the arrangement of the items and how it was presented as a question in order to solicit the needed information in a more effective way.
The pretest was conducted in three barangays of a province, of which an urban barangay, a rural barangay and a resettlement area were represented.
Among the results worth mentioning in this report was that although English and Tagalog can be an effective combination of interview, use of local dialect was believed to be more effective and had reduced interview time. Likewise, in urban areas, use of English language made the interview time shorter and that the interview took longer when translated to Tagalog.
b. Conduct of Pilot Census
A year before the actual census, the Pilot Census of the 2000 Census of Population and Housing was conducted as a full scale census, in all aspects and operations, in selected pilot census areas, to test procedures recommended for use in actual census and improve any aspect, if necessary. Specifically, the pilot census aimed to:
The pilot census was conducted in 1 province each from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and ARMM while 2 barangays were selected from the National Capital Region (NCR).
During these operations, the technical aspects of census proceedings were evaluated as to their degree of effectivity. The results served as the bases in formulating the final census procedures.
b. Conduct of Training
To ensure smooth flow of CENSUS 2000, four (4) levels of training were conducted. Each level of training was participated in by selected group of persons in a specified training center. The following were the materials used during training:
c. Field Supervision
Various field supervision and quality control procedures were implemented to ensure that the census procedures were properly implemented and that the data collected from the field are of good quality. One of the strategies employed was the review of accomplished questionnaires by the supervisor during field enumeration, on a random basis. Supervisors called the attention of the enumerators for errors detected as well as for questionable entries. All questionnaires not properly filled-up or with blank items, were returned to the enumerator for callback to the household.
Spotchecks and re-interviews of households enumerated were conducted at different levels of supervision to ensure that data collected from the field were of good quality. In CENSUS 2000, at least 5 levels of supervision were implemented. These were at the team supervisors level, census area supervisors level, district supervisors level, provincial statistics officers level and regional administrators level. Supervisory duties and responsibilities as well as the specific procedures to be conducted are all contained in a manual called Supervisors Manual. Field Operation Manual was also designed to help the Field Office Officers and Supervisors in conducting supervision in their respective areas.
In special areas wherein reports were received that some areas were still not fully covered and listed as in the NCR, a saturation drive was conducted wherein hired enumerators were utilized to cover the area fully.
The supervisors used the Supervisors Manual as their guide in doing supervisory functions where all the needed supervisory functions and forms to be filled up were provided. A one-day training was also allotted for supervisors to equip them and impart to them the importance of monitoring the work of the enumerators.
d. Manual Processing
In order to ensure that all enumeration areas were accounted for, completeness check was done on the submitted questionnaires per barangay.
Prior to data entry of questionnaires, all questionnaires underwent verification on a sample basis to ensure quality of data to be keyed-in from the questionnaires. The Common Household Questionnaires (CPH Form 2) were verified on a 10 percent basis while the Sample Household Questionnaires (CPH Form 3) on a 20 percent basis. If 50 percent or more of the questionnaires being verified failed, 100 percent or all the questionnaires belonging to the said barangay were verified. In the verification stage, items that were not coded were provided with codes based on the write-in entries specified in the questionnaire. Consistency check was also done if there were obvious errors noticed by the processors. The manual processors were given training and written instructions on how to manually edit the questionnaires
Manual processors used green ballpen to differentiate their entries from the enumerators and that of the field supervisors editors.
e. Machine Processing
Questionnaires before machine processing underwent another round of completeness check to ensure that all areas were all accounted for. Questionnaires were also properly arranged and sorted by barangay.
The processors underwent extensive training on the use of processing system. Their accomplishments were closely monitored to ensure that the questionnaires will be processed according to the timetable.
Key verification was also undertaken to 20 percent of the encoded questionnaires to check the correctness in the data entry done by the encoder. If 50 percent of the encoded items failed key verification, all the questionnaires will be re-keyed in. The concerned processor was re-trained for this purpose.
f. Post Machine Processing
Prior to tabulation, the following procedures were done to further ensure quality of data processed:
3.7 RESPONSE RATE
Since disability data was asked to all households, the response rate for households was 100 percent. In terms of unit non-response, on the items whether a person has disability and the type of disability a person has, both registered a 100 percent response rate.
Since the census operation was a massive operation, there were no follow-up studies done for those who did not report if they have any disability. However, to minimize nonresponse, while the enumerators are still during field supervision, supervisors called the attention of enumerators if questionnaires were not properly filled-up or with blank items. The questionnaires were then returned to the enumerator for revisit to the household.
3.8 STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS
The commitment to gather and produce statistics on disability is one of the major factors that contributed to the success of the conduct of CENSUS 2000, in general. With this commitment, NSO ensured that the CENSUS 2000 will be undertaken with careful planning and preparation.
The NSO, being the major producer of official statistics through its conduct of censuses, took part in improving disability statistics by collaborating with various data users, disseminating, and institutionalization. Consultation with data users was conducted prior to the finalization of the items to be included in the questionnaire. The NSO adapted standard coordination procedures. This includes assistance and active participation of other agencies for the smooth flow of census operations and to be able to come up with an accurate census data. As in the previous census, close coordination with the government and non-government was pursued. Likewise, partnership to various private and public sectors and organizations was pursued. Through this coordination, essential assistance was extended to the NSO by different participating agencies.
Public information campaign on the conduct of CENSUS 2000 was done intensively to rally overall support for the nationwide undertaking. It created awareness on the importance of the census and had gained favorable attitude towards it through their support and cooperation. Participation in census taking was encouraged and had reached to many Filipinos as possible.
Utilization of public school teachers as enumerators provided integrity to the results of CENSUS 2000. Filipinos have high regard for public school teachers because they are trustworthy and shown commitment and dedication to serve as public servants.
Various quality control procedures were implemented to minimize error in all stages of the project, from the early stage of operation, to actual operation, processing, and tabulation of results to ensure quality of results.
In terms of disseminating disability statistics in various media for various users, the NSO continuously look for opportunities. Among the efforts exerted by NSO in dissemination disability statistics were the conduct of data dissemination on PWD based on CENSUS 2000 to selected NSO employees and staff of NCWDP to increase their awareness on the number of PWD and their characteristics during the celebration of the 25th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week, preparation of fact sheet on PWD, distribution of fact sheet to other agencies during meetings attended by NSO staff and posting of PWD statistics on the NSO Bulletin Boards with accompanying graphs and tables. Preparation of a special volume for PWD based on CENSUS 2000 for publication is also currently being undertaken.
While CENSUS 2000 remained to be the main source of information on disability, producing statistics that are acceptable to data users continued to be a major challenge to the NSO. In CENSUS 2000, the proportion of PWD was registered at 1.23 percent, which is way below the 10 percent prevalence rate estimated by the World Health Organization for developing countries and that of the DOH Prevalence Survey at 2.9 pecent. The difference in these estimates made these agencies uncomfortable with the results of disability statistics in CENSUS 2000. The difference in the estimates however, may be attributed to the difference in the measurement, concepts, instruments, and manner of data collection used. Hence, the adequacy of information on disability remains a major factor in the countrys dilemma in trying to provide programs and services to the disabled sector.
One of the ordeals in collecting disability information in CENSUS 2000 is the operationalization of the definition of disability and its categories. While the definitions of disability as well as its categories were clearly defined in the enumerators manual and the enumerators were instructed to give these definitions to the respondent, defining one by one the 19 categories of disability to the respondent for each member of the household was not generally done in the field as these were not included in the questionnaire itself. Elaboration of the definition of disability was given through provision of examples of some types of disability.
Persons with disability were identified through the answers of the respondent, based on what they perceived they were. There was no functional assessment done by the enumerators, which may have contributed to the reported difference in the count of PWD in the country, that of the UN estimate and the DOH prevalence rate. The training provided to the enumerators did not include assessment of the type of disability. There are types of disability, which require assessment by doctors and specialist, which the enumerators were not trained of. Examples of these are retardation (regular and severed), mental illness (regular and severed), deafness (total and partial), hard of hearing and others.
Another major limiting factor of ensuring cooperation from the respondent is the degree of perception the Filipinos have on reporting PWD. Many people in the country feared of social and economic marginalization as well as discrimination they might get once they report a member of their family having disability, especially for the severe cases. Hence, the stigma associated with reporting disabilities certainly limited their answers to these questions.
Constraints in terms of available resources prevented adding more questions to gather information on disability. Other data needs of data users and planners like problems confronting PWD and their needs on a national scale are not addressed in CENSUS 2000.
Further, there is no information system on disability that could be shared with other government agencies which is vital in addressing and assessing the real needs pf PWD and issues PWD face.
IV. AVAILABLE DISABILITY STATISTICS
The following are the available sources of disability statistics:
CONTACT PERSON FOR THE CENSUS:
Ms.Josie B. Perez
2000 Census of Population and Housing Enumerators Manual, National Statistics Office, Philippines
2000 Census of Population Supervisors Manual, National Statistics Office, Philippines
2000 Census of Population Field Operations Manual, National Statistics Office, Philippines
2000 Census of Population Procedural History, Volume 1, National Statistics Office, Philippines
The Philippine Disability Survey, A Collaborative Study, Department of Health and the University of the Philippines Manila Development Foundation by De Guzman, Baltazar, Mancao, Baquilod and Trinidad
1983 National Disability Survey, National Council for the Welfare of the Disabled Persons, Philippines
Note: Appendices A, B, C, and D will be available in electronic versions to participants.
CATEGORIES OF DISABILITY AND THEIR DEFINITIONS
* Statistician IV, National Statistics Office, Philippines. A country report submitted to United Nations- Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP), Bangkok, Thailand in connection with the Workshop on Improving Disability Data for Policy Use on September 23-26, 2003.
Copyright (c) 2003 UNESCAP