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15/01/2010: Ambassador Gaa Urges the Filipino Community to Participate in the 2010 United States Census

15 JANUARY 2010 WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the 2010 U.S. Census approaches, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa urged the Filipino community to participate in the decennial national census of the United States population.  The census is a count of all persons living in the United States—citizens and non-citizens alike, and it is conducted every ten years.

“I encourage all Filipinos to register and participate in this year’s census as the growing Filipino community has proven to be a vibrant element of the United States, evidenced by the numerous achievements and positive contributions to their respective communities by our millions of kababayans here in the U.S. An accurate count of the total number of Filipinos would provide accurate data of the respective concentrations of Filipinos in the different parts of the United States. It is an opportunity for us to realize the full potential of our strength as we strive to attain empowerment and relevance as a community in local and national politics,” Ambassador Gaa said.

In 2000, there was an estimated 2.3 million Filipinos living in the United States. The census data serves as a basis for determining the number of seats for each state in the U.S. House of Representatives.  It also affects the allocation of federal funding, which is partly based on the information gathered from the count.

Ambassador Gaa further pointed out that, “It is important that all Filipinos residing in the U.S. be accurately counted as the results of this census helps the U.S. Federal and local governments determine allocation for funding, particularly of essential social services and community programs that would benefit members of the community and small, minority owned businesses.” The Ambassador further explained that even private institutions and foundations refer to census data when planning and programming their various grants and assistance programs to communities. An inaccurate reflection of the true size and composition of the Filipino community could result in the missing out on several opportunities and benefits that could otherwise be made available. This is one of the reasons why the Philippine Embassy has supported efforts by the U.S. Census to help spread the word and encourage all those residing in the U.S. to participate.

The 2010 census questionnaire contains 10 questions about key demographic information on each U.S. household.  Data gathered from the respondents are kept confidential by the Census Bureau and will not be divulged to other government agencies and law enforcement entities, as stipulated by law. Additional information about the census is available at the Embassy’s website at www.philippineembassy-usa.org. END.