Confusion continues to reign regarding the rules for Sunday´s national census, in part because Ecuador´s census officials are still tinkering with the details.
The government´s mandate that citizens, residents and tourists remain in their homes and hotels during the count is common prcatice in Latin America as well as in countries in Asia and Africa. Government officials say it is necessary in countries without extensive computer data bases that contain information about citizens, such as in the U.S. and most European countries. They also say the process is cheaper and more efficient than taking months to count all heads. On the question of inconvenience, they point out that the census happens only once in 10 years.
Argentina´s census, which has rules similar to Ecuador´s, made the news in October when international news crews came to the country to cover the death of former president Nestor Kirchner. When they arrived at the Buenos Aires airport, reporters were told by airport police to go directly to their hotels and stay there until the conclusion of the census. The biggest complaint by foriegners regarded the prohibition of purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Ecuador has similar rules including a three-day prohibition of alcohol sales.
The following is the Ecuadorian census office´s official statement about the census. It was issued Nov. 19. Other advisories, in English, can be found on the U.S. and British Ecuador embassy websites.
The Ecuadorian National Institute of Statistic and Census is organizing the Population and Housing Census 2010. It will take place on November 28th. The census will start at 7:00 am and will finish at 5:00 pm all across the Ecuadorian territory.
We are asking all residents and visitors to stay in their homes and hotels the whole day of November 28th , from 7:00 am until 5:00 pm, in order to achieve a successful census process. We are thankful you for your comprehension.
The census is a traditional survey that happens every ten years in Ecuador. The information to be requested is totally confidential therefore people shouldn’t be worried about it. We also inform that all kind of shops (supermarkets, groceries stores, department stores, etc.) will be closed during the census until 5:00 pm. Nevertheless, hospitals, health centers, police service sand hotels will be opened normally.
We remind people that all kind of transportation by air, by land or by sea is suspended during the census timeframe (28th November), the only exceptions are the international flights and the foreign passengers who are flying from Ecuador continent to Galapagos Island.
The Population and Housing Census has only a statistics purpose. We remind you that it is technical and legally impossible to use this information for taxes, legal investigations or military recruitment. Despite of your migration condition, everybody who sleeps in Ecuadorian territory during the night of November 27th to November 28th will be counted in the census.
The 2010 Ecuadorian´s census will be on 28th November for the urban areas and since 28th November to 5th December for the rural areas. Three important operating will be managed: the individual housing operating is the biggest part of census; the second one is the survey in collective places like jail, convent or monastery; and, the last one is the homelessness census population that will be on the night of 27th November.
Passengers who are flying this day:
In the airport case, we are granting buses, van and a taxi services with the legal permission to transit. Hotels are taking care of their passengers’ transportation.
If a passenger comes to Ecuador with a tour arrangement or a travel agency, the transportation to hotel or ship will be covered by the travel agency.
If a passenger comes by himself (it means without a hotel reservation or travel agency), the passenger should help us and stay at the airport until 5:00 pm or take one of the legally allowed taxis to move to the place he decides either in Quito or Guayaquil.
We inform you that food services in the airport and hotels will be operating normally.
Residents who live in Ecuador:
It is important to remind you that you should only be asked questions that are on the census form.
If you want you can check the questions on our web site: http://www.censos2010.gob.ec
We would also like to remind people that on the Census questionnaire WE DON’T ASK:
• The Passport or ID number.
• How much and What kind of property or assets do you have
• If you want to share your house
• Your migration situation
• The house owner’s name
• Any personal details: salary, bank account, credit card number, password, or phone number.
• Finally, you shouldn’t sign any papers for the Ecuadorian Census.
For the Diplomatic Corps:
The Diplomatic Corps of each embassy has a special status. For this reason the diplomatic staff will not be part of the Ecuadorian census in terms of inquiries; however we request them to help us and don´t move during the census day. If somebody needs more information about this matter, please contact your embassy.
We would like to remind you that the information is: “confidential, and consequently we cannot publish any individual information by any means; we cannot use the information with the aim of taxes, military recruitment or legally investigation, and in general, for any other no statistical or data bases census. We can only publish the global statistics results and report paper for the data census bases,” according to draft 21 in the Statistic Ecuadorian Law.
The Ecuadorian National Institute of Statistic and Census (INEC) complies with his duty announcing and informing people about the statistic diffusion for any policies Ecuadorian might need. For more information you can call to 1800 080808, or check: