CRC consultant and former University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) President, Dr. Jose Maria G. Mariano spoke about recent trends in ethical considerations about gathering personal information when he gave the University Day Lecture to celebrate the anniversary of UA&P in 2019.
In our ethical preoccupations with counting, we note that more than data over which we have little or no control (birth, ethnicity, sex, genetic hair, color), it is data concerning what we choose and the decisions we make that awakens our deepest concern and solicitude.
If anything, the ongoing debates in preparation for the 2020 census reflects the passionate sometimes anxious, even aggressive, interest to be classified according to how one freely decides to live his life.
It is appropriate that accountability for counting (by other parties) arises most sensitively here, at the high-stake consequences of counting, where what is counted is where we ourselves feel most accountable: our free decisions. For, it is also here, in our acts of free will, where we experience the keenest sense of who we “really” are, which is reflected in the dignity of being counted and recognized “as one.”
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