The crowd at the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) campaign caravan at the Holy Name University Oval was huge, or at least huge enough to almost fill the entire venue. But how many people were actually there?
Local political camps under the HnP had varied estimates, 25,000 and 18,000. The police however said that the rally held on Wednesday drew an estimated 10,000 individuals.
“Through measurement of the area yung estimation namin. HNU Oval at least 4,000-5,000 sq.m, two to three pax per sq.m kaya through estimation nabigay namin yung figure na 9,000 to 10,000,” said Tagbilaran City Police chief Supt. Christopher Navida, ground commander during the event.
The formula used for the estimation was length of the venue multiplied by width of the venue by the estimated number of persons per square meter.
This method is used by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the City Disaster Risk Management Office, added Navida.
A reliable source from the Holy Name University also confirmed that the venue has a maximum standing capacity of 10,000 people.
According to Navida, information gathered from organizers of the event also indicated a similar estimate based on the target number of people who were to be transported from the towns to the venue, at 200 from each of Bohol’s 47 municipalities.
“Specific yung tinanong natin sa mga organizer which through interview lumalabas na 200 sa mga municipalities…na-compute natin na lumalabas halos ng municipalities nakapag-deliver ng more or less 9,000,” he said.
Check on your own
The online tool, using the venue’s surface area and the estimated crowd density, indicated that 9,842 people could fit in the oval itself, but excluding the stage area.
Based on photos taken during the event, the crowd density inputted in the calculation was three persons per square meter. The Tagbilaran City Police meanwhile used “two to three” persons per square meter as estimated crowd density in their calculation based on their actual ground observation during the event.
However, Poynter noted that the crowd size checking tool only gives an estimate and not the exact figure.
“MapChecking is great to get an initial estimate. The resulting number should not be taken as a precise figure, however,” Poynter said.
Poynter, deemed a global leader in journalism, is a 43-year-old institution which established the International Fact-Checking Network, a forum for fact checkers worldwide to “support fact-checking initiatives by promoting best practices and exchanges” in the industry.