Permanent validity of birth certificate to ease Filipinos’ burden

By Lade Jean Kabagani

May 26, 2022, 1:55 pm

MANILA – The proposed measure seeking permanent validity of the certificates of live birth, death, and marriage, will ease the burden of “ordinary Filipinos,” an official of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said Thursday.

CHR executive director, lawyer Jacqueline Ann de Guia, in a statement, welcomed the approval of Senate Bill No. 245 also known as the Permanent Validity of the Certificates of Live Birth, Death, and Marriage Act, in its third and final reading.

“The Commission fully supports this bill as it will vastly ease the burden on ordinary citizens, especially those that hail from far-flung areas, from exerting their time, money, and effort on civil registry documents that should be as immutable and legitimate as their right to recognition,” de Guia said.

“We welcome this inclusive development and urge its immediate ratification so the President may sign it into law,” she added.

De Guia cited the benefits of the measure that “categorically nullifies the requirement of some government and private institutions to have these documents be obtained and submitted within a six-month validity period due to the expiring of its security paper.”

Such certificates are being issued and certified by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the National Statistics Office (NSO).

“The bill states that as long as the official document remains intact, readable, and visibly contains the authenticity and security features, it shall have permanent validity regardless of the date of issuance and shall be recognized and accepted in all government or private transactions or services requiring submission thereof, as proof of identity and legal status of a person,” de Guia noted.

Under the measure, all government offices, private companies, schools, and non-government entities will be banned from requiring newly-issued birth, death, or marriage certificates from those transacting business with them.

The bill was approved with 21 affirmative votes, no negative vote, and no abstention in the Senate.

The House of Representatives has likewise approved the counterpart measure in June last year.

The chamber passed through voice voting House Bill 9175, which aims to establish an effective system for providing copies of civil registry documents by removing duplicitous processes and requirements involving the issuance and use of such documents.

The bicameral conference committee is set to deliberate the bill. (PNA)