Senator Win Gatchalian (File photo)

MANILA – Senator Win Gatchalian hailed a new law that establishes the permanent validity of certificates of live birth, death, and marriage.

Republic Act 11909 or the Permanent Validity of the Certificates of Live Birth, Death, and Marriage Act, which Gatchalian co-authored, covers live birth, death, and marriage certificates issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), its predecessor the National Statistics Office (NSO), and local civil registries. It also applies to certificates registered and issued by the Philippine Foreign Service Posts, and transmitted to the PSA.

“Dapat padaliin natin para sa ating mga kababayan ang pagkuha ng mga importanteng dokumento. Kaya naman isinulong nating magkaroon ng permanent validity ang ating mga birth, death, at marriage certificates upang hindi na mahirapan ang publiko sa pagkuha ng mga dokumentong ito (We must expedite the process of obtaining important documents for our countrymen. This is why we pushed having permanent validity for our birth, death, at marriage certificates so the public would not have difficulty getting these documents),” Gatchalian said in a statement on Wednesday.

Regardless of the date of issuance, these certificates shall be recognized and accepted in all government or private transactions or services requiring their submission as proof of identity and legal status. These, however, should remain intact and readable, and should still visibly contain the authenticity and security features.

The permanent validity of marriage certificates is applicable only when the marriage has not been judicially decreed annulled or void as provided for under the Family Code of the Philippines or any subsequent amendatory law on marriage.

The law further provides that national government agencies and instrumentalities, government-owned and -controlled corporations, local government units, private companies, private and public educational institutions, and other non-government entities are prohibited from requiring the submission of another or newer certificates when a valid certificate can already be presented.

Gatchalian said this law would spare Filipinos from the additional expense and inconvenience of getting new copies of these documents.

To verify the authenticity of these certificates and reports of birth, death, or marriage, the law also mandates the PSA to coordinate with the Department of Information and Communications Technology to develop a civil registry database and establish a virtual viewing facility in local civil registries and in the Philippine Foreign Service Posts. (PR)