Bacolod City to use security seal for government-issued documents

By Nanette Guadalquiver

September 26, 2023, 6:41 pm

BACOLOD CITY – The city government here will soon bid out the delivery of services to implement the ordinance mandating a security seal on issued official documents.

Councilor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, chair of the City Council’s Committee on Appropriation and Finance, said on Tuesday that the bidding would proceed once funding is available.

However, it does not mean the release of the PHP35 million requirement in a single tranche.

“If you need certification from the city, you will need to pay extra for the seal. The national government uses this now. The Department of the Interior and Local Government memorandum issued to us also has a security seal,” he added in an interview.

The City Council last week approved the ordinance authored by Sayson and Councilor Al Victor Espino, promoting and ensuring the integrity of official documents and issuance of frontline offices/departments by mandating the use of the security seal on official and original documents issued to transacting persons.

The ordinance also sets appropriate fees for the security seal, appropriates the needed funds for its implementation and provides penalties for violations.

These would initially cover documents like birth, marriage and death certificates.

“Once you have the security seal, you are assured that the documents you bring with you are authentic. It cannot be forged, torn, or tampered (with). This is now being used by the national government. We just want to adopt it,” Sayson said.

Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, in an interview, said the city government wants to ensure the validity and authenticity of the issued government documents through the security seal.

“The funding requirement would not be shouldered outright by the city. The fee for the issuance of certificates has remained PHP50 since the time it was enacted, which is more than 20 or 30 years. We are behind other cities; there are those that already charge PHP155,” he added.

Benitez said increasing fees would also mean additional benefits for those obtaining the government-issued documents.

According to the ordinance, the prevalence of fake and forged documents saw the need for putting additional security features on official and regular-issued legal and original documents even more imperative.

The use of document security seals will provide sufficient and able protection to the city’s official and regularly issued legal and original documents, as well as promote ease in the verification of authenticity and ultimately redound to expediency in the delivery of services, the ordinance added. (PNA)