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(Feature) NSO official: Check “what’s in a name” during registry

By Saul Pa-a

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna Feb. 27 — As part of the Civil Registry Month this February, the Rotary Club District 3820 of Calamba City in partnership with the National Statistics Office (NSO) civil registry unit here sponsored Monday a day-long free public notarial services on civil registry documents on birth, marriage and death, affidavits and other pertinent documents as requisites especially for delayed civil registration.

The NSO Calabarzon regional office reminded the public to ensure the correctness of names and other data in their registration forms to avoid inconvenience and the cumbersome process when simple clerical or slight typographical errors are committed.

The Calabarzon region comprises the Southern Tagalog provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon. NSO offices in the local government units (LGUs) of Laguna and Batangas are set to conduct their free public registrations on February 29.

Republic Act 9048 empowers the local civil registrar in the towns or cities or the Consul General for overseas applicants to correct the clerical or typographical error or change in the first names in the civil registry record sans the court order.

However, the petitioner shells out the P1,000 with the local civil registrar to defray expenses for such corrections. A change in the person’s first name requires the petitioner to pay P3,000 for these changes.

For registrants applying these changes abroad, the Philippine Consulates charge US$ 50 to correct the clerical or typographical error and US$ 150 for the change in first name.

National Statistics Office (NSO) Calabarzon Regional Director Rosalinda Bautista advised the public that even name appendages such as “Sr. or Jr.” to the person’s full names would be costly as she stated that the appendage “Sr.” is not indicated in the person’s original birth certificate.

She said that although this has been the Filipino tradition and term of endearment for a son’s name affixed with “Jr.” following the father’s first name, the father’s original birth record still bears without the “Sr.”

Senior citizens and the elderly who avail themselves of the benefits provided for under the country’s Senior Citizens law often encounter changes and confusion in the documentary requisites.

More often, the name appendages “Sr. and Jr.” appear in either marriage or death certificates that do not match with the original birth certificates. These are likely causes in “mismatch” when presenting proofs in banks for check encashment and other business and official transactions.

Bautista thanked the Rotary Club partnership in the civil registration activities as a big boost to encourage the public especially the indigents and tribal communities who need legal and notarial services and legal instruments concerning their civil status.

For the indigenous peoples, the government’s Administrative Order No. 3 issued in 2004 provided the procedures and guidelines for the effective civil registration of birth, marriages, dissolution of marriages and the revocation of dissolution of marriages, deaths of indigenous peoples implementing the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act or Republic Act 8371.

The NSO also cited the birth civil registry of children in need of special protection (CNSP) for those aged 18 and below or above 18 years old but could not take care for themselves for reasons of physical or mental condition as well as those who are vulnerable to or victims of abuse, neglect, exploitation, cruelty, discrimination and violence either through armed conflict or domestic violence and other conditions or situations prejudicial to their development.

The NSO regional office coordinated with the Departments of Education (DepEd) and the Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and LGUs to afford indigent families the free issuance of birth certificates as required in schools.

The census regional official has urged the public to avail themselves of these free civil registry services offered by the LGUs on the regular processing of walk-in clients seeking birth, marriage and death certificates within a day, although these civil registry services continue but for a minimal fee after February.

With this year’s NSO theme “Tamang Rehistro, Pananagutan ng Bawat Pilipino,” Bautista reiterated to registrants especially in the far-flung communities to avail themselves of the barangay civil registration system where the barangay secretary is mandated by the Local Government Code to register their constituents.

Health institutions and birth centers in the region are also tasked for ensuring birth registrations of newborns as they assist mothers, relatives and informants on the correctness of the entries of the child’s birth documents.

According to Bautista, four Calabarzon key cities of Lipa, Batangas; Trece Martirez, Cavite; Lucena, Quezon and San Pablo, Laguna operate the NSO’s e-census facilities, the 24/7 helpline 7371111 and on-line Census Serbilis outlets.

She also advised applicants to the region’s 52 local government units and nine SM Malls serving as batch request system (BREQS) partners which provide civil registry desks in their business centers after office hours from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. (PNA) DCT/LOR/SEP/mec

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