Press Release
July 20, 2019

Recto files bill on 'no expiry' birth certificates, forbidding offices from requiring new ones

A bill conferring lifetime validity on a birth certificate and mandating government agencies to accept a birth certificate regardless of when it was issued has been filed in the Senate.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said he introduced the measure to end the practice of government and private offices requiring applicants for a document, permit, service or job to present a new or recently-issued birth certificate.

"Magastos sa aplikante ang requirement na kailangang brand new ang birth certificate. Dagdag pa ang pahirap sa pagkuha," Recto said.

To the credit of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), "it has never been remiss in explaining that birth certificates it has issued have no expiry dates, but this assurance remains unheeded in many offices which continue to require that the submitted birth certificate was issued within the past six months," Recto said.

Birth certificates certified by the PSA are printed on security paper, otherwise known as SECPA.

"While SECPA over the years has changed in appearance to keep the proliferation of fraudulent birth certificates and identities at bay, the PSA has been emphatic in its assurance that such does not remove the validity of the birth certificate," Recto said in the bill's explanatory note.

In spite of this, some government agencies require applicants to submit a birth certificate that was printed on the most recent version of SECPA and issued during the last six months, Recto said.

"Hindi naman yan ulam o sardinas na napapanis. Kaya nakakalungkot na marami pa ring mga opisina na ang gusto ay bagong kuhang birth certificate, na isang pahirap sa isang aplikante," Recto said.

PSA charges P155 for an authenticated copy of a birth certificate, and P365 if delivered to the home of the requesting party.

Recto believes that only a law conferring a lifetime validity on a birth certificate would stop offices from enforcing "an unnecessary, expensive and oppressive" requirement.

A provision in Recto's bill states that a "birth certificate certified and issued by the PSA shall not expire and shall be considered valid at any time."

The bill, however, provided exceptions to the rule such as birth records that provide administrative corrections as provided under Republic Act Nos. 9048 and 10172.

"Kung mali spelling ng pangalan mo, o hindi tama ang birth date, kailangan mo nga kumuha ng bagong birth certificate," Recto explained.

Recto said it is also high time for the government to persuade foreign embassies in the country to drop the "six month old" rule in the birth, marriage and other PSA-issued certificates they require from visa applicants.

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