MANILA – The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on second reading a measure providing for the permanent validity of the certificates of live birth, death, and marriage certificates issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
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.
Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, chair of the House Committee on Social Services, said the bill seeks to eliminate the unnecessary costs, inconvenience, and duplicitous burden of securing the most recent copy of the civil registry document.
Vargas said the civil registry certificates issued by the PSA have a validity of only six months.
"The expiration of this document results in additional unnecessary expenses for ordinary Filipinos who are required to submit this basic requirement. In addition, this increases the struggle of first-time jobseekers who are required to submit a copy of their birth certificate in the course of their job applications," Vargas said.
The bill also provides for the creation of a civil registry database and establishes a virtual viewing facility in local civil registries and in the Philippine Foreign Service Posts, to verify the authenticity of the certificates of live birth, death, and marriage, and the reports of birth, death, or marriage submitted.
It shall prohibit national government agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations, local government units, private companies, private and public educational institutions, and other non-government entities from requiring the submission of another or newer copies of these civil registry documents when a valid certificate can already be presented.
In the absence of a PSA-issued certificate, it will be acceptable for individuals to submit the original or certified true copy of the original certificates of live birth, death, or marriage issued and signed by the local civil registrar or certificates issued by the now-defunct National Statistics Office (NSO) that are printed in security paper and has the Birth Reference Number (BReN) code or barcode. (PNA)