Philippines

Recto wants 'lifetime validity' for birth certificates

Under the bill filed by Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, a birth certificate certified and issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority 'shall not expire and shall be considered valid at any time'

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has filed a bill seeking to give "lifetime validity" to birth certificates, his office said on Saturday, July 20.

In filing the bill, Recto said he wanted to end the practice of government and private offices requiring applicants for documents, permits, services, or jobs, to provide recently issued birth certificates.

Under the proposed bill, a "birth certificate certified and issued by the PSA [Philippine Statistics Authority] shall not expire and shall be considered valid at any time.”

Exceptions to the bill include birth records that provide administrative corrections, as provided by Republic Act No. 9048 and Republic Act 10172.

The PSA had previously clarified that the birth certificates they issue do not have expiration dates, which Recto acknowledged.

He said to the credit of the 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 6 months."

Birth certificates are printed on security paper, which changes over time to prevent the proliferation of fake documents. Birth certificates printed on old SECPA are still valid.

According to the PSA website, online application and delivery of birth certificates within the country costs P330 per copy.

Recto said Filipinos shound not incur unnecessary expenses and go through the trouble of applying for a new birth certificate.

“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.

(The birth certificate is not food or sardines that go bad. It's sad that so many offices require newly acquired birth certificates, which is another burden on applicants.)

Only a law, said Recto, would stop “an unnecessary, expensive, and oppressive” requirement.

The senator also urged the government to persuade foreign embassies in the country to stop asking visa applicants for birth, marriage and other PSA-issued certificates issued only in the past 6 months. – Rappler.com

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