You and your family are excitedly planning your vacation abroad but to your surprise, one of your companion’s VISA was disapproved due to a spelling mistake on his Birth Certificate, e.g. a misspelled name from “e” to “i”; or from “o” to “u”.
You may also be preparing for a licensure examination, however your application was denied due to the same discrepancies in your records as compared to your true and real credentials.
Truth of the matter is that we had no idea when our parents/guardians registered our names in the local civil registrar. For any reason, there are cases wherein the first name of a child was recorded as “baby girl” or “baby boy”.
There are also certain errors in our birth certificates such as the date of birth, sex and other entries which do not represent the true and existing records.
The more we neglect these circumstances, the more it becomes burdensome. What seems to be a trivial error can be costly and affect our future.
Before, the only way to correct entries in your Birth Certificate is by way of a judicial order, meaning you have to petition the Court and get a decree for the desired correction.
This is borne out by the Rule 108, Section 2 that says: Entries subject to Cancellation or Correction. – Upon valid and good ground, the following entries in the civil registrar may be cancelled or corrected: (a) births; (b) marriage; (c) deaths; (d) legal separations; (e) judgments of annulments of marriage; (f) judgments declaring marriages void from the beginning; (g) legitimations; (h) adoptions; (i)acknowledgments of natural children; (j) naturalization; (k) election, loss or recovery of citizenship; (l)civil interdiction; (m) judicial determination of filiation; (n) voluntary emancipation of a minor; and (o) changes of name.
At present, we do not have to go to court if the desired correction consists only of clerical errors.
Clerical errors are entries in the Birth Certificate that does not affect the status, legitimacy, citizenship, age, and sex of the person and can be corrected or changed by directly referring to existing records.
Also, without need of a judicial order, we may now change our first names, if it is: (1) ridiculous, tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce; (2) the new first name or nickname has been habitually and continuously used by the petitioner and he has been publicly known by that first name or nickname in the community; or (3) the change will avoid confusion. This is according to Section 4 of Republic Act 9048.
Sometimes, details such as the middle name, sex or place of birth of a person, among others, are not made available during the registration of birth in the local civil registrar which results to blanks or missing details on the certificate of live birth.
As long as the missing information in the birth certificate does not affect the status, nationality, age, or sex of a person, a mere supplemental report can be done with the office of the local civil registrar wherein the birth was registered
You just have to make sure that these errors are mere clerical; otherwise, your petition will not be granted and you will have to go to Court.
In determining whether or not the error can be considered as clerical, one must consider if it affects the status, nationality, age or sex of the concerned. It should be noted that changes in the MIDDLE and LAST NAME are not covered by R. A. 9048.
I had a case wherein it was stated on the birth certificate of the child the date of marriage of her parents. The truth however is that they were not actually married, hence they wanted to remove the annotation of date marriage in the birth certificate.
Can this be considered as mere clerical error? The answer is no, it is not a clerical error as defined by law because the legitimacy or status of the child is affected; hence, R. A. 9048 is not applicable and they have to go to Court to change the same.
In a case where a judicial application is required, you do not have much to do since all the task will be done by your lawyer. All you have to do is provide the necessary papers needed in support of your petition, and the payment for services rendered.
The Administrative process, however, is not costly because you can even prepare the affidavits yourself and just find a Notary Public near you to acknowledge the same and submit to the Local Civil Registrar.
You have to file the petition in three (3) copies and pay the required fees.
If the petition is approved, it will just be a matter of days that the records will be corrected and a new one will be issued by the Philippines Statistics Authority or PSA formerly known as National Statistics Office or NSO. However, if the same is denied, you can appeal the same within ten (10) working days upon receipt of the decision to the Civil Registrar General (CRG) or the appropriate court.
So, what are the errors found in your Birth Certificate, if there is any? Is it merely clerical? The error may seem small or trivial for now, but being proactive will eventually save you from unnecessary problems in the future.
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