House bill rectifying simulated birth records approved

By Erwin Beleo

AGOO, La Union – The House of Representatives has ratified a law allowing parents and guardians to correct simulated birth records of their children through administrative proceedings.

On a vote of 261 to 18, the Senate and the House of Representatives decide to extend martial law in Mindanao up to December 31, 2017 in a joint, special session at the Batasang Pambansa yesterday. Inset photo shows Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III (left) and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez presiding over the session that lasted more than seven hours. (Jansen Romero, Alvin Kasiban) House of the Representatives (Manila Bulletin File Photo)

La Union Second District Rep. Sandra Young-Eriguel, co-chairperson of the bicameral conference committee that ratified the measure, said the “Simulated Birth Rectification Act” aims to grant amnesty and allow the rectification of the simulated birth of a child if it is found to be in the best interest of the child.

“The law will allow the child whose birth records were simulated to enjoy all the benefits available to legally adopted children,” said Eriguel.

Eriguel said that senators also approved House Bill 5675 in August 2017 amending Republic Act No. 8552 or the “Domestic Adoption Act of 1998.”

“The measure aims to make the relationship between parent and child whose birth records were simulated legal through administrative adoption proceedings,” said Eriguel.

The lower house ratified the reconciled "Simulated Birth Rectification" bill on December 12, 2018.

Eriguel said the law will fix the status and filiation of a child whose birth was simulated by giving such child all the benefits of adoption and ensuring that the child will be entitled to all the rights provided by law to legally adopted children, without any discrimination of any kind, as well as to love, guidance, and support from the child’s adoptive family.

“This will also exempt from criminal, civil, and administrative liability those who simulated the birth record of a child prior to the effectivity of this law provided that a petition for adoption with an application for the rectification of the simulated birth record is filed within 10 years from the effectivity of the law,” said Eriguel, who is a medical doctor by profession.

The measure allows a simpler and less costly administrative adoption proceeding where the child has been living with the person or persons who simulated the child's birth records for at least three years before the effectivity of the law.