Swift approval expected on bill providing permanent validity of birth, marriage certificates

Published May 18, 2021, 11:00 AM

by Ben Rosario

Authors of the bill providing for the permanent validity of certificates of live birth, death and marriage issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) are confident the measure breeze through plenary approval in the House of Representatives.

Reps. Alfred Vargas (PDP-Laban, Quezon City) and Ma. Lucille L. Navas (PDP-Laban, Guimaras) are House Bill 9175 or the Permanent Validity of the Certificates of Live Birth, Death and Marriage will get overwhelming support in the plenary. Approval of the bill was endorsed by the House Committee on Population and Family relations chaired by Nava.

Vargas and Nava filed separate proposals on the subject which were consolidated into HB 9175.

Aside from providing the permanent validity of civil registry certificates, HB 9175 also prohibits private and government agencies from requiring the submission of newer copies of certificates when a valid certificate can be presented.

Vargas, chairman of the House Committee on Social Services, said that presently civil registry certificates issued by the PSA have a validity of only six months.

“That means, an individual must secure a new copy every six months, if needed,” Vargas noted.

The QC solon stressed that putting expiration date on vital documents that are usually required in applying for jobs, visas, passports and other needs is unnecessary and only entails additional expenses and inconvenience for applicants.

Nava will defend the consolidated bill during scheduled plenary debates.

She said that there has been confusion surrounding the validity of PSA-issued certificates and that majority of government agencies and employers require these documents to be issued within the last six months.

To address the problem and unburden Filipinos from inconveniences and unnecessary expenses, the bill proposes to make the validity of said certificates permanent.

“This measure further strengthens the objective of Republic Act No. 11032 or the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018” to streamline the current system and procedures of government services,” Nava stated.

HB 9175 also provides that in the absence of a PSA-issued certificate, it will be sufficient 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 National Statistics Office (NSO) certificates printed in security paper and has the Birth Reference Number or BReN code or barcode.