House passes bill ensuring the permanent validity of birth, marriage and death certificates

Published June 2, 2021, 7:35 PM

by Ben Rosario

The House of Representatives on Wednesday, June 2 passed on third and final reading a bill ensuring the permanent validity of certificates of live birth, death and marriage in order to unburden citizens of the inconveniences and the unnecessary expenses of securing said certificates.

Voting 199 in the affirmative and zero in the negative, House Bill 9175 was approved on final reading.before the chamber declared a sine die adjournment.

HB 9175 consolidated six separate bills filed by various congressmen in their bid to make permanent the validity of certificates issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority and its predecessor, the now defunct National Statistics Office.

Also given indefinite validity are certificates of live birth, death and marriage issued by local civil registries.

Bulacan Rep. Lorna C. Silverio, a principal author of the bill, said reports of birth, death and marriage registered and issued by Philippine foreign service posts are also deemed permanently valid once the bill is signed into law.

Aside from Silverio, other principal authors of HB 9175 are Reps. Alfred Vargas (PDP, Laban, Quezon City); Ma. Lucille L. Nava (PDP-Laban, Guimaras) and Jose Enrique “Joet” S. Garcia III (NPC, Bataan) Authors said the measure proposes to eliminate the unnecessary costs, inconvenience and duplicitous burden of securing the most recent copy of civil registry documents covered by the measure.

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 for applicants.

Nava, chairperson of the population and family relations committee, 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, if 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.