Change of name without going to court: Protecting women and children

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014


THE GENERAL rule is that no change can be made in the civil register without a court order. However, Republic Act 9048 allows the correction of entries in the civil register without having to go to court, on the following grounds: clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname under the circumstances allowed by law. This remedy may be availed of only once.

The law considers an error as clerical or typographical if it was committed in the course of writing or typing an entry, causes no harm, visible to the eyes, obvious to the understanding, and it can be corrected by referring to other records (Section 2, R.A. 9048).

While the law allows the change of first name or nickname in any of the following circumstances: the first name or nickname is ridiculous, tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce; the new first name or nickname has been habitually and continuously used by the petitioner and the latter has been publicly known by that first name or nickname in the community, or the change will avoid confusion (Section 4, R.A. 9048).

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The owner of the record sought to be corrected may file the petition in the Local Civil Registry Office in the city or municipality where the record is registered. The owner’s spouse, children, parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, guardian, or any other person authorized by law or by the owner of the record, may also file the petition.

In the event the owner of the record is already residing in another place and it would be impractical to file it in the city or municipality where the record is registered, the owner may file the petition in the Local Civil Registry Office in his or her current place of residence. Those who are residing abroad may file the petition in the nearest Philippine Consulate office.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 21, 2014.

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