Clerical Error Law-A A +A
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
THE House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to reduce the cost of correcting errors in the register of birth and marriage by allowing administrative corrections instead of judicial proceedings.
Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo I (2nd District, Valenzuela City), one of the proponents of House Bill 4530, said the measure seeks to amend Republic Act 9048, or the Clerical Error Law, by authorizing the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general to correct clerical and typographical errors in dates of birth, or sex of person in the civil register without need of judicial orders.
Article 376 of the Civil Code provides that "No person can change his name or surname without judicial authority." Article 412 of the same Code provides that "No entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected, without a judicial order."
Republic Act No. 9048 amended Articles 376 and 412. Section 1 of this amendatory law provides: "No entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order, except for clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname which can be corrected or changed by the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general in accordance with the provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations."
As provided under Section 10 of Republic Act No. 9048, the Civil Registrar General promulgated these rules and regulations, in consultation with the representatives from the Department of Justice, Department of Foreign Affairs, Office of the Supreme Court Administrator, University of the Philippines Law Center and Philippine Association of Civil Registrars.
Gunigundo said the bill addresses the problem of delay in the processing of vital documents for workers who wish to go abroad, applications for board examinations and claims for benefits of workers, retirees and pensioners.
This bill will declog court dockets by authorizing administrative corrections, thereby improving the administration of justice.
Rep. Pedro Romualdo (Lone District, Camiguin), another author of the measure, said the change of gender shall be entertained and an erroneous entry as to the sex of a person shall be corrected only if the same is accompanied by a certification issued by an accredited government physician attesting to the fact that the petitioner has not undergone a sex change or sex transplant.
Petitions for correction of erroneous entries or typographical errors concerning age and gender or sex shall be within the expanded jurisdiction of the Office of the Civil Registrar as long as the requisite documents shall be complied with by the petitioner.
Rep. Florencio Miraflores (Lone District, Aklan), another proponent of the bill, said the measure expands the authority of the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general to change or correct without judicial order, certain clerical or typographical errors in the civil register.
The inaccuracies of entries in the civil register remain a major source of inconvenience and untold miseries for individuals who were not responsible for these errors. Requiring these individuals to go to court for proper remedy only exacerbates their sorry plight.
The measure provides that a petition for correction of an erroneous entry or typographical error concerning the date of birth or sex requires publication at least once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.
Likewise, the fees collected by the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general shall accrue to the funds of the local civil registry office or the Office of the Consul General, IT modernization, hiring of new personnel and procurement of supplies, subject to audit by the Commission on Audit.
The co-authors of the measure are Reps. Mercedes Alvarez (6th District, Negros Occidental), Rogelio Espina (Lone District, Biliran), George Arnaiz (2nd District, Negros Oriental), Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City), Maximo Rodriguez Jr. (Party-list, Abante Mindanao Inc.), Niel Tupas Jr. (5th District, Iloilo), Teodoro Casiño (Party-list, Bayan Muna) and Rene Relampagos (1st District, Bohol).
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on June 29, 2011.