87,448 Yolanda survivors await copies of vital documents

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Sunday, June 22, 2014


NEARLY 90,000 individuals are now awaiting for authenticated copies of civil registration documents, as part of the massive reconstruction of identities for victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Visayas.

As of end of May, 87,448 applications have been submitted to the local civil registrars (LCRs) by teams deployed by the Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (Ideals) in 18 towns and two cities along Yolanda's path.

The LCRs are expected to send the request to the Philippine Statistics Authority-National Statistics Office for processing and releasing of copies of birth, marriage, and death certificates.

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"Of the total number of applications, 90 percent (78,651) were through the Mobile Civil Registration Project (MCRP) and only 10 percent (8,797) were from walk-in clients. That is expected since community workers have been going to villages to assess the civil registration needs of typhoon victims," said Thebazile Anthony Monserate, area coordinator.

Almost all survivors (92 percent) are asking for copies of birth certificates. A small fraction is requesting for marriage certificates (six percent) and death certificates (two percent). At least 9,911 individuals have already received authenticated copies of civil registry documents as of end last month.

Ideals and partner government agencies and non-government organization launched MCRP on April 9 to help typhoon survivors reconstruct their civil identities after the monster storm destroyed vital records.

"This project drumbeats our advocacy for free civil registration. We want local government units to sustain the initiative by making civil registration free and simplify the process," said Ideals executive director Edgardo Ligon.

Recipients are typhoon-displaced residents of Tacloban City, Palo, Tanauan, and Tolosa in eastern part of Leyte; San Isidro, Isabel, Kananga, Palompon, Matag-ob, and Ormoc City in northwestern part of Leyte; Basey and Marabut in Samar; Lawaan, Balangiga, Quinapondan, Giporlos, Guiuan, Salcedo, Mercedes, and Hernani in Eastern Samar.

The civil registration project is being implemented by Ideals, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Statistics Authority–National Statistics Office, 20 local government unit, and local civil registrar’s office.

The initiative is backed by the United Kingdom Aid, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, International Organization for Migration, DSWD, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Office of the Civil of Defense, Oxfam, and Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation. (PNA)

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