Senator Ralph Recto made it known last July 20 that he has filed a bill in Senate which deems birth certificates as perpetually valid. The bill seeks to give “lifetime validity” to birth certificates in order to end the practice of demanding an updated birth certificate for various documentary requirements. He deemed such a practice as “unnecessary, expensive, and oppressive.”
Recto hopes to stop both government and private offices, as well as foreign embassies, from requiring recently-issued birth certificates from applicants. The proposed bill would make it that a “birth certificate certified and issued by the PSA [Philippine Statistics Authority] shall not expire and shall be considered valid at any time.”
While Recto acknowledges that the PSA has already clarified that birth certificates truly do not have an expiration date, it remains a problem of execution: “[The PSA] has never been remiss in explaining that birth certificates it has issued have no expiry dates, but this assurance remains unheeded in many offices which continue to require that the submitted birth certificate was issued within the past 6 months.”
The fee to order a recently-issued birth certificate is seen as an unnecessary cost at Php 330 per copy. For Recto, “hindi naman ‘yan ulam o sardinas na napapanis. Kaya nakakalungkot na marami pa ring mga opisina na ang gusto ay bagong kuhang birth certificate, na isang pahirap sa isang aplikante.” [The birth certificate is not food or sardines that go bad. Which is why it is so sad that so many offices require recently-issued birth certificates, which is another burden on applicants.]
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