The birth certificate is one of the most important documents a person needs; however, it is actually common in the Philippines for errors in the document. Many parents don’t really check the entries in their children’s birth certificates – and many end up with lots of errors that are left unnoticed until later, when the document is needed for something important.
While there are times when overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and others living outside the Philippines actually get their passports without problems because the errors in their birth certificates were not noticed, it is very important to have the document corrected to avoid troubles in the future.
Take note, however, that correcting entries in legal documents like the birth certificate can take a very long time – often needing not just a year!
Photo credit: PASEI
Here’s a guide for correcting those errors:
While you can start processing the correction at the Philippine Embassy, someone still needs to physically file the request at your Local Civil Registrar’s office (LCR). Ask a family member or friend to do it for you.
Provide your friend or relative with a red-ribboned SPA, authorizing him/her to process the document on your behalf. Different documents will be needed, depending on the error; thus, make sure that your friend or relative is able to ask at the LCR. Follow the LCR’s advice. There are times when corrections might need the services of a lawyer.
After gathering the necessary documents, make sure to double check the corrections before your friend or relative submits these to the LCR.
Then, when the documents have been submitted, make sure to follow up until the corrected copy of the birth certificate becomes available.
Photo credit: FCB Law Office / Rappler
Once this is available, double check again. Then, have your friend or relative submit this to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), formerly the National Statistics Office (NSO), to have your records annotated. This is important because OFWs and Filipinos living abroad need the birth certificate on security paper (SECPA) issued by PSA.
Keep the annotated copy of your birth certificate in SECPA.