16th Apr 2013
As a general rule, no entry in the civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order. Hence, the usual process for correcting errors in the birth certificate is to file a petition in court. Fortunately, Republic Act No. 9048, as recently amended by Republic Act No. 10172, allowed the administrative correction of certain entries with the Civil Register, including entries in the birth certificate.
At present, one can file a petition for correction of clerical or typographical errors in the first name, nickname, place of birth, day and month of birth or sex of a person. The petition is generally filed with the Local Civil Registry Office (LCRO) where the record containing the clerical error sought to be corrected is kept. However, if the residence or domicile of the petitioner is different from where the civil registry records are registered, said petitioner may file the petition in the nearest LCRO in his area. For those staying outside of the Philippines, the petition may be filed with the Consul General of the Philippine Embassy in such foreign country.
A petition to change one’s first name or nickname cannot be based on any ground. It will be only allowed in any of the following cases:
1. The petitioner finds the first name or nickname to be ridiculous, tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce.
2. The new first name or nickname has been habitually and continuously used by the petitioner and he has been publicly known by that by that first name or nickname in the community: or
3. The change will avoid confusion.
The petition for correction of first name, nickname, day and month of birth and gender shall be in the form of a notarized affidavit which should set forth facts necessary to establish the merits of the petition and shall show affirmatively that the petitioner is competent to testify to the matters stated. It must be supported by the following documents:
1. A certified true machine copy of the certificate or of the page of the registry book containing the entry or entries sought to be corrected or changed.
2. At least two (2) public or private documents showing the correct entry or entries upon which the correction or change shall be based
3. Notice and Certificate of Posting
4. Certified machine copy the Official Receipt of the filing fee
5. Certification form law enforcement agencies that the petitioner has no pending case or criminal record.
6. Other documents as may be required by the LCRO.
For a petition to correct day or month of birth or gender, additional documents must be submitted such as the earliest school record or documents such as medical records, baptismal certificate and other documents issued by religious authorities. For correction of entry of sex of the person, the petition must be further accompanied by a certification from an accredited government physician attesting to the fact that the petitioner has not undergone sex change or sex transplant. This is in view of the fact that a petition for correction of gender can only be based on mistake or clerical error. A man who has undergone surgery to change his reproductive organ to that of a female cannot correct the entry of his gender in the birth certificate to female.
Pertinently, the petition must be published at least once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.
The civil registrar or the consul general shall examine the petition and its supporting documents. He shall post the petition in a conspicuous place for ten (10) consecutive days after he finds the petition and its supporting documents sufficient in form and substance. Thereafter, he shall act on the petition and shall render a decision not later than five (5) working days after the completion of the posting and/or publication requirement.
This is how to correct errors in your birth certificate without going to court.
Nicolas & De Vega Law Offices is a full service law firm in the Philippines. You may visit us at the 16th Flr., Suite 1607 AIC Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Ave., Ortigas Center, 1605 Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. You may also call us at +632 4706126, +632 4706130, +632 4016392.