I would like to seek for your advice regarding my husband’s concern in his birth certificate. His surnameaå in his NSO birth certificate is incorrectly spelled as “Rames” when it should have been “Ramos”. He is not sure whether it was his mother who committed the mistake or the municipal registrar. What should he do?
We were planning to get married but we could not push through because we are being asked to present his birth certificate. Someone advised us before to file a petition in court but that would be very costly. To be honest, we are underprivileged and we have three children to support. My husband could not even apply for loan in SSS and Pag-Ibig because of this problem. I hope you can enlighten us.
As a general rule, all persons who wish to correct errors in the entries in their certificates of live birth must file a proper petition before the court of the place where such entry has been made pursuant to Rule 108 of the Revised Rules of Court. This is in consonance with Article 412 of the New Civil Code which provides that, “No entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected, without a judicial order.”
However, with the birth of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9048, which was approved on March 22, 2001, certain entries in the civil register may be changed without necessitating judicial order, provided it only involves clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname (Section 1, R.A. No. 9048). The petition for correction of entry must be filed before the local civil registry office of the city or municipality where the record being sought to be corrected or changed is kept. If the petitioner has already migrated in another place and it would not be practical for such party, in terms of transportation expenses, time and effort to appear in person before the local civil registrar keeping the documents to be corrected or changed, the petition may be filed, in person, with the local civil registrar of the place where the interested party is presently residing or domiciled. The two (2) local civil registrars concerned will then communicate to facilitate the processing of the petition. Nevertheless, for Filipino citizens who are presently residing in foreign countries, they may file the petition, in person, with the nearest Philippine Consulate (Section 3, R.A. No. 9048).
In the situation of your husband, it is advisable for him to file a petition before the local civil registry office of the place where his birth was registered. The petition shall be in the form of an affidavit particularly stating the erroneous entry in his birth certificate relative to his surname, and the same must be subscribed and sworn to before any person authorized by the law to administer oaths. Pursuant to Section 5, R.A. No. 9048, your husband must attach in his petition the following: (1) certified true machine copy of his birth certificate; (2) at least two public or private documents showing the correct entry upon which the correction shall be based; and (3) such other documents which he or the city or municipal civil registrar may consider relevant and necessary for the approval of his petition.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same.
Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com