Names can be corrected through judicial or administrative proceedings

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I am a government employee who is about to retire from service. I discovered that the name I am using is different from the one stated in my birth certificate, including my employment record with the government. I fear that this might cause a problem when I process my retirement benefits so I want to fix it now. May I know what I should do?

Dear Merlin,
There are two alternative legal remedies available to address your present predicament depending on which name you wish to retain. The first one is the correction of your registered name as it appears in your birth certificate, so that it would conform to the name you have been habitually using. The procedure for such may either be administrative or judicial.

Administrative correction of birth certificate refers to the remedy provided under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9048, as amended, where an error in a birth certificate is rectified without going to court. Rather, the petition is filed directly with the concerned civil register where the birth was recorded who has the power to make the necessary correction even without a court order. The remedy is available to correct clerical or typographical errors in writing, copying, transcribing or typing which are harmless and innocuous, visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding, and can be corrected or changed by reference to other existing record or records (Sec. 2(3), R.A. No. 9048, as amended). In case the error is in the first name or nickname, administrative correction is also allowed should the name be ridiculous, tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce, or the new first name or nickname has been habitually and continuously used by the person and he has been publicly known by that name, or to avoid confusion. (Sec. 4, Id.)

If the error in the name does not fall under any of the mentioned categories, then judicial correction of error in the birth certificate must be resorted to. In such a case, the applicant is required to file a verified petition in the Regional Trial Court of the place where the concerned civil register is located, i.e. where the birth was recorded, and follow the procedure outlined in Rule 108 of the Rules of Court to effect the necessary correction.

The second remedy that you may avail is to adopt the registered name appearing in your birth certificate and correct your employment record with the government. Choosing this remedy would mean that you will drop the name you have been habitually using and instead use your registered name. To avail of this remedy, a request for correction of personal information should be filed with the Civil Service Commission, unless the request is filed earlier than five years from mandatory retirement of the concerned employee, in which case the application should be filed with the appropriate CSC regional office. Note, however, that all requests for correction of personal information must be filed not later than one year before the applicant’s expected date of retirement (Sec. 90, Rule 18, Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service).

We hope we were able to sufficiently address your concern. Please bear in mind that our opinion is based on the facts you narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary if 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


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. Dear Pao., sana matulungan nyo po ako sa problema ko. Gusto ko po sana humingi legal advice. About sa marriage contract naming mag asawa, mali po yung first name ko na nakalagay, yung Romina po naging Rowena tapos po sa mister ko ang Alberto naging Alfonso. Nakasanayan na po niyang gamitin ang Alfonso nung nagaaral pa siya, pero nung kumuha po siya ng birth certificate walang lumabas na Alfonso, Alberto lang po. Tapos po itong napangasawa ko may pinakasalanan na bago ako kaya nakasuhan siya ng bigamy. Ngayon po ang pinakamalaking problema ko yung birth certificate ng mga anak ko…paano namin papalitan yung mga pangalan naming mag asawa dun sa birth certificate? Kung sakaling mag trabaho sila o kumuha sila SSS at Phil health o makapag abroad sila balang araw, hindi po kami beneficiaries nila dahil iba ang mga first name namin sa nga bc nila.. Paano po gagawin ko?
    gumagalang ,
    Romina Buan


    Hi good am/pm maam! Ask ko lang po paano ayusin ang maling birth certificate ko ?Ang totoong family name ko ay CHINY L. BATI-ON, and also my mother’ name NOIME OGOC LUMACAD yan po ang totoong name ng mama ko,kaso sa birth certificate ko ay mali.ang nakasulat po ay Chiny L. BALION and my mother’s name on my birth certificate is Thresa Lopez .simula nag aral po ako BATI-ON na ang gamit ko kc yon po ang totoo,pero noong nag apply po ako for abroad ay sinunod ko yong nasa birth certificate na BALION & THRESA LOPEZ for my mother’s name.


    Thank you.?


    Good day!
    I am PEPITO M.MACHECA,I am confused of my birth year,in the since that the year stated in my birth certificate was year 1989.However my school records and others is year 1992 in which this is the real my sister.I suppose to enroll college this semester.Can I make any changes?or what are some remedies?Thank you very much.


    paano mapapalitan ang spelling ng pangalan kung ang problema ay nasa municipal hall? ang problema ko ay ang apelyedo ng anak ko, hindi Ñ ang nsa family name nya, sa halip ay letter N lamang. 3x n ako pumunta ng munisipyo pero wala daw Ñ ang computer,.. kahit hindi po ako nagaral ng computer , alam ko po walang enye ang keyboard pero alam ko din may paraan pra ayusin ito, Paano ko po maaayos ito? nakaregister po ang anak ko sa municipal of Taguig city, Ano po b ang dapat kong gawin?

  5. Greetings in peace.

    I would like to know If I can change my last name? My last name was my fathers name instead of my family’s name. As of now my legal record is covered up with my fathers name even in the NSO birth certificate. I AM STILL SINGLE. is there any chances for me to change my last name?

    Thank you and more power.

  6. emilio samson jr. on

    My son has sired his son out of wedlock three years ago. Since he and the mother of the child were still minors and still finishing their college degrees, they opted to heed the advice of the woman’s parents to have the baby registered and baptized using the mother’s family name. Now, my grandson is about to start pre-school. How can we have him formally use his father’s surname??? They still have not married though my son takes care of the kid’s expenses. He also acknowledged being the father in my grandson’s birth certificate.