The case of two birth certificates

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
My boyfriend has a problem. Ever since he was young and started school, he has been using his birth certificate which was registered in Tabaco, Albay. We are processing the requirements for application for a marriage license because we are set to get married soon. He found out just recently that his birth was earlier registered in Caloocan. When he asked his mother about this, she told him that he was really born in Caloocan. She only registered him in Tabaco, Albay because she had no other choice. She was badly abused by my boyfriend’s father so she decided to leave him only a few weeks after giving birth to my boyfriend. She never wanted to come back to Caloocan, so she decided to just register my boyfriend’s birth in Tabaco, Albay, where she resided with her parents. She did not know that my boyfriend’s father registered his birth in Caloocan. Now, my boyfriend has two birth certificates. What should he do? Can we just use his birth certificate which was registered in Tabaco, Albay in our application for marriage license? Please advice.

Dear Elsa2013,
We do not advise that your boyfriend use the birth certificate that was registered in Tabaco, Albay, in your application for marriage license because, clearly, such registration was erroneously made by his mother. As a rule, the registration of birth of a person must be done within thirty days from the time of birth in the Office of the Civil Registrar of the city or municipality where the birth occurred. Any registration made beyond this period is considered delayed registration.

Considering that your boyfriend was in fact born in Caloocan, he must use the birth certificate that was registered in the Office of the Civil Registrar of Caloocan. With regards to the registration of birth in Tabaco, Albay, the proper petition for the cancellation of your boyfriend’s birth certificate must be filed before the Regional Trial Court that has jurisdiction over Tabaco, Albay. This is in consonance with Section 1, Rule 108 of the Revised Rules of Court that states that any person interested in any act, event, order or decree concerning the civil status of persons recorded in the civil register may file a verified petition for the cancellation or correction of any entry relating thereto, with the (then Court of First Instance) Regional Trial Court of the province where the corresponding civil registry is located.

The concerned local civil registrar and all interested persons who may be affected thereby must be made parties to the proceedings. Once your boyfriend has filed his petition, the court shall issue an order fixing the time and place of its hearing and shall require that notices be given to such persons named in the petition. The court shall likewise mandate that the said order be published in a newspaper of general circulation, once a week for three consecutive weeks (Sections 3 and 4, Rule 108, Revised Rules of Court).

Should the court find merit in your boyfriend’s petition, the same shall be granted in his favor and a certified copy of the judgment shall be served upon the civil registrar concerned who shall annotate the same in his record (Section 7, Rule 108, Revised Rules of Court).

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


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