Persida Acosta
Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,

My boyfriend works for an architectural firm. His boss plans to send him abroad for a seminar but he has no passport. He intends to apply for a passport but he is worried that there will be a lot of problems. You see, his gender in his birth certificate is “female” but he is actually a “male”. He does not know how this happened. Perhaps it was just his grandmother’s mistake when she filled up the form. What should he do? He is really hoping he can go to the seminar as it will be a good opportunity for him. I hope you can advise us. Thank you and more power.


Dear Kaye,

One of the essential require–ments in applying for the issuance of a Philippine passport is the applicant’s birth certificate. This document is necessary to establish the identity of the applicant, as well as his or her personal circumstances at the time of his or her birth.

Your boyfriend can expect that a problem will arise should he pursue the filing of his application for passport con–sidering that there is an error in one of the entries in your boyfriend’s birth certificate, more particularly his gender.

If he desires not to go through any predicament relative to      such application, it will be best for him to have such error be corrected first. He can file a petition for correction of a clerical or typographical error in an entry in his birth certificate before the office of the civil registry of the city or municipality where his birth is recorded or where his record is being kept.

The petition shall be in the form of an affidavit, subscribed and sworn to before any person authorized by law to administer oaths, indicating therein, among others, particular erroneous entry or entries, which are sought to be corrected. It must likewise be supported with: (1) a certified true machine copy of the certificate or of the page of the registry book containing the entry sought to be corrected; (2) at least two public or private documents showing the correct entry upon which the correction or change 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 (Section 5, Republic Act                No. 10172).

We also want to emphasize that your boyfriend must attach to his petition his earliest school records or earliest documents such as, but not limited to, his medical records, baptismal certificate and other documents issued by religious authorities, as well as a certification issued by an accredited government physician attesting to the fact that he has not undergone sex change or sex transplant and a certification from the appro–priate law enforcement agencies that he has no pending case or criminal record. The said petition must be published at least once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation (Section 5, Republic Act No. 10172).

Should his petition be granted, a copy of the favorable decision shall be forwarded to the National Statistics Office (NSO) for the proper annotation of the correction made in his birth certificate. Thereafter, he may use his birth certificate with the said annotation in his application for Philippine passport in order that the passport which will be issued to him will reflect his correct personal information.

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 protected]