Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.
When I asked the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for a copy of my birth certificate, I discovered that my registered surname was that of my father. I am an illegitimate child, and my father was married to a different woman. However, my birth certificate indicated that my biological mother and father were married to each other. The confusion over allowing me to use my father's surname was probably based on the belief that I am a legitimate child. I would like to have it corrected so that I can use the surname of my mother. Meanwhile, I am residing and working in Davao City but my birth certificate was recorded in Quezon City. Can I file the petition to correct such an error in Davao City for my convenience?
Please be informed of Sections 1 and 2, Rule 108 of the Rules of Court, which state that:
"Section 1. Who may file petition. — Any person interested in any act, event, order or decree concerning the civil status of persons which has been recorded in the civil register, may file a verified petition for the cancellation or correction of any entry relating thereto, with the Court of First Instance of the province where the corresponding civil registry is located.
"Section 2. Entries subject to cancellation or correction. — Upon good and valid grounds, the following entries in the civil register may be cancelled or corrected: (a) births: (b) marriage; (c) deaths; (d) legal separations; (e) judgments of annulments of marriage; (f) judgments declaring marriages void from the beginning; (g) legitimations; (h) adoptions; (i) acknowledgments of natural children; (j) naturalization; (k) election, loss or recovery of citizenship; (l) civil interdiction; (m) judicial determination of filiation; (n) voluntary emancipation of a minor; and (o) changes of name."
As provided under the aforementioned rules, a person, whose civil status was affected by any act, event, order or decree which has been recorded in the civil register, may file a verified petition for the cancellation or correction of any entry relating thereto, such as marriage and legitimations, at the Regional Trial Court [formerly called the Court of First Instance] of the province where the corresponding civil registry is located.
Since your birth certificate was recorded in the local civil registry of Quezon City, the proper venue for you to file your petition for correction of entry would also be in Quezon City. Mere convenience cannot be invoked to controvert the rules on venue, otherwise, the court will not be able to acquire jurisdiction to rule on your 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 protected]