The Office of the Civil Registrar-General, National Statistics Office (NSO-OCRG) has been tasked to issue the necessary rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the law recently signed by President Arroyo which aims to hasten the process of correction of errors in birth certificates. The NSO-OCRG is the agency mandated by the government to implement Act 3753 and other related laws affecting civil registration in the country.
The new law, Republic Act No. 9048, allows any person to file a petition for the correction of clerical or typographical error as appearing in his/her birth record and to request the change of his/her first name only once. Prior to its enactment, any correction in the civil register can only be acquired thru a judicial order. Such procedure does not only take time but also requires a huge amount of money depriving the less fortunate with equal opportunity.
"With this law, ordinary citizens can already file their petition with the local civil registry offices in their city/municipality. They do not need to hire lawyers for the correction of obviously misspelled name in writing, copying, transcribing or typing in the birth certificates," said NSO Administrator Tomas Africa, who is also concurrently the Civil Registrar-General. He emphasized, however, that the new law does not allow the change of nationality, age, status or sex of a petitioner.
He cautioned the city/municipal civil registrars that any decision with regards to changes in clerical or typographical errors based on the new law is still subject to review of the NSO-OCRG. The Civil Registrar-General can exercise the power to impugn such decision by way of an objection on reasonable grounds as likewise stipulated in the said law.
The NSO-OCRG shall be preparing the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 9048 in consultation with the Department of Justice, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the Supreme Court Administrator, the University of the Philippines Law Center and the Philippine Association of Civil Registrars. The IRR are expected to be issued by the middle of the year or not later than three months after the complete publication of the law in at least two national newspapers of general circulation.