Free civil registry for indigent residents pushed

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BAGUIO CITY  – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance providing for free services to indigent residents applying for certificates of live birth, marriage or death, correction of entries in their certificates of birth, marriage or death with the Civil Registry Office as well as other services rendered by the said office.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. defined an indigent resident as a registered voter who is considered indigent as certified by the City Social Welfare and Development Office.

Under the proposed resolution, the free services for pauper residents shall include applications for registration of birth, marriage and earth; applications for certified copies of certificates of birth, marriage, and death; filing of petitions for correction of entries in their records and filing of marriage license and solemnization.

Yangot added a pauper resident who intends to avail of the services of the Local Civil Registry Office are required to submit a certificate of indigency duly issued by the City Social Welfare and Development Office and Certificate of Non-property issued by the City Assessor’s Office.

Yangot pointed out, albeit, for the less fortunate families who belong to the marginalized sector, while the processes involved in applications for either getting copies of birth, marriage or death certificates and other related documents or for the correction of entries in the records with the Local Civil Registry was simplified, they are reportedly still unable to enjoy the advantages because they cannot pay for the services and/or documents.

He said the proposed ordinance will finally address the concerns of indigent residents and the same is also in keeping with the principle that ‘those who have less in life should have more in law.’

Section 9, Article 2 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all and pursuant to the said mandate, the local government units are bound to enact local ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the locality and its inhabitants.

With the passage of Republic Act 9048 otherwise known as “An Act Authorizing the City or Municipal Registrar or the Consul-General to Correct a Clerical or Typographical Error in an Entry and/or Change of First Name or Nick name in the Civil Register Without Need of a Judicial Order, Amending for this Purpose Articles 376 and 412 of the Civil Code of the Philippine,’ the Local Civil Registrar may correct clerical or typographical errors in the entries of their records in the said office without the need of going through the judicial process, thus, correcting clerical errors in birth, marriage or death certificates will no longer be burdensome since the processes involved were simplified.

The proposed ordinance was referred to the concerned committee for study, evaluation, and recommendation before it will be calendared for second reading.

By Dexter A. See

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