Senate Oks bill on lifetime validity of birth, death certificates
The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a remedial legislation conferring lifetime validity on birth, death and marriage certificates.
With 21 affirmative votes, no negative vote and no abstention, Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2450, or the Permanent Validity of the Certificates of Live Birth, Death, and Marriage Act, got plenary approval paving the way for the creation of a bicameral panel to hammer out a reconciled final version of the same measure earlier passed by the House of Representatives.
These official documents are issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority, formerly the National Statistics Office, as well as the local governments' Civil Registry Office and the Philippine Foreign Service Post.
Sen. Ramon ''Bong'' Revilla Jr., chairman of the Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation and sponsor of the bill, thanked his colleagues for supporting the approval of the bill.
"Mr. President, with this piece of legislation, we have clearly and categorically provided the permanent validity of the civil registry documents regardless of the date of issuance. As such, they will be recognized and accepted in all government or private transactions. Through this, our people do not have to unnecessarily spend time and money in securing new copies of their documents," Revilla said in his manifestation.
He noted that while the PSA publicly declared that the birth certificates it issues have no expiration, several government agencies and private organizations still require these documents using the latest security paper which costs the applicant P155 for an authenticated copy and P365 when delivered at their personal address.
"There are instances that applicants are required to submit birth certificates issued within the past 6 months. For them to get these documents, Filipinos need to spend time and money. This is especially unfair to those who are first-time jobseekers," Revilla said.
Under the measure, all government offices, private companies, schools and non-government entities will be banned from requiring newly-issued birth, death or marriage certificates from those transacting business with them.
"The certificates of live birth, death, and marriage issued, signed, certified or authenticated by the PSA and its predecessor, the NSO, and the local civil registries shall have permanent validity regardless of the date of issuance and shall be recognized and accepted in all government or private transactions or services requiring submission thereof, as proof of identity and legal status of a person," a provision of the bill stated.
Once enacted into law, a punishment of one to six months imprisonment or a fine of not less than P5,000 but not more than P10,000, or both at the discretion of the court, shall be meted to any person who will be found guilty of violating this law.
"If the violation is committed by a public official or employee, an accessory penalty of temporary disqualification to hold public office shall likewise be imposed," the bill stated.
Listed as co-authors of the bill are Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto and Senators Francis Pangilinan, Win Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva, Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara, Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar and Nancy Binay. Senate PRIB