PSA: No expiry date for birth certificates

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    THE Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) yesterday said birth certificates have no expiry dates, contrary to belief that they are valid for only six months.

    Speaking before the Senate civil services committee, PSA deputy national statistician Leo Malagar said that once issued, birth certificates have a lifetime validity unless the bearer has administrative corrections on the spelling on his/her name, surname, or corrections on birth dates, among others and if the document is damaged.

    Malagar said the issue of a birth certificate’s limited validity period usually crops up once the PSA starts using a different colored security paper when they print the latest copies of the document.

    “Government agencies and the private sector should honor birth certificates presented to them either by their own employees or applicants, and there is no need to ask for a latest copy of the document,” Malagar said.

    Malagar made the comment after Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr., chairman of the Senate committee on civil services, said that requiring the latest version of birth certificates entails added costs to an individual, especially those who are required to present them for employment purposes.

    “This requirement costs our people valuable time and money especially now that we are in a pandemic where the economy is badly affected. Any additional cost will surely have an impact on our countrymen, not to mention the risk of getting infected when they personally apply for a birth certificate,” Revilla said.

    Individuals who need to get a copy of their birth certificates have two options on acquiring them: through personal application at PSA offices, which would cost them P155 per copy; and through courier service which costs P365.

    Revilla’s panel yesterday discussed proposed Senate Bill 262 filed by Sen. Francis Pangiinan on July 2019, and Senate Bill 600 filed by Senate president pro tempore Ralph Recto and Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, which both seek to prohibit national government agencies from requiring the submission of PSA-certified birth certificates within the past six months; and Senate Bill 1281 filed by Sen. Joel Villanueva on January 2020 which seeks to provide a lifetime validity of birth certificates.

    Villanueva asked the PSA if it can tell government agencies to accept old birth certificates, including those issued by civil registrars, Malagar said the PSA has no power to force government agencies to do so. He added the PSA also cannot impose on the private sector.

    Villanueva, Senate labor committee chair, said getting new birth certificates have an adverse effect on job applicants since it will have an added cost to them.