The project aimed to provide access to the benefits of Republic Act 10172 (An Act Further Authorizing the City or Municipal Civil Registrar or the Consul General to Correct Clerical or Typographical Errors in the Day and Month in the Date of Birth or Sex of a Person Appearing in the Civil Register without Need of Judicial Order, Amending for this Purpose Republic Act 948) for the urban poor of Barangay 631 in Manila. It also sought to provide the benefits of free filing fees and simplified procedures for correcting birth certificates instead of the usual court proceeding which was a tedious and expensive process. The project also hoped to improve civil registration services by avoiding commission of errors during the registration of birth, marriage and death certificates through the adoption and installation of the NSO’s Barangay Civil Registration System (BCRS) on the same barangay.
Background and Problem
RA 10172 was a consolidation of several House Bills which was approved on February 09, 2011, a year before the project started. The objectives of the law were basically (1) to address the problem of delay in the processing of vital documents for workers who wish to go abroad, applications for board examinations and claim for benefits of workers, retirees and pensioners; (2) to reduce the cost of correcting errors in the register of birth or marriage by allowing administrative corrections instead of judicial proceedings; and (3) to de-clog the court dockets by authorizing administrative corrections, thereby improving the administration of justice. However, upon conducting a problem tree analysis, it was showed that the core problems as to the inability to correct a person’s birth certificate were due to (1) complicated procedures and too many required documents; (2) the people did not understand the law; and (3) the people did not understand the procedures for correct birth registration.
Solution and Impact
To solve the problem, an objective tree analysis was done and the methods identified to provide solutions were (1) informed/adviced on procedures in filling-up of birth certificate, b) awareness of RA 10172, and c) simplified procedures for correcting birth certificates. In that regard, the following strategies are established:
- To adopt Barangay Civil Registration Civil Registry System (BCRS) – Monitoring Vital Events Information Technology (MoVE-IT) system in a Barangay 631 so that it could monitor the occurrence and registration of birth, thus, preventing the occurrence of erroneous birth certificate;
- To coordinate with the Local Civil Registrar Office (LCRO) Manila and simplify procedures for filing a petition for correction of birth records; and
- To conduct information dissemination/seminars to increase public awareness on the importance of correct registration of birth certificates by document owners. They would be given legal advice and assistance regarding problems on civil registration. Collaboration with the Public Information Agency (PIA) would also be done to seek assistance for media coverage as well as coordination with the office of the Mayor to obtain support and endorsement.
After the implementation of the strategies, a survey was conducted to determine the after-state of the chosen barangay after the BCRS census and information drive. The results are the following:
- Eighty-five (85) percent of the respondents remembered/understood the key messages during the barangay census and information drive;
- Sixty (60) percent of Barangay 631 constituents reported that they had accessed to the benefits of RA 9048/ 10172;
- The BCRS-MoVE IT was installed in Barangay 631 and now being used and operated by the Barangay officials; and
- The implementation of the RA 10172 and the BCRS were aired in Radyo ng Bayan (through the PIA). The conduct of BCRS census and information drive was also posted in the NSO website and was eventually printed in the newspapers such as the Manila Bulletin and the Philippine Star.
The BCRS served as a tool to monitor the occurrences of future births, marriages and deaths in the barangay. It served as a pre-registration basis for birth, marriage and death for the barangay to gather the information from the constituents and gave an opportunity to check the corrected information before its submission for registration to the LCRO.
Prior to the project implementation, the project obtained permission from the mayor of Manila and collaborated with the City Civil Registrar of Manila to help facilitate the filing of petitions for correction of clerical error for birth, marriage and death certificates under simplified process. The project also conducted an information drive at Barangay 631 for them to understand and avail the benefits under the new law. The project offered free legal advice and taught the barangay constituents on how to fill-up the petition forms for correction of entry in the birth certificates. There were more than 130 people who were given legal advice to solve their problems regarding their birth and marriage certificates. The project prepared leaflets and bookmarks on RA 10172 and coordinated with PIA through Philippine Broadcasting System Radyo ng Bayan to further promote the advocacy. Newsletter about the information drive on RA 10172 was also uploaded at NSO Website.
In order to avoid future commission of errors in birth, marriage and death certificates, the project installed the BCRS at Barangay 631 which is a pilot test to adopt it in an urban area. The BCRS program was developed using Drupal software and the database was stored in the computer donated by NSO to Barangay 631.
Note: This initiative is based on the Public Management Development Program (PMDP) Re-Entry Plan of Ms. Maribeth C. Pilimpinas of the PMDP Middle Manager Class Batch 1 (Tanglaw).