A birth certificate is one of the most important documents you’ll need to prove your identity and your nationality, apply for certain types of jobs, and secure government-issued documents like a passport.
But what happens when one of the details on your birth certificate needs to be corrected?
In the Philippines, there are two ways to change errors in one’s birth certificate:
- First, through R.A. 9048, as amended by R.A. 10172. Under these laws, your city or municipal registrar can change clerical or typographical errors.
- Second, through a judicial order, which means going to court.
Only the following can file for the changes in your birth certificate:
- Your spouse
- Your children
- Your parents
- Your brothers and sisters
- Your grandparents
- Your guardian
- Anyone authorized by law or by you
Changes with the civil registrar
To make a simple change to typographical errors, simply file a petition with the Local Civil Registry Office (LCRO) in the city or municipality that keeps your birth certificate.
If you’ve moved away and now live in a place that’s some distance away from your old municipality (let’s say you’ve relocated from Manila to Cebu), then you can file your petition at the LCRO closest to you.
If you were born abroad, you will need to have errors corrected in the Philippines Consulate where your birth was recorded.
Clerical or typographic errors include:
- A first name or nickname
The name change can only be allowed if:
- Your name is “ridiculous” or taints your honor
- Your name is too difficult to write or pronounce
- You’ve used your new name continually and have been known as that name within the community
- The change avoids confusion
- Place of birth
- The day and month of birth
- The gender of a person
To prove the errors you want corrected, submit any or all of the following documents:
- Earliest school records
- Medical records
- Baptismal certificates or other religious records
- NBI, PNP, or employer clearance
To correct a clerical error regarding gender, submit a medical certification stating that you have not undergone gender reassignment. However, in the case of the “Republic of The Philippines vs. Cagandahan (G.R. No. 166676),” the Supreme Court ruled that anyone born intersex, such as those suffering from congenital adrenal hyperplasia, may change the gender indicated on their birth certificate.
Changes that require a judicial order
If you need to make changes that involve more than just a typographical error, you have to obtain a judicial order in accordance with the procedures set out in Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.
Changes that require a court order include:
- Legitimacy of paternity or filiation
- Legitimacy of marriage
File your petition at the Regional Trial Court where your civil registry office is.
If you need expert legal advice on this and other matters, call Duran & Duran-Schulze Law at (+632) 478 5826 or email [email protected] today.
We are a sister-team of lawyers who founded Duran & Duran-Schulze in the spirit of entrepreneurship. It is this same spirit that inspires us to provide our clients with the legal expertise they need in establishing and running their business.