Villanueva urges PSA: Issue clear policy to gov’t agencies on lifetime validity of birth certificates
Senator Joel Villanueva called on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to clear the air with all government agencies on the lifetime validity of birth certificates, and deal away with the unnecessary need of securing the document issued within the past six months.
Villanueva said the concern weighed heavily on Filipinos, particularly jobseekers as it placed an inconvenient and burdensome expense which could be easily dealt away with if government agencies requiring it recognize the lifetime validity of the document.
“Napakalinaw po na pang-habangbuhay ang validity ng birth certificate. Hindi po ito de lata na may ‘best before’ na marka o expiration. Para pong pinagkakakitaan natin ang ating kababayan tuwing nagsusumite sila ng birth certificate para sa iba’t ibang requirement ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno,” Villanueva said in a statement.
At the hearing of the Senate civil service committee on Thursday, Villanueva quizzed PSA officials on the agency’s efforts to raise awareness of other government entities about the lifetime validity of birth certificates.
“Napakalinaw po na pang-habangbuhay ang validity ng birth certificate. Hindi po ito de lata na may ‘best before’ na marka o expiration. Para pong pinagkakakitaan natin ang ating kababayan tuwing nagsusumite sila ng birth certificate para sa iba’t ibang requirement ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno”
Replying to the lawmaker’s query, PSA deputy national statistician Leo Malagar said the agency changes every six months the security paper where birth certificates are printed on, but that does not mean issued documents expire.
“Kailangan po ng mas malinaw at mas maayos na polisiya ang ating mga ahensya pag dating sa validity ng birth certificate, kasi po aanhin ng ating mga kababayan ang kanilang birth certificate kung hindi naman tinatanggap ng ibang ahensya ng pamahalaan?” Villanueva pointed out.
“PSA has to actively coordinate with government agencies to correct this misconception and confusion. PSA is in a position to do something about this,” he added.
“This issue only shows that we really need to pass this measure,” Villanueva said of Senate Bill No. 1281, which he earlier filed and was tackled in the committee hearing.
The bill seeks to prohibit requiring applicants to government services to “submit birth records printed on the most recent version of the security paper used by PSA, or those certified by the PSA within the past six (6) months. For this purpose, the birth certificate issued or certified by PSA shall not expire and shall be considered valid at any time.”
“We are born only once and the circumstances and details of our birth do not change,” Villanueva said.