Civil registrar wins; no more ‘gender test’By Jeannette I. Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Office of the Civil Registrar General (OCRG) has given in to the contention that local civil registrars cannot possibly certify if a person is a transgender.
Bowing to a petition filed in a Quezon City court last year by local civil registrar Ramon Matabang, the OCRG has agreed to delete two provisions in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of “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 a judicial order.”
One of the provisions which Matabang had questioned in the petition he filed in November last year required a city or municipal civil registrar to authenticate a certification issued by an accredited government physician that the petitioner for the correction of a clerical or typographical error had not undergone a sex change or sex transplant.
Matabang had maintained that this was unnecessary considering that “civil registrars are not in a position nor possess the technical expertise to determine if a person [is a transgender].”
Another provision that he had objected to was the need for a legislative ratification of the fees to be collected by the city or municipal civil registrars.
Matabang said that in a meeting with National Statistics Office legal director Beth Pilinpinas, he was informed that the OCRG headed by NSO Administrator Carmelita Ericta had agreed to delete the provisions and publish an amended version of the IRR.
Matabang, who chairs the Alliance of Civil Registrars for Reform, explained: “I am not opposing the law. The insertion of certain questionable items in the IRR prompted me to file the petition in court.”
He added that the “consensus” he had reached with the OCRG has prompted him to consider dropping the petition he filed in court.