Senate approves bill on permanent validity of birth, death, marriage certificates
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill seeking the permanent validity of birth, death and marriage certificates issued and certified by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the National Statistics Office (NSO).
Voting 21-0, senators passed Senate Bill No. 2450 or the proposed Permanent Validity of the Certificates of Live Birth, Death, and Marriage Act.
Under the bill, “certificates of live birth, death, and marriage issued, signed, certified or authenticated by the PSA and its predecessor, the NSO, and the local civil registries shall have permanent validity regardless of the date of issuance and shall be recognized and accepted in all government or private transactions or services requiring submission thereof, as proof of identity and legal status of a person.”
These certificates shall be permanently valid provided that the “document remains intact, readable, and still visibly contains the authenticity and security features,” according to the measure.
Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. said that with the bill, Filipinos will no longer need to “unnecessarily spend time and money in securing new copies of their documents.”
“With this piece of legislation, we have clearly and categorically provided the permanent validity of the civil registry documents regardless of the date of issuance. As such, they will be recognized and accepted in all government or private transactions,” he said.
Revilla sponsored the bill on the floor as chairman of the Senate Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation.
“In one sentence, this is the gist of the bill: A birthday can be celebrated yearly. But birth certificates are forever,” Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, a co-sponsor of the bill, said.
“Same with marriages. Legally, you can have many – for as long as it is due to death of spouse or of love – but the marriage certificate for each should be valid for as long as you two live happily together, which is not necessarily ever after,” he added.
“No state can guarantee that wedded bliss can last a lifetime. But it can issue a marriage certificate which does not expire for as long as love has not,” he further said.
Recto said the bill “removes the expiry date” on birth, marriage and death certificates.
“If land titles of expensive real estate do not bear a ‘best before’ marking, why should civil registry documents have one?” he added.
The House of Representatives passed a counterpart measure in June last year.
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