Awareness: February is Civil Registration Month

Civil registration is the continuous, permanent, and compulsory recording of vital events in the life of a Filipino such as birth and marriage, as well as decrees, legal instruments, and judicial orders affecting his/her civil status in appropriate Registers as mandated by Republic Act (RA) 3753, the Civil Registry Law.

The month of February every year is observed as Civil Registration Month, pursuant to Proclamation No. 682 issued on January 28, 1991, to remind Filipinos of their duty to register acts and events on status of persons; improve nationwide awareness and appreciation of legal, administrative, and statistical values of civil registry documents; and seek Congress help for funding to enforce and administer civil registration laws. Led by the National Statistics Office (NSO), local civil registry offices nationwide implement month-long public service programs in connection with the celebration such as mass weddings, free registration, free giving of affidavits and certificates, mobile registration, information campaigns in barangays and schools, free distribution of marriage certificates, streamers and posters displays, and slogan contests.

More than 40 Census Serbilis Centers in Metro Manila and in regional and key cities and municipalities have been set up in convenient locations such as shopping malls, travel agencies, remittance centers, and hotels to bring services closer to the people. The online NSOHelpline.com may be availed of for faster door-to-door delivery of certificates. More local government units are implementing the NSO’s Batch Request Entry System where application for documents in security paper is done at the local registry offices.

Historically, civil registration started as early as the Spanish era. On June 18, 1898, a few days after the declaration of Philippines independence, a decree was issued providing for the election of a Delegate of Justice and Civil Registration who assisted the town chief in initiating court proceedings, conducting census, and preparing the record book of acts and events. The Philippine system of civil registration was established on February 27, 1931, by Act No. 3753, which called for the continuous and compulsory recording of births, marriages, and other events concerning the status of Filipinos.

We congratulate the National Statistics Office, headed by Administrator and Civil Registrar General Carmelita N. Ericta and Deputy Administrator Paula Monina G. Collado, other Officers and Personnel, for the efforts in bringing to public consciousness the significance of registering and updating acts and events concerning the civil status of the Filipino people in our Republic of the Philippines. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!

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