Senate passes bill making birth and marriage certificates permanently valid

·2 min read

The Senate of the Philippines just passed a bill making birth, marriage, and death certificates permanently valid, hopefully putting an end to the bureaucratic and pricey requests for new certificate copies each time a person does something like enroll at a school or apply for a job.

The upper house passed Senate Bill No. 2450, or the proposed Permanent Validity of the Certificates of Live Birth, Death, and Marriage Act, a year after the House of Representatives passed their version — opening the floor for a bicameral conference in which both Houses will consolidate their bills into a final version before it is sent to the president and signed into law.

Once passed into law, this act will put an end to the frankly ridiculous requests by government and private agencies to provide new and “updated” copies of these certificates (considering one is only born once — and, in divorce-less Philippines, usually only married one time, too).

Aside from prolonging application processes with repeated requests for new copies, a fresh and authenticated version costs PHP155 (US$2.96) and PHP365 (US$6.98) when delivered to their personal address, which can take a toll on the average worker or student.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said that, with the passage of the bill, “public or private entities are barred from requiring a new copy of these certificates from individuals who transact business from them.”

Senator Kiko Pangilinan, the primary author of the bill, welcomed the Senate’s passage. “This is a huge relief for our fellow Filipinos applying for a job, a passport, or even enrolling in school. This will save everyone money, time, and energy.”

“We should use all the technology available to us to ease the public’s struggles in having important documents processed. This bill will pave way for simplifying our bureaucratic processes,” he said.

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