Senate of the Philippines

Senate approves bill on lifetime birth, death, marriage certificates

Mara Cepeda
Senate approves bill on lifetime birth, death, marriage certificates
'Through this, our people do not have to unnecessarily spend time and money in securing new copies of their documents,' says Senator Bong Revilla Jr., who sponsored the bill

MANILA, Philippines – Senators approved the bill setting a permanent validity for certificates of live birth, death, and marriage issued or duly certified by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), local civil registries, and reports from Philippine foreign service posts. 

Voting 21-0-0, senators approved Senate Bill (SB) No. 2450 on third and final reading on Monday, May 23, the day the chamber resumed session after holding a three-month break for the 2022 elections. 

With the Senate’s approval, the bill on the lifetime validity of birth, death, and marriage certificates is one step closer to becoming law. The House of Representatives approved its own version of the bill way back in June 2021. 

Under SB 2450, certificates of live birth, death, and marriage issued, signed, certified, or authenticated by the PSA and its predecessor the National Statistics Office, and local civil registries would have permanent validity regardless of date of issuance. The same would be applied to certificates issued by Philippine foreign service posts.

The document, however, must be intact and readable, and its authenticity and security feature must be visible.

The permanent validity of marriage certificates would also only be applicable where the marriage has not been judicially decreed annulled or declared void ab initio under the Family Code of the Philippines or any subsequent amendatory law on marriage. 

What if the texts on the certificates have become unreadable or an administration correction or judicial decree has approved affecting its contents? Then the concerned person must submit a new, amended, or updated certificate. 

The PSA earlier clarified that the birth certificates it issues do not have expiration dates. But some government agencies and private organizations still require individuals to submit documents with the latest security paper, which would cost the applicant P155 to get an authenticated copy and another P365 for delivery. 

Senator Bong Revilla Jr., who sponsored the bill as chairman of the committee on civil service, government reorganization, and professional regulation, said the passage of the measure would be a big help for Filipinos in securing the birth, death, and marriage certificates. 

“As such, they will be recognized and accepted in all government or private transactions. Through this, our people do not have to unnecessarily spend time and money in securing new copies of their documents,” Revilla said. 

The bill was co-authored by Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, and senators Kiko Pangilinan, Win Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva, Sonny Angara, Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar, and Nancy Binay. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.