Under the bill, a “birth certificate certified and issued by the PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority) shall not expire and shall be considered valid at any time.”
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Senate bill seeks lifetime validity of birth certificates
Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - July 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — In a bid to end the practice of government and private offices requiring applicants for documents, jobs and services to submit new birth certificates, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has filed a bill that seeks to make the document valid for a lifetime.

Recto, who also filed the bill enacted to extend the validity of passports, said he believes that only a law conferring lifetime validity on a birth certificate would stop offices from enforcing “an unnecessary, expensive and oppressive” requirement.

“It’s costly for the applicants to be required a new birth certificate, plus the difficulty of obtaining one,” Recto said in Filipino.

Under the bill, a “birth certificate certified and issued by the PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority) shall not expire and shall be considered valid at any time.”

“It’s not food like canned sardines that spoil over time. That’s why it’s saddening that many offices still want new birth certificates from applicants, which is a burden to them,” Recto said.

The proposal, however, provided exceptions to the rule, such as birth records that provide administrative corrections as provided under Republic Acts 9048 and 10172.

To the credit of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), “it has never been remiss in explaining that birth certificates it has issued have no expiry dates, but this assurance remains unheeded in many offices which continue to require that the submitted birth certificate be issued within the past six months,” Recto said.

PSA charges P155 for an authenticated copy of a birth certificate, and P365 if delivered to the home of the requesting party. Birth certificates certified by the PSA are printed on security paper, otherwise known as SECPA.

“While SECPA over the years has changed in appearance to keep the proliferation of fraudulent birth certificates and identities at bay, the PSA has been emphatic in its assurance that such does not remove the validity of the birth certificate,” Recto said in the bill’s explanatory note.

Sustainable development

The Senate is also set to create a new committee assigned to work on measures that would propel sustainable development in the country, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said yesterday.

Sotto said the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development will be headed by returning Sen. Pia Cayetano, whose advocacies, goals and program include the education system.

“She (Cayetano) is the most suited chairperson of that committee and it covers the goals and programs not only on education but also on higher technology,” Sotto said in Filipino, explaining that he had consulted former senators from the minority and majority about the measure.

“We are one of the countries that don’t have it (committee on sustainable development),” Sotto explained.

Meanwhile, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian is pushing anew for the passage of a measure institutionalizing the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Senate Bill No. 169 or “The National Economic and Development Authority Act of 2019” provides for the creation of two distinct but functionally related entities, namely the NEDA, which formulates plans and programs; and the National Economic and Development Board, which directs the formulation and implementation of policies and strategies that would promote economic development.

Gatchalian said there was a need to empower the agency to play a more important role in steering government policies to solve the country’s most pressing socio-economic concerns.

“The bill will strengthen the autonomy of the units within the various regions of the country to accelerate their economic and social growth development,” Gatchalian said.

Under the bill, NEDA shall ensure the integration of major regional and local development priorities into the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) and Medium-Term Regional Development Plans (MTRDPs), respectively.

The proposed measure also institutionalizes the so-called “Planning Call” that will ensure a timely and coordinated planning process.

New ‘Nutribun’

Neophyte Sen. Imee Marcos wants the government to review the country’s child feeding programs with what she claimed as an incidence of Filipino children having stunted brain growth and malnutrition.

Ahead of filing a Senate resolution to review government child-feeding programs, Marcos cited nutrition studies which said about 30 percent of a Filipino child’s brain will not grow further if malnutrition continues from the time a mother is pregnant until the child reaches the age of five.

This brings her to call for the distribution of “Nutribiskwit” – a renewed version of the Marcos period “Nutribun” given to grade schoolers in the 70’s.  –  With Artemio Dumlao

BIRTH CERTIFICATE NUTRIBUN PHILIPPINE STATISTICS AUTHORITY SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
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