Bill making birth, death, marriage certificates valid for life lapses into law

Bill making birth, death, marriage certificates valid for life lapses into law
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.”

MANILA, Philippines — A bill that seeks to make birth, death and marriage certificates valid for life lapsed into law Thursday.

In a transmittal letter to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez said the measure lapsed into law pursuant to Article VI, Section 27(1) of the Constitution.

That provision of the Charter states that bills passed by Congress left unacted on by the president automatically become law after 30 days.

"The winners here are every Filipino who do not need to spend again and again for certificates because what they have obtained and paid for will never expire," Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla Jr, who sponsored the measure in the Senate, said in a statement in Filipino.

The law provides for the permanent validity of birth, death and marriage certificates issued, signed, certified or authenticated by the Philippine Statistics Authority and its predecessor, the National Statistics Office.

It says that these documents will forever be valid "provided that the document remains intact, readable and still visibly contains the authenticity and security features."

The PSA has said in a Senate hearing on this measure that the birth certificates it issues do not expire, some government agencies and private institutions still require this document to be obtained in the past six months as the security paper it is printed on changes every six months.

The measure, however, seeks to ban and punish this with jail time ranging from one month and a day to six months, or a fine of at least P5,000 to P10,000, or both. Government officials who violate the bill if passed into law will also be temporarily disqualified to hold public office. — Xave Gregorio


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