Cebu News

Badjao community gets free live birth registration

Shaina Fame Marie P. Mabatid - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — A free legal assistance caravan for the Badjao community in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City was arranged by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

One of the people who went there was Arlyn Daomani, 39 years old, who just got her Certificate of Live Birth during the free legal aid caravan.

“Dugay na kaayo ni nako nga problema kay wala koy (certificate of) live birth. Dako kaayo ni og tabang nako kay nagka-live birth na ko,” said Daomani as reported by the city's Public Information Office.

Many of the Badjaos in the area experience the same issue as Daomani. The majority of them have not formally registered their birth records with the appropriate agencies.

Their tribal chieftain, Felicito Asamsa, stated that the absence of official birth records inhibits their members from obtaining proper identification and using various government services.

“Dako kaayo ni og tabang nga naay legal aid diri kay kung unsay mga problema namo sa papeles, matabangan mi sa mga abogado,” he said.

According to Attorney Michelle Mendez-Palmares, president of the IBP Cebu City Chapter, there were at least 15 volunteer lawyers present during the legal assistance caravan.

Aside from legal aid, the Cebu City Office of the City Civil Registrar (OCCR) and PhilSys for national ID registration were also present.

A pop-up COVID vaccination was also offered in order to prepare the children for the upcoming face-to-face classes. —GMR (FREEMAN)


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