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Permanent validity

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The Senate has approved on third and final reading a measure providing permanent validity of the certificates of live birth, death and marriage, barring agencies from requiring a new copy of these certificates from individuals who transact with them.

In a 21-0 vote, Senate Bill 2450 or the proposed Permanent Validity of the Certificates of Live Birth, Death and Marriage Act was passed.

It affected all such certificates issued, signed and certified or authenticated by the Philippine Statistics Authority and its predecessor, the National Statistics Office, and local civil registries, and reports of birth, death and marriage registered and issued by the Philippine Foreign Service posts.

The lower house passed a counterpart measure last year.

The only exception for the permanent validity of the certificates of live birth, death and marriage is if it is damaged, no longer legible, or if its security features are no longer readable and its authenticity is degraded.

“We often talk about red tape encountered by big business, and we have passed laws easing them the burden of doing business. It is time to extend the same relief to ordinary citizens. This revolving door in getting civil registry documents must now end,” Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said.

This common-sense law will be welcomed by most Filipinos who have found it difficult to comprehend the reasoning behind certificates of live birth, death and marriage that inexplicably expire, forcing us to continually acquire new ones every six months, even if humans are only born and die once, and the details surrounding those events rarely ever change.

Permanent validity of civil registry documents will save Filipinos from the unnecessary cost and inconvenience of having to “renew” such documents every time they are needed to transact with government offices and other entities. It took our legislators some time to actually make it happen, but now that it is almost a law, Filipinos are grateful and hopeful that Senate Bill 2450 makes it through legislative gauntlet and becomes a reality.*

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