Your name is a major part of who you are. It makes you stand out from other people and shows who you are. But what if your name was put wrong on your birth certificate?
In a formal document like a birth certificate, it is very important to have the right name. For example, if you want to get a driver’s licence or go through the steps to get married, you might need to show your birth certificate. If there is a mistake in your name, it can cause confusion.
You can fix a mistake on your birth record about your first name, which is good news. Under the new Republic Act (RA) 9048, all you have to do is make a petition for correction of clerical error.
But before we talk about how to change your name on your birth record in the Philippines, let’s talk about RA 9048, the name changes it allows, and who is eligible to file a petition.
What is RA 9048
RA 9048 lets the civil register fix clerical or typing mistakes on the petitioner’s birth certificate without having to go to court. This law changed Articles 376 and 412 of the Philippines’ Civil Code, which say that a court order is needed to change or correct a person’s name or last name in a civil record.
5 Corrections Allowed Under RA 9048
In 2012, RA 9048 was changed by RA 10172. This gave the civil registrar even more power to fix mistakes in a petitioner’s birthdate or sex without having to file a case in court.
RA 10172 says that clerical or typographical errors are harmless mistakes that happen when a record in the civil register is written, copied, transcribed, or typed. Some examples are having your name written as “Ma.” instead of “Maria,” your gender written as “female” instead of “male,” or your birthday written a month off.
According to the PSA website, here are the instances in which entries in the birth certificate can be changed or corrected by the civil registrar:
- Correction of misspelled first or last name
- Correction of misspelled birthplace
- Correction of a mistake in the day or month of birth
- Correction of sex
- Change of first name or nickname
Regarding the change of first name or nickname, you can’t file for a petition just because you want to. There are three valid grounds enumerated in Section 4 of RA 9048.
- Your first name or nickname is ridiculous, tainted with dishonor, or extremely difficult to write or pronounce
- You habitually use your new name and are publicly known by that name in the community
- The change will avoid confusion
Who May File a Petition for Correction of Clerical Error?
A verified petition can be filed by anyone who has a direct and personal interest in correcting clerical or typing mistakes in an entry or changing their first name in the civil register. You can only make a petition once, and the civil registry office will keep the old record that was changed or fixed.
Filing a Petition for Correction of Clerical Error
You have to go to the civil register office in your city or municipality to file a petition. You can make a petition at the nearest Philippine Consulate if you live outside of the Philippines.
The law prescribes a particular format for the petition for correction of a clerical error. Here are the basic requirements.
- Contents of the petition
- Facts establishing the merits of the petition
- Information showing that you’re competent to testify about the matters stated in the affidavit
- The erroneous entry or entries to be corrected and the proposed correction(s)
- Supporting Documents
- A certified true copy of the birth certificate or of the page of the registry book containing the entry or entries you want to be corrected or changed
- At least two public or private documents showing the correct entry or entries, which will serve as the basis for the correction or change
- A certification from appropriate law enforcement agencies showing that you have no pending case or no criminal record
- Other documents that you, the city or municipal civil registrar, or consul general may consider relevant and necessary for the approval of the petition
- Distribution of the petition documents
- First copy – the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general
- Second copy – the Office of the Civil Registrar General
- Third copy – your copy
- Filing fee
- P1,000 – for correction of clerical or typographical errors
- P3,000 – for change of first name or nickname
- $50 – for correction of clerical or typographical errors
- $150 – for change of first name or nickname
Evaluation of the Petition Documents
When the civil registrar or consul general gets your papers, they will look at your plea and the papers that back it up. If the structure and content of the affidavit meet the requirements, the office will post the petition in a public place for 10 days in a row. After you have met the posting and/or publication standards, the office will decide whether or not to grant your petition. Most of the time, this takes five working days.
If you want to instruct me, my name is Atty Lindoven Magsino, BSc, MBA, GDL, LLM, Solicitor at MBM Solicitors located at 83A First Floor, South Road, Southall, UB1 1SQ, England, United Kingdom. Telephone: 02035002141. Fax 02085710811. Mobile: 07446 888 377. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com