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As a general rule, no entry in the civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order. Hence, the usual process for correcting errors in the birth certificate is to file a petition in court. Fortunately, Republic Act No. 9048, as recently amended by Republic Act No. 10172, allowed the administrative correction of certain entries with the Civil Register, including entries in the birth certificate.
At present, one can file a petition for correction of clerical or typographical errors in the first name, nickname, place of birth, day and month of birth or sex of a person. The petition is generally filed with the Local Civil Registry Office (LCRO) where the record containing the clerical error sought to be corrected is kept. However, if the residence or domicile of the petitioner is different from where the civil registry records are registered, said petitioner may file the petition in the nearest LCRO in his area. For those staying outside of the Philippines, the petition may be filed with the Consul General of the Philippine Embassy in such foreign country.
A petition to change one’s first name or nickname cannot be based on any ground. It will be only allowed in any of the following cases:
1. The petitioner finds the first name or nickname to be ridiculous, tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce.
2. The new first name or nickname has been habitually and continuously used by the petitioner and he has been publicly known by that by that first name or nickname in the community: or
3. The change will avoid confusion.
The petition for correction of first name, nickname, day and month of birth and gender shall be in the form of a notarized affidavit which should set forth facts necessary to establish the merits of the petition and shall show affirmatively that the petitioner is competent to testify to the matters stated. It must be supported by the following documents:
1. A certified true machine copy of the certificate or of the page of the registry book containing the entry or entries sought to be corrected or changed.
2. At least two (2) public or private documents showing the correct entry or entries upon which the correction or change shall be based
3. Notice and Certificate of Posting
4. Certified machine copy the Official Receipt of the filing fee
5. Certification form law enforcement agencies that the petitioner has no pending case or criminal record.
6. Other documents as may be required by the LCRO.
For a petition to correct day or month of birth or gender, additional documents must be submitted such as the earliest school record or documents such as medical records, baptismal certificate and other documents issued by religious authorities. For correction of entry of sex of the person, the petition must be further accompanied by a certification from an accredited government physician attesting to the fact that the petitioner has not undergone sex change or sex transplant. This is in view of the fact that a petition for correction of gender can only be based on mistake or clerical error. A man who has undergone surgery to change his reproductive organ to that of a female cannot correct the entry of his gender in the birth certificate to female.
Pertinently, the petition must be published at least once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.
The civil registrar or the consul general shall examine the petition and its supporting documents. He shall post the petition in a conspicuous place for ten (10) consecutive days after he finds the petition and its supporting documents sufficient in form and substance. Thereafter, he shall act on the petition and shall render a decision not later than five (5) working days after the completion of the posting and/or publication requirement.
This is how to correct errors in your birth certificate without going to court.
Nicolas & De Vega Law Offices is a full-service Philippine law firm located at the 16th Flr. Suite 1607 AIC Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

Correcting erroneous entries in birth certificate


Dear PAO,
I want to file a petition for correction of entry in my birth certificate to correct my misspelled first name with the Office of the Local Civil Registrar. Since I don’t have money to pay for the filing fee, is there a way that I may be exempted from paying for it? I need the corrected birth certificate because I am applying for work abroad.
Clifford
Dear Clifford,
Before the enactment of Republic Act (RA) 9048, the correction or cancellation of erroneous entries in the civil registry may only be effected upon the authority granted by the court. This means that a petition should be filed in court praying for the amendment and only after the petition is heard and the court is convinced that there is a need to rectify the record if the correction sought is effected. This is according to Articles 376 and 412 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines.
When RA 9048 took effect, however, the Local Civil Registrar or the Consul General, as the case may be, was authorized to correct or cancel wrong entries in the civil registry, which are considered typographical or clerical errors. These  officials are also authorized to effect change of name. Section 1 thereof, which was further amended by RA 10172, reads:
“SECTION 1. Authority to Correct Clerical or Typographical Error and Change of First Name or Nickname. – No entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order, except for clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname, the day and month in the date of birth or sex of a person where it is patently clear that there was a clerical or typographical error or mistake in the entry, which can be corrected or changed by the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general in accordance with the provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations.”
Your desire to file a petition to correct your misspelled name before the Office of the Local Civil Registrar is in accordance with the above law. If you are having a hard time to pay the filing fee thereof because of your financial situation, you may be considered as an indigent petitioner. As such, you are exempt from paying the fee. Section 8 of the  law as amended by RA 10172, provides:
“SEC. 8. Payment of Fees. – The city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general shall be authorized to collect reasonable fees as a condition for accepting the petition. An indigent petitioner shall be exempt from the payment of the said fee. xxx”
According to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the law, an indigent petitioner refers to a destitute, needy and poor individual who is certified as such by the social welfare and development office of the city/municipal government (2.7, Rule 2, Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 2001, Rules and Regulations Governing the Implementation of Republic Act No. 9048).
It is clear therefore that to be exempted from paying the required fee in filing the petition, you have to prove that you are indigent. You can do this by simply presenting a certification from the social welfare and development office in your locality that you are an indigent.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

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  1. what if my birth certificate doesnt have middle initial since i was an illegitimate child. i am bound for jeddah Saudi Arabia..everything is ready because it was direct hiring..but sad to say i was called by the agency informing me that i cant go because i dont have middle intial...is there a posibility that i can change my nso birth certificate

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  2. good day, what should be the process if my mother used her nickname in my birth certificate instead of her registered name,? thanks

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  3. What if my middle name is Sedenio and it is entered as Sederiosa sis/mam???

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  4. Hello, I have some inquiries about changing the last name of my daughter. May I ask for an email add where I can send you the scenario? Thank u.

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  5. Hello, I have some inquiries about changing the last name of my daughter. May I ask for an email add where I can send you the scenario? Thank u.

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  6. How about this,i'm using 1964,all my ids,important docs are 1964,but when i got my nso it is 1963.What will i do?

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  7. How about this,i'm using 1964,all my ids,important docs are 1964,but when i got my nso it is 1963.What will i do?

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  8. Any idea on adoption procedure? My birth cert was not submitted to NSO, thus, my birth cert is not updated with NSO.

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  9. Any idea on adoption procedure? My birth cert was not submitted to NSO, thus, my birth cert is not updated with NSO.

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  10. Hello. I cannot get my NSO birth certificate though I have correct entries because my older brother who is supposedly 20 months older than I am have erroneous birth month, date and year entries which made our gap 5 months only. He has to process change of his birth month, date and year. Is his case covered with RA 10172? What should we do?

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  11. Good day..in my case my birth certificate there is no entry for my mother's name..what shall i do with these?

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  12. what if the birth year appeared as 20 only in NSO copy that it should be 2004? what we will do? thanks

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  13. Hi po.. what shoul i do if my nso birth certificate doesn't have an entry for my birth year..it only has the month and the date but no year!

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