Our birth certificates are one of the primary documents we have to verify our identity. In fact, this is the first (1st) thing many institutions ask to know who we are and where we’re from. Can you imagine having a delayed birth certificate/registration?
Lawrence Fortun, Agusan del Norte 1st District Representative, pushes to have a free delayed birth registration. In his statement, he said that the issuance of free delayed registration of birth shall be looked at and be done at a local government level.
He even noted that about 7.5 million Filipinos don’t have valid and legitimate birth certificates. Whereas it’s one document that would fully help a person get into school, jobs, etc.
Child rights advocates have identified that 7.5 million Filipinos do not have birth certificates that supposedly fundamental and indispensable document that establishes our identity, our nationality and citizenship… Of the 7.5 million Filipinos unregistered, about half of that are children.”
How would the free delayed birth registration work?
House Bill 104 author Fortun said that the birth certificate is among the documents every Filipino has the right to have. In fact, a person might not be able to do normal things without it.
Assistant National of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Fred Sollesta emphasized this fact. He said that in going to school and looking for jobs, a certified birth certificate is needed by each and everyone of us.
Pag nag-aral ang bata, birth certificate ang kailangan… Pag naghanap ng trabaho, kailangan din ng birth certificate para ma-enjoy ang social services ng gobyerno, at siyempre national identity.”
In Translation: When a child goes to school, he or she needs a birth certificate. When a person applies for a job, he or she needs a birth certificate to enjoy the Philippine government’s social services; and of course, for national identity.
Why do some people “lack” having a birth certificate?
According to some sources, the reason why people don’t have birth certificates is because it’s something they cannot afford. In fact, the cost for a “delayed birth certificate” is about P1,000. This is why Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun pushes a free delayed birth registration to accompany the poor in getting the document they have the right to have.
Hindi dapat nagdudusa ang mga mahihirap dahil wala silang pera.”
In Translation: The poor shouldn’t be suffering this just because they don’t have money. Therefore, the free delayed registration of birth must be effective.
Along with other members of the Congress, Fortun said that they are really pushing for implementation of programs to overtake the rights of children in the country. He said that he and his group really look into having the free delayed birth registration to be effective.
Nakasaad sa UNCRC na karapatan ng isang bata na mairehistro pagkapanganak at karapatan din niya, mula sa pagkapanganak, na magkaroon ng pangalan at nasyonalidad.”
In Translation: It was written in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) that it is a right of a child to have a birth registration. From the time he or she was born, and to have a name and nationality.
He even threw a joke as regards this concern saying that he had a friend who told him that dogs are luckier than some of the children. Why? Because they’re complete with papers and they’re even registered under a certain institution.
Ika nga ng isang kaibigan ko, mabuti pa ‘yong aso, may papeles at rehistrado sa PCCI (Philippine Canine Club Inc).”
In Translation: As a good friend once said, dogs are luckier because they have papers; they’re even registered with the Philippines Canine Club Inc. (PCCI).
Fortun even added that they’re saddened with this fact. That every poor family aren’t officially registered.
Kami po ay nagulat at nalungkot na marami sa kanila, hindi lang mga bata ang hindi nakarehistro. Marami sa kanila ay buong pamilya, mula sa lolo, lola, tatay, nanay at mga anak, ang walang birth certificates—deprived of their fundamental right to identity and nationality.”
In Translation: We are shocked and saddened that many of them, not only children, aren’t registered. Even their whole families from grandparents, parents, and children, don’t have birth certificates.
What do you think about the Solon’s eagerness to have a free delayed birth registration? Is this a just thing to protect the rights of the children and the poor? Would this have a positive effect on the lives of poor people?