(UPDATE) Birth, marriage, and death certificates issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority, the National Statistics Office, and local civil registries are now valid for life as the measure seeking their permanent validity lapsed into law.
Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., who sponsored the measure on the Senate plenary, reported that the proposed "Permanent Validity of the Certificates of Live Birth, Death, and Marriage Act" lapsed into law after it was sent to Malacañang for signature on June 27.
Bills left unacted upon by the president after 30 days from receipt automatically become laws.
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Under the new law, all government offices, private companies, schools, and non-government entities will be prohibited from requiring newly-issued birth, death, or marriage certificates from those making transactions with them.
These documents issued, signed, certified or authenticated by the Philippine Statistics Authority and its predecessor, the National Statistics Office, and local civil registries will have permanent validity regardless of the date of issuance and must be recognized and accepted as proof of identity and legal status of a person.
According to Revilla, the measure was pushed to spare job applicants and other people making government transactions from unnecessarily securing new copies of these documents from time to time.
"With this piece of legislation, we have clearly and categorically provided the permanent validity of the civil registry documents regardless of the date of issuance. As such, they will be recognized and accepted in all government or private transactions," Revilla said.
"Through this, our people do not have to unnecessarily spend time and money in securing new copies of their documents," he added.
Former Sen. Francis Pangilinan, a co-author of the measure, also welcomed the new law as he thanked his former colleagues in working on the proposal.
"Good news ito lalo na sa mga kababayan nating nag-aapply ng trabaho at eskwelahan, nag-aapply ng passport, at iba pa. Malaking tipid sa oras, pera, at pagod," he said.
Those who violate the provisions of the law will be penalized with up to six months in prison or a fine of up to P10,000, or both. If the violation is committed by a public official or employee, he or she will also be temporarily disqualified from holding public office.