The Senate on Monday approved on final reading the measure seeking to make birth, death, and marriage certificates valid for life, sparing job applicants and other people making government transactions from unnecessarily securing new copies of these documents from time to time.
With 21 affirmative votes, the chamber unanimously passed Senate Bill 2450, or the proposed Permanent Validity of the Certificates of Live Birth, Death, and Marriage Act, pushing it one step closer to becoming a law.
Under the measure, 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.
"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," said Sen. Bong Revilla, who sponsored the measure as chair of the Senate Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation.
"Through this, our people do not have to unnecessarily spend time and money in securing new copies of their documents," he added.
Once enacted into law, violators 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.
With the approval of the measure in the Senate, a bicameral panel will be created to reconcile the bill with the version of the House of Representatives before it can be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for his signature.