The problem of double registration of birth certificate

One of the most common problems involving birth certificates is double registration. This occurs when a person whose birth was already registered, would again cause the registration of another birth certificate for a number of reasons.

These reasons include mere lack of knowledge of the existence of the first birth certificate, or the popular incorrect notion of registration for convenience. There are cases where parents, after discovery that there was erroneous entry in the birth certificate of their child, would register the birth certificate again instead of availing of the proper remedy of administrative/judicial correction.

Other incorrect practices involve causing delayed registration after the owner’s copy of the first birth certificate was misplaced or destroyed, or when the child transfers residence from the place of birth to another. These scenarios are all invalid reasons for delayed registration of birth certificate and would result to the problem of double registration.

In the Philippines, if a person has two birth certificates, only the earlier registered one may be printed and issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). The second or subsequent birth certificates are still saved in the PSA system but may not be retrieved until the earlier registered one is cancelled.

It is interesting to note that there are instances when the document owner decides to use his/her first birth certificate but government agencies still require him/her to cancel his/her second birth certificate.

For example, in 2007, Pedro, who was born in Capas, Tarlac in 1990, wanted to go abroad for employment. As his birth certificate (“first birth certificate”) showed that he is only 17 years old, his parent registered another birth certificate (“second birth certificate”) showing that he was born in 1989. Pedro then used his second birth certificate when he applied for passport and employment. Eventually, he was issued a passport with birth year of 1989 and was able to go abroad and work.

However, after several years, Pedro needed to renew his passport and he was required to submit a PSA-issued birth certificate again. When Pedro requested a copy of his birth certificate from the PSA, he was issued his first birth certificate instead of the second one. Upon submission, the personnel of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) noticed that Pedro submitted a different birth certificate. The DFA then required Pedro to show proof that the second birth certificate is cancelled before they can accept his first birth certificate for the renewal of his passport. Pedro then has no choice but to cancel his second birth certificate by filing a petition before the Regional Trial Court of Capas, Tarlac.

Procedure for cancellation of birth certificate

The cancellation of birth certificate may only be done through judicial proceedings or by filing the proper petition in court under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. Here are the steps to be taken:

  1. Talk to a lawyer for the preparation of the petition. The first step requires consultation with a lawyer, and drafting of the petition to be filed in court. The petition must include the relevant supporting documents as well as the judicial affidavits of all the witnesses.
  1. File the petition in court, pay court fees, and attend trial. The petition and its attachments should be filed in the court having jurisdiction over the local civil registry office where the birth certificate sought to be cancelled was registered. After the establishment of jurisdictional requirements, witnesses will be presented to prove the allegations in the petition.
  1. Wait for a favorable decision, and its finality, then cause its annotation. After trial, and the issuance of a favorable court decision granting the cancellation of the subject birth certificate, said decision must be annotated on the birth certificate itself after it attains finality. For annotation, go to the local civil registry office where the cancelled birth certificate was registered and submit authenticated copies (authenticated by Branch Clerk of Court and proper LCR) of the decision, certificate of finality, and pay the required fees.

Once the decision ordering the cancellation of the birth certificate was already registered before the proper local civil registry office, you can already ask for a certificate from said office stating such fact. Then, you can submit this certification to the DFA or any other government agencies where required.

If you need help in the preparation of your petition to cancel birth certificate in Pampanga, Tarlac, or any nearby provinces, you can contact the lawyers at Sanchez and Cunanan Law Offices through, or at (+63)927 423-1703 or (+63)949 717-9229.