In the previous years, it was very difficult to correct erroneous birth certificate due to the rule that it had to be heard in court. This would prevent from further application from applicants due to the expense and time they had to spend for such errors that were mostly not their fault. Due to awareness of the problems regarding the matter, the rules were change. It is now easy to fix errors through Republic Act 10172.
This act further authorized the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general to correct in clerical or typographical errors. However, the said errors are limited in scope. Here are some simple guidelines on what and how to fix these errors.
1. The errors should only be on errors in the day and month in the date of birth or sex of a person appearing in the Civil Register. This shall also include the change of first name or nickname. The error should be patently clear that there is indeed clerical or typographical error or mistake in the entry.
2. The act defined what clerical error is. Clerical error refers to “mistake committed in the performance of clerical work in writing, copying, transcribing or typing an entry in the civil register that is harmless and innocuous, such as misspelled name or misspelled place of birth, mistake in the entry of day and month in the date of birth or the sex of the person or the like, which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding, and can be corrected or changed only by reference to other existing record or records”. However, this does not include change of age, nationality or status of the applicant. This definition refers to unintentional errors made out of negligence by the one who made the entry.
3. The form of the petition should be an affidavit subscribed and sworn to before a person in authority such as a lawyer who has the right to administer oaths. Supporting documents shall be attached to the affidavit such as the record wherein the error occur, 2 documents showing the correct entries and other pertinent documentary supporting evidence. Some evidence acceptable to support the claim are school records, medical certificates, and baptismal certificates issued by religious authorities. Change in sex or gender shall be accompanied by a certification from a physician that no sex transplant has occurred for said person applicant.
4. There should also be an attestation from law enforcement agencies that the applicant has no criminal records.
5. Reasonable fees will be collected for said change except for special privileges given to those who cannot afford it.
It should be noted that these processes should be followed for approval to fix the erroneous birth certificate. However, it should also be noted that change of surnames and other major errors such as nationality or status of the applicant will pass through a tedious process of court declaration. It is helpful then to gather as many documents as supporting evidence to fix the errors and hasten the process.