LAW OF THE WEEK
Can correcting wrong entries in the birth certificate be done?
The law provides that no entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected, without a judicial order (Article 412, New Civil Code). Hence a person desiring to amend any wrong entry in his/her certificate of live birth needs to go to court. However when Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9048 or more popularly known as the Clerical Error Law was enacted in 2001 was promulgated it provides that no entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order, except for clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname which can be corrected or changed by the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general (Section 1, RA No. 9048).
What is meant by clerical or typographical errors?
Clerical or typographical errors is defined under R.A. 9048 refers to a 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 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: Provided, however, That no correction must involve the change of nationality, age, status or sex of the petitioner.
What happens to errors that are not clerical or typographical in character?
Errors in the civil register pertaining to the nationality, age, status or sex of a person may be corrected only by filing a petition in court. However, when R.A. No. 10172 was enacted into law, it amended some provisions of R.A. No. 9048 by giving authority to the city or municipal civil registrar or consul general to correct errors in the entry of sex and day and month of birth of a person in the civil register. Hence if there is an error in the birth month, a case in court needs to be filed since the year needs to be rectified, a petition in court is needed to correct the same.