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Erica Torres grew up to be a hopeless romantic. That is why when she met Kaito Suzuki, a Japanese National, they got married without delay. A civil wedding was solemnized at Candaba, Pampanga.

But the tension arose when their differences surfaced. After 2 years of marriage, Kaito decided to obtain a divorce of his marriage with Erica in Japan. It was then granted under Japanese laws. Kaito immediately remarried thereafter.

Erica registered the Divorce Certificate with the Office of the Civil Registry of Manila. She thought that she was again at her ‘single’ status and started dating again.

Then, Erica met John Graves. The fast lad invited Erica to get married. They had their civil wedding in Sta. Ana, Pampanga. Now, John is eager to take Erica to the beautiful beaches of Hawaii for their honeymoon.

But Erica had to renew her Philippine passport. Erica went to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to apply for renewal. She also wants to use her married surname “Graves”. But alas! She was told at the DFA that it cannot be issued to her until she can prove by competent court decision that her marriage with John Graves is valid.

Erica was puzzled and terrified at the same time. Fortunately, she was referred by a friend to VERified. After her personal consultation with a birth certificate specialist, Erica learned that the DFA cannot issue her a passport bearing her second husband’s name as her first marriage is still considered existing. The recognition of her second marriage will only take place after the recognition of her foreign divorce from her first husband.

The presentation solely of the divorce decree between Erica and Kaito is not enough. Both the divorce decree and the governing Kaito’s personal law, Japan, must be proven before a court in the Philippines. After the Court recognizes the divorce decree as valid, the court order needs to be registered with the civil registrar of the place where the court is. After this step, her court documents and proof of the registration will be brought to the civil registrar of the place where the marriage was celebrated. It is only then that Erica’s first marriage certificate gets cancelled.

Through the help of Erica’s lawyer, she was able to have the divorce decree recognize in a Court here in the Philippines. VERified helped her register this Court decree. This enabled Erica to successfully obtain her renewed passport. At this moment, Erica and John are boarding their plane to Hawaii. The palm trees are waiting!

Another story inspired by true events, brought to you by the VERified Team. For other similar problems, you can set up an appointment with us. Please call (02) 7051265 or (02) 7051277 for further inquiries.


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Grave for the Many


ImageIt is really an awkward moment when we talk about death. The truth is, no one wants to die early. We want to live our lives to the fullest. But we cannot avoid death. It is bound to happen to everyone. But when it happens during a calamity and causes the death of many people, how is this dealt with?


The wrath of Typhoon Yolanda comes to mind. The saddest thought is, to this day, we do not know the exact number of total casualties. One casualty is bad enough. But multiple? That is the worst thought to digest.


But do we need to register deaths, even in such a case? Yes, because the State needs to keep track of statistical data on the population. An effective system of recording of all deaths is very important to keep this data accurate. Further, the death certificate is essential in documentation for claiming of benefits for the heirs, insurance proceeds, among others.


Many of us may know how to register the death of one person, but how about for multiple persons for a mass grave? What is a mass grave?


A mass grave is a grave of unidentified corpses prior to their burial. There, however, is no definite number of corpses for a grave to be considered a mass grave. But the United Nations set the minimum number of corpses in a mass grave to three (3).


How then do we register the death of the persons in a mass grave?


Any person can register the death of any unidentified body in the mass grave, with the help of the health officer. Two disinterested persons will support the registration with an affidavit, giving information on the sex, distinguishing features and estimated age of the body, date, place and condition of the body when found. The death certificate will indicate, “BODY NOT IDENTIFIED” and submitted to the Local Civil Registrar of the place where the mass death happened.


For more details regarding this procedure, please call us at (+632) 7051265 and (+632) 7051277.



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In the Name of the Father


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Before the Spaniards came to the Philippine Islands, Filipinos did not have last names. The Spaniards required last names and first names for baptism. A list of names was provided for them to choose. Some of the last names are the Spanish translation of its English equivalents. These names were given to Filipinos in order to be identical. In our present time, last names can be used for various purposes.

One use is to allow the transfer of properties of the father to the child. It also signifies the passing on of the family’s honor to his child, for him to continue the will of his ancestors. A last name that is the same as the father’s, shows that the child belongs to the bloodline of the father. This tells us that that the father accepts and recognizes the child to be his own.

Interestingly in Queensland, Australia, the procedure of registering the birth of a child of unmarried parents is as follows: 1) the parents of the child should register the birth together. In such a case, the birth certificate will show both the mother’s and father’s details. 2) If only the mother’s details are shown, the father may add his details by filling out a form, and attaching certified proof of his ID documents. 3) He must sign the declaration section of the form in the presence of an adult witness. 4) Then the birth certificate must be returned and changed for replacement. 5) If the birth certificate indicates that the father is “UNKNOWN”, DNA evidence must prove that he is the father of the child.

Here in the Philippines, children are usually allowed to carry the last name of the father only if their parents are married. But a law enacted in 2004, the “Revilla Law” now makes it possible for the illegitimate child to use the last name of his father. The father, however, needs to recognize the child as his own. There must be written proof of this, in the record of birth appearing in the civil register, in a public document or in a private handwritten instrument.

For more details regarding this procedure, please call us at (+632) 7051265 and (+632) 7051277.



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A screenshot of a photo lifted from

      A Filipino name is usually composed of a first name, middle name and surname. While in some western countries the parents decide on a child’s middle name, here in the Philippines, our middle names are our mother’s maiden surname. This leaves many people wondering, what is the importance of the middle name in the Philippines?

        First, the middle name identifies the lineage of the mother. Due to our close family ties, this is as important as the lineage of the father.

        Secondly, with the growing population in the country, there may be persons who share the same first name and surname. The middle name helps us distinguish persons with the same first names and surnames. This is significant in securing an NBI clearance, which is a requirement for job, passport or visa application. It can happen that the applicant may have a “hit”. A “hit” means that another person shares the same given name and surname, and the namesake has a pending case in court. In order for the NBI officer to determine whether they are different persons, the NBI officer may look at the middle name because most likely the two persons will have different middle names.

        The Supreme Court explained the importance of the middle name in the case of Julian Lin Carulasan Wang, a legitimated child. When the family migrated to Singapore, the parents asked the court to drop Julian’s middle name. In Singapore, the mother’s maiden name is not carried as the person’s middle name. The parents were concerned that their son will be discriminated and ridiculed in school because of his middle name.

        The Court denied their request. The Court said that the change of name can be allowed only for ‘proper and reasonable cause’. Mere inconvenience in the use of one’s middle name, is not considered a valid reason. A legitimate child like Julian, the Court said, has the right to use the names of his mother or father. And this right cannot be taken away from Julian. (In Re: Petition for Change of Name and/or Correction/Cancellation of Entry in Civil Registry of Julian Lin Carulasan Wang v. Cebu City Civil Registrar, G.R. No. 159966. March 30, 2005)

       For other questions, please call us at +6327051265 or +6327051277. 


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Baby Boy, Baby Girl



Tamang tama at Valentines’ Day, madalas gamitin na term of endearment ang “Baby” ng mga magkasintahan. Pero marami rin sa atin na walang kamalay-malay na ang pangalan pala nila sa birth certificate nila ay “Baby Boy” o “Baby Girl”. Mayroon sigurong nainspire na mga magulang sa kanta ni Beyonce na sinadya ito. Pero karamihan sa kanila, iba naman ang ginagamit na pangalan sa kanilang mga importanteng dokumento. 

Madalas nangyayari ito kapag ipinanganak ang bata na hindi pa nakakapagdesisyon ang mga magulang sa ipapangalan sa kanya. Ginagawa nalang ng nagpaanak ay nilalagay ang “Baby Boy” o “Baby Girl” bilang First Name. Tapos kapag nakapagdesisyon na sa pangalan, hindi naman naisunod ang pangalang ito sa kanyang birth certificate.

Kapag ganito ang problema ninyo, ano ba ang dapat gawin?

Kung kayo ay pinanganak before 1993, mag-file kayo ng supplemental report sa civil registrar sa lugar kung saan kayo pinanganak. Pero kung ang year of birth ay after 1993, ang kailangan i-file ay Petition for Change of First Name. Ito ay ayon sa direktiba ng NSO:“baby-boy”-“baby-girl”-“boy”-“girl”-“baby”

Kailangan nyo rin pong magpakita ng mga supporting documents na nagpapatunay ng tamang first name na ginagamit ninyo tulad ng mga IDs, school records, SSS/GSIS, NBI/Police Clearance, etc.

Para po sa karagdagang kaalaman sa ganitong problema at kung paano ito maiaayos, tawag lang po kayo sa aming opisina para makapagkonsulta sa aming mga birth certificate specialists, 7051265/7051277.

Happy Hearts’ Day sa lahat ng mga baby boy at baby girl! 

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You joined a company raffle during your Christmas party. And by some stroke of luck, you win first prize– an all expense paid trip for two to Hongkong!! You call your best friend immediately and tell her the good news. That you chose her as your travelling buddy on your first trip out of the country. Now all you need is a passport… And a birth certificate…

So you call the NSO helpline to have a copy delivered right at your doorstep. You get your copy two days after. You open the envelope to take a look at the document. And then you see it…

First name: S-T-E-P-A-N-I….

Ohhh noooooooo!!!!!

How do you show up at the DFA, with your first name misspelled??


And your middle name????


Last name too???

Your Iphone has it, don’t they have freakin’ SPELLING CHECK???

What will you do?

Republic Act No. 9048 also includes the correction of clerical errors in birth, marriage and death certificates. Clerical or typographical errors are the most common problems in our documents. Back in the day when these documents were not as important as they are now, we did not care much if the details on our NSO documents were correct. We used to get away with them, just by presenting affidavits of discrepancy, one and the same person, etc., etc., etc.

But now, the DFA, SSS, GSIS, Philhealth, schools and embassies are super strict. The only document they believe in is an NSO stamped document. Those affidavits won’t do anymore. 

To correct these errors, you have to file them, either in the civil registrar of the place where you live, or in the place where you were born. The petition should be supported with several requirements that prove the correct spelling of your first name, middle name or last name. Among them are your parents’, siblings’ or children’s birth certificates, school records, baptismal or other religious records, SSS/GSIS records, government clearances, to name a few. This seems like a really long list. But before the RA9048 law was passed, all errors in your NSO documents can only be corrected in court. Concerns such as hiring a lawyer, spending a big amount of money, and waiting months, even years before the final decision is out need to be addressed. Have to say it, but it’s true, RA 9048 is already quite a compromise.

It may be a typo, one letter, two or three, but a birth certificate with an error is almost like no birth certificate at all. So, the sooner it’s corrected, the better.

Because in NSO certificates, the rule is the same. Wrong spelling, wrong.



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Breaking Up and Moving On — The VERified Files Part 2

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Jenny and Keith met at a soiree in their senior year of high school. Jenny and Keith both just turned 18 when they met. Theirs were two strict and conservative families. Their parents specifically told them that books come first, before love. But there was an instant attraction between them, they just could not stay away. They would secretly meet after classes at a nearby mall — eat dinner together, watch movies on occasion, hang out at the ice cream shop.  First love has indeed struck.

But it wasn’t all roses in this love story. Before their graduation day, Jenny found out she was pregnant. She was terrified to let anybody know. Somehow, her mother soon found out. Her mother was so angry, she forbade Jenny to see Keith. On the other hand, Keith’s parents immediately sent him to the United States to attend college there. On his last day in the Philippines, Keith promised Jenny she will come back for her and their child. But that was the last she saw of Keith.

Months after, Jenny gave birth to a lovely baby girl named Jana. When she was about to sign the child’s birth certificate, she saw that her mother had filled up the details, and placed the word “unknown” on the blank for the father’s name. She did not want to start an argument with her mother about Keith, so she signed the document in silent protest.

Jana grew up without knowing her father. Since she entered school, she used Jenny’s surname “San Andres” in all her school records. Jenny would get occasional questions from her daughter about her father. She had always tried to evade the topic, but she knew these questions could not remain unanswered for very long.

On Jana’s 7th birthday, Jenny decided to throw her a huge birthday bash. She invited all of their friends and family, she did not leave anyone uninvited. On the day of the party, an unexpected guest of honor arrived. Keith was there to introduce himself to the family he left behind.

Jenny walked up to face Keith, seven years after their last encounter. She barely recognized Keith, but felt a strange familiarity. They first exchanged pleasantries. Then Keith immediately broke the silence, and jumped at the reason why he resurfaced. He begged Jenny to allow him to become a part of Jana’s life — beginning with allowing the child to use his surname.

He was willing to go any length to get this done. Jenny admitted she left the father’s name on Jana’s birth certificate blank. But then after giving it much thought, she kept Jana’s best interests in mind and agreed to Keith’s proposal.

Keith needed competent advice to make this happen, and get it right. He was then referred to consult with VERified.

After a consultation with one of VERified’s birth certificate specialists, Keith found out that he needed to prepare  papers to prove that: he is acknowledging Jana as her daughter, and that he is allowing her to use her surname “Tamayo”. He then asked that these be drafted for him right away, and brought these documents to the civil registrar where Jana was born.

The civil registrar found these documents to be sufficient, together with Jana’s birth certificate. Soon enough, Jana’s birth certificate bore an annotation that these documents were presented and registered. She now uses the surname Jana San Andres Tamayo.

Meanwhile, Jenny and Keith are now living separate lives, but constantly make it a point to spend quality time with Jana every Sunday afternoon. Eat dinner together, watch movies on occasion, hang out at the ice cream shop…

Another story inspired by true events, brought to you by the VERified Team.






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