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….
How do you show up at the DFA, with your first name misspelled??
MIDDLE NAME: D-E-L-A-C-R-U-S
And your middle name????
LAST NAME: Z-A-N-T-O-Z
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.