Where to file petition to change name
"My brother is graduating from college next year. We just learned that his first name as indicated in his Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) birth certificate, which is Raul, is different from that which he is actually using since we were kids, which is Gerard. All his records, from his baptismal certificate to school transcripts and report cards appear under the first name “Gerard” and he has been known all his life with that name. Thus, I want to have his birth certificate corrected so that he will not have any difficulty in his graduation next year. Some of our relatives say we need to bring this matter to court. Is this really necessary? Aren’t there any other means to resolve this problem? I am the only one looking after him after our parents passed, so as much as possible I do not want to resort to filing a petition in court. Please advise me on this matter.
In the past, any correction or change to be made in a birth certificate must be pursuant to a court order. This is in line with the tenets laid down under Article 412 of the New Civil Code which provides that “(n)o entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected, without a judicial order.”However, the abovementioned legal provision has been amended by Republic Act (R.A.) 9048, which in turn was further amended by R.A. 10172. The salient portion of R. A. 10172, which is applicable to your concern, reads:
“SECTION 1. Section 1 of Republic Act No. 9048, hereinafter referred to as the Act, is hereby amended to read as follows:“SECTION 1. Authority to Correct Clerical or Typographical Error and Change of First Name or Nickname. – 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, the day and month in the date of birth or sex of a person where it is patently clear that there was a clerical or typographical error or mistake in the entry, which can be corrected or changed by the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general in accordance with the provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations.” (Emphasis supplied)
Accordingly, there is no need for you or your brother to bring the matter to court. You may, instead, file a verified petition before the local civil registry office of the city or municipality where his birth record is kept. If you and your brother have already migrated to another place within the Philippines, making it impractical in terms of transportation expenses, time and effort to appear in person before the local civil registrar where the record is kept, or if you both have migrated abroad, then you can file a petition, in person, with the local civil registrar of the place where both of you are presently residing here in the Philippines, or before the nearest Philippine Consulate where you are both domiciled abroad, respectively (Section 3, R. A. No. 9048). We wish to emphasize that “(a)ll petitions for the clerical or typographical errors and/or change of first names or nicknames may be availed of only once” (Id.).It is further worthy to impart the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of Republic vs. Sali (G.R. No. 206023, April 03, 2017, Ponente: Honorable Associate Justice Diosdado M. Peralta):“The petition for change of first name may be allowed, among other grounds, if the new first name has been habitually and continuously used by the petitioner and he or she has been publicly known by that first name in the community. The local city or municipal civil registrar or consul general has the primary jurisdiction to entertain the petition. It is only when such petition is denied that a petitioner may either appeal to the civil registrar general or file the appropriate petition with the proper court. x x xx x x
In this case, the petition, insofar as it prayed for the change of Sali’s first name, was not within the RTC’s primary jurisdiction. It was improper because the remedy should have been administrative, i.e., filing of the petition with the local civil registrar concerned. For failure to exhaust administrative remedies, the RTC should have dismissed the petition to correct Sali’s first name.”We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to "
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"Where to file petition to change name"
was written by Mary
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comments. The article was created on 16 September 2021
and updated on 16 September 2021