7 July 25

The news regarding the bill about PSA birth certificates not expiring and considered valid all the time was sent to my Viber by a friend last Sunday.  I got to read the entire news just this morning and I could not help but write down my (personal) opinion on the matter and why I think this will not work.

So I reviewed my previous blogs that talked about the PSA birth certificate as a basic and primary requirement.  True enough, almost all government transactions like applying for a passport, getting an SSS number and ID, and securing a Senior Citizen ID, the birth certificate must be submitted as the sole basis of the applicant’s identity.  I am sure these government offices are aware that a person’s birth certificate does not expire, so why would they insist on having the applicants submit a new copy – one that was issued within the past six months from the date of application or submission.

Here are five reasons I wrote down and hope this helps everyone understand why it is important to get new copies of your PSA certificates.

  1. PSA changes the security paper (SECPA) where our PSA certificates are printed.

They do this to discourage the spread of fake, Rectofied (get it? Huh?) PSA certificates that some people use in their transactions.  Of course, it is always easier to just have a fake document printed out in Recto (or wherever else you can get a fake document) but do you realize the consequences this sick practice can eventually cause you and your transactions?

The SECPA that PSA uses is unique and secured and has special features that make the document authentic.  Fakers in Recto cannot copy this kind of paper.  So if you want to be sure that the birth certificate you have is truly authentic, get new copies from the PSA every now and then.

  1. Any correction or amendment applied to the details in your birth certificate is considered an update.

So technically, your birth certificate can be updated.  For example, you had your name’s spelling corrected, or your child was legitimated and now carries the last name of his or her biological father – these are changes in your information that are not reflected in old copies of your birth certificate.  Therefore, you need to get a new copy of your birth certificate and use this instead of your old one.

  1. Some establishments and government agencies ask for the original PSA copy of your birth certificate (or marriage certificate, CENOMAR, or death certificate).

Most establishments do not accept photocopied certificates and so you would have to give them the original prints. When you are out of copies, you need to get a new set so you always have a copy of your and your family’s PSA birth certificates.

  1. Government agencies are advised by the PSA every time the SECPA is updated. They reserve the right to require the public to submit their PSA certificates in the updated paper.

Of course, these government agencies and private establishments (like banks, schools, hospitals, etc.) will prefer PSA certificates that are printed in the latest SECPA as announced by the PSA.  This does not mean that the certificates printed in an old version of a SECPA are already outdated or expired; it just means that they want to make sure that all PSA documents submitted to them are in its latest prints.

  1. Old and dilapidated copies are considered invalid.

This is just my opinion – why would I settle for a PSA document that is old, its prints hardly readable, or the paper itself is falling apart when I can easily get a new one?  Of course, I will require the new, crisp copy of the PSA document!  One that I can easily read and file without it crumbling to pieces.

Getting a new copy of your PSA certificate should not be seen as dagdag gastos and pahirap sa mamamayan.  I personally do not think that it is unnecessary, expensive, and oppressive.

It is necessary to ensure that all documents we submit to the government and private establishments are authentic and updated.

Expensive?  How do we even quantify that?  A copy of your birth and marriage certificate costs Php 155.00 and a CENOMAR, Php 205 when acquired directly at a PSA office.  These rates could increase a bit if you order it online and have it delivered to you, but then you wouldn’t have to spend on gas or fare and you won’t have to take a leave from work, so it still is affordable and in all aspects, reasonable.  Why are we even making an issue out of this?

Oppressive?  How is ensuring your documents’ authenticity oppressive?  Do we prefer that government agencies and private establishments like banks and our children’s schools settle for old, worn-out copies of our PSA documents?

I would gladly hear your thoughts on this topic.  Please feel free to send us a message on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MasterCitizen/

Until then, I would strongly encourage you to keep at least one or two copies of your PSA birth certificate and do not hesitate to secure more copies whenever you can.

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