Republic Act No. 9048 ("An Act Authorizing the C/MCR or Consul General to Correct a Clerical or Typographical Error in an Entry and/or Change of First Name or Nickname in the Civil Register Without the Need for a Judicial Order") is the legal basis that empowers the consul general to correct a clerical or typographical error in an entry and/or change the first name or nickname in the civil register without need for a judicial order. Prior to this law being passed, entries in Philippine civil registry records can only be rectified or changed through an order issued by a Philippine court.
R.A. 9048 amended Articles 376 and 412 of the Philippine Civil Code. It took effect on 22 Apr 2001.
What corrections can be made through R.A. 9048?
Not all entries or corrections or changes in the civil registry record or changes in a person's first name can be processed through R.A. 9048.
Only corrections of clerical or typographical errors in the civil registry document that does not involve changing the gender, age, nationality and status of a person can be considered under this law. Under R.A. 9048, a clerical or typographical mistake refers to an obvious error committed in clerical recording either in writing, copying, transcribing or typing of an entry in the civil registry document that is harmless and innocuous, such as a misspelled name or misspelled place of birth and other similar innocent oversight, which can be remedied by referring to other existing record or records.
This law also allows changing a person's first name in his/her civil registry document under certain grounds through an administrative process under the following specific conditions:
- The petitioner finds the first name or nickname to be ridiculous, tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce;
- The new first name or nickname has been habitually and continuously used by the petitioner and he/she has been publicly known by that first name or nickname in the community; or
- The change of first name will avoid confusion.
Who may file the petition?
Whether it is for correction of clerical/typographical error or filing for a change of first name, the petition may be filed by a person of legal age with direct and personal interest in the correction of the error, or in the change of the first name in a civil registry document, such as:
- The owner of the record that contains the error to be corrected or first name to be changed.
- The affected person's spouse, children, parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, guardian, or any other person duly authorized by law or by the owner of the document for correction.
How much will it cost to file a petition under R.A. 9048?
For petitions filed with the Consul General, the fees are as follows:
- USD 50 for petitions for correction of clerical or typographical error.*
- USD 150 for petitions for change of first name.*
*: Fees are subject to change depending on prevailing schedule of fees and regulations. Please see schedule of fees for consular services in this web site for the latest rates for consular services.
NB: A migrant petitioner shall pay an additional service fee when the consulate acts as the Petition-Receiving Civil Registrar (PRCR). Such is the case when the civil registry documents for correction are not under the purview of the consulate / embassy.
Where should R.A. 9048 petitions be filed?
The general rule is that petitions shall be filed with the local civil registry office (LCRO) where the record with the clerical error to be corrected or first name to be changed is kept.
For civil registry documents registered at the consulate, the consulate is the LCRO. Petitioners residing in the Republic of Turkey may file their R.A. 9048 petition at the consulate. In cases where the petitioner is domiciled in a place that is different from where the target civil registry document is registered, he/she may file the petition in the LCRO in his/her current area of residence. If living in the Philippines, this will be the municipal civil registrar in his/her city. If living abroad, he/she may approach the nearest Philippine embassy or consulate. His/her petition in these instances will be treated as a migrant petition.
The LCRO accepting the petition on behalf of the consulate is termed the Petition-Receiving Civil Registrar (PRCR). The consulate is termed the Records-Keeping Civil Registrar (RKCR) for purposes of R.A. 9048 processing in a migrant petition scenario. The PRCR will collect a service fee for pre-processing the petition for the RKCR.
How long does the process take?
The administrative process of requesting for corrections on a civil registry document under R.A. 9048 whether because of a typographical mistake or due to a change of first name involves submitting the documents for evaluation at the consulate, posting of the petition, publication of the petition in the case of petitions for change of first name, and transmittal of the papers to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for the final decision (either affirmation or impugnment) of the Civil Registrar General. The whole process can take anywhere from three (3) to six (6) months to complete depending on the circumstances of the petition and transmittal of paper work between the consulate, the Office of Consular Affairs of the DFA, and the Philippine Statistics Authority in the Philippines.
Denied petitions sought for appeal with the PSA will take longer to finish.
If my petition fails to be approved by the Civil Registrar General of the PSA or is deemed not within the scope of R.A. 9048, what options remain for the petitioner?
In case the petition for correction of clerical error / change of first name is not granted by the PSA, or if the nature of the error / changes sought is not covered by R.A. 9048, the petitioner has the option to request the changes and corrections in his/her civil registry records through a court filing in the Philippines.