MANILA, Philippines— In the Philippines, names like Angel, Joey, Justine, Louie, Jeremy, Jeff, Jett and April, among others, could be used interchangeably to name a boy or a girl, sometimes causing slight embarrassments later on in life to the person involved.
But the problem could start as early as in the processing of birth records, with clueless hands in the registrar’s office writing “female” beside names Angel and April, or “male” to Joey and Justine. For example, think of names like Joey Albert and April Boy Regino.
Now an amended law made it easy to solve the problem.
On August 15, President Benigno Aquino III signed into law the act authorizing the office of city/municipal civil registrar or consul general to correct clerical or typographical errors in a person’s birth records without a court order.
Republic Act No. 10172, which is an amendment of RA 9048, covers the day and month in the date of birth or sex of a person appearing in the civil registry.
However, it was made clear that those who’d undergone sex change won’t be able to officially record their preferred gender.
The specific clause reads: “…nor shall any entry involving change of gender corrected except if the petition is accompanied by a certification issued by an accredited government physician attesting to the fact that the petitioner has not undergone sex change or sex transplant.”
The law emphasized it focuses on clerical or typographical error, which it defined as “a mistake committed in the performance of clerical work in writing, copying, transcribing or typing an entry in the civil register that is harmless and innocuous, such as misspelled name or misspelled place of birth, mistake in the entry of day and month in the date of birth or the sex of the person or the like, which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding, and can be corrected or changed only by reference to other existing record or records.”
The law made sure that correction must not involve change in the petitioner’s nationality, age, or status.
The law allows civil registrar’s or consul general’s office to collect “reasonable fees as a condition for accepting the petition” except for indigents.