San Pedro City Registrar, third most outstanding in Laguna province
Local Government

San Pedro City Registrar, third most outstanding in Laguna province

Mar 4, 2024, 3:48 AM
James Veloso and Catherine Go

James Veloso and Catherine Go

Local Editor

Despite the vital role it plays in ensuring that local residents are counted (not only in terms of population but also in terms of inclusion in various programs), local civil registrars are often overlooked by the public and, sometimes, by LGUs themselves.

So it was no small feat for the City Civil Registrar of San Pedro to be awarded as the 3rd most outstanding local civil registry in the province of Laguna for 2022.

This distinction was given by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to the City Civil Registrar’s Office led by Riah Fojas in a ceremony held in Cabuyao City, Laguna last February 22.

“There are actually some requirements para makapasok po kayo sa award na ito: punctuality and quality in submission of documents to the PSA; compliance with the PSA’s Birth Registration Assistance Project (PBRAP).”

Quality and efficiency

During the interview, Fojas underscored the role of her office in ensuring that vital documents such as birth, marriage and death certificates are properly recorded in the national database of the PSA.

“In fact, we see to it that on the first week of the month pa lang, even before the deadline of the 10th of every month, we see to it na ipinapasa na po natin ang mga dokumento sa PSA,” she stressed.

Fojas also underscored the importance of ensuring that every item in the certificates they produced is clear and accurate down to the last detail – a very important detail, as one simple erasure or misspelling in a certificate could cost residents time and money in rectifying them.

“We’re also very strict in that, kasi kawawa ang document owner kapag may malabo sa document o bura-bura o superimposed, malabo na iyan kapag ini-scan na sa PSA. That means kailangan pang ipa-correct iyan ng owner,” she explained. “We even have the documents checked with the owner [or their relative] bago namin i-register. Tatanungin namin, tama po ba yung mga details na ipinasok namin sa dokumento? That way, nae-eliminate po natin yung mga hassle kapag nagkakaroon po ng mga error sa dokumento.”

Fojas also noted that local civil registrars now have the authority to change minor details in certificates, which makes it easier for document holders to rectify small errors made in their documents.

“As per Republic Acts No. 9048 and 10172, we have the authority to change clerical errors, as well as change of first name, as well as errors in date and month,” she said.

Birth registration

As part of ensuring that all San Pedrenses are counted, Fojas stressed that the City Civil Registrar is also very much active in implementing the PSA’s Birth Registration Assistance Project (BRAP).

“Ito po ang programa ng PSA upang maiparehistro na ang ating mga kababayan, lalo na po yung mga bata, na hindi pa po naipaparehistro,” she explained to OpinYon Laguna.

As part of the BRAP, the San Pedro City Civil Registrar in 2022 started conducting mobile registration drives in the city’s 27 barangays, as well as joining other activities such as school enrolments and registration for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

“Sa buong Laguna, ang LCR ng San Pedro ang tanging LCR na sumasama sa 4Ps validation,” she said.

The San Pedro City Civil Registrar also signed a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Education (DepEd) to encourage parents who are enrolling their children to have themselves registered with the PSA.

“’Yung mga teachers na nga po ang nakikiusap sa amin na tulungan sila dito, dahil nga po alam naman natin na requirement talaga sa pagpapa-enrol sa mga bata ay ang birth certificate,” Fojas added. “Lagi po nating kasama sa mga programa na ito ang PSA, dahil nga po sa implementation ng BRAP, na kung saan libre na po ang pagpaparehistro ng mga ‘negative record’ o mga batang wala pa pong record sa kanila.”

Another pioneering measure the city government has enacted was a local ordinance, authored by Councilor Marky Oliveros, that prohibits hospitals and similar facilities from withholding birth and death certificates due to non-payment of bills.

Thanks to these “above and beyond” measures of the Local Civil Registrar, Fojas was proud to point out that the City Civil Registrar’s ranking in the PSA rose from beyond 20th to 7th under the first year of the leadership of Mayor Art Mercado; to 6th in 2023; and finally, to 3rd in 2024.

#WeTakeAStand #OpinYon #OpinYonLaguna #SanPedroLGU

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