The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is the central statistical authority of the Philippine government. It merged the National Statistics Office (NSO), National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES), and the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) into one governing authority. The PSA also administers civil registration functions as stipulated under the Law on Registry of Civil Status (Act No. 3753).
That is the reason birth certificates and other civil registry documents ( marriage certificates , death certificates , and Certificate of No Marriage or CENOMAR ) are now called PSA certificates and no longer NSO certificates.
Are the NSO and PSA the same?
If we are referring to the PSA certificates (or NSO certificates) issued by then NSO (and now PSA), then the answer is no. The layout, details, and contents of both the NSO and PSA certificates remain the same. The only difference is the logo found on the upper lefthand corner of the document. Prior to the merger, all civil registry documents bear the NSO logo. Now that civil registration is administered by the PSA, their logo now appears on birth, marriage, death certificates and CENOMARs.
In terms of the agency’s functions, the PSA encompasses additional roles than the NSO. As enumerated above, PSA embraced four groups that dealt with national statistics, plus the responsibility of civil registration administration. Although it is not different from the NSO, the PSA certainly has broader scope and wider scale.
Can I still use my NSO birth certificate instead of PSA?
Let us answer this question based on three premises:
- Do civil registry documents certified by the NSO or PSA expire?
- Were there changes applied on the certificates after the PSA-NSO merger?
- Why do I need to get new copies of my PSA certificates (birth, marriage)?
- PSA and or NSO certificates do not expire.
- The PSA logo replaced the NSO logo on all PSA certificates issued after the merger.
- Reasons why you need to get new copies of a PSA certificate (birth, death, marriage):
- PSA updates the Security Paper (SECPA) of the PSA certificate. This means that if you have an old copy of a PSA birth, marriage, or death certificate, some establishments and government agencies may not accept it because the SECPA of your copy is outdated. The SECPA has unique features that cannot be copied by fraudsters.
- If you had the PSA certificate amended or corrected, you need to get a new copy with the amendments printed on it.
- Some of your transactions may require you to submit the original copy of your PSA certificate. You will have to request for new copies for your files and other transactions.
- The PSA advises government agencies every time they change the SECPA of civil registry documents and government agencies reserve the option to require their applicants to submit a PSA certificate printed on the latest SECPA.
- Old and dilapidated PSA certificates may not be accepted by private and government agencies.
According to the PSA’s statement released on June 30, 2016:
Birth certificates are permanent records of the identities of each individual and do not have expiration period.
If your birth certificate underwent administrative corrections or was the subject of a court proceeding, the modifications or corrections in the information written on your birth certificate shall be indicated as annotations. You will not be issued a brand-new birth certificate – your existing birth certificate will be marked with the updates (annotations) resulting from the correction or court proceeding.
When this happens, you will need to request for an updated copy of your PSA birth certificate. It may be the only instance that your old birth certificate may be declared as invalidated as it does not contain the changes from the correction.
The PSA also reiterated that end-user government agencies reserve the option to require its applicants to submit their PSA certificates in the most recent SECPA. This is beyond the PSA’s control and is the prerogative of the government agency or private establishment requiring the document.
Having said all that, and after establishing that birth certificates do not expire (as well as marriage certificates and death certificates), then yes, you can still use your NSO birth certificate (if you still have copies of it in your files).
The logo is the most obvious difference between a certificate issued by the NSO and one issued by the PSA. PSA also changes the features of the Security Paper (SECPA) where the certificates are printed to discourage illegal duplication of the documents. This, though, does not invalidate a PSA certificate that is printed on an outdated version of the SECPA.
So, can you still use a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or death certificate that bear the logo of the NSO? Yes. And only if the establishment or government agency you are submitting it to agrees to accept your copy. Please be aware of the above situations when the establishment or agency may find it necessary for you to submit a birth, marriage, or death certificate with the PSA logo on it and printed on the latest SECPA.
What do I do when I have no record at the NSO (or PSA)?
When you request for a copy of a PSA birth certificate, PSA marriage certificate, or PSA death certificate and you are given a Negative Results Certification instead, it means that the PSA could not find that certificate in its database.
If the PSA could not locate your records, one of three things may have happened to your certificate:
- The Local Civil Registry office has a record of the birth, marriage, or death registration in their files but failed to endorse it to the PSA for certification. If this is the case, you may personally file a request for endorsement to the PSA. You must be issued an endorsement letter by the office of the LCR, a reference number for your request, and the date of delivery so you would know when to make a follow-up with the PSA.
- The hospital staff (if you were born in a hospital) or the midwife (if you were born at home) who was responsible for processing your birth registration failed to do so within the 30-day reglementary period. In other words, you truly do not have any birth records (or marriage or death, as the case may be) registered at the LCR. If this is the case, you need to file a Late Registration of Birth so a birth certificate may be created for you.
- Your birth record got lost at the LCR. This could be the result of a natural or man-made calamity that hit the LCR office (such as flooding or fire). Missing birth certificates is also common among people who were born during and shortly after World War 2. Often, these are declared as misplaced or destroyed. For cases such as this, your birth certificate must undergo a process called Reconstruction where the LCR recreates a new copy of your birth certificate and submits this to the PSA for encoding and certification.
What does “Certified True Copy of Birth Certificate” mean?
A Certified True Copy of a Birth Certificate (or marriage certificate, death certificate) attests to the fact that the records (of birth, marriage, or death) exist and that the documents presented to prove its existence are authentic.
You can get a Certified True Copy of Certificate of Live Birth (COLB) at the Local Civil Registrar’s office of the city of municipality where you were born by following the process below:
- Proceed to the LCR office and provide your:
- Complete and registered name
- Birth date and birthplace
- Complete names of your parents
What does the BReN mean on the birth certificate?
The BReN, or the Birth Reference Number, replaced the Population Reference Number (PRN) indicated on Certificates of Live Birth. The BReN is printed on the middle bottom part of the document.
Where is PSA located now?
The head office of the PSA is located at the PSA Complex, East Avenue, Quezon City. There are PSA CRS outlets nationwide that can cater to over-the-counter copy issuance applications.
Does PSA accept walk-in copy issuance applications?
No. To request for a PSA certificate over the counter at PSA CRS outlets, you need to secure an online appointment via the PSA Online Appointment Systems. Getting an appointment online is free of charge and covers all PSA CRS outlets nationwide.
How do I order PSA birth certificate online?
To request for copies of PSA birth certificate, PSA marriage certificate, PSA death certificate, and CENOMAR online, just logon to PSAHelpline.ph.
PSAHelpline is authorized by the PSA to handle the online ordering and nationwide delivery of PSA certificates.
You may pay for your orders immediately after placing your orders, using your Visa or Mastercard credit card, GCash, or PayMaya. Other payment options are also available such as over-the-counter payments at accredited payment hubs (Bayad, Palawan Pawnshop), and at participating banks through DragonPay. Your order will be processed and delivered to your doorstep in three to four working days if you are in Metro Manila; provincial orders take three to eight working days to be delivered.
How much is PSA online delivery?
Below are the rates when you order your PSA birth certificate online at PSAHelpline.ph. These already include processing and shipping fees:
PSA Birth Certificate – Php 365.00
PSA Marriage Certificate – Php 365.00
PSA Death Certificate – Php 365.00
PSA CENOMAR – Php 420.00
Your PSA certificates are important documents that will be asked of you throughout your lifetime. Always keep copies in your files and request for new ones when needed. Keep your civil registry documents safe in your files and avoid sharing this with others unless necessary.