How to File a Petition When Your Birth Certificate is Blurred

How to get a clear copy of a PSA birth certificate.

You requested a copy of your birth certificate. However, when you received and opened the document, you noticed something. It’s blurred. Now, this can be a problem.

A birth certificate is a primary requirement in major government and private transactions. For instance, you can use this document to apply for a passport, process an employment application, or enroll in a school. Presenting a blurry birth certificate then creates confusion, leaving the reader questioning the data it contains.

The good news is that you can resolve the issue by filing a petition for correction of entry in your birth certificate under the amended Republic Act 9048. Learn more about the process below.

What is Republic Act 9048?

RA 9048 authorizes the city or municipal civil registrar or consul general to correct clerical or typographical errors in civil registry documents. Before the enactment of the law, any changes or corrections on a civil registry document required a court hearing. With the law now in effect, corrections are now possible without the need for a judicial order.

Corrections Allowed Under RA 9048

Section 2 of RA 10172 enumerates the types of errors that can be corrected by the civil registrar or consul general. These errors cover clerical or typographical errors, which refer to harmless mistakes committed by the civil registrar while typing, writing, transcribing, or copying entries into the civil registry document.

An example of this is when the name “Clara” was written as “Clarah” on the birth certificate. In this case, the error can be corrected by the civil registrar or consul general upon the filing of a petition.

Birth certificate corrections covered by RA 9048

Here are the corrections allowed under RA 9048:

In addition, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), if the first, middle, or last name on your birth certificate is blurred, it’s considered a clerical error. You can then file a petition to have it corrected.

If only the PSA record is blurred, the local civil registrar will simply endorse a clearer copy to the PSA. However, if the PSA and civil registry records are both blurred, that’s when you will be required to file a petition for correction of clerical error.

Who May File a Petition for Correction of Clerical Error?

A petition for correction of clerical error can only be filed by the following:

  • The document owner or his/her authorized representative
  • The PSA
  • The document owner’s spouse or guardian
  • Any of the document owner’s children, parents, siblings, or grandparents
  • Other persons duly authorized by law to file the petition on behalf of the document owner

If the document owner is a minor or physically or mentally incapacitated, the petition can be filed by any of the above-mentioned.

Where to File a Petition for Correction of Clerical Error

Petitioners born in the Philippines should file the petition in the civil registry office where the birth certificate was registered. Meanwhile, petitioners born abroad should file with the Philippine consulate office where the birth was reported.

Requirements in Filing a Petition for Correction of Clerical Error

There is a prescribed format for the petition for correction of clerical error. Here are the basic requirements.

  • Contents of the petition
  • The petition shall be in the form of a notarized affidavit containing the following information:

    • Facts establishing the merits of the petition
    • A statement stating that the petitioner is competent to testify about the matters stated in the affidavit
    • The erroneous entry or entries to be corrected and the proposed correction(s)
  • Supporting documents
  • Requirements for Petition for Correction of Clerical Error.

    The following supporting documents must be attached to the petition:

    • A certified true machine copy of the birth record containing the entry or entries to be corrected
    • At least two public or private documents showing the correct entry or entries on which the correction shall be based, such as the following:
    • - Baptismal Certificate
      - Voter’s Affidavit
      - Employment record
      - GSIS or SSS record
      - Medical record
      - Business record
      - Driver’s license
      - Insurance policy
      - Land title or Certificate of Land Transfer
      - Bank passbook
      - NBI or Police Clearance
      - Civil registry records of ascendants (like parents)

    • Notice or Certificate of Posting
    • Other documents the concerned civil registrar or consul general may require
  • Distribution of the petition documents
  • The petition and its supporting documents must be filed in three copies to be distributed as follows:

    • First copy – to the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general
    • Second copy – to the Office of the Civil Registrar General
    • Third copy – petitioner’s copy
  • Publication
  • RA 9048 also requires that the petition be published at least once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.

  • Filing Fee
  • The civil registrar and consul general are authorized to collect reasonable fees for the processing of the petition. The costs are as follows:

    • P1,000 for petitions filed with the civil registrar
    • $50 for petitions filed with the consul general
    • P500 service fee (for migrant petitioners)

    Indigent petitioners are exempted from paying the filing fee.

Examination of the Petition Documents

Upon receiving the petition documents, the civil registrar or consul general will evaluate the affidavit and its supporting documents. If the petition complies with the required format and contents, it will be posted in a public place for 10 consecutive days.

The civil registrar or consul general will then render a decision within five working days after the completion of the posting or publication requirement.

How to File a Petition for Correction of Clerical Error

Follow these steps if the first, middle, or last name on your birth certificate is blurred and beyond comprehension.

  • Submit the required documents to the civil registry office where the birth certificate was registered. For petitioners born abroad, the documents shall be submitted to the Philippine consulate office where the birth was reported.
  • Attend the interview to be conducted by the city or municipal civil registrar or consul general concerned.
  • Pay the corresponding fees at the treasury office. Then, submit the official receipt to the city or municipal civil registrar or consul general.
  • Claim the initially approved petition on the date set by the city or municipal civil registrar or consul general.
  • Mail the petition to the Office of the Civil Registrar General. Be sure to keep the receipt from the forwarder or courier and a duplicate copy of the mailed documents.
  • After two to three months, you may follow up on the status of the petition at the city or municipal civil registrar or the Philippine consulate office. Be ready to present the receipt from the forwarder or courier and the duplicate copy of the mailed documents.
  • If the petition is approved by the Office of the Civil Registrar General, you will be issued a Certificate of Finality, record sheet, and endorsement letter together with your annotated birth certificate. You’ll need to mail these documents to the Office of the Civil Registrar General.

    If the petition is denied, you may file a motion for reconsideration with the Office of the Civil Registrar General within 15 days from receipt of the denied petition. You must comply with the requirements to prevent the petition from being disapproved.

    Once the motion is approved, mail the Certificate of Finality, record sheet, endorsement letter, and annotated birth certificate to the Office of the Civil Registrar General.

  • Three days after mailing the documents, follow up on the request for an annotated on security paper at the PSA main office in Diliman, Quezon City. Finally, claim the document on the date set by the Office of the Civil Registrar General. You may also send an authorized representative to claim the document on your behalf.

Correct Blurred Entries on Your Birth Certificate

A blurred entry on a birth certificate is considered a clerical error and the document is likely to be dishonored when submitted. Thus, you must have it corrected as soon as possible. This way, you won’t run into further trouble when entering into transactions, whether with government agencies or private institutions.

If you need a copy of your PSA birth certificate, you can process it in person through the nearest Census Serbilis Center. If you prefer to order a copy online, PSAHelpline.ph offers a hassle-free online application process!

PSA Birth Certificate
Get your PSA Certificates in 3 easy steps!
Order Now
Accredited Partner of: Philippine Statistics Authority