The Quezon City civil registry department’s opposition over the use of the 2007 revised registry forms issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) has gained ground after a review of the new form’s implementation was ordered by National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) director general Cayetano Paderanga, Jr., whose office maintains direct control and supervision over the NSO.
In a letter to QC civil registrar Ramon Matabang, Paderanga said NEDA is currently on the process of gathering information on the matter preparatory to the review that will be undertaken.
“QC welcomes this development,” said Matabang, who had earlier requested the NEDA director general to recall and set aside the memorandum circulars that prescribe the implementation and use of the NSO revised civil registry forms on the ground that these are unconstitutional and beyond the legal powers of the NSO administrator and civil registar general.
Matabang, who is also the spokesman of the Alliance of Civil Registrars for Reforms, maintained that the new forms, which now mandate local civil registrars to personally register birth, marriage and death certificates and other registrable documents, has amended and expanded the duties and functions of local civil registrars. Such move is contrary to the provisions of the Local Government Code and the Internal Rules and Regulations of the Civil Registry Law, according to Matabang.
“Both the Local Government Code and the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Civil Registry Law have no provision saying that the civil registrar himself is mandated to register registrable documents,” Matabang said.
Matabang said the act of Civil Registar-General Carmelita Ericta and the NSO in coming up with the revised registry forms “is an unlawful encroachment of legislative functions and a deliberate attempt to place the local civil registrars under the absolute control and supervision of the CRG.”
Matabang has joined opposition to the bill now pending in Congress for the expansion of the jurisdiction and power of the Philippine Statistical System (PSS), especially to its provisions which run inconsistent with the 1991 Local Government Code and the Civil Registry Law.
“The city strongly subscribes to the principle that the supervision and control over the local civil registrars rightfully belongs to the local chief executives,” Matabang said. Since local chief executives are vested with the same power under the Local Government Code, there will be confusion if it will be taken away from the local government heads, Matabang stressed. -30- Precy/ Ej/ Maureen Quiñones, PAISO