Change of name

Dear Atty. Joji,

All my life, I have been using Bianca as my name. Recently, I learned that my name registered with the Philippine Statistics Authority is Shane. All of my documents are named Bianca because that’s what I’ve known all my life. What should I do?

Thank you Atty.
Shane/Bianca

***

Dear Shane,

In the past, under Article 412 of the New Civil Code, any correction or change to be made in a birth certificate must be pursuant to a court order. This is in line with the tenets laid down which provides that “(n)o entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected, without a judicial order.”

However, the abovementioned legal provision has been amended by Republic Act 9048, which in turn was further amended by RA 10172. The salient portion of RA 10172, which is applicable to your concern, reads:

“SECTION 1. Section 1 of Republic Act 9048, hereinafter referred to as the Act, is hereby amended to read as follows:

“SECTION 1. Authority to Correct Clerical or Typographical Error and Change of First Name or Nickname. — No entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order, except for clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname, the day and month in the date of birth or sex of a person where it is patently clear that there was a clerical or typographical error or mistake in the entry, which can be corrected or changed by the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general in accordance with the provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations.” (Emphasis supplied)

Accordingly, there is no need for you to bring the matter to court. You may, instead, file a verified petition before the local civil registry office of the city or municipality where your birth record is kept. If you have already migrated to another place within the Philippines, making it impractical in terms of transportation expenses, time and effort to appear in person before the local civil registrar where the record is kept, or if you both have migrated abroad, then you can file a petition, in person, with the local civil registrar of the place where both of you are presently residing here in the Philippines, or before the nearest Philippine Consulate where you are both domiciled abroad, respectively (Section 3, RA 9048). We wish to emphasize that “(a)ll petitions for the clerical or typographical errors and/or change of first names or nicknames may be availed of only once” (Id.).
Hope this helps.

Atty. Joji Alonso


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