We recently finished a case for correction of entry in the Birth Certificate, particularly the gender of the client. We had to explain that while the erroneous entry, male instead of female, was not her fault, our laws require a court action before it can be corrected. It is indeed frustrating to spend for legal services when the error was committed by the clerk who prepared the birth certificate.
Fortunately for those who have the same problem, clerical or typographical errors in the sex/gender and birth date appearing in civil registry entries may now be corrected without going to court. On 15 August 2012, President Benigno Aquino signed Republic Act No. 10172 (full text), which extended the administrative procedure for change in first name or nickname under Republic Act No. 9048 (full text) [see Change of Name Without Court Intervention] to include clerical or typographical errors in the sex/gender and birth date. [Refer to the revised discussion in the Legal Wiki on Change of Name]
So, will this mean that it will be easier for those who’ve undergone sex reassignment surgery, or sex change, to have their birth certificates corrected? First, as the law currently stands, correction of the gender appearing in the birth certificate is NOT allowed if based on the ground that the person successfully underwent sex change surgery [see Sex reassignment surgery: Court rejects change of name and gender].
Obviously as a safeguard against any attempt to circumvent this prohibition, if we may call it that, the new law requires the presentation of documents showing the petitioner’s gender closest to his/her birth. RA 10172 provides that: “No petition for correction of erroneous entry concerning the date of birth or the sex of a person shall be entertained except if the petition is accompanied by earliest school record or earliest school documents such as, but not limited to, medical records, baptismal certificate and other documents issued by religious authorities; nor shall any entry involving change of gender corrected except if the petition is accompanied by a certification issued by an accredited government physician attesting to the fact that the petitioner has not undergone sex change or sex transplant.”
This new law is long overdue. For those who seek an easier and less expensive way of getting out of a bad marriage, perhaps the same thing could be said about divorce.