Local LGUs oppose civil registry centralization

December 31, 2018

MORE local government units expressed opposition to a proposal in the House of Representatives making the civil registration system more comprehensive and centralized.

Local mayors in Northern Samar and the City Council in Candon City passed separate resolutions expressing strong opposition to House Bill No. 7695 or An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Civil Registration System and Reorganizing the Local Civil Registry System saying it negates the spirit of decentralization.

Introduced by Isabela Rep. Ma. Lourdes R. Aggabao, HB 7695 seeks for the absorption of all Local Civil Registry Officer under the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), giving the head of PSA an over-all direction in the implementation of the Civil Registry Law and exercise technical supervision over the local civil registrars.

All mayors in Northern Samar headed by San Roque Mayor Don Abalon unanimously signed a resolution opposing the centralization of civil registry services. Rep. Edwin Ong of Second District and Rep. Edwin Ongchuan expressed their support to the resolution.

“The bill runs counter to the President Duterte’s federalism agenda. “Instead of decentralizing powers, that bill will re-nationalize powers already devolved to the locals,” said Abalon who is the president of League of Municipalities in Northern Samar.

Candon Mayor Mauricio Domogan approved the resolution passed by the city council opposing the HB 7695.

Rep. Aggabao explained that the bill basically protects the rights of the child against discrimination especially children with no known parents. She said that the current system of civil registration would refer to children with no known parents as foundlings.

“All children born shall be entitled to a birth certificate instead of a foundling certificate,” Aggabao said. She added that the new civil registration system seeks to be more “inclusive and participative”, acknowledging indigenous peoples and Muslim Filipinos.

Many local civil registry employees feared of losing their jobs once the bill was approved.