Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Bill approved by House Committee on Population and Family Relations

February 22, 2024

February 20, Quezon City – The House of Representatives Committee on Population and Family Relations unanimously approved the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Bill, one of PLCPD’s priority legislative agenda in the 19th Congress.

House Bill (HB) 8823 filed by Rep. Faustino “Inno” Dy, PLCPD member; HB 4480 filed by Rep. Ernesto Dionisio Jr., and HB 9572 filed by Speaker Martin Romualdez, Tingog Party-list Reps. Yedda Marie Romualdez and Jude Acidre, Senior Deputy Majority Leader Ferdinand Alexander Marcos, and BHW Party-list Rep. Angelica Natasha Co, PLCPD trustee, seek to institute a comprehensive, responsive, and modern CRVS systems in the Philippines.

The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) participated in the first congressional hearing on the bills.

The bills aim for a more comprehensive, inclusive and efficient CRVS systems that cater to the needs of the most vulnerable sectors of society. The bills provide for the following: free registration of births, deaths, and marriages for first-time registrants; leveraging of modern technology to improve civil registration systems; ensuring the continuous training of civil registration personnel; and the interconnection of the Local Civil Registration Offices and the Philippine Statistics Authority. Once approved, the omnibus CRVS identification system will ensure that all vital events in the lives of Filipinos will be registered.

“A comprehensive and responsive civil registration system is not just a bureaucratic necessity; it reflects our dedication to individual rights, social justice, and good governance,” Representative Angelica Natasha Co remarked.

The civil registration system provides Filipinos with the necessary documents to establish their legal identity and ensures their access to social safety nets. These documents include birth, death, and marriage certificates.

“Many are still unaware that a birth certificate is the single most important basic document that gives legal identity to a person,” Mr. Romeo Dongeto, Executive Director of PLCPD, said during the committee hearing, where he spoke as one of the resource persons.

Based on the 2020 Census of Population and Housing, there are still 3.5 million Filipinos that remain unregistered, 1.3 million of whom are children aged 0-14.

“Many of these unregistered are living in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas, where poverty is more prominent and with low appreciation on the importance of birth registration.” Mr. Dongeto added.

The committee secretariat was tasked to consolidate the house bills and consider the inputs from the PSA and other government agencies and immediately transmit the consolidated version to the Committee on Appropriations.