Admit it, having a wrong entry in a pertinent document could mean a lot of hassle. I, for one, experienced it, and I must say that it had been time and effort consuming. I only learned of the misentry when I went in DFA – Pampanga to apply for a passport.
Being a requirement, I presented my birth certificate together with my valid I.D.s, and I got one of the surprises of my life! The officer told me that my gender is of male, and I remembered myself staring wide-eyed at her, my mouth dropping.
Because how could it be male when I used it in some of my government transactions before and it was never questioned even once. That’s why I never really double-check my birth certificate because I thought there was nothing wrong in it.
But then, the officer showed me what I had been missing all the time. The “x” mark was blurred and typed on top of another word; marked on the male side. It was that moment that I realized that I’m not going to have my passport processed today.
I remembered feeling exhausted, frustrated, and hopeless. There I was waiting for my turn all day, enduring the long lines and the feeling of sleepiness just so I could have my passport – but it was not my luck. The officer advised me what to do about my birth certificate and told me to go back after I finished processing it
Feeling burdened, I left DFA together with my friend and head back straight to work for our graveyard shift. By the way, my friend successfully submitted her passport application. I was genuinely happy for her and sad for myself.
It took me years before I start my birth certificate journey. I was still working and find it hard to comply with the requirements because of my work schedule. And then, I got pregnant—another hurdle. I only started inquiring in the Local Civil Registrar after recovering from giving birth.
It was overwhelming for me because it’s a lot of elements, and I started feeling down again. I procrastinated a lot and had no motivation in complying with the conditions at first. My siblings talked me out of it because all of them already had their passports except for me. Then, I gave myself a week to complete all the requirements.
Below are the essentials and how I accomplished each:
1. NBI Clearance – I went to the nearest NBI office first. My NBI was already expired, so I had to renew it. I immediately got it because I had not HIT in their system. I paid Php 155.
2. Police Clearance – I submitted the necessary documents, e.g., resume, two copies of 2×2 picture, barangay clearance, and cedula, for me to get my Police Clearance. I got it within the day also. I paid Php 150
3. Medical certification – this is needed to be done by the Municipal Health Officer only. A Medical accreditation was given to me by the LCR and have it signed by the Municipal Health Officer stating that I had not undergone a sex change or sex transplant. I paid Php100 for this.
4. Earliest School Record (Form 137) – I asked for a real certified copy of my Form 137 in the Elementary School I attended. I received it after two days. I paid nothing.
5. Baptismal Certificate – Went to the Catholic Church where I was baptized and asked for a copy of my baptismal certificate because I already lost it. I presented the old receipt that my mother had kept to the church secretary and received my baptismal certificate within an hour — paid Php50.
6. Medical Record – I got this from the hospital where I gave birth. The certification stated the dates when I was confined and the diagnosis/findings – paid Php100.
7. Affidavit of Non – Employment – As I was a stay at home mom and unemployed, I needed to accomplish this. I went to a notary office and told them I needed it for Correction of Gender. I paid around Php 300 and got it the same day too.
8. Affidavit of Publication – The LCR was the one who processed this. I paid Php 2000 for the publication fee. They just gave me a copy of the said publication that appeared in a local newspaper after ten days.
9. Voters’ Certification – Went to the COMELEC Office in our Municipal Hall to request for my voters’ certification. I got it the same day too, and I paid Php 100 for it.
10. Marriage Contract – I proceeded to the PSA to get our marriage contract because I only have the LCR copy, and I needed the PSA copy. I paid Phph155 and got it within the day.
After completing the requirements, I submitted it to the LCR and paid an additional Php 3000 for the filing fee. They told me to wait for 3-6 months. They would call me once my documents arrived from the PSA Main Office.
It took roughly around four months before I received a call. When I did, I hurriedly go to the LCR. The officer gave me back my documents together with a newly attached Certificate of Finality and Endorsement. They advised me to send it back to the PSA Main office via LBC, and so I did.
Two months have passed, and I am still waiting for my documents. I am sending emails to the PSA Customer Service asking for my birth certificate. They do reply actually. Last, they told me was that they are still processing the needed documents and would update me once finished.
So now, it’s still a waiting game. But I’m very hopeful that one day, I would have my newly-annotated birth certificate and re-apply for a passport which was long overdue because of the misentry.
Now that I’m a mother, I double checked everything in my sons’ birth certificate and other relevant documents because I don’t want to undergo the same hassle that I went through again. It pays to be vigilant at all times.
by: Orange Jordan