Thursday, May 8, 2008
Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has directed the city’s civil registry to conduct free birth registration until the end of the year and the next two years to ensure that all city residents are properly registered by 2010.
The mayor’s directive to Ramon Matabang, chief of the civil registry office, came after he learned that seven to eight percent of the city’s 2.2 million population reportedly remained unregistered with the Civil Registry or National Statistics Office (NSO).
Belmonte said the city government should zero in on unregistered births to guarantee one of the fundamental rights of the residents enshrined in Article 7 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Philippine Constitution.
Matabang blamed the large number of unregistered birth on hospitals and birth attendants who failed to register the birth of a child. He said the city council should pass an ordinance to penalize hospitals and other institutions or persons who caused the non-registration of the birth of a child after the 30-day grace period provided by law.
“This is the first right of a child – that is to have his name and status registered. Walang kasalanan ang mga bata,” he said.
At the same time, he said that a seminar should be conducted among midwives to help increase the rate of birth registration in the city.
The city civil registry office will launch on May 9 its Operation : Birthright project, under which eight well-trained personnel will handle the birth registration of unregistered QC-born constituents free of the P180 charge. – Perseus Echeminada