The Office of the Civil Registrar General of the National Statistics Office promulgated Administrative Order No. 1 series of 2012 (AO 1) on October 24, 2012. The AO implements the provisions of Republic Act 10172, the amendatory law to Republic Act 9048, and supplements Administrative Order 1 series of 2001, which, in turn, implements RA 9048. Both statutes provide a means of correcting erroneous entries in the civil registry without need of judicial action.
Prior to RA 10172, RA 9048 allowed changes in a person’s first name or nickname as well as corrections to typographical entries through an administrative petition to the local civil registry or the consul-general. RA 10172 expands RA 9048 and expressly allows corrections to entries concerning a person’s date of birth or sex. More specifically, the law amended Sections 1, 2, 5 and 8 of RA 9048, which respectively defined the scope of the powers of the civil registry, the terms used in the Act, the form and contents of the petition and the authority to charge fees for the correction.
Only clerical or typographical errors are allowed to be corrected. For substantial amendments to any entry in the civil registry, except for change of first name or nickname, an adversarial proceeding under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court is still required. These include petitions to change nationality, age or status. Under the act, clerical or typographical errors are “harmless and innocuous…visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding, and can be corrected or changed only by reference to other existing record or records.”