PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 651
REQUIRING THE REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS AND DEATHS IN THE PHILIPPINES WHICH OCCURED FROM JANUARY 1, 1974 AND THEREAFTER.
WHEREAS, government surveys reveal that every year twenty five to forty per cent of all births and death occurring in the Philippines are not registered in the office of the local civil registrar as required by Act 3753;
WHEREAS, this big number of under-registration adversely affects the program of government in promoting the health and social conditions of the people especially the youth because of difficulty in gathering complete vital statistics due to the under-registration of births and deaths;
WHEREAS, to provide primary sources of vital statistics for use in various population studies in order to formulate more effective health and social plan for the country, the immediate registration of unregistered births and deaths is imperative;
WHEREAS, this will be another landmark in the continuing efforts of the government to improve the social conditions of the people with the aid of accurate vital statistics, and is in line with the observance of the 1974 world population year;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order and decree that all births and deaths that occurred within the period starting January 1, 1974 to the date when this decree becomes effective, but were not registered, and those that will occur thereafter, shall be registered in accordance with the following procedures;
Section 1. Registration of births. All babies born in hospitals, maternity clinics, private homes, or elsewhere within the period starting from January 1, 1974 up to the date when this decree becomes effective, irrespective of the nationality, race, culture, religion or belief of their parents, whether the mother is a permanent resident or transient in the Philippines, and whose births have not yet been registered must be reported for registration in the office of the local civil registrar of the place of birth by the physician, nurse, midwife, hilot, or hospital or clinic administrator who attended the birth or in default thereof, by either parent or a responsible member of the family or a relative, or any person who has knowledge of the birth of the individual child.
The report referred to above shall be accompanied with an affidavit describing the circumstances surrounding the delayed registration.
Section 2. Period of registration of births. The registration of the birth of babies referred to in the preceding section must be done within sixty (60) days from the date of effectivity of this decree without or fee or any kind. Babies born after the effectivity of this decree must be registered in the office of the local civil registrar of the place of birth within thirty (30) days after birth, by the attending physician, nurse, midwife, hilot or hospitals or clinic administrator or, in default of the same, by either parent or a responsible member of the family or any person who has knowledge of the birth.
The parents or the responsible member of the family and the attendant at birth or the hospital or clinic administrator referred to above shall be jointly liable in case they fail to register the new born child. If there was no attendant at birth, or if the child was not born in a hospital or maternity clinic, then the parents or the responsible member of the family alone shall be primarily liable in case of failure to register the new born child.
Section 3. Proof of birth registration a pre-requisite to school enrolment and allowance of tax exemption. Henceforth, starting with the year 1975, the presentation of a birth certificate shall be a pre-requisite to enrolment in the first grade in all public and private schools in the country and allowance of tax exemption for dependents under the National Internal Revenue Code.
Section 4. Registration of deaths. All persons, irrespective of nationality, race, culture, religion and belief, whether a permanent resident or a transient in the Philippines, who died in hospitals, clinic, private homes, or elsewhere, within the period from January 1, 1974 to the date of effectivity of this decree, whose deaths have not yet been registered, must be reported for registration through the local health officer to the local civil registrar of the place of death, by the physician who attended the deceased or in default thereof, by the nearest responsible relative or by any person who has knowledge of such death.
The report referred to above shall be accompanied by an affidavit describing the circumstances surrounding the delayed registration.
Section 5. Period of reporting and registration of deaths. The registration of deaths referred to in the preceding section must be done within sixty (60) days from the date of effectivity of this decree without fine or fee of any kind. Deaths occurring after the effectivity of this decree must be reported by the nearest responsible relative or any person who has knowledge of the death within 48 hours after death to the local health officer of the place of death, who shall then issue the corresponding certificate of death and order its registration in the office of the local civil registrar within thirty (30) days after death. In case the deceased was attended to by a physician, the latter must issue the necessary certificate of death within 48 hours after death and submit the same to the local health officer of the place of death, who shall order its registration in the office of the local civil registrar within the said period of thirty (30) days after death.
Section 6. No registration fee. No fees of any kind shall be imposed for the registration of births or deaths within the prescribed period. However, for the issuance of a certified copy of any birth or death document, or transcript of the entries from the civil register, upon the request of the interested party, a certification fee shall be collected in accordance with existing law.
Section 7. Assistance of barrio captain and barangay chairman. All barrio captains and barangay chairman shall have responsibility for disseminating this decree among their constituents and for assisting in the registration of births and deaths occurring within their respective jurisdictions to insure complete coverage of these events.
Section 8. Implementing official. The Civil Registrar General in hereby authorized to issue rules and regulations, orders or circulars to implement this decree.
Section 9. Penalty. Any person required under this decree to report for registration any fact concerning the civil status of persons and who fails to do so, or who deliberately makes false statements in the birth or death form and presents the same for registration, or who violates any rule or regulation which may be issued pursuant to this decree, and any local public health officer who fails to perform his duties as provided for in this decree, or violates any rule or regulation which may be issued pursuant to this decree, shall upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than P500.00 nor more than P1,000.00 or imprisonment of not less than three (3) months nor more than six (6) months, or both, in the discretion of the court.
Section 10. Repealing Clause. Any provision of law, ordinance, rules and regulations inconsistent with the provisions of this decree, are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
Section 11. Effectivity. This decree shall take effect forty five (45) days after its approval.
Done in the City of Manila, this 31st day of January, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-five.
(Sgd.) FERDINAND E. MARCOS
By the President:
(Sgd.) ROBERTO V. REYES
Acting Executive Secretary
Source: Malacañang Records Office