Civil Code of the Philippines:Civil Registry

 The Civil Registry is the repository of relevant facts of a person (birth, adoption,
nationalization, marriage, death, etc.)
Art. 407. Acts, events and judicial decrees concerning the civil status of
persons shall be recorded in the civil register.

Anything which affects the civil status of persons shall be recorded in the Civil
Register. (Read also Article 7, of PD 603)
Art. 408. The following shall be entered in the civil register: (1)
Births; (2) marriages; (3) deaths; (4) legal separations; (5) annulments of
marriage; (6) judgments declaring marriages void from the beginning; (7)
legitimations; (8) adoptions; (9) acknowledgments of natural children; (10)
naturalization; (11) loss, or (12) recovery of citizenship; (13) civil interdiction;
(14) judicial determination of filiation; (15) voluntary emancipation of a minor;
and (16) changes of name

Art. 7. Non-disclosure of Birth Records. – The records of a person’s birth shall be kept strictly
confidential and no information relating thereto shall be issued except on the request of any of the
(1) The person himself, or any person authorized by him;
(2) His spouse, his parent or parents, his direct descendants, or the guardian or institution
legally in-charge of him if he is a minor;
(3) The court or proper public official whenever absolutely necessary in administrative, judicial
or other official proceedings to determine the identity of the child’s parents or other
circumstances surrounding his birth; and
(4) In case of the person’s death, the nearest of kin.
Any person violating the prohibition shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of at least two
months or a fine in an amount not exceeding five hundred pesos, or both, in the discretion of the

Art. 409. In cases of legal separation, adoption, naturalization and other
judicial orders mentioned in the preceding article, it shall be the duty of the
clerk of the court which issued the decree to ascertain whether the same has
been registered, and if this has not been done, to send a copy of said decree to
the civil registry of the city or municipality where the court is functioning.
Art. 410. The books making up the civil register and all documents
relating thereto shall be considered public documents and shall be prima facie
evidence of the facts therein contained.

Public documents shall be presumed to be accurate.

Under Article 7 of PD 603, public documents are not accessible to everybody.

Correlate Article 410 with Article 15 of RA 8552
(The Domestic Adoption Act).
Art. 411. Every civil registrar shall be civilly responsible for any
unauthorized alteration made in any civil register, to any person suffering
damage thereby. However, the civil registrar may exempt himself from such
liability if he proves that he has taken every reasonable precaution to prevent
the unlawful alteration.
Art. 412. No entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected,
without a judicial order.

Entries in the civil register can only be corrected by a judicial proceeding. Without
the judicial proceeding, the person would be guilty of falsification of public documents
and possibly other crimes regarding the civil status of persons (i.e., simulation of

Originally, Article 412 could only be resorted to if the error was merely clerical. In
Barreto vs. Local Civil Registrar, the Supreme Court defined a clerical error as one
which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding. In this case, the alleged
error being the gender of the person, the alleged error could not be determined by a
reference to the record.

In recent years, the Supreme Court has ruled that a petition for correction of entry
under Article 412 and Rule 108 can be availed of to correct the following errors:
1. Clerical
2. Substantial

If the error is clerical, a summary proceeding is enough. If the error is substantial,
an adversary proceeding with notice to all parties is necessary.

Sec. 15. Confidential Nature of Proceedings and Records. — All hearings in adoption cases shall
be confidential and shall not be open to the public. All records, books, and papers relating to the
adoption cases in the files of the court, the Department, or any other agency or institution
participating in the adoption proceedings shall be kept strictly confidential.
If the court finds that the disclosure of the information to a third person is necessary for
purposes connected with or arising out of the adoption and will be for the best interest of the
adoptee, the court may merit the necessary information to be released, restricting the purposes for
which it may be used.


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