Highlights of the 9th National Workshop on Civil Registration (9NWCR) - Day 3

Release Date: Saturday, June 30, 2018
Session 6 - #CRVSPointsOfView
City Civil Registrar Maide O. Jader of Tayabas City, Quezon, shared her experiences and struggles while serving her constituents on her paper presentation entitled “The Grassroots of the CRVS Data: Bringing Services Closer to the People by Strengthening our Human Resources and Use of Technology.”
She narrated how the used-to-be poor-performing City Civil Registry Office (CCRO) changed and evolved into what it is now, a recipient of multiple recognitions from various award-giving institutions in the country including being the first placer in the 2017 Outstanding Local Civil Registry Office – Large Category given by Office of the Civil Registrar General, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
She concluded her presentation with her sentiments on the long overdue promotions of the personnel and staff of the CCRO in appreciation of their efficient and effective public service delivery.
Ms. Malou C. Mangahas, Executive Director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, commenced her discussion on her topic, “CRVS, Citizens, Statistics, and Good Governance” with an ode to statistics and statisticians, closely followed by discussions on the importance of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS).
According to her, good statistics would equate to good governance. She expounded on the good points of CRVS as well as its areas of attention which include uneven datasets and data capture dependency on the transmitting agencies, among others. She added that CRVS may be considered as the bedrock of rights as it affirms one’s citizenship, enables or guarantees access to rights, and offers a roadmap for timely and responsive intervention, policies and reforms.
She ended her discussion with a quote from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: “While the individual is an insoluble puzzle in the aggregates, he becomes a mathematical certainty... individuals vary, but percentages remain constant. So says the statistician”.
Brig. Gen. Jesulito H. Calimag, The Provost Marshal General (TPMG) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), started his discussion on the “Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Data Users Needs and Expectations” by providing a background on the nature, function, organization of their Office. 
He emphasized on the need and importance of civil registry documents, such as the Certificate of Live Birth, Certificate of Marriage and Certificate of No Marriage Record, as these are being used by their office in the conduct of investigation. These documents, he added, substantiate the alleged infraction committed by military personnel of the discipline, law, and order of the AFP such as cases of immorality, fraudulent enlistment of personnel, submission of false requirements of officers, non-support or insufficiency of support, or abandonment.
According to him, these documents which are being kept, maintained, archived and issued by the PSA likewise serve as proof of age, paternity, filiation and marriages of the men and women of the AFP. On the other hand, it also helps disprove their alleged criminal or administrative violations.
He, however, relayed his woes on the implementation of R.A. 10173, otherwise known as the Data Privacy Act of 2012 as the PSA no longer grants the request of the TPMG for the issuance of civil registry documents requested without the consent of the individual whose personal information is processed.
Brig. Gen. Calimag recommended that the AFP be exempted from PSA Office Memorandum No. 2017-050 dated April 17, 2017 and the crafting of Memorandum of Understanding regarding the matter between the AFP and PSA.
CLOSING CEREMONIES - #napapanahongPartnership
Undersecretary Lisa Grace Bersales, National Statistician and Civil Registrar General of the PSA expressed her appreciation to see so many participants until the last day of the three-day activity before she delivered her closing message.
She added that if the 9NWCR started with the theme #napapanahongCRVS, she would like them to take home and think about #napapanahongPartnership. According to her, she likes the word partnership very much and she believes that it is very important to be able to respond to the changing landscape and emerging concerns on the sources of data for the Philippines Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS).
She enumerated four major areas of concerns that the PSA commits to deal with and they are: 1) the need for computer-assisted processes; 2) big data; 3) data revolution; and, 4) adherence to international commitments and new statutory requirements. She hoped that the participants, as the agency’s partners in CRVS, will likewise embrace the same commitment.
USEC Bersales said that it is her and the PSA dream that all its partner local civil registry offices will have a modern office with computer technology-assisted processes. She shared that the implementation Civil Registry System-Information Technology Project (CRS ITP 2) will expand the current Serbilis outlets from 40 to 80 to cover almost all provinces of the country and other access channels to civil registry service such as web, mobile and kiosk will be established in 2 years. A geographically separate disaster recovery environment for CRS databases in a secret location so that no documents will be lost in the event of “The Big One” will likewise be established, among others.
She also gave assurance that PSA’s engagement with its private partner for CRS ITP2 has gone through vigorous legal advice not just from within the PSA, but with the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center and it likewise went through appropriate procurement procedures. She also invited anybody who wanted to look at the contract to go to PSA’s Freedom of Information Office.
“Big data” according to USEC Bersales are information that are real time fast, large in scope, and has variety. She said that civil registration is actually an example of big data in terms of volume and variety, however, there is no velocity yet in CRVS data.
Thus, according to her, in order to work on velocity, we need technology and data revolution. Data revolution means being able to provide for the demand for data and services in real time while at the same time maintaining the integrity of Philippine’s database.
Big data means enhancing partnership. Thus, PSA will continue to do mobile registration particularly in areas with low level of registration and will reconstitute the membership of the Inter-Agency Committee on CRVS to include the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), National Commission for Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), Overseas Worker’s Welfare Administration (OWWA)  Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) to cover the minorities and special segments of the society.
She added that PSA will have to make sure that it is providing proper civil registry services, therefore, there will be more dialogues and enhanced business partnership with the LCRs, various stakeholders as well as with schools and higher learning institutions. And, relevant to the compliance to SDG monitoring for indicators with CRVS as potential source, PSA will continue with the standardization, revision and enhancement of the civil registry forms as they are the sources of vital statistics. Moreover, she reminded on the need to work hard on the timely release of vital statistics report which are important inputs to policy makers and requested the participants to continue to provide reports on registered vital events. She even encouraged them to try data visualization as data users are now not satisfied with just statistical tables as they want to see more visual products on the information.
She also added that PSA also needs to provide more policy formulation in treating applications for the registration of birth of children born out of surrogacy, gender preferences, same sex marriages and other current issues in partnership with concerned government agencies. It will allow the legislative branch to look at the napapanahong legislation if they are needed. However, until a law is passed, the sex of a person can never be changed in the birth certificate of a transgender person and same sex marriage cannot be registered because
there is no law yet allowing it and all of us are committed to follow the rules of the land.
She also emphasized that CRVS decade is an international commitment and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals is likewise an international commitment. CRVS decade says “Get every one in the picture.“ On the one hand, Sustainable Gevelopment Goals say “Leave no one behind.” Those are tall commitments that the Philippines will have to adhere, but, she expressed confidence that the PSA together with the help and support of its partners can make it happen.
According to USEC Bersales, one of the  most important statutory requirements that the PSA and the LCROs need to commit is the data privacy act. She strongly encouraged all LGUs to already have their respective data privacy officers. She gave a very quick advice not to leave any document with individual information just on top of the table and see to it that they are in drawers or in cabinet with locks as any violation of the Data Privacy Act is both an administrative and criminal offense.
She also reminded on the need to have privacy notices posted in the PSA offices as well as in the LCROs and the need to be very careful about data sharing agreements. She, however, believes that the Data Privacy Act, should not stop the PSA from being committed to its partnerships with other agencies. Everyone just have to come together not to violate the Data Privacy Act, but still support the data needs of each other in order to be updated with the demands of time.
She also advised all to commit to the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Delivery of Government Service Act of 2018. According to her, it is best if we can delight our customers and not only provide them satisfaction in the delivery of our services.
The PSA will also continue its support and participation in the Ministerial Declaration on Asia and Pacific of the CRVS decade and in the implementation of the Regional Action Framework on CRVS as approved by the 74th Session of UN-ESCAP in Bangkok Thailand which was co-sponsored by the Philippines.
USEC Bersales ended her closing remarks reiterating on #napapanahongPartnership and invited everyone to work together in the attainment of the CRVS decade’s shared vision to “Get every Pinoy and Pinay in the Picture” leaving no one behind. As for her last statement, she exclaimed that “the new logo of the Office of the Civil Registrar General is something that is napapanahon, therefore, napapanahon tayo dapat palagi.
OCRG has a new logo
A new logo for the Office of the Civil Registrar General (OCRG) has been chosen and unveiled on the last day of the 9NWCR.
A brief backgrounder about how the new OCRG logo came about was given by Assistant National Statistician (ANS) Editha Orcilla of the PSA-Civil Registration Service (CRS).
According to her, the logo was chosen from among 13 entries received to the Logo Making Contest launched in line with this year’s celebration of the Civil Registration Month last February 2018. The winning entry was judged to be the nearest to capture and reflect the vision, mission, goal and aspiration of the Civil Registrar General (CRG), who is also the National Statistician (NS) of the PSA.
The Board of Judges (BOJ) for the contest was chaired by USEC Lisa Grace S. Bersales, NS and CRG with two (2) Deputy National Statisticians of the PSA: Assistant Secretary Romeo Recide of the Sectoral Statistics Office and Assistant Secretary Josie Perez of the Census and Technical Coordination Office; ANS Orcilla, PSA-CRS; and Professor Rommel Joson from the Visual Communications Department, University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, as members.
The concept of the new OCRG logo was derived from the Philippine flag, both in form and in color scheme, and reflects major symbolisms.
At the center of the logo is hand that is in the act of writing to symbolize the process of registration of vital events.
The three stars placed inside the circle around it signify the three major islands of the country - Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, to represent the nationwide coverage of civil registration service.
The eight (8) rays of the sun represent the eight provinces that had significant involvement in Philippine history. The rays can also be viewed as a shape of a house and people extending arms and reaching out to represent a family, the partnership between the PSA and the local civil registry offices as well as the advocacy of the PSA to protect the rights of Filipinos, young and old alike.
The thick circle that encloses the logo shows the security and integrity of civil registration records and vital statistics. This is also a symbol of the inclusion or belongingness in the nation as Filipino citizens. Moreover, it is also an expression to the entire world that the Philippine CRVS is solid, responsive and world-class.