Republic Act 9048

Are you sick and tired of being the butt of jokes because of your funny sounding name? Did you ever wish that you can easily change your name but couldn’t afford to do so because of the cost and long wait? Now you can, thanks to the passage of Republic Act 9048. This law has simplified the process in correcting clerical or typographical errors and/or change of first name or nickname in the civil register. Whereas before the corrections and changes may only be done through a judicial order, the new law only requires the submission of a verified petition in order to effect the changes. 

It is important to note that this law pertains only to corrections of  clerical or typographical errors and/or change of first name or nickname in the civil register. Any other changes must beobtained only thorough a proper judicial process. This is succinctly stated in Section 1 of R.A. 9048, to wit:

“No entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order, except for clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname which can be corrected or changed by the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general in accordance with the provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations.” 


Section 3 of the law states that 

“Any person having direct and personal interest in the correction of a clerical or typographical error in an entry and/or change of first name or nickname in the civil register may file, in person, a verified petition with the local civil registry office of the city or municipality where the record being sought to be corrected or changed is kept. 

In case the petitioner has already migrated to another place in the country and it would not be practical for such party, in terms of transportation expenses, time and effort to appear in person before the local civil registrar keeping the documents to be corrected or changed, the petition may be filed, in person, with the local civil registrar of the place where the interested party is presently residing or domiciled. The two (2) local civil registrars concerned will then communicate to facilitate the processing of the petition. 

Citizens of the Philippines who are presently residing or domiciled in foreign countries may file their petition, in person, with the nearest Philippine Consulates.” 

There is also a limit to the filing of petitions as the law states that all petitions for the clerical or typographical errors and/or change of first names or nicknames may be availed of only once. 


Under Section 4, the petition for change of first name or nickname may be allowed in any of the following cases: 

    (1) The petitioner finds the first name or nickname to be ridiculous, tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce. 

    (2) The new first name or nickname has been habitually and continuously used by the petitioner and he has been publicly known by that by that first name or nickname in the community: or 

    (3) The change will avoid confusion.


Section 5 of R.A. 9048 states that the petition shall be in the form of an affidavit, subscribed and sworn to before any person authorized by the law to administer oaths. The affidavit shall set forth facts necessary to establish the merits of the petition and shall show affirmatively that the petitioner is competent to testify to the matters stated. The petitioner shall state the particular erroneous entry or entries, which are sought to be corrected and/or the change sought to be made. 

The petition shall be supported with the following documents: 

    (1) A certified true machine copy of the certificate or of the page of the registry book containing the entry or entries sought to be corrected or changed. 

    (2) At least two (2) public or private documents showing the correct entry or entries upon which the correction or change shall be based; and 

    (3) Other documents which the petitioner or the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general may consider relevant and necessary for the approval of the petition. 

In case of change of first name or nickname, the petition shall likewise be supported with the documents mentioned in the immediately preceding paragraph. In addition, the petition shall be published at least once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation. Furthermore, the petitioner shall submit a certification from the appropriate law enforcement agencies that he has no pending case or no criminal record. 

The petition and its supporting papers shall be filed in three (3) copies to be distributed as follows: first copy to the concerned city or municipal civil registrar, or the consul general; second copy to the Office of the Civil Registrar General; and third copy to the petitioner.