When I had my MRP passport renewed two weeks ago, I was required to bring a copy of my PSA birth certificate. As the one I had on file is already a bit old (with tears on the corners and some entries have faded over time), I was left with no choice but to have a new, fresh copy delivered to me instead. I was glad to have an excuse to finally secure a new copy of my birth certificate. I received my order from PSAHelpline.ph after two days, in time for my appointment with the DFA.
I prepared a photocopy of my birth certificate and brought the original one for verification. When the interviewer took my documents, I was surprised to find out that they will also be keeping the original copy of my PSA birth certificate (apart from the photocopy that I prepared). I asked the interviewer why they need to take the original copy; she said that since I am renewing an MRP passport, my renewal is considered a new application and therefore, they need to collect the original copy of my identification (the birth certificate). I offered the old copy of my birth certificate (the frayed one) instead but she said that the DFA requires the document to be in the most recent SECPA (Security Paper). I had no choice but to surrender the brand new copy of my birth certificate.
When I left the DFA office, I was both happy and disappointed: happy because I’ve crossed out one major item from the to-do list (get your passport renewed), disappointed because I again do not have a copy of my PSA birth certificate.
Before I placed a new order to have my PSA document delivered, I searched online if there are any differences with the old copy I got from NSO before and the new one that I submitted to the DFA. I just wanted to understand why the DFA would not honor the NSO copy I was offering them.
I came across a press statement made by PSA, explaining that birth certificates do not have “expiration dates” (unlike Certificate of No Marriage which is only valid for six months) because the details contained in this document do not change and cannot be altered. Even when there have been changes in the details (like correction of misspelled entries, changes in names, legitimation), these are indicated only as annotations on the original copy.
If there had been any changes on the copies (if I were to compare the old copy from NSO and new one I got recently), it would only be the color of the Security Paper and the new logo of the PSA. According to the press statement, these changes are implemented to prevent the spread of fake PSA birth certificates. The new features of the document do not nullify the validity of an old copy you may already have in your files. Whichever copy you are holding, whether sealed with the logo of the former NSO or the new PSA, you can be sure that it is a valid copy of your birth certificate as long as it was acquired through an authorized PSA partner like PSAHelpline.ph.
The PSA also emphasized that they do not have control over the specific requirements of agencies and establishments that require “updated” copies of PSA birth certificates (like DFA). There are a multitude of reasons why some offices require that we execute new copies of our documents, including birth certificates.
So that answered my question.
After this experience, I ordered two copies of my PSA birth certificate: one for my files and the other as a ready document should I be required to submit an original copy anytime soon.
I suggest you do the same so you can always be sure that you have a copy of your birth certificate on file.