City opposes proposed local civil registry transfer under PSA

BAGUIO CITY – The city government expressed opposition to House Bill No. 7695 [An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Civil Registration System, Reorganizing the Local Civil Registry System, Providing Funds thereof and for other Purposes] saying it negates the spirit of decentralization.
In Resolution No. 273-18 authored by Coun. Edgar Avila and approved by Mayor Mauricio Domogan, the city council said the bill “would essentially provide for the absorption of all Local Civil Registry Officer under the Philippine Statistics Authority” and thus negates the spirit of Republic Act No. 7160 of the Local Government Code of 1991.
Proposed by Isabela Rep. Ma. Lourdes Aggabao, the bill notes that the “current set-up provides that the PSA only exercises technical supervision over LCRs while the designated Local Government Unit (LGU) exercises administrative supervision. However, Section 11 of Republic Act No. 10625 or the Philippine Statistical Act of 2013 mandates that the National Statistician, as head of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is tasked to provide over-all direction in the implementation of the Civil Registry Law and related issuances and exercise technical supervision over the local civil registrars;
“Pursuant to this recent enactment, this bill mandates that the PSA should be at the forefront of civil registration and vital statistics in the Philippines. The PSA must have overall supervision over LCRs to ensure the fulfillment of their duties and functions. Funding for the LCRs and their staff is to be provided by the PSA. Moreover, mandatory continuing education and training programs for the LCRs and their staff must be implemented by the PSA.”
The city resolution said Republic Act No. 10625 or the Philippine Statistical Act of 2013 repealed Executive Order No. 121 [Reorganizing and Strengthening the Philippine Statistical System and for other Purposes] respected the devolution of Local Civil Registry Units to the Local Government.
“(The proposed bill) directly contravenes the spirit and intent of the (Local Government Code of which) Section 2 of Policy thereof states that ‘(a) x x x. Toward this end, the State shall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through system of decentralization whereby local government units shall be given more powers, authority, responsibilities, and resources. The process of decentralization shall proceed from the National Government to the local government units.’”’
“To allow the (LCRs) to be absorbed by the (PSA) would amount to a diminution of the devolution of the national government offices and jeopardizes local autonomy. Furthermore, the fees collected at present would now redound to the National Treasury and the power to create its own sources of revenue,” the resolution noted. ** Aileen P. Refuerzo

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