Whenever people refer to my name, I like it when they include my second name “Mary.” Because I paid the local government around 7k just to have it affixed in my birth certificate before I took the board exam. That’s much cheaper compared to the original 50k for two court hearing sessions in addition to lawyer’s fees and whatnots. Thanks to Republic Act 9048, you can now change your name without having to go to Court. It’s now an administrative procedure that you can do in any municipality or city.
I was really supposed to have the Mary in my name. But when my mom gave birth to me at MCU, she was too groggy and it was my Tita Bongs who answered the doctor’s questions. She forgot to mention Mary. I actually did not like that omission of hers, but she was able to more than compensate this year when she gave me three pairs of Italian leather shoes, 5 dresses, 4 mini-skirts and a pair of jeans for Christmas. That was worth more than the 7k I spent for fixing my name, so I love her heaps. LOL.
My mom, in a state of denial, affixed the Mary in my baptismal certificate. I don’t know why she failed to correct the Civil Registry department that time. And since I studied in a Catholic school, they followed my baptismal certificate, and all my records in school and ID’s had “Helen Mary” on it. My college diploma used Helen Mary Labao. My PRC ID now has Engr. Helen Mary Labao written on it. And I had to fix it quickly in time for me to take the board exam. I almost failed to take the board exam this year because of this name glitch.
First, you just need to prepare at least 7k for the requirements. I am not sure if this varies depending on location, but as per Caloocan City Hall’s Registry Department’s instructions, mine was a package which cost 5k+. The 1500 (which made it total to 7k) was used for the requirements. The 5k was comprised of the processing fee and publication fee (these legal stuff require publication still, even when they are settled out of court already).
The requirements is summarized in a checklist and they require two or three copies of most of the documents you need to send, to wit:
1. NBI Clearance AND Police Clearance (By the way, the NBI clearance for change of name is expensive by around 200 pesos than the average NBI clearance).
2. Baptismal Certificate
3. 2 Valid ID’s
5. Original Birth Certificate
6. School Records/Diploma
So far, that’s what I remember. I am not sure if you need some 2×2 pictures, but I practically got prepared for subsequent employment requirements because of this Change of Name procedure. I thank them for putting me to all those documentation trouble in advance because my present company did not have any more trouble getting my employment requirements after the board exam. The good thing about having to deal with a longer checklist in advance is that you can sail through the other checklists later on without hassle.
Then the Civil Registrar will get all those requirements and the cash, and will have you wait for a month or two for the documents to travel from the registrar to NSO for approval. They will also contact a newspaper for publication purposes.
Then you will have to come back to sign a document and wait for another month for finality or decision. And you give a window of an additional two weeks to 3 months for the NSO to edit your birth certificate.
I did not take any chances with PRC. Some people tell me that they cheat and just sandwich the problematic requirements in between the papers of the other applicants. My good friends did not want me to spend and they were telling me of schemes to outsmart the PRC inspector, but I did not want to take that risk as far as getting my license is concerned.
And I was right to be thorough. They were VERY strict with the name of licensure exam applicants. It had to be spelled in your transcript exactly as it was spelled in your birth certificate. One misspelled letter and it’s see you next year from some people. Can you imagine that the stupidity of a clerk in mis-encoding your name can cause you a year’s delay in getting your license? It’s these little legal things you cannot afford to miss double checking, really.
My friends were also worried that I won’t make it in time for the board exam application deadline, given the very slow administrative processes my country is known for. If it may encourage some people who are planning to have their name glitches polished in time for your licensure exam, I got my name fixed in two months, which is pretty fast. Some people take 6 months to a year. I practically pestered my connection in NSO just to have it prepared in time for my board exam deadlines. Sad reality: it’s the connections that helped speed up these slow processes. I actually hope these bureaucratic things could change. It was just in a moment of desperation that I resorted to bugging a connection to speed up the snail’s pace.
So even when people tease me for this name of mine (which sounds like a famous Catholic vocal prayer), I LOVE IT! 🙂
While we’re at the subject of names, you might find it very interesting to know that there is a free anagram making website. I got this from Professional Heckler’s links and we had fun with it at the office some days back. Here are some interesting combinations:
Helen Mary Labao anagrams to A MANLY, ABLE HERO.
But my favorite was this anagram of my officemate: Resty Nuegas anagrams to TRUE GAYNESS. (LOL)
Happy Nativity Day! 😀