Better late than never!
This quote applies for Estepania N. Descalzo or “Lola Panyang” from Aguilar, Pangasinan who recently got her birth certificate from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) after 99 years.
Born in 1923, Lola Panyang’s birth was finally registered last December 2022 through the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Birth Registration Assistance Project (PBRAP) of PSA and the initiative of the Local Civil Registry Office of Aguilar.
Lola Panyang finally received her Certificate of Live Birth (COLB) in Security Paper (SECPA) that was personally delivered to her residence in Aguilar town recently by some officials and employees of the PSA Regional Statistical Services Office 1 (RSSO 1), PSA Pangasinan, and the local government unit (LGU) of Aguilar.
Carmelita Bravo, daughter of Lola Panyang, said her mother was not registered by her parents after she was born because they are too focused on working in the farm as a source of their livelihood.
Under this project, the requirements for late registration were relaxed and fees were waived by the concerned LGU,” she said.
Bravo said their father and husband of Lola Panyang, Domingo Sendin, who died 10 years ago, married Lola Panyang when she was 18 years old.
“Kinasal sila noong 1941 sa edad na 18 years old; however, hindi pa raw po istrikto noon sa government requirements gaya ng birth certificate. Hanggang sa hindi na po niya namalayan ‘yong panahon,” Bravo said.
Rosemarie Ortaleza, birth registration agent of PSA Pangasinan, said Lola Panyang is the oldest beneficiary in the country that benefited from the PBRAP program.
Ortaleza said the PBRAP envisions that by 2024, at least 99.5% of all Filipinos should have their birth registered with the local authorities.
She said primary recipients of the program are persons in marginalized communities, indigenous peoples, Muslim Filipinos, the poorest sector in the country, and persons currently living outside their place of birth.
Ortaleza said if an individual has COLB it will enable them to be enrolled with the Philippine Identification System.
To date, Ortaleza said that 871 individuals in Pangasinan are now registered through the program and are now waiting for their birth certificates.
Ortaleza added that of this number, 198 from Mangaldan town and one from Aguilar town have already received their birth certificates in SECPA.
Other than the copy of birth certificate, Lola Panyang also received supplies like tissue, cotton balls, microfiber cloth, alcohol, face masks, and vitamins from PSA.
Lola Panyang and her family expressed their gratitude to PSA and LGU Aguilar for implementing the program that she availed even before she turned 100 years old this year.
Just like the saying, “Sometimes too late is just in time." (JCR/AMB/EMSA/PIA Pangasinan)