MANILA — The volume of transactions under the Philippine Statistics Authority's (PSA) Civil Registration Service slumped in 2020, and only reached half of those recorded in 2019, an official from the agency said Thursday.
Based on the data presented by the PSA, there were 11,725,106 million transactions last year, declining by "almost 50 percent" from 2019's 22,480,673 million transactions.
Marizza Grande, officer-in-charge and assistant national statistician of PSA's Civil Registration Service said the decline in transactions last year could be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, but noted that their online services also saw a boost because of this.
"Based on this, makikita niyo po talagang dumadami, a lot of our clients are now availing of the online filing of their requests. So it's safer, meron siyang additional fees because it includes the delivery and service fee, but it's safe and zero contact yan sa aming clients," Grande explained.
With the increase in online transactions, Grande said PSA has also intensified efforts to topple fixers, who are now also gone online and have also "leveled up their marketing strategies".
She said the PSA is investigating such incidents, and emphasized that a task force for such is underway.
"We are also in the process of creating a task force, inter-agency task force, to capture these online fixers. Initially, nakapag-meet na kami (we have already met) with National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Department of Justice (DOJ). Iyong right now, we're discussing for the MOA on how we can strengthen. Kasi kami wala po kaming police power, it's the NBI and PNP that can, manghuli ng mga iyan," she said.
(We are currently discussing for the MOA... because we don't have any police power to catch them)
"The only thing that we can do is to inform the public. It's the risk actually because they also been encountering many problems kung nakikipag-transact sila with these online fixers."
The agency has been releasing advisories to warn the public about fixers, also calling on subscribers to report to them anomalous transactions, according to the official.
PSA Serbilis and PSA Helpline
Grande said PSA has only two authorized online sites - PSA Serbilis and PSA Helpline.
The official said that both can be used to request for certificates of live birth, marriage, death, and certificate of no marriage (Cenomar) or advisory on marriage.
Their main difference, however, is on who will be allowed to request for these documents.
Grande said that for PSA Serbilis, documents may be requested by "the owner or through a duly authorized representative; spouse, parent, direct descendants, guardian or institution legally in charge; the court or, in case of person's death, the nearest of kin."
On the other hand, PSA Helpline has "stricter" measures on who can request documents - the owner can request certificates of live birth, marriage, and Cenomar for him/herself, his/her child, and his/her parent.
A person can request for the death certificate of his/her spouse and his/her parent.
PSA Serbilis also delivers documents to local and international addresses - certificates of live birth, marriage, and death cost P330 per copy for local addresses, and US$20.30 per copy for delivery abroad, she said.
Cenomar or advisories on marriage costs P430 per copy for local addresses, and US$25.30 per copy for delivery abroad.
The estimated delivery for Metro Manila is from 6 to 8 working days after payment, while it may take from 7 to 9 working days after payment for other provinces.
PSA said that the availability and schedule of delivery to other countries would also depend on the services of the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) and restrictions in each destination country.
A client may avail of special courier services through FedEx for delivery addresses outside the Philippines.
For PSA Helpline, certificates of birth, marriage, and death certificates cost P365 each, while Cenomar costs P420.
The estimated delivery for this is from 3 to 4 working days for Metro Manila, and from 7 to 8 working days outside the region.
Payment options for PSA Serbilis and PSA Helpline include online banking, credit card, virtual wallet, and over the counter transactions. Cashless transactions are also available at the Civil Registry System Outlet in East Avenue, Quezon City.
Grande asked for the public's understanding, as there might be delays in the delivery due to quarantine restrictions and varied lockdown situations in various areas.
PSA Serbilis can be accessed through https://www.psaserbilis.com.ph.
For PSA Helpline, users may visit https://www.PSAHelpline.ph (formerly NSOHelpline.ph) or call
8737 1111, which is "open 24/7".
The agency also offers online and phone appointments as outlets in the capital region and 4 nearby provinces -- "NCR plus bubble" --remain closed.
"You can have walk in in our central outlet but you need to secure an appointment and present that your request is urgent or emergency, like concerns on OFW claims, VISA, passport," said Grande.