MARABUT, Samar – A mother of nine children almost ended her quest to register her birth that occured more than five decades back, but not until she met a team running the mobile civil registration project (MCRP) in their remote village.
Nenita J. Mendroz, 53 said her optimism to process her civil registration vanished when super typhoon Yolanda swept away his baptismal record – the only legal identity she had before November 8.
“I think I was not able to process my registration papers because I have been busy raising nine children. Surprisingly, my husband and all my children have their own birth certificates and I don’t have one,” she said.
Mendroz, a resident of coastal village of Roño, some 12 kilometers away from the town center, recalled that her birth was attended through traditional methods and no community worker assisted her family in processing their records.
She heard about MCRP from one of her daughters who is serving as a barangay secretary in theor area.
The mother is just one of the 800 villagers in Marabut town who asked for assistance in late registration of their births. In addition to late registration, 400 residents are also seeking for replacement of their records from the local civil registrar and 60 individuals need correction of their existing records.
Financially, Mendroz is not capable of paying the exorboitant fees in late registration since she only runs a sari-sari store. Her husband works as a laborer, earning only P250 daily.
After providing all requirements, she’s now waiting for the release of her copy of certificate of live birth.
During the recent launch of MCRP, 200 residents in Marabut town listed themselves for request in the processing of their records.
In that activity, MCRP staff augmented with interns fro Ateneo de Manila University assisted clients seeking legal advice and free notary services – the essential requirements for late registration, correction of name, supply entry, on-time registration, and change of name.
Onesimo Macapugas, MCRP area coordinator of Marabut town said that other than late registration, another main concern is the inability of the local civil registrar to replace copies because of destroyed backup files.
The town is one of the 20 areas in the storm-battered Eastern Visayas region covered by MRCP, an IDEALS-led project under the Access to Benefits and Claims after Disaster (ABCD). The project is backed by several international relief organizations and government agencies primarily by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee.
Marabut, a coastal town in Samar known for breathtaking rock formations, is a fifth class municipality, with 44% of the nearly 13,000 population are suffering from poverty, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board.