BASEY, Samar – Gone are the days when Joylyn Bajen has to worry about lost birth certificates of her seven children.
Bajen expects to save thousands of pesos in the process of reconstructing her family’s authenticated copies of birth certificates with the help of a team from the Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS), a non government organization strongly advocating for legal aid in the aftermath of a crisis.
“This is really a big help to us. I remember my husband and I paid up to P700 for processing registration of each of my seven children,” said Bajen while rubbing her pregnant belly.
Their makeshift roadside house in Buscada village was badly hit by storm surge, sweeping away all important legal documents of the entire family.
“When I found out that all records are gone, the first question I got in mind is how my children would continue their education,” Bajen said.
The 42-year-old mother considered herself as one of the poorest in her hometown. Her husband of more than two decades, Freedom only earns P250 daily as a construction worker. That means each family member has only a daily budget of P27 for their needs.
Bajen’s family is just one of the more than 1,000 people in Basey town, whose request for registration records have been processed by a team of community workers deployed by IDEALS.
Citing preliminary findings, Albert Gundayao, MCRP area coordinator for Basey town noted that more than half of the population in Basey town have lost their civil registration records.
“Aside from lost records, a considerable number of the population are not registered, which we need to work double time to assist them,” Gundayao said.
MCRP targets at least 4,760 people in Basey for civil registration and reconstruction of lost records.
“Our team is not just confined to processing of records, we are also actively involved in raising people’s awareness on the value of legal identification and make sure that when they have the records, all information there are accurate,” Gundayao said.