Staffs of local civil registrars in typhoon-ravaged areas of Leyte are living witnesses of how the Mobile Civil Registration Project boosted the reconstruction of storm survivor’s legal identities.
Virginia Parmo, LCR staff of Tanauan town recalled: “This program is very beneficial especially for school purposes. Birth certificates are necessary in schooling even at an early age.”
She recalled that there were only four of them in the LCR office prior to April’s launching of MCRP, a program that deployed additional four staffs.
Similarly, the LCR office in Tolosa, had only two staffs. The manpower doubled during three-month program implementation, according to Basilio Raz, an office staff.
“Since it was a free registration, we only required beneficiaries to provide a community tax certificate. When the program ended, all 15 villages in Tolosa benefitted the program and we were able to process an estimated of 3,000 documents.” he added.
While in Palo, according to LCR officer Rowena Cobacha, there is an estimated 7,000 processed papers/documents throughout the program.
“There were a lot of people who wanted to avail the program. Hope was visible in their eyes upon knowing that there is a kind of program that renders legal services.I t’s a big help to them since it is for free”, she said.
In case of Tacloban, according to LCR officer Michelle Dagupan, though the program has ended, they will still continue to have a free registration only for Taclobanons which will end on the month of September this year.
Tacloban City and three nearby Leyte towns are just four of the 20 covered areas of MCRP in Eastern Visayas.
MCRP is a program which enables the communities hit by Yolanda, to process their necessary documents such as birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, and others, without paying any cents.
This program led by the Initiative for Dialogues and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services, Inc. (IDEALS), has been possible through the coordination with several non-government organizations, national government agencies and local government units.
The aforementioned LCR, all agreed that the said project was very helpful especially to those less fortunate who couldn’t afford to pay and those who lives in remote areas.
The MCRP started last April and ended just last June this year. Since there is a rumor of possible extension of the said program, the LCR officers expressed their fervent hope to make it possible so that the people who were not able to avail the program will be accommodated this time. – Archie Faye Belches