PSA, CRMC strengthen ties for civil registration

February 20, 2019News Article Ref No.: NL-ARMM-19-009
Officials and representatives of CRMC, PSA-ARMM, PSA-XII, LCRO-Cotabato City, and NCIP during their consultative meeting on civil registration.

In line with the celebration of the 2019 Civil Registration Month, Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC) invited the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for a consultative meeting last 06 February 2019 at CRMC, Cotabato City. Other stakeholders from the Local Civil Reigstrar’s Office (LCRO) of Cotabato City and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) also attended the meeting. PSA was represented by Mr. Razulden A. Mangelen (OIC-Regional Director of PSA-ARMM), together with Mr. Akan G. Tula (OIC-Provincial Statistics Officer of Maguindanao), Ms. Belinda R. Penuela (Provincial Statistics Officer of Cotabato), and other staffs; while the meeting was presided by Dr. Sherjan P. Kalim (Chair of the Patient Health Records Committee, CRMC).

Vital registration, specifically birth and death registrations, has a critical role in formulating evidence-based health policies and planning. For the past several years, only 55% of the average monthly hospital deaths has secured a Death Certificate, while only 88% of the hospital births has secured a Birth Certificate in the past six months. As per CRMC’s experience, clients register their vital events only for the availment of benefits such as health and life insurances.

Exemption of Muslims and IPs in requiring Death Certificate before burial has resulted to a significant undercoverage of death statistics in the city and its neighboring municipalities. Moreover, existing Death Certificates reported errors, specifically on the entry for the “Cause of Death”. In relation to this, the health industry has developed a tool to minimize these errors or the “garbage code” such as “DOA”. The Smart Verbal Autopsy uses series of questionnaires for the validation of death cases. It has modules on General, Neonatal, Child and Adult Death Cases. This results to the generation of accurate data on the underlying causes of death in a certain area.

Newborns should be registered upon birth, so that they can be immediately enrolled in PhilHealth as dependent of his/her mother. However, some Muslim parents cannot comply to this due to the belief that a child should be named after his/her Aqiqah. CRMC must conduct health-teachings to encourage and advocate on the immediate registration of newborns.

As a solution, CRMC proposed programs which strengthen the prompt recording of vital event and establish partnership with PSA and LCRO for immediate registration of birth/death. CRMC implemented the Integrated Hospital Operations Management Information System (IHOMIS) which can generate death and birth certificates immediately. CRMC and LCRO will also planning to reenact their previous agreement on the transmittal of birth and death certificates between the two institutions, instead of entrusting the same transaction to the owners of the document. PSA and LCRO will review the existing policies in civil registration and assess if such strategy is legally possible.

The stakeholders are hoping to continue and further strengthen the partnership that thay have established during this meeting until the following years.