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Philippines – Giving Birth and Registration of Birth / Nationality

GIVING BIRTH

When delivering in the Philippines, many expatriates choose St. Lukes (http://www.stluke.com.ph/) while Makati Medical Center (http://www.makatimed.net.ph/main.php) is usually considered as a second choice.

It is important to consult with your doctor however, as he or she may recommend one hospital over another depending on your medical situation. Giving birth in a hospital also gives you the option to choose your own pediatrician and anesthesiologist.

Expats rarely consider home birth in the Philippines as it comes with risks including not being able to get to a hospital quickly because of traffic should anything go wrong. Home birth is usually only considered in areas outside of Manila and in the provinces where good medical facilities can be expensive or far from home. Many locals simply cannot afford the high standard of health care that high-end hospitals offer.

REGISTRATION OF BIRTH / NATIONALITY

In order for your child to be registered in the Philippines and for you to be able to apply for your child’s passport from your home country, you will need to apply for a birth certificate from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA, formerly referred to as National Statistics Office or NSO).

Some hospitals, including St. Lukes, will help with this process. They give parents the forms to complete, and the forms are then sent to the local City Hall for registration (the hospital needs about a week to process the papers). The birth certificate will be mailed to the family two to three weeks after the child was born. The process is simple and easy, but not all hospitals will help with the process.

If you want more than one copy of the birth certificate, you have to order on your own online, which is simple (link: https://nsohelpline.ph/). It should only take three business days to arrive.

Passport Application

You should apply for your baby’s passport as soon as possible after the baby is born so that the birth date and name are registered.

It is important to understand every detail and have all documents in order for the passport application many weeks before birth. Not being fully prepared or understanding all the requirements can result in weeks or months of delay processing and receiving a passport. Your child will not be able to leave the Philippines until he or she receives a passport.

It is also very important to check your embassy’s website for details on the process as it will be different for each country, and requirements may have recently changed. For example, currently, the US Embassy only accepts mail-in applications. If your application is not complete, you will need to begin the entire process again.

Philippine Nationality Law
If a child is born in the Philippines to foreign parents, they are not automatically a Filipino citizen. You can only become a legal citizen of the Philippines if your parent is a citizen or national of the Republic of the Philippines, or by naturalization.

The Philippine nationality law is based upon the principles of jus sanguinis (Latin: the right of blood) and therefore descent from a parent who is a citizen or national of the Republic of the Philippines is the primary method of acquiring Philippine citizenship. This is contrasted with the legal principle of jus soli where being born on the soil of a country, even to foreign parents, grants one citizenship (such as in the United States).

You can also become a citizen of the Philippines by naturalization but you would need to meet specified qualifications.

Useful Links:

Bureau of Immigration Policy on Foreign Nationals Born in the Phils: http://www.immigration.gov.ph/89-august-2014-press-releases/667-bi-clarifies-policy-on-foreign-nationals-born-in-the-philippines

 

Last update: 12 March 2020