| Number: 2011-62
Date Released: August 17, 2011
"Let us work hand in hand in strengthening the network of solemnizing officers and in providing a wider venue for learning sessions that will be of help in the execution of their duties as key agents of marriage and as marriage officials."
Thus said National Statistics Office (NSO) Administrator Carmelita N. Ericta as she addressed the participants during the 7th National Convention of Solemnizing Officers (NCSO) held last August 2-4, 2011 at the Plaza Del Norte in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. Themed "Quality Civil Registration in Support of National Development Goals", the 7NCSO aimed at providing a venue for sharing of experiences and exchange of ideas on various issues and concerns on implementation of marriage laws and registration procedures.
A total of 1,379 participants attended the event. The number included 628 local civil registrars; 271 priests, pastors, imams, and other solemnizing officers from various religious sects and denominations; 156 mayors; and 11 judges. Other attendees were local officials and other people involved in the solemnization and registration of marriages.
The participants were welcomed by Laoag City Mayor Michael V. Fariñas who was represented by his wife Chevylle V. Fariñas. The keynote message by Socio-Economic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Cayetano W. Paderanga was delivered by his representative, NEDA-Region I Director Leonardo N. Quitos, Jr. In his message, Secretary Paderanga pointed out the vital role of solemnizing officers in building families and the importance of marriage statistics in realizing national development goals.
Paper presentations highlighted the three-day affair, focusing on laws, court decrees, and legal instruments affecting marriage in the Philippines, learning on marriage registration as shared by civil registrars, marriage concepts and procedures, important facts and figures on Philippine marriages, experience on cancellation of Certificate of Authority to Solemnize Marriage, improved systems for use of solemnizing officers, and other issues and concerns faced by solemnizing officers. A paper discussing the characteristics of servant leaders was likewise presented by former NSO Administrator and Civil Registrar General Tomas P. Africa. Other presenters were Atty. Joseph Peter Sison of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation, Asst. Solicitor General Renan Ramos, Municipal Civil Registrar Victor Terry Medina of Mabalacat, Pampanga, Laoag City Civil Registrar Lilian Abijero, NSO Regional Directors Jaime Paller, Lourdes Homecillo and Annabelle Langbayan, and Joseph Cajeta and Robert Joseph Coronado of the NSO.
Open forums were held after each session to provide the participants the opportunity to raise questions and discuss with the resource persons/paper presenters issues and concerns on their respective topics.
During the closing ceremonies, NSO Administrator and Civil Registrar General Ericta enumerated the next steps that must be taken towards improving the country's marriage registration system. Among these are the consolidation of policy action matters for review; issuance of circulars and release of instruction manuals or handbooks for solemnizing officers; release of marriage statistics and information about solemnizing officers for public information; and, enhancement of www.sois.census.gov.ph which contains updated directory of solemnizing officers, updates on marriage laws, and marriage registration and procedures. She also thanked the participants for sharing the vision with the agency of an improved marriage registration system.
The NCSO is an undertaking organized by the NSO and is being held every two years. The last one was held in 2009 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.