Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Looking back: Stepping forward thru BCRS

A number of theories on empowerment have taken the time to evolve to make it a very substantive word. There is no doubt that the concept of empowerment has assumed an increasing interest to researchers, practitioners and even to the citizens. A very simple way of understanding empowerment is to equate it with increased awareness and increased control of one's life. One can surmise that the opposite of empowerment is powerlessness which according to Keiffer (1984) when viewed at the individual level can be seen as the expectation of the person that his/her own actions will be ineffective in influencing the outcome of life events.
What has this to do with civil registration?
If we were to take a look at the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, we would see that Northern Mindanao recorded 4,297,323 population and a growth rate of 2.14 since the last two decades. This implies that there is a corresponding growing need for more efforts to raise the level of awareness among the people to register the vital events of their lives - births, deaths, fetal deaths, marriages, and all such events that have something to do with an individual's entrance and departure from life together with the changes in civil status that may occur to a person during his lifetime. Two decades and three years ago, the NSO -UNICEF Multi Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) revealed that of the 1999 five million or 7 percent of the 75 million Filipinos living in the coun-try were not registered with the Local Civil Registrars. This was also supported by the CENSUS 2000 report which indicated that three out of ten Filipino children under the age of five did not have birth certificates.
It may be recalled that in 1993, the Barangay Civil Registration System (BCRS) was introduced in Region 10 to improve the low level of civil registration with the belief that if civil registration is conveyed to the barangay level , the recognized constraints (such as topographical features which made it difficult for people especially the indigenous people to travel to the town center just to have vital events registered) will be countered. The idea of BCRS was conceived largely due to the concern of this author for the less privileged and deprived sector of the populace, the indigenous peoples. It was designed to be a humble contribution and vehicle in instituting change that could propel them towards the mainstream of Philippine society while protecting their distinct cultural practices and traditions as guaranteed by the Constitution at the same time. The objective of the project is to include IPs and Muslims in the Civil Registration System; thus, including them in the privileges that complement those who are registered. BCRS was first introduced in Bukidnon and Agusan del Sur as a flagship project of Region 10 which later on became a viable model in improving the civil registration in the country. BCRS is basically a process of facilitating the registration of vital events at the barangay level through the barangay LGUs with the Barangay Secretary as the Focal Person. Putting BCRS into action has actualized the empowerment of the barangays, and has given invisible children who had been deprived of their right to a name their identity through birth registration.
Thus, it is the fervent hope of the organizers of the 5th BCRS Regional Conference that this undertaking will lead the way ahead to a more empowered and more mobilized barangays. After all, "Sa Barangay Nagsisimula Ang Pagbabago."

Region 10 Interactive Map

Click Location to visit the Provincial Office website.


Map of Region 10 Camiguin Misamis Oriental Misamis Occidental Lanao del Norte Bukidnon

Link to Partner Agencies

Partner Agencies NSO Central Office National Bureau of Invistigation Philippine National Police 10 Department of Interior and Local Government National Economic and Development AuthorityBureau of Agriculture Statistics DepEd Professional Regulatory Board Civil Service Commission Department of Foreign AffairsNational Statistics Coordination Board

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