GENERAL SANTOS CITY (April 21, 2022) - The Birth, Death, and Marriage Division of the Office of the Local Civil Registrar, General Santos City, facilitated the Orientation for Solemnizing Officers on the at the Red Tree Events Production, Barangay Dadiangas East, General Santos City. As part of the opening amenities, participants were welcomed immediately upon entering the venue. All participants must confirm their attendance at the seminar by registering their names.

The seminar started with an opening prayer and the singing of the national anthem. Ms. Marlene C. Pelayo, MPA, the LCR Assistant Department Head, then delivered a warm welcome address followed by an inspirational message from Ms. Nenita Flores-Ellivera, MPA, LCR Department Head. While Mr. Dexter Imperial, Section Chief of the Marriage Section, discussed administrative concerns.

Moreover, Ms. Shyla Marie M. Deticio, Registration Officer IV of the Philippine Statistic Authority Region XII shared a short message. Afterward, Mr. Ismael B. Ramos Jr., the Chief Statistics Specialist of the Philippine Statistic Authority, introduced the resource person, Mr. Rodelio Dela Fuente, Registration Officer III of the Philippine Statistics Authority, Central Office-Civil Registrar Services.

Mr. Rodelio Dela Fuente, the leading resource person for the seminar, gave a brief introduction to the roles and responsibilities of solemnizing officers. He reminded everyone that solemnizing a marriage is a noble act, and not everybody will have the privilege to perform it. He emphasized that only officers vested with authority can solemnize a marriage. Rule 2.2 of Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 2021 defined a solemnizing officer as an officer vested with the power to solemnize or officiate the union of a man and a woman following the law or with the rites, practices, and ceremonies as prescribed or granted by their religion/religious sect or ethnic aggrupation.

He then stressed that under Article 7 of the Family Code of the Philippines, a marriage would be solemnized by any incumbent member of the judiciary; any priest, rabbi, imam, or minister; any ship captain or airplane chief; any military commander; or any consul-general, consul, or a vice-consul.

Additionally, the municipal or city mayor may also solemnize marriages. Mr. Rodelio also reminded everyone that solemnizing officers should register their authority to solemnize marriage at the Philippine Statistics Authority and secure a Certificate of Registration of Authority to Solemnize Marriage (CRASM).

Before performing a marriage ceremony, Mr. Rodelio emphasized that solemnizing officers must follow all legal conditions for marriage solemnization. He also discussed the functions and responsibilities of a solemnizing officer in detail. Following Mr. Dela Fuente's presentation, Mr. Dexter Imperial spoke briefly about the usual challenges and errors that the Office of the Local Civil Registrar encounters when registering marriage contracts. He then introduced and demonstrated how to use the Philippine Civil Registry Information System (PhilCRIS) systematically.

The participants raised questions after discussing the topics, and Mr. Rodelio then answered. The facilitators expressed their gratitude to Mr. Rodelio Dela Fuente for gracing the event and accepting the invitation to deliver the lecture. The facilitators also expressed their appreciation to the attendees who actively participated in the seminar. A post-event evaluation survey was conducted to collect insights from the attendees as the seminar ended.

Forty (40) participants responded to the given evaluation survey about the seminar. The result shows that 100% of the participants were satisfied with the resource people and their delivery of the contents. However, 42.5% of the participants expressed at least neutrality up to dissatisfaction with the food served, and 37.5% with the venue.

Based on the findings, the facilitators and participants gave further recommendations to look for a bigger and better venue to encourage active participation from attendees. These inputs will be considered for future events to be conducted by the facilitators.

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