Fri | Jan 21, 2022

Senior citizen running pillar to post for birth certificate

Published:Saturday | May 1, 2021 | 12:06 AM


I am writing this letter for the attention of Mr Charlton McFarlane, chief executive officer, Registrar General’s Department (RGD). This serves to bring to his attention the problems of Barbara Elaine Phillips. We beg for your assistance in getting her birth certificate.

1. Seventy-odd years ago Barbara Elaine Phillips entered elementary school in Portland with a birth certificate that had her three names wrongly spelt; her date of birth wrong and sex wrong. The principal gave her a card which he wrote himself, name correct, date of birth correct, sex correct, parents’ names correct and this is what she used in life to get her NIS, TRN, Voter’s ID and passport. She now needs to get her formal pension, NIS pension, and it is now one year that she has been coming to the RGD to get her birth certificate.

2. We, two retired professionals, have made more that a dozen trips from King Street, downtown Kingston to Spanish Town, we have been sent to get documents, list of relatives and we have got everything that they have asked for. We have made over a hundred phone calls where we were placed on hold for hours and listened to recordings telling us how to enrol births and deaths. Ms Phillips even went to the Ministry of Education for help. The last RGD officer, Mrs Blake-Brown, asked for the names of siblings, cousins and long-dead relatives. Barbara Elaine Phillips has provided everything the RGD has asked for. She gave the names of her 10 brothers and sisters (three of whom are dead) and she’s now being penalised because she did not give them all in order of birth.


Today, April 26, Mrs Blake-Brown suggested a new application submission which will cost more than $12,000 and a wait of another six months. Barbara Phillips lives in one room in a crossroads slump with a nephew and she is hungry. She needs her birth certificate in order to get the small amount being offered to her as pension. Please have mercy and use the documents she already has in her possession to give her the birth certificate. She needs to get her survival pension. Have mercy on Barbara Elaine Phillips.

The records of the Slipe Pen Road Comprehensive Clinic will prove how often Ms Phillips has attended regarding her arthritis and curvature of the spine. Please, do not punish Ms Phillips because of mistakes we made in telling you she was hospitalised. She has spent days at the comprehensive clinic and the nephew Mrs Blake-Brown questioned does not live with her. Do not punish her if she is not able to give information of her 10 siblings in order of their birth, she knows she is the third of 10. Thank you for Ms Phillips’ birth certificate.