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The Government will be underwriting more than $24 million to provide birth certificates for 18,000 children, whose names are not on birth records at the Registrar General’s Department (RGD).
This was disclosed by Minister of Health, Horace Dalley, on August 17, at the official opening of the RGD’s Portmore Regional Office located at Portmore Pines, St. Catherine.
The 18,000 children, who were born between January 1, 2003 and August 31, 2004, are now eligible to enter the Basic School system.
Mr. Dalley pointed out that the RGD would waive the Late Entry of Name fee of $2,000 for these 18,000 children and allow parents to complete the registration and add the name of the child. When this is done, the parents will also get a copy of the birth certificate for the child at a cost of $500.
The Minister also announced that effective January 1, 2007, children born in Jamaica would receive their birth certificates free of cost. This, he said, was in keeping with the Government’s desire to ensure that Jamaicans have proper records.
The RGD will be spending the time leading up to September 11, when this initiative will be implemented, to prepare for the influx of applications that they are anticipating.
Teams from the RGD will be posted islandwide to accept applications, making it easier for customers to access the service.
The organization will also be undertaking a public education campaign to inform the public as to where applications may be made.
Minister Dalley implored parents and guardians to make every effort to follow the instructions of the RGD, so that their children could be fully registered.
The 18,000 children are part of a larger cohort of 80,000 children born between the period January 1, 2003 and August 31, 2004.