JIS News

Minister of Health, Hon. Horace Dalley, has urged the Joint Select Committee of Parliament to expedite deliberations for enactment of the National Registration Bill, which was tabled in the House of Representatives some five years ago.
Mr. Dalley’s prompting came at yesterday’s (Nov. 21) sitting of the House of Representatives, following concerns raised by Member of Parliament for Central Clarendon, Lester Henry, regarding delay in the passage of the Bill, which has been debated three times by the Joint Select Committee, after it was tabled by former Health Minister, John Junor, in 2000.
Mr. Dalley assured that the legislation would be brought before the Committee as soon as possible, noting that the Government shared the Opposition’s concerns.
He informed that “come the first of December, every single child born in Jamaica will have a first copy of their birth certificate given to them by the state. Each citizen will have a unique number.
Whether or not the mother pays the hospital bill, it is the policy of the government that every child will have a first copy of their birth certificate”.
If a parent requires additional copies of such a certificate however, they will be required to pay a fee.
“It is the objective and decision of the Government to have every citizen of this country registered from birth and be given a registration number and an identification card. The work of the members of the Joint Select Committee needs to be stepped up and I intend to call a meeting (of the Joint Select Committee) as soon as possible,” the Minister stressed.
The National Registration System will be a compulsory registration system, which will register all citizens from birth and persons ordinarily resident in Jamaica, issuing each person with a unique identification number.
Outlining the difference between the Registration System and the voter registration system, the Health Minister, explained that the latter was a “voluntary activity”, which occurred when citizens reached the age of 18 years.
“The national registration and voter registration purposes are undertaken by different entities,” Mr. Dalley added.