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More parents are registering their children’s births, leading to a decline in non-registration from 1.7 per cent to 0.13 per cent over the seven-year period from 1998 to 2005.
“We have reduced the number of births that go unregistered from 881 in 1998 to 60 in 2005, so we have moved from 1.7 per cent of unregistered births within a year to 0.13 per cent and that’s a significant improvement,” said Chief Executive Officer of the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), Dr. Patricia Holness.
The RGD Head, who was speaking at yesterday’s (Aug.17) official opening of the Department’s Portmore branch, attributed the improvements to the “dogged determination on the part of the RGD to create a change in attitudes toward registrations”.
On other matters, she informed that the RGD was enjoying several successes, with over 1,200 applications being processed through the on-line service, which was introduced in July, and a 97 per cent success rate for the express service. “This means that .within three hours of having made a payment, the certificates are ready,” she noted.
The Portmore office, located at Shop 5 Portmore Pines Plaza, is the ninth regional office to be opened since the RGD became an executive agency in 1999.The facility, established at a cost of $11.6 million, is the first to offer six-day service, from Monday to Saturday between the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. “We have also introduced a new IP telephony interactive telephone system to make the service offered by the RGD more accessible,” Dr. Holness informed.
Additionally, plans are underway to open another regional office in Clarendon. Meanwhile, Minister of Health, Horace Dalley, in his remarks at the function, gave the Ministry’s commitment to assist the RGD to source a larger facility for its regional office in Kingston, located on Trevennion Road
He noted that requests for the services offered by the RGD in Kingston have grown tremendously and so “I will make a public commitment to the people of Kingston that the RGD will find a suitable location for the office in Kingston”.