MONTEGO BAY — About 40 persons from Montego Bay and it environs received official copies of their birth certificates from Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Charles Sinclair, during a handing-over ceremony at the Montego Bay Civic Centre on Thursday (June 30).
Production of the documents for persons who could not obtain birth certificates for various reasons, was made possible through the joint effort of the St. James Parish Council and the Registrar Generals Department (RGD).
The project was part of an islandwide initiative, established some years ago, between the Ministry of Local Government and the RGD, to produce 200 birth certificates for persons within each Parish Council jurisdiction. To date, every parish has received a number of the targeted 200 certificates per parish.
Addressing participants at the birth certificate handing-over ceremony, Mayor Sinclair congratulated all the recipients, emphasizing the need for birth certificates as very critical for citizens.
“The first document that should come to your child is a birth certificate. This document identifies who that child is and it gives stability … when you look at it you can feel some level of comfort inside you, I know who I am and what I am about,” Mayor Sinclair observed.
He indicated that the process was supported by the Council members, who were asked to produce a target number of persons from each division experiencing difficulties accessing birth certificates.
Acting Regional Manager at the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) in Montego Bay, Stacy Lyle, said that every baby, upon their birth, should be registered, as every child deserves an identity.
“Over the years we have a lot of people who were not registered at birth, so we looked at what we had at the agency and in January, 2007, we implemented bedside registration, because we wanted every child to be registered upon their birth,” Ms. Lyle said.
She told JIS News that the islandwide activity was proceeding apace, and was about 70 per cent complete.
“The RGD takes pleasure in offering this service, because we know that the birth certificate is the most important document one can have…From what I have seen today, persons were glad to have received their official birth certificates,” Ms. Lyle told JIS News.
By GLENIS ROSE, JIS Reporter