Mormons digitizing Manila’s records

Manila, Philippines - Digitized records from the Church of the Latter-Day Saints will back-up documents in the civil registry of Manila archived during the period covering 1886 to 1996.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim received on Feb. 10 the first 500-gigabytes hard disk of a three-part storage of a century’s file involving up to 100 million individual entries.

“This will help a lot in servicing important documents to the people,” he told the group represented by Won Yong Ko of the Philippines Area Presidency, Robert Andrada president of the Manila Stake, Manolito Baul of the church family history and Alejandro Abalos, technical assistant of the sect’s family search department.

City Registrar Josefa Ocampo said the digitizing was based on records kept in city hall that survived destruction during World War II including typhoon Ondoy’s flooding in Sept. last year.

“Two other batches are due for delivery,” she said, adding that digitized records consisted of certificates of birth and death as well as marriage contracts.

Ocampo said the church group offered the service free of charge but the city government would have to provide the retrieval system.

She said the ideal would be an over-the-counter transaction that allowed tracing, recovery and printing of records in seconds, avoiding long cues waiting for results.

Ocampo said records would also be kept permanently in the church’s repository in Salt Lake, Utah.

She said documents were digitized in 8 to 11 megapixel format to guarantee clarity of copies.