Bill banning child marriage in PH gets Senate, House nod
MANILA, Philippines — The bill that would prohibit child marriages in the Philippines now only needs the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte to become a law.
This comes as the Senate and the House of Representatives ratified Monday the bicameral conference report on the disagreeing provisions of the two chambers’ respective versions of the proposed measure.
The Senate version of the bill defines child marriage as “any marriage entered into where one or both parties are children as defined in the paragraph above, and solemnized in civil or church proceedings, or in any recognized traditional, cultural or customary manner.”
Under the measure, child marriage would be considered a “public crime.”
If enacted into law, a person who causes, fixes, facilitates or arranges a child marriage shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its medium period and a fine of not less than P40,000.
Should the perpetrator be an ascendant, step-parent, or guardian of the minor, the penalty will constitute a 12-year jail time, a fine of not less than P50,000, and the loss of parental authority over the child.
Meanwhile, individuals who perform or officiate the formal rites of child marriage shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its medium period and a fine of not less than P40,000. If they are public officers, they will also be perpetually disqualified from office.
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