Bill banning, criminalizing child marriage in PH lapsed into law — solon | Inquirer News
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Bill banning, criminalizing child marriage in PH lapsed into law — solon

/ 12:01 PM January 06, 2022
Bill banning child marriage in PH gets Senate, House nod

Child marraige. (Shutterstock/File)

MANILA, Philippines — A bill banning child marriages in the country, including cohabitation with a minor, has lapsed into law, with corresponding penalty for violators, House Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera, one of the authors of the law, said Thursday.

Herrera said that Malacañang has confirmed that the “End Child Marriage Bill” passed at the House of Representatives has lapsed into law on December 11, and is now known as Republic Act No. 11596, after President Rodrigo Duterte did not act on the measure 30 days upon submission to his office.

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“This is a major victory in our campaign to end child marriage in the Philippines. This law will help protect children, especially young girls, and hopefully change the trajectory of their lives,” Herrera said in a statement.

Under the law, the solemnization of child marriage and cohabitation of an adult with a child outside wedlock are considered unlawful acts.

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A fine of at least P40,000 and jail term of up to 12 years await solemnizing officers, parents, guardians, or adults who fixed, facilitated, or arranged child marriage.

Herrera said the law  would end the “longstanding disturbing practice” of child marriage in the Philippines, which she said is a form of violence against children.

“This new law is a big step towards ensuring that the children’s rights will be upheld and their well-being and future secured,” she said.

Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas, meanwhile, said said the law is a major step towards ensuring stronger protection of children from sexual abuse and effects of early marriage.

“This is a historic step towards the criminalization of child marriage, which has trapped several Filipino girls into unwanted and early child-bearing and child-rearing responsibilities and even into cycles of abuse,” Brosas said in a separate statement.

“The legislation’s approval also comes a time when teenage pregnancy in the country is on an alarming rise amid the pandemic, with a child as young as 10 giving birth. We really need to step in and stop the trend while we seek to strengthen protective and support services for children,” he added.

INQUIRER.net is getting Palace’s confirmation regarding the lapse of the measure into law.

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