Bill sets civil solidarity pacts for live-in unions

Bill sets civil solidarity pacts for live-in unions

/ 05:30 AM June 17, 2024

Bill sets civil solidarity pacts for live-in unions

Inquirer file photo

MANILA, Philippines — Saying the traditional concept of family as the basic unit of society has evolved, a lawmaker has filed a bill allowing civil solidarity pacts in the Philippines, similar to France’s Pacte Civil de Solidarité (PACS), to ensure that legal protections and benefits enjoyed by married couples also extend to live-in partners, even those of the same sex.

Cavite Rep. Crispin Diego Remulla’s House Bill No. 10462, or the proposed “Solidarity Pact Act,” has been referred to the House committee on population and family relations. In his explanatory note, he cited 2020 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority that showed 14.7 percent, or 12.66 million Filipinos, were in cohabitation or common-law relationships, up from 9.2 percent, or 7.24 million, in 2015.


“Love knows no bounds, yet within the legal framework of the Philippines, a gap exists that fails to fully recognize and protect the rights of couples who opt for cohabitation,” Remulla said.


READ: PSA: 2020 saw 12.66 million PH common-law partners

He noted that PACS was introduced in France in the late 1990s as a “legally recognized union between two individuals that offers some legal protections and benefits similar to marriage but does not carry the same cultural or religious significance.”

HB 10462, he said, would be a significant step toward equality and inclusivity as it recognizes the “diverse tapestry of relationships that exists and affirms the rights of couples to choose the form of partnership that best reflects their values and beliefs.”

Requirements for partners

The measure defines a civil solidarity pact as a “legal relationship between two persons, of either the opposite or same sex” with both parties referred to as “partners.” For it to be valid, partners must be at least 21 years old, unmarried, and not part of an existing pact.

Both should have proof of at least five years of cohabitation, freely give their consent to the pact in the presence of a legally authorized administering officer, and secure a valid license for the pact from the local civil registrar in their place of residence.

They must also have a ceremony where they appear before the administering officer and declare that they take each other as legal partners in the presence of at least two witnesses.


“In the absence of a pre-civil solidarity pact agreement or when the regime agreed upon is void, the regime of absolute community of property (conjugal property) shall be implemented,” the bill states. It recognizes written pre-civil solidarity pact agreements signed by both parties and contained in a public instrument where partners may choose between absolute community of property, total or partial separation of property, or any other regime as provided in the Family Code.

Same laws

Under the bill, the laws of marital relations, including donations because of marriage, legal separation, adoption, child custody and support, property division and maintenance, and spousal support, shall apply to partners; and their rights for a child shall be the same as those of a married couple.

Laws on the transfer or inheritance of conjugal properties will be the same as those applied to married couples, and partners will automatically have insurable interest over each other and may avail themselves of benefits relating to insurance, health and pension benefits.

Labor benefits and privileges given to employees based on marital status shall also be enjoyed by those who enter into a civil solidarity pact.

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Should both sides decide to dissolve the pact, the procedures and grounds for legal separation, annulment, and declaration of nullity of marriages under the Family Code will apply. A partner who commits infidelity and violates the pact faces up to four to six years in prison.

TAGS: Crispin Diego Remulla, Live In

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