A House leader on Thursday said the new law banning child marriage in the country is a big step towards ensuring that the children’s rights will be upheld and their well-being and future secured.
House Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera said Republic Act No. 11596 prohibits and declares child marriage as illegal and imposes penalties against violators.
Herrera also highlighted that under the law, the solemnization of child marriage and cohabitation of an adult with a child outside wedlock are considered unlawful acts.
“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.
Herrera said the time has come for the Philippines to end the “longstanding disturbing practice” of child marriage.
Child marriage, she said, is a form of violence against children.
“Thank you PRRD (President Rodrigo Duterte) for giving a chance to this law,” the party-list lawmaker said.
Child marriage refers to any marriage entered into where one or both parties are children and solemnized in civil or church proceedings, or in any recognized traditional, cultural, or customary manner. It shall include an informal union or cohabitation outside of wedlock between an adult and a child, or between children.
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 11596, also known as An Act Prohibiting the Practice of Child Marriage and Imposing Penalties, was signed by Duterte on Dec. 10, 2021 and a copy of the document was released to reporters on Thursday.
In signing the law, Duterte recognizes the need to abolish all traditional and cultural practices and structures that perpetuate discrimination, abuse, and exploitation of children such as the practice of child marriage.
The law provides that any 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 PHP40,000.
Source: Philippines News Agency