See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Philippines: “Renewable Marriage Bill”

A partylist group in the Philippines wants to introduce a law that would put a ten-year expiration date on marriage contracts. The unique proposal is the group’s answer to lengthy and expensive annulment proceedings in the country. The Catholic-dominated Philippines does not have a divorce law.

According to the group, the “Renewable Marriage Bill” would “spare incompatible couples the expense of lengthy legal proceedings before their marriages are annulled.” The group added that a marriage contract “should be just like a passport or driver’s license. If we are not interested to renew it, then it expires.”

More than 500,000 marriages are administered by the Catholic Church every year with less than 10 percent getting annulled and reported.

As expected, the proposed marriage license with expiration date generated an intense reaction in the blogosphere.

Writing for Lex Fori Philippines, Oscar underscores the impact of this proposal on property relations.

If we are going to equate marriage with a driver’s license, can we then take the future spouse for a test drive? That way, both persons will be spared from having to go through renewing or not renewing the expirable marriage license and save them money from holding the costly marriage ceremony.

Supposing that marriage will expire in ten years, what will happen to the property relations after 10 years? the validity of contracts entered into by the spouses jointly? Do we liquidate the properties, terminate valid contracts, and tell the children to expect lesser legitimes in the event one or both their parents remarry and have additional children?

John Odonnell R. Petalcorin prefers a bill that would decrease the cost of annulment case proceedings

…if the proposal was conceptualized because of the expensive annulment case proceedings, I would rather propose a counter-bill to put a price cap on the cost of annulment. To make the process speedy, we can also incorporate a provision that the annulment can be approved immediately if both the husband and wife will exchange a verbally denounciation of their love for each other for three times

Ice9web Blog wonders whether a new marriage vow will be uttered in ceremonies

If this will happen, gone are the days when the marriage vows are to be taken seriously “Til death do us part”?
Now what will the vow be? Till renewal to us part?

Some said that this will be the answer here in Philippines, since we don't have divorce and annulment takes time and lots of money… is renewal really the answer?

Pinoy Politico doesn’t understand why incompatible couples have to wait for ten years before they can terminate their marriage

I don't understand why a person has to wait for a decade just to ditch his cheating wife. This is also the same for the women. If my husband beats me up everyday after 1 year of marriage, why should I wait for 9 years more? Maybe you should propose daily renewal so that you can check their marriage status.

Capt. Nemo is supportive of the proposal

well this proposition just want to address the PRESENT situation that most of the Filipino couples are facing nowadays. Based on my perception, this is for the better and a solution that treat both sexes equality regarding marriage. For annulment can be acquired by those who are capable to “pay” the process. How about the poor who want to put an end in their not working relationship, can they go with the same process?

this proposition will motivate couples to value their existing relationship. In fact, they have the FREE WILL to either renew their marriage contracts or just junk the paper after 10 years.

Jappysworld is concerned about the welfare of children if a couple decides not to renew their marriage

This is not the solution. I do understand that there are many people who couldn’t stand being married a minute longer, but what would happen to the children if this proposal takes effect. This may be beneficial to estranged couples but their children would be the one to suffer the most. It’s like saying on the 1st day after the 10th year of Marriage; a married person could do anything they want without regarding their responsibility and loyalty to their family.

Maureen Flores believes the proposed bill bypasses the sanctity of marriage

This has been a laughing matter between my husband and I over the week. We're celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary today, you see. But really, the proposed 10-year expiry on marriage contracts is not funny.

I am also expressing my sincere disapproval on this proposal. I am concerned about how it will affect families and our society itself should this be passed. The sanctity of marriage is bypassed.

19 comments

  • I’d like to comment on Oscar’s concerns about so-called test drives. In many Western countries this is actually the norm.

    France introduced a similar civic solidarity pact a few years ago – to complement, not to replace, marriage. It expires after 3 years, and was originally intended as a “marriage lite” option for homosexual couples (the benefits are also reduced).

    To the surprise of many, 90% of pacts are actually signed by hetero couples, seeing it as a convenient stepping stone to full marriage.

    I would not want to see the full marriage replaced by this, but for those who cannot or would not use it, temporary marriage (provided sufficiently long, unlike in Iran!) is a nice alternative.

  • Hi Mong,
    Thanks for including my reactions in your post (^_^)

    I’m completely against this Renewal Marriage Bill, this defile the sanctity of marriage according to The Bible.

  • […] Global Voices Online » Philippines: “Renewable Marriage Bill”. 0 […]

  • anngell

    Annullment is costly and traumatic to the wife and the children. Many men have vices – liqour, cigarettes, drugs, women. How can we solve these? Poverty goes on and on not only because of low income, vices are factors too. Add the ‘no job syndrome’. That’s why more Filipino women work outside of the country to feed their families. What about the battered wives and children, including incest? We don’t have to spend too much to renew marriage. What is important is that both are happy and vow to go on until 100 years. Renewal of vows, as to license, can also encourage fidelity and efficiency to become responsible. Not because the contract is there, the husband is free to become antagonistic and batterer. The contract can be the authentic record that after 10 years, one is a responsible person, if not, what’s the use of living together if home is not what you want. After 50 years, let’s see who makes the best decision in their lives…

  • perk

    no matter how noble the reasons of the those who proposed this bill,this will never be lawful and necessary for it simply violates the section 12 in the 2nd article of our constitution,where the family code was based from..THIS WOULD MEAN THE DEMISE OF OUR FAMILY’S MORALITY,LADIES.it is said in the family code that marriage is inviolable, so the constitution agrees with the opposition.

    para na rin nating ginawang normal ang TRIAL-AND-ERROR MENTALITY bago magpakasal.kaya nga mahal ang annulment para madiscourage ang tao na wag mag avail nito..which means,think again when you want to have the responsibility of being married knowing you’ll be stuck with your husbands for the rest of your lives.when in fact, may lokohan and gaguhan na ngyayari sa mag asawa kung yung agrabyado eh pumapayag din na mangyari yun..

    we are abolishing the essence of marriage everyone.would we want that?

    by the way,this bill will only be essential with charter change.

    -perk
    (a student)

  • Juan dela Cruz

    Till death do us part … 6 yrs relationship is not enough to test a relationship no matter how long or short it is when the responsibilities arise that is the only time you will realize that he or she is not a good partner and when you did your best and nothing changed you have to give up because you are losing yourself.There are a lot of reasons why marriage is an everyday commitment everyday task and responsibilities….hinde ipinagpapabukas…. so I suggest it should be a yearly renewal but what happens if it did not renew for five years is the marriage will it be automatically annulled?

  • anonymous

    THERE SEEM TO BE UNLIMITED # OF IDIOTS OR/AND PERSONS THAT PRETEND TO BE IDIOTS WITH EVIL MOTIVE[S: THE MAN OUGHT TO SIMPLY WRITE ON MARRIAGE CONTACT HOW LONG HE WISH TO BE MARRIED TO THE WOMAN: IF HE WISH TO BE MARRIED TO HER FOR NEXT 99 YEARS OR 99 MONTHS OR 99 WEEKS OR 99 DAYS, THAT IS WHAT IT OUGHT TO BE OR SOME OTHER # [NUMBER] & UNIT OF TIME ON THAT MARRIAGE CONTACT BY THE MAN TO HIS WOMAN. AND, HE OUGHT TO ALSO HAVE RIGHT TO HAVE S MANY WOMEN THAT WANT HIM AS HER HUSBAND, SINCE BOYFRIEND IS SAME AS HUSBAND: YES ? MOST MUSLIMS R NOT EDUCATED ABOUT THEIR RELIGIONS, THAT THEIR FOUNDER HAD A DOZEN WIVES, BUT THAT FOUNDER PUT LIMIT OF 4 AS MAXIMUM ON HIS FOLLOWERS: WHAT IF A THOUSAND WOMEN WANT TO BE MY WIVES: WHY OUGHT TO BE ME BE LIMITED TO ONLY 4, IF A THOUSAND WOMEN IN PHILIPPINES WANT TO BE MY WIVES: I WANT TO MAKE MY OWN RELIGION AND BE ABLE TO FOLLOW IT & NOT BE MANDATED BY SOME OTHER: YES ?

  • anonymous

    Para sa akin okay ito sa mga problematic marriages na talagang di na magkasundo. Kasi kung annulment ang pag-uusapan malaking pera ang kailangan para lang makamtan mo ang gusto mong kalayaan…Paano yung mga walang pera or can’t afford sa annulment? ganun na lang ba lagi yung status nila sa buhay? wala na ba silang kalayaang mag move on? Ok na rin etong ganitong panukala dahil kung talagang strong ang relationship ng mag-asawa magrerenew sila lagi ng vows nila and this is very exciting diba!!! how i wish na ganito ang ka solid ang marriage life ko kaya lang napabilang ako sa mga nagdurusang mga kakabaihan na gustong makamtan ang kalayaan…!!!

    • anonymous

      thank u for accepting my comments…sana mapadali na itong bill na ito pra mabawasan ang problema ng mga taong di kayang mag undergo ng process ng annulment…more power sa mga organizer ng batas na ito!!!

  • mai

    sana mapasa na yan ksi mrming naghihirap na kababaihan mrming tumututol siguro sila mganda at succesfull marriage nila paano nman yung hindi kaya meron binubugbog n babae or nmmtay o minmaltrato ng aswa kailangan pa ba pag tiisan ng babae yun? annulment? ilang taon aabutin bgo mtpos yun? alam natin lhat na mahal ang annulment..paanu nman yun wlang pera? pwede ba yung mga tao sa gobyerno buksan nyo mga mata nyo at tenga tulungan nyo nman yung mga nagdudusa nagtitiisa impyerno.pasalamat na rin ako sa mga taong nais magpapasa ng bill na ito..alam ko mas malawak pang unawa nyo at kaisipan kya nyo ito isinusulong.goodluck po sana maipasa na1

  • […] political group in the Philippines proposed the legislation of a Renewable Marriage law. Child brides were reported in […]

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site