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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.


  • […] フィリピンの政治グループは更新制結婚法を提案した。また、マレーシアでは幼な妻問題が取り上げられた。 […]

  • paolo

    hello, your comments helped me a lot in matter loading for my debate. anyway, I am completely against this marriage renewal, isn’t it that the expiration of marriage means its null and void? so, what makes it different with annulment? don’t you think that the expiration of marriage is like having an annulment? I can’t help but think after getting married, it seems that you’ve just entered a 10-year annulment process. All documents will be renewed as well (e.g.civil status). What about the couples properties? what about their children (if they have any), will they be considered illegitimate after the expiration?

    -these are my arguments for the debate. haha, i just made a dry-run for my speech. XD

  • G

    I like this bill very much! but I think “rights of children” must be included in the bill. There should be an emphasis of what benefits will their children have especially when it comes to the childrens financial needs and moral support once parents decided not to renew their marriage vows. Though I still believe in the sanctity of marriage but if we will just look on whats happening to most of the couple now – exchanging rude words, hurting each other brutally, making their everyday lives like hell, not knowing that above all its their children that are mostly affected – i think we have to think and consider this bill because when this is the kind of “family” the child grows up there would be a tendency that the child will also adopt this kind of family he/she grows up and that will be passed on from generation to generation…I have known both man and woman tied in marriage but are no longer living together because both have different partners already and have many childrens too! and they hated each other too much! No matter how much they wanted to end their vows, they cant because they dont have the money. There are also couples staying together just to let people know that their marriage is strong but are having affairs to other man/woman. i have seen various abuse on women in marriage, and all they can do is cry. As a child, id rather be happy with my mother or father alone than watching them hurting each other for the rest of their lives. It is good and fulfilling to have a family staying together, but if being together means like hell- thats a different story. Truly,there are couples that stays together in all circumstances until their last breath and I salute them and even envies them and they are the kind of couple where LOVE is truly present but, let us open our eyes too to those couple who can not live even a single minute together, to those couple whose marriage have become hell, to those marriage where their children are the one greatly sufferings, to those marriage that can no longer be fix- this bill is for them. Let us realize that a MARRIAGE without LOVE will only bring different kind of “desease” to our nation. A child who have grown to an unhappy family / marriage will greatly affect our nation. Besides couples who truly VALUE their marriage and LOVE each other, no matter whether or not this bill will be approve will not be affected because LOVE will keep them stronger…peace to all! God bless!

  • loren

    for me… renewable marriage contract will make the marriage useless… marriage means is “till death do us part” pero saan patungo ang kasalan kung may renewable ito.. it just make no sense lang.. papakasal ka but after years mag re-renew.. useless lang.. at ang pinakakawawa dito ay ang mga anak. renewable marriage contract is really not the solution. the solution her is you yourself.

  • Belen

    Bilang babae at asawa. Pabor po ako sa bill na ito.Para naman mabigyan katoparan ang pangarap ng mga maliligayang nagsasama ng mahabang taon na. Ako po ay kasal pero nag hiwalay rin dahil sa iniwan nya ako pagkatapposng kasal namin.
    noong unag pnahon masasabi natin na tel death do us part. sa panahon ngayo sana naman maipasa ang bill na ito. bakit pa tayo gagastos ng malaki sa unulment kong pwede namang hindi. para maka avail lahat sa batas na ito. Sa unulment kasi pang mayaman lang. pano naman kaming walang pang bayad.

  • lyn

    Pabor ako sa bill na ito..bakit kailangan pa mgsama ng mg asawa kong alam nilang 2 na hindi na ito maganda,,pambobogbog ng mister sa asawa,pangangaliwa,walang respeto,at kahit na fiancial support ay hindi na maibibigay..saan naang hustisya dito.? Pano kami na mahihirap na mga babae hindi namin kaya mg file ng anulment..kaya naming buhayin ang aming mga anak pero hindi namin kayang buhayin ang pasaway na asawa.sana mapasa ang bill na ito.

    • Tony

      I agree with this “renewable marriage bill” so all unhappy couple could separate. All gold digger partner will learn how to work for their own.

  • Jose

    Many partner specially a wife who are financially Dependent on their partner will not agree with this. It’s more about money than love. Some marry only for money.
    There for I agree with this Bill.

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