Male foreigners who have the intention to marry Filipinas will now have to comply with additional requirements after the House of Representatives approved on final reading House Bill 2387, which aims to protect Filipino women against exploitation.
The bill, which was proposed by former Cebu governor and current third district Representative Gwendolyn Garcia, amends the purpose of Article 21 of Executive Order No. 209, or the Family Code of the Philippines.
Garcia is optimistic that the objective of the bill, which was strongly endorsed by Representative Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, chairperson of the sponsor – House Committee on Revision of Laws, would also earn the support of the Upper House.
“The main objective of HB 2387 is to protect Filipino women against exploitation by foreigners who marry them without evident means to support a family”, Garcia explained.
Garcia pointed out the “public knowledge that some of the foreigners coming to the Philippines in order to marry Filipino women are vagabonds or social and moral derelicts in their own country and whose real motive for marriage is only to take advantage and exploit our women by making them work and worse, by sending them to prostitution and other degrading and dehumanizing occupations.”
“The exploitations of our women, thru the so-called mail-order or pen-pal, Facebook, website and other internet-arranged marriages, have caused not only untold miseries and sufferings for the victims but also brought dishonor and disgrace to Filipino womanhood”, Garcia emphasized.
According to HB 2387, foreign male citizens who intend to marry a Filipina are obliged to provide certificates stating his good moral character and that he has a gainful trade, business, employment or other lawful source of income.
In line with this, the measure seeks to amend the current Section 21 of the Family Code of the Philippines by adding the following: “…when the male contracting party is a foreigner, in addition to the certificate of legal capacity, a certificate of good moral character and a certificate of gainful trade, business employment or other lawful source of income issued by his diplomatic or consular official, must be submitted before a marriage license can be obtained.”
At present, Sec. 21 only provides that: “When either or both of the contracting parties are citizens of a foreign country, it shall be necessary for them before a marriage license can be obtained, to submit a certificate of legal capacity contract marriage, issued by their respective diplomatic or consular officials.”
Likewise, “stateless persons or refugees from other countries shall, in lieu of the certificate herein required, submit an affidavit stating the circumstances showing such capacity to contract marriage.”
The Department of Justice, in coordination with the Department of foreign Affairs, department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippines Commission of
Women, Commission of Filipinos Overseas and Philippine Statistics Authority, shall promulgate the rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of the proposed Act within 90 days from enactment.