MANILA (PNA) - Marriage, as recognized in the Constitution, shall be
protected and strengthened as the family is the basic
But several factors are
threatening the sanctity of marriage, including
teenage pregnancy, living together sans a civil or
church rites, adultery and concubinage.
Married couples also have
the option of petitioning for legal separation or
annulment while there are calls to legalize divorce in
"There has been a decline
in the practice of traditional Filipino values and the
lack of preparedness in entering into a supposedly
lifetime partnership," noted Sen. Rodolfo Biazon.
While the administration
solon respects the choices of Filipinos, he found it
necessary to file Senate Bill No. 1669, the Mandatory
Marriage Counseling Act, to educate soon-to-be married
couples in the rigors of marriage and how to cope with
the challenges that they will face for the rest of
"An ounce of prevention
is worth more than an ounce of cure," Biazon said.
couples are required to undergo seminars conducted by
the church where they intend to exchange "I do's."
The present laws only
prescribe marriage counseling in cases where parental
consent or advice is needed.
Under Biazon's bill,
parties seeking the issuance of a marriage license
shall attach a certificate that the contracting
parties have undergone counseling.
The certificate shall be
issued by a priest, imam or minister authorized to
solemnize marriage or a marriage counselor duly
accredited by the proper government agency.
If a couple fails to
attach said certificate, their marriage license would
not be released until after three months.
If the issuing officer
releases the license before the three-month period has
lapsed, he will be subject to administrative sanctions
but the marriage remains valid.
Biazon added that he is
against any law that would legalize divorce because
"it will not improve the situation regarding
"It could even make
marriages fragile and prone to further deterioration
because of the availability of an escape clause," he said. "Divorce provides
an open door that can be used anytime one of the partners feels
like doing so."