Press Release
April 3, 2019

Nancy wants 'gender equality' on marital consent of parents

There remains a provision in the Family Code of the Philippines, despite reforms undertaken addressing gender equality, which unduly prejudices women.

Thus said Sen. Nancy Binay who seeks to amend a provision on marital consent of the father to the marriage of a child between the ages of 18 and 21.

Such provision, Binay said, clearly shows the preferred consent of the father to the marriage of a child over the consent of the mother.

"There is no rational explanation for the preference for paternal marital consent. The Family Code itself recognizes that, save for certain instances, men and women, as regards their children, are partners of equal status and thus exercise joint parental authority," she said in seeking to amend Article 14 of Executive Order No. 209.

"This bill proposes to eliminate vestige of gender insensitive provisions of Family Code and strengthen the equality of men and women, particularly in their family relations," she added.

Under the existing Family Code, which came into effect on Aug. 3, 1988, women are supposed to be no longer subservient to men and became an equal partner in various family matters concerning, among others, the community property and parental authority.

The consent to the marriage of "either parent, the guardian or persons having legal charge" of either or both of the contracting parties who are between the ages of 18 and 21, should suffice in applying for a marriage license, Binay said in proposing the amendment.

Such consent shall be manifested in writing by the interested party, who personally appears before the proper civil registrar or in the form of affidavit made in the presence of two witnesses and attested to before any official authorized by law to administer oaths, Binay added.

The personal manifestation shall be attached to the application for marriage license and the affidavits, Binay further added.

Senate Bill No. 1952 remains pending before the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality.

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