MANILA- the House of Representatives on Tuesday brooked a bill that will ease up marriage annulment proceedings by recognizing church-decreed annulments as civil resolutions.
House bill 6779 or the “An Act Recognizing the Civil Effects of Church Annulment Decrees”, as co-authored by Yedda Marie Romualdez and Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia, received 203 go-votes out of the 293 legislators and was deemed by Romualdez as a resolve to Pope Francis’ call to provide Catholics a means to mend “irreparable marriages.”
According to the proposed law, “whenever a marriage, duly and legally solemnized by a priest, minister, rabbi or presiding elder of any church or religious sect in The Philippines is subsequently annulled in accordance with the canons or precepts of the church or religious sect, the said annulment shall have the same effect as a decree of annulment issued by a competent court.”
This clarifies that the law works not only in the domains of the Catholic faith but on all religions recognized by the state.
The proponent of this new mandate ensures also that this fast-tracking of marriage annulments does not step over the provisions of the Family Code of the Philippines.
Still, neither of the couple may remarry without first recording their annulment in the civil registry and complying with the requirements of the family code which includes an execution of the public document on property partition and child support and custody, “otherwise the subsequent marriage shall be null and void,” the bill read.
The bill says also that “in case the ground for the church annulment decree is not similar to any of the grounds provided in the Family Code of the Philippines, their common children born or conceived before the issuance of the church annulment shall be considered legitimate.
House of Representatives. PHOTO COURTESY OF HoR PUBLIC AFFAIRS BUREAU