Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 6) – The House of Representatives approved on final reading House Bill 9943, which bans the practice of child marriage.
During the House session on Monday, 196 congressmen voted for the approval of the measure while two lawmakers abstained.
The bill defined child marriage as a “formal marriage between children under 18 years of age, and between an adult and a child.”
Also under the scope of child marriage in the bill are forced marriages where one or both parties do not have express “full, free, and informed” consent, and cohabitation outside of wedlock.
The measure also considers a child marriage as void ab initio, which means their union is void from the start as if it never happened.
A person who arranges a child marriage will be jailed and required to pay a fine of not less than ₱40,000. If the person who arranged the marriage is a parent or guardian of the child, the penalties are imprisonment, a fine of not less than ₱50,000, and perpetual loss of parental authority.
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