January 14, 2010

Women’s Party-List Group Propose Marriage Expiration

A women party-list group running in the upcoming May 2010 elections plans to propose in Congress a law that would place an expiration period for marriages, unless renewed by the couple.

Women’s party-list group 1-Ako Babaeng Astig Aasenso (1-ABAA) President Marjie Tajon said that this bill will benefit abandoned and separated women forced to become single parents and save numerous couples trapped in marriages gone sour. Also this will spare couples from the expensive and lengthy process of annulment. The proposal suggests that marriages be tagged with a 10-year validity and if couples fail to renew it, their marriage will be null and void.

1-ABAA claims to represent the abandoned and separated women as well as women involved in livelihood and community projects and programs, women entrepreneurs and workers, and other advocates of economic empowerment for women.

In an interview during a news forum held at the Danarra Hotel in Quezon City last January 7, 2010, President Tajon said that marriage should be like a driver’s license or passport; that if you are not interested to renew it, then it expires. Such would allow couples to head their separate ways easily when the marriage expires. However, the measure will also allow couples assess their relationship and renew their vows and commitment to one another, which will strengthen the relationship of the husband and wife.

President Tajon clarified that it’s the marriage itself that they would like to have an expiration period since the marriage license already has one. According to Article 20 Chapter I of the Family Code, a marriage license is valid for only one hundred twenty (120) days, roughly four months from the date of issue. Also, the 1-ABAA representative said that they are not ‘waging war’ against the Catholic Church. “Dynamism is needed in our laws to adapt to the changing times and prevailing situations without necessarily putting aside values and traditions”, stressed Tajon.

Even though the bill hasn’t been put to writing, oppositions to the idea have surfaced. Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)-Public Affairs Committee (PAC) chairman Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez said that marriage is for life and should have no expiry date. Couples wishing to get married should be prepared for this long-term commitment.

Gabriela Representative Luzviminda Ilagan said that the proposal of 1-ABAA will just create more social problems and will allow more children to suffer the consequences of separation. Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao, chairman of the House committee on Revision of Laws and Citizens Battle Against Corruption Rep. Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales said that the proposal is ‘unconstitutional’ since it runs contrary to the Family Code of the Philippines and the Constitution.

Title 1 Chapter 1 Article 1 of the Family Code states that a “marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life”.

In an interview with Journal Online, senatorial candidate and Party-list representative Liza Maza said that the proposal “could even tolerate the cycle of violence to continue as long as the contract has not yet expired”. Instead, Rep. Maza proposed the passage of House Bill No. 4016 or the Divorce Law in the Philippines.

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Kasal.com thanks the following sources for this article:

Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News. 'Renewable marriage' proposed (Posted January 11, 2010). Retrieved January 12, 2010 from

Sison, Jose C., The Philippine Star. A Law Each Day (Keeps Trouble Away) Ridiculous. (Posted January 11, 2010). Retrieved January 12, 2010 from

Pamintuan, Ana Marie, The Philippine Star. Sketches - Marriage expiration (Posted January 11, 2010). Retrieved January 12, 2010 from

Beltran, Raul, Journal Online. Maza pushes for divorce bill (Posted January 11, 2010). Retrieved January 12, 2010 from

Pacpaco, Ryan Ponce, Journal Online. 10-year marriage opposed (Posted January 10, 2010). Retrieved January 12, 2010 from

Echeminada, Perseus, The Philippine Star. Marriage itself, not marriage license, should be subject to expiration period' (Posted January 10, 2010). Retrieved January 12, 2010 from

Echeminada, Perseus, The Philippine Star. Women's group wants expiry date on marriage (Posted January 08, 2010). Retrieved January 12, 2010 from

Lapeña, Carmela, GMANews.TV. Why marriages need expiration dates (Posted January 8, 2010). Retrieved January 12, 2010 from

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