The Child Rights Network (CRN) lauded the Senate on Monday for voting unanimously in favor of a bill prohibiting and declaring child marriage as illegal.
The Senate approved on Nov. 9 Senate Bill No. 1373, the “Girls not Brides” bill. Under the bill, any person who causes, fixates, facilitates, or arranges a child marriage shall be fined P40,000 or suffer the penalty of prison mayor in its minimum period.
The child rights group said the enactment of the bill into law will ensure greater protection for children who are rendered disempowered and further marginalized.
The CRN said the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) works hand-in-hand with the partners working on the issue, particularly in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), in order to provide evidence from the experiences of the affected communities.
“PLCPD spearheaded the development of a policy measure that will prohibit child marriage and facilitated consultations with key affected population to ensure that the bill represents the call from communities – women and youth from UnyPhil and Al-Mujadilah Development Foundation, Inc. (AMDF) areas in BARMM – who were instrumental in the crafting of this policy measure,” Dongeto added.
The CRN has also called on the House of Representatives to show unequivocal support to ending child marriage in the country by prioritizing the deliberation on the pending bills in time for the celebration of the National Children’s Month.