A Catholic priest said the decrease in the number of registered marriages in the country is probably due to couples’ fear of life-long commitment.
“My distinct impression is that the reason behind this phenomenon is the fear of life-long commitment on the part of the couples,” said Father Melvin Castro of the Diocese of Tarlac.
He said the lack of catechesis or religious instruction could be another reason.
“Probably also, some do not see the any need for the reception of the sacraments. And this latter reason is mainly because of the lack of catechesis,” said Castro.
The drop in marriages, however, no longer surprised the priest.
Castro said there has been a downtrend trajectory since some years ago.
In fact, the former official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Family and Life said it may further drop in view of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Castro said this is because many church weddings were cancelled and postponed in 2020 due to the coronavirus.
Still, he said the downtrend in marriages is “alarming.”
“It’s alarming. Now that this year marks the 500th year of Christianity in the Philippines, the Church has to embark, as always, on a renewed and re-vitalized evangelization of our people,” said Castro.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the number of registered marriages in 2019 reached 431,972, which is lower than the total registered marriages of 449,169 in 2018.
Of the total marriages in 2019, 38.6 percent were contracted through civil ceremonies. Others were either officiated in Roman Catholic Church (36.2%), performed in other religious rites (22.9%), Muslim tradition (1.4%), or Tribal ceremony (0.9%).
The highest number of registered marriages was also recorded in Calabarzon which accounted for 13.9 percent of the total. It was followed by the National Capital Region (NCR) (12.4%) and Central Luzon (11.8%).