House bill seeks to allow congressmen to officiate weddings

Published February 9, 2021, 4:09 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

A bill proposing to grant members of the House of Representatives the authority to solemnize marriages was  discussed in the chamber on Tuesday, February 9.

(PIXABAY / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

House Bill No. 6934 was one of the measures taken up in a hearing conducted by the House Committee on Revision Laws.

The bill,  filed by Batangas Rep. Mario Vittorio “Marvey” Mariño, seeks to amend the Family Code of the Philippines to include House members among the officials who can solemnize marriages.

“Members of the House of Representatives, specifically those who represent legislative districts, have lives that are already intertwined with their constituents,” Mariño explained in filing the bill.

“Congressmen and congresswomen are, more often than not, invited to frequent barangay or town fiestas and other events, individual celebrations such as birthdays, baptisms, funerals, and weddings,” he added.

The lawmaker said his proposal would “provide [their] constituents with another option for less expensive, convenient, and practical means to enter into marriage.”

Under the current Family Code, marriages can be solemnized by:

1. Incumbent members of the judiciary within the court’s jurisdiction; 

2. Priests, rabbi, imam, or minister of any church or religious sect duly authorized by his church or religious sect and registered with the civil registrar general;

3. A ship captain or airplane chief for marriages between passengers or crew members in cases of articulo mortis, or when one of the parties is at the point of death while at sea or in flight, or during stopovers;

4. A military commander of a unit to which a chaplain is assigned, in the absence of the latter, during a military operation or marriages in articulo mortis; and,

5. Any consul-general, consul or vice-consul of the Philippines for marriages between Filipino citizens abroad.

Members of the House committee agreed to discuss the measure further in a technical working group meeting along with other bills concerning marriage and seeking to amend the Family Code.

 
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