Anti-Child Marriage Law IRR signed

Published December 7, 2022, 1:17 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz


The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday, Dec. 7 led the signing of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 11596, also known as “An Act Prohibiting the Practice of Child Marriage.”

DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo, in his message read by Undersecretary Jerico Francis Javier, assured that with the signing of the IRR of RA 11596, “children are now against any person who causes, fixes, facilitates, arranges, performs, or officiates child marriage.”

“Sisiguraduhin natin na mapoprotektahan natin ang bawat batang Pilipino at matigil natin ang anumang uri ng kasal na sangkot ang sinumang bata o menor de edad (We will ensure that we can protect every Filipino child and stop any type of marriage involving any child or minor),” Tulfo said.

He added that the DSWD and other partners from the government guarantee that there are adequate programs for the children, such as legal and counseling services, access to health and psychological services, access to educational programs, provision of skills development and livelihood assistance, and other necessary interventions to protect the victims of child marriage and their offsprings.

“This is the fruit of our labor and a testament and our love for all Filipino children. In crafting this IRR, the Department of Social Welfare and Development as the lead implementer of the law ensured that all children will be protected and prevented into entering into any kind of child marriage that will be detrimental to their overall development as a productive citizen,” Tulfo said.

According to the DSWD, RA 11596 is a criminal law and “applies to everyone regardless of beliefs, culture, practice, religion, and ethnicity.”

“The State affirms that a marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of capacitated parties, and that child betrothal and marriage shall have no legal effect,” the DSWD said.

“The State views child marriage as a practice constituting child abuse because it debases, degrades, and demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of children,” it added.

Tulfo expressed his gratitude to DSWD’s partners and other government agencies who have been part of the technical working group that crafted the IRR of RA 11596.

“Particularly, I laud the Commission on Human Rights, Council for the Welfare of Children, Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Justice, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, Philippine Commission on Women, Supreme Court, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Children’s Fund, Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development, and the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief Philippines for your active participation,” Tulfo said.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to call on the NCIP (National Commission on Indigenous Peoples) and the NCMF (National Commission on Muslim Filipinos) to intensify efforts in communicating the provisions of this IRR to the hard to reach indigenous people and Muslim communities,” he added.

“As our partners in crafting the IRR, be once again one with us in making sure that the law will be fully implemented and that all children will benefit from it,” he said.