SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House of Representatives approved on second reading House Bill 6779 which seeks to recognize the civil effects of church-decreed annulment.
The bill provides that whenever a marriage, duly and legally solemnized by a priest, minister, rabbi or presiding elder of any church or religious sect in the Philippines is subsequently annulled, dissolved or declared a nullity in a final judgment or decree in accordance with the canons or precepts of the church or religious sect.
The annulment, dissolution or declaration of nullity shall have the same effect as a decree of annulment, dissolution or declaration of nullity issued by a competent court.
The measure provides that the status of children of marriages subject of the church annulment decree shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order No. 209, otherwise known as the "Family Code of the Philippines".
In case the ground for the church annulment decree is not similar to any of the grounds provided in the Family Code of the Philippines, their common children born or conceived before the issuance of the church annulment shall be considered legitimate.
On the other hand, the liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, the custody and support of the common children, and the delivery of their presumptive legitimes shall be agreed by the spouses, and embodied in a public document. In case no agreement is met, the provisions of the Family Code of the Philippines shall be in force.
Furthermore, the bill specifies the church annulment decree shall be recorded in the appropriate civil registries together with the agreement of the spouses required in the preceding section within 30 days from issuance of the church annulment decree subject to the conditions that may be imposed by the church or religious sect.
Without prejudice to the conditions set forth by the church or religious sect, either of the former spouses may marry again after complying with the requirements of the preceding paragraph and Article 52 of the Family Code of the Philippines, otherwise the subsequent marriage shall be null and void.
In securing a marriage license, the spouse involved must present a certified true copy of the church annulment decree registered with the appropriate civil registry.
Authors of the bill are Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia and Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez (1st District, Leyte). / MVIP