A representative calls on the House of Representatives leaders to speed up the finalization of the three bills against child marriage, which are still under works.
Bagong Henerasyon Partylist Rep. Bernadette Herrera, who drafted the bills, said that the cases of child marriages remain void as it is still not taken into law.
Once the bill is approved at the House of Representatives, a bicameral conference committee will then be conducted by the Senate counterparts.
The House Bill No. 1486 deems a child marriage illegal at any point of the relationship.
On November 9, the Senate enacted the Senate Bill No. 1373 or the “Girls not Brides Act” in a unanimous vote.
The “Girls not Brides Act” seeks to sanction those who participate―in whatever form―between a child marriage. Violators be sentenced from 8 days and a day to 12 years imprisonment and a penalty of P40,000 and above.
Sponsored by Senator Risa Hontiveros, the “Girls not Brides Act” considers marriage between minors (persons below 18 years old) or between an adult and a minor a “public crime”.
“The issue of child, early and forced marriages is one that is largely invisible to us here in Metro Manila, but it is a tragic reality for scores of young girls who are forced by economic circumstances and cultural expectations to shelve their own dreams. begin families they are not ready for, and raise children even when their own childhoods have not yet ended,” Hontiveros said after it was approved.
She continued, “Today, we give our girls a chance to dream, a chance to define their futures according to their own terms. We defend their right to declare when they are ready to begin their families. We tell them their health matters to us. Their education matters to us. We give them a fighting chance.”
Photo Credit: Facebook/Jonathan Pira