The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill that seeks to outlaw child marriages in the Philippines.
With 21 yes votes, no negative and abstention, the chamber passed Senate Bill 1373, which seeks to protect children from abuse and other forms of exploitation.
“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,” Senator Risa N. Hontiveros-Baraquel said during Monday’s session.
Under the measure, people who arrange a child marriage will be jailed for as long as 10 years and fined at least P40,000.
A violator who is an ascendant, stepparent or guardian of the child will be jailed for as long as 12 years and fined at least P50,000. — Charmaine A. Tadalan