Bill seeks to amend Family Code

By on June 28, 2014


Photo by Robert Viñas / PCOO
Photo by Robert Viñas / PCOO

MANILA  — Lawmakers filed a measure amending the Family Code’s provisions on marriage and family relations.

HB 4613 authored by Deputy Speaker Henedina Abad (Lone District, Batanes) and Rep. Kaka Bag-ao (Lone District, Dinagat Islands) seeks to eliminate discrimination against women relating to marriage of a son or daughter and matters relating to family relations.

Abad said the bill mandates that the best interest of the family and children be considered in making decisions on matters involving exercise of parental authority and administration of properties during their marriage.

Abad cited the Constitution’s Article II Section 14 which recognizes the role of women in nation-building and shall ensure equality of women and men before the law.

The bill seeks to amend Article 14, 96, 124, 211 and 225 of Executive Order No. 209 (Family Code of the Philippines).

Abad said Article 14 of the Code gives undue preference to the father in giving consent to marriage of a son or daughter.

“Article 14 states that in case either or both the contracting parties, not having been emancipated by a previous marriage, are between the ages of 18 and 21, they shall, in addition to requirements of the preceding articles, exhibit to the local civil registrar, consent to their marriage of their father, mother, surviving parent guardian or persons having legal charge over them, in the order mentioned,” Abad explained.

Abad said the bill proposes to amend this particular provision by changing the comma after the word father to OR which also gives the mother the opportunity to decide on the marriage of a son or daughter.

At present, Abad said Articles 96 and 124 provide joint administration by the husband and wife of absolute community (COMMUNAL?) property and conjugal partnership of gains which under the law gives preference to decision of the husband in case of disagreement.

Under the bill, Article 96 will read: “The administration of the community property shall belong to both spouses jointly; any exercise of acts of administration by either spouse without the consent of the other shall be without effect, until it is subsequently approved by the non-consenting spouse. Either spouse may elevate the matter before the court within 5 years from the date the contract was entered by the parties thereto, or upon knowledge of the non-consenting spouse, whichever comes later, the court, in deciding the case, shall take into consideration the best interest of the family, damages and expenses of litigation which did not redound tot eh benefit of the family shall be borne by the contracting spouse and shall not be charged to the community property.”

Abad said Article 124 on administration of the conjugal partnership of the Family Code is likewise amended to include the paragraphs “any exercise of acts of administration by either spouse without the consent of the other shall be without effect, until it is subsequently approved by the non-consenting spouse. Either spouse may elevate the matter before the court within 5 years from the date the contract was entered by the parties thereto, or upon knowledge of the non-consenting spouse, whichever comes later, the court, in deciding the case, shall take into consideration the best interest of the family, damages and expenses of litigation which did not redound to the benefit of the family shall be borne by the contracting spouse and shall not be charged to the conjugal partnership.”

On the other hand, Bag-ao said Articles 211 and 225 give joint parental authority over the person and legal guardianship over property of the common children to both parents (CHILDREN COMMON TO BOTH PARENTS?).

Again, in case of disagreement, the father’s decision should be followed.

Bag-ao said the proposed measure corrects this by inserting the phrase “either spouse may elevate the matter before the court, which shall decide, taking into consideration the best interest of the children.”