On the right track.
A bill eyeing to recognize civil partnerships of couples of any sex was refiled in the House of Representatives by Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera. If passed into law, this bill – which is part of Herrera’s priority measures in the 19th Congress – will grant same-sex couples the same benefits enjoyed by straight married couples.
“It is about time that the Philippine government grant couples — whether they are of the opposite or of the same sex — adequate legal instruments to recognize their partnerships, respecting their dignity and recognizing equality before the law,” Herrera stated in the explanatory note of House Bill No. 1015.
The bill states that no civil partnership is valid unless those involved are: at least 18 years of age, not prohibited to enter into a civil partnership by reason of public policy such as blood relations, and are free from any existing bond of marriage or civil partnership.
People entering civil partnerships will be granted the same benefits and protections that are granted to spouses in a marriage under existing laws, administrative orders, court rulings or those derived as a matter of public policy or any other source of civil law. Those wishing to enter into a civil partnership need to separately file a sworn application to enter into a civil partnership contract with the proper local civil registrar.
There is a fine of P100,000 to P500,000 or jail time of a year to six years for people who refuse to issue civil partnership contracts despite being authorized to do so.
“Ultimately, at the core of a civil partnership are fully consenting adults who, like many Filipinos, merely wish to love, care and support each other as they build a life together during their fleeting time here on Earth,” Herrera said.
At the moment, there is no marriage equality in the Philippines with the Family Code definings marriage as a “special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman.”
A civil partnership bill was first filed in the House of Representatives in the 17th Congress by former Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez. This, however, failed to pass the committee level. oth Alvarez and Herrera refiled the bill in the 18th Congress, but it similarly got stuck in the committee.
To date, there is no counterpart bill filed in the Senate.