Virtual Marriage Act filed to the House of Representatives
With current restrictions on social gatherings, Representative Ron P. Salo filed the House Bill No. 7042, or the Virtual Marriage Act.
Among the amendments, the following are required to validate the marriage:
- Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female
- Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer. Presence may either be physical or virtual. If virtual, the contracting parties must be physically present together in the same location.
The requisites for the marriage include the authority of the solemnizing officer, a valid marriage license (with certain exceptions), and a marriage ceremony that takes place with the physical or virtual appearance of the contracting parties before the solemnizing officer. A religious rite for the solemnization of the marriage is not required.
If the marriage is performed virtually, the certificate of marriage must be notarized prior to its registration with the local civil registrar to ensure its authenticity and due execution, and to ascertain the identity of contracting parties properly.
The Virtual Marriage Act aims to help those looking to get married, even without the physical presence of a solemnizing officer. It amends Articles 2, 3, 6, and 10 of the Family Code of the Philippines, and covers Filipino citizens who are living abroad.
Salo noted that the Family Code took effect more than 30 years ago, and technological advancements have overtaken its provisions. He also stated, “The legal meaning of presence or personal appearance must now be liberally construed to include virtual presence or presence through videoconferencing.”
— Erwin Colcol (@erwincolcol) June 30, 2020