/ 10 January 2022

SENATOR Leila de Lima lauded the signing into law of a bill that ends the practice of child marriage in the Philippines.

De Lima, co-author of the anti-child marriage bill at the Senate, said that Republic Act 11596, or An Act Prohibiting the Practice of Child Marriage and Imposing Penalties for Violations Thereof, will help build better future for children.

“With the passage of the law against child marriage, children, particularly young girls, now have hope for a future of their own choosing. With this new law, it is hoped that they will grow into strong, unshackled and fulfilled persons in their own right, who will fight for their rights and the rights of others,” she said.

“We will continue to ensure that the victories we gain will not be diminished by deeply-seated misogyny and the unjust social structures that deprive many children, especially young girls and women of the right to live their life in freedom and dignity,” she added.

The law defines child marriage as any marriage entered into where one or both parties are children, under 18 years of age, and solemnized in civil or church proceedings, or in any recognized traditional, cultural, or customary manner.

It also banned the cohabitation of an adult and a child, or between children.

De Lima said the new law reminds children that there are other options and opportunities awaiting them.

“Huwag nating ipagkait ang kanilang mga karapatan. Obligasyon ng Estado, ng mga magulang at nating mga nakatatanda na gabayan sila, bigyang lakas at kakayahan para panghawakan at hubugin ang kanilang kinabukasan,” she said.