Category: General Topics


07 - 24 -1 (1)

It has been more than a year since we featured House Bill No. 5060 or the Philippine Identification System Act.  This is the bill that will require all Filipinos to be issued a national identification card that will serve as their main identification for all government transactions, claims, use of government-mandated benefits, and applying for clearances from the NBI and PNP.   At that time, the said bill has just been signed and approved by the House of Representatives and was passed on to the Senate for deliberation.

While the country is eagerly awaiting the finality the National ID System Act, the Department of Finance (DOF) came up with an additional proposal to tap the ID as a means to determine an individual’s privilege to certain subsidies, discounts, and tax exemptions under the law.

How do these additional parameters affect the National ID System’s initial purpose?

Apart from the National ID being an all-in-one valid ID (except as a Driver’s License and Passport), the DOF is proposing that it contain biometrics data to determine a citizen’s entitlement to certain subsidies and benefits provided by the government.

For example, if a PWD is entitled to discounts on medicines, fare, and education, his (national) ID alone should be enough to determine his eligibility for such discounts.  Another possibility that the DOF is looking at is to activate an EMV (Europay-Mastercard-Visa) chip in the card.  Through this chip, the card can double as an ATM card where the owner may receive cash subsidies from the government, if he or she is legally entitled to such benefits.  It simplifies the identification and benefits disbursement process, both for the government and the recipient.

Do these new proposals affect the anticipated release and distribution of the IDs?

It does.

The issuance of the IDs will be done in batches.  Since the DOF has expressed its intention of tapping the National ID to address the long process of applying and claiming benefits for individuals with special needs, senior citizens and persons with disabilities are seen to be the first recipients of these IDs.  Soon after, members of the 5.2 million poor households that are not yet covered by the conditional cash transfer program of the DSWD will follow.

All in all, the government plans to provide IDs to the more than 100 million Filipinos in two years’ time, after the bill is enacted into law.

Who will issue the IDs?

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) shall be responsible for the proper issuance of the ID cards.

We will keep this thread updated on the progress of the proposed National ID System.  If you have any questions or related information you would like to share, please feel free to send us a message.  We will do our best to find the answers for you.

Sources:

www.psa.gov.ph

www.dof.gov.ph

www.philstar.com

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07 - 24 -2 (2)

Executive Order 26, or the Establishment of Smoke-free Environment in Public and Enclosed Places has been in effect since midnight of July 23, 2017.  The Philippines is now a No Smoking Country!

Below is a quick summary of the places and conveyances covered by this law and what awaits those that will be caught violating this much-anticipated and badly-needed ordinance:

You can no longer smoke in:

  • Schools, Colleges, and Universities (yes, even and especially in State Universities!)
  • Playgrounds
  • Restaurants and food preparation areas
  • Elevators
  • Basketball courts
  • Stairwells
  • Fire hazard risk areas such as gas stations, health centers, clinics, public and private hospitals.
  • Hotels
  • Malls
  • Jeepneys, taxis, trains, tricycles, buses, and planes.

Adults should no longer send minors to buy cigarettes for them; more importantly, minors should not be made to “light” cigarettes for their elders, sell cigarettes, distribute, or promote tobacco products in any way.

Sari-sari stores and other retail establishments are no longer allowed to showcase tobacco advertisements at points-of-sale.

How will violators be penalized?

Violators will be fined for breaking the law.  Penalties range from Php500 to Php10,000 and possible imprisonment.  Establishment owners, building managers, and other individuals authorized in managing specific places, offices, and businesses shall be held liable for violations done within their premises.  The public is encouraged to report violations to the DOH hotline (02) 711 1002.

Where then can smokers smoke?

Smoking is allowed only in designated smoking areas (DSA).  These areas should be properly marked and identified in an area or a building.  These could be open spaces within an area or a separate room with proper ventilation, with ample visual warnings on the effects of smoking, and has passed the provisions of non-smoking buffer zones.

The Executive Order does not cover vapes and e-cigarettes.

Sources:

www.doh.gov.ph

www.news.abs-cbn.com

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06 - 20 (1)

After getting married, the next thing the couple needs to attend to are the updating of their IDs and other public documents, from their old civil status to that of married.  For women, they also have the option to change their maiden last name and begin using their husband’s last name in their IDs and government documents.  Take note that changing the woman’s last name is not mandatory; women have the option to keep their maiden last name for as long as they want.

To help newlyweds get started on this rather daunting task, we are sharing the following information, requirements, and processes involved in updating your marital status and changing your last name:

I. PHILHEALTH

  1. Bring a photocopy of your PSA Marriage Certificate and the original for verification.
  2. Advise the customer service personnel that you wish to change your marital status; you should be given a blank Membership Form.
  3. Your marital status should be accomplished while you wait; you will also be issued a new Philhealth ID.
  4. This can be done at any Philhealth office or satellite office.
  5. Updating of status and changing of name is free of charge.

II. Bank Records

  1. Bring a copy of your PSA Marriage Certificate; bank personnel normally photocopy the documents within bank premises.
  2. Bring valid IDs.  Banks like BDO and Eastwest prefer IDs that already bear your married name.
  3. Advise bank teller that you want to update your marital status and change your last name.  Most banks do not charge any fees for such updates.

III. Pag-IBIG

  1. Bring the original and photocopies of your PSA Marriage Certificate and valid IDs.
  2. Advise frontline personnel that you wish to update your marital status and last name.  You will be given an MCIF (Members Change of Information Form) for you to fill out.
  3. This can be done at any Pag-IBIG branch office near you.
  4. Updating your information is free of charge but if you wish to get a Loyalty Card, prepare Php 100.00.
  5. Updating of member’s information can be accomplished while you wait.

IV. SSS

  1. If you are employed, advise your employer that you wish to update your SSS data.  You will be given a Member’s Data Amendment Form (E4).  Fill it out and submit to your HR.
  2. Attach a photocopy of your PSA Marriage Certificate, SSS, ID, and an authorization letter for your employer to process this on your behalf.
  3. Updating your SSS details is free of charge but requesting for a new ID (UMID) will cost you Php 300.00.  The new ID may take a two to three months before it is issued to you.

V. Passport

  1. Confirmed appointment date and time; you may secure an appointment online at www.dfa.gov.ph
  2. Download a copy of the form online, accomplish it in your handwriting, but do not sign until you are in front of a DFA personnel.
  3. Get a complete list of required documents and IDs from the DFA website; double-check that you have all requirements on the day of your appointment.

VI. Driver’s License

  1. Bring the original and photocopy of your PSA Marriage Certificate and your current or expired license.
  2. Submit a duly accomplished Application for Driver’s License.
  3. This may be done at any LTO branch and should be accomplished within the day.  Be at the office early.

Sources:

www.lto.gov.ph

www.dfa.gov.ph

www.sss.gov.ph

www.pagibigfund.gov.ph

www.philhealth.gov.ph

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06 - 19

A common requirement in most government and private transactions is a copy of a Barangay Clearance and or a Barangay Certificate  Most people think these two are one and the same so they end up submitting a Certificate when they are required to submit a Clearance, and vice versa.

To help address this common confusion among Filipino citizens, we did a research and found out that these two documents are completely different from each other and are issued for different purposes.  Here is a summary of how  Barangay Clearances and Barangay Certificates are secured, and when these two are needed.  Read on!

Barangay Certificate

  • Otherwise known as Barangay Certificate of Residency.
  • This document proves that you are a resident of a particular barangay.
  • You can be issued a copy of this certificate if you have been residing in a particular barangay for at least 6 months or more.
  • This can be secured at the barangay hall that covers the applicant’s place of residence.

Barangay Clearance

  • A Barangay Clearance is a common requirement for business permits and license applications.
  • This can be secured at the barangay hall that covers the place where the business will operate.

The requirements needed for such certifications and clearances to be issued are detailed in the barangay’s Citizen’s Charter.  Common requirements are:

  • Documents pertaining to the business’ establishment
  • Community Tax Certificate
  • Valid IDs such as Driver’s License, Company ID, GSIS or SSS IDs, Voter’s ID, etc.

Note that a Voter’s ID is just one of the many IDs that may be required from an applicant.  It should not serve as the sole basis for granting a person’s request for a Certificate of Residency.

Next time you are required to submit a certification or clearance from your barangay, clarify which among the two should you submit.  Keep this as your reference in differentiating the documents you are applying for.

Source: www.dilg.gov.ph

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06- 16

Getting married is a once-in-a-lifetime event and all brides-to-be want nothing less than a perfect wedding day.  From the weather, to the place of ceremony, to the littlest of details in the bride’s wedding gown, everything should be flawless.  All because in the Philippines, you’re only supposed to marry once.

Over the years, weddings have become more and more elaborate, more detailed, and more personal.  From the basic white and ecru color motifs, couples have learned to be more bold and creative with their choices in colors, clothing, and quite recently, even the look and feel of the ceremony and reception areas.  Yes, weddings have become more fun and meaningful, yet it has also elevated the costs involved in achieving the desired “themes and motifs”, as wedding organizers would often say.

So how exactly do you plan, organize, and celebrate the perfect dream wedding without breaking the bank?  We researched on this topic and found quite a handful of information from wedding suppliers, organizers, and even brides themselves!  We are sharing everything that we’ve gathered so far and hope these could help you plan the perfect, yet not too expensive, wedding day for you.

  1. Choose the date and time.

According to wedding bloggers, you actually need to decide on the date and time before you even decide on the budget.  A wedding in June could be cheaper than a wedding in December or February since the latter months are considered by most businesses as peak months.

  1. Draft your entourage and guest list.

After you’ve confirmed the date, it is easier to list down the people you wish to be present on your wedding day, including and most importantly, your wedding entourage.  Save up on call toll charges by creating an online group chat or call them through the internet.

  1. Budget. Budget. Budget.

Now that you have a pretty good idea how many people will attend your big day, it is time to work on the wedding budget.  Before deciding how much you intend to spend, you would need to first discuss who will shoulder which expenses.

Filipino wedding traditions are very different from Western culture where the father of the bride shoulders majority, if not all, of the wedding expenses.  Filipino parents seldom shoulder their kids’ weddings unless extremely necessary.  If at all, it is the groom’s parents who share more in the wedding expenses than the bride’s.  Case in point: if you can’t afford your wedding yet, how do you plan to manage a lifelong marriage?

You will have to create a long list of items that need to be purchased, built, and sewn.  Keep in mind too that expenses do not end when you’ve made your way to the altar and exchanged “I dos”.  Your suppliers, drivers, relatives, and other people who will be helping out in your celebration need to be fed, sheltered, and dressed up too.  Prepare your petty cash for incidental expenses that are sure to crop up during the day itself.

  1. Finalize your booking for the ceremony and reception venue.

Weddings are commonly held during the dry months, beginning in December to the early weeks of June.  Top wedding destinations are the cool cities of Tagaytay, Batangas, and Baguio, while more adventurous couples are also keen on celebrating their union by the seashores of La Union, Boracay, Cebu, and Bohol.  The choices are endless and choosing could be fun except you have a budget and guests to consider.  Choose a venue that is not too far from where most of your guests will be coming from.  If you are on a tight budget, we suggest that you hold your ceremony and reception in the same place.  This cuts your expenses on rental fees, decorations, and travel by more than half.

  1. Book your wedding suppliers.

When choosing wedding suppliers, gather as much information from other newlyweds, relatives, and friends as you can.  This gives you first-hand information on the suppliers’ quality of service, negotiable rates, and other important details.  Remember, you do not need to “outsource” everything.  You can borrow, ask for, and create things on your own.  Wedding organizers were non-existent in the ‘80s and ‘90s but are now virtually indispensable.  If they were able to hold grand weddings in the past without the expensive services of a coordinator, why can’t you now?  Ask for your friends’ assistance and delegate assignments to your bride’s maids.  You’d be surprised to find out how much your “squad” wants to be part of your wedding preparations!

If you should spend (or splurge!) on suppliers, you’d be wise to focus on your caterer and photographers.  Your guests will remember your wedding more from the kind and quality of food you served and the candid and wacky photos they will be posting in social media.

And then again, if you have a brother who cooks mean dishes and friends who like to take beautiful photos, you can consider yourself one blessed woman!

  1. Save-the-dates and Wedding Invitations

If you can tap the limitless reach of social media to let everyone know when you’re getting married, use that.  Save-the-date cards add to your expenses and do not do much in ensuring that your guests will show up, so why bother?

While there are hundreds of wedding invitation suppliers who undoubtedly could come up with the most creative invitations for you, remember, you can easily copy a design online and print these yourself!  Invitations end up in people’s waste baskets or filed in a long forgotten shelf anyway, so why spend so much on these stuff?  Take a trip to the bookstore and channel the Martha Stewart in you.  Creating your wedding invitations could also be a good bonding opportunity with your mom, your sisters, and friends.

  1. Buying your wedding apparel.

Divisoria and Baclaran boast of designer quality fabrics that you can send to your trusty seamstress who can create lovely pieces for you and your groom.  If you are paying for your entourage’s gowns, then these two places in Manila are your best bets.  Buying off the rack is convenient but can be too pricey.  Also, expect to lose some weight (or gain some if you’re the type who eats when stressed) after all the stressful wedding preparations so having your gown done by a seamstress will prove to be more convenient when you need some adjustments  done before the big day (because having your gowns altered by designer stores cost money!).

  1. Wedding Permits, Licenses, and Seminars

Now these are the things your wedding suppliers, not even your expensive wedding coordinators, will remind you to accomplish.  Ironically, all your pricey wedding preparations will go to waste if you fail to secure the necessary documents for getting married.

First, you need to secure a Marriage License.  Keep in mind that a marriage license is only valid for 120 days.

Also, secure copies of your PSA birth certificates and CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage).  Check your documents for spelling errors and other inaccuracies.

Attend required seminars and retreats (required by either your parish or your municipality) and secure the necessary certifications.  These requirements vary per municipality and parish.

Word of the wise: Accomplish all permits, documents, and seminars yourselves, do not hire the services of fixers no matter how busy you think you are.

  1. Account your expenses

Keep a journal of your expenses and mark off all items that have been paid off and those that will be settled at a later date.  Keep track of your checks, receipts, acknowledgments, and other proofs of payment to avoid confusion and unnecessary expenses.

  1. Hold a pre-wedding gathering of your entourage and suppliers.

It does not have to be fancy; you just need to get them together to ease any tension and encourage coordination.  This is best done a week before the big day.  Include a rehearsal of sorts just to fine tune each person’s responsibility and involvement in the occasion.

Remember, you cannot achieve perfection so leave room for last-minute emergencies and allow your team some errors and oversights.  No matter how hard you prepare, something is bound to go wayward and it’s all part of the fun and excitement.

So enjoy the moment while it lasts.  You will soon realize that preparing for a wedding that lasts for a day pales in comparison to preparing for the marriage that is expected to last a lifetime.

Best wishes!

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06 - 14

Mercy is married to Joel and they have three kids, all minors.  In 2015, they separated, with Joel taking their children with him to the province where they can continue their studies while he tended the family’s farm as his means of income.  Mercy was left in Manila with her parents; she was working as a call center agent at the time of their separation.

In 2016, Joel filed for annulment.  Around the same time the papers were hand-carried by a court personnel to Mercy’s house, she was already dating a new guy from work.  Not long after, Mercy broke the news to her family that she is pregnant.

Her boyfriend, an unmarried man, is willing to acknowledge Mercy’s baby.  Their plan is to get married as soon as Mercy’s previous marriage is officially annulled; they will have their baby legitimized after they get married.

Will Mercy and Joel’s plans succeed?  Will this not cause problems or confusion on the child’s birth right?  Can the child use his biological father’s last name while his mother is still married to her previous husband?

According to the Family Code, a child born to a married woman is considered legitimate, even if the mother declares against its legitimacy, or even if she has been sentenced as an adulteress (Article 164 and Article 167).

Given these insights, Mercy’s boyfriend is not legally entitled to acknowledge the child because Mercy is still married to Joel (pending decision of filed annulment case).  Moreover, letting the child use Mercy’s boyfriend’s last name will cause further confusion in the child’s legitimacy and birth right.  To make matters worse, Mercy’s child is not qualified to be “legitimized due to subsequent marriage” because of the existence of her marriage with Joel at the time of the child’s birth.

Only if Joel, being Mercy’s legal husband at the time of the child’s birth, disputes the child’s legitimacy, will Mercy be able to declare the child as ‘illegitimate’; otherwise, her child remains ‘legitimate’ and registered as Joel’s child.

What are the provisions for remarrying after an annulment has been approved?

It would have been best for Mercy to have waited until the annulment was approved before she and her boyfriend decided to have a child.  Technically, there is even a prescriptive period of 300 days after the annulment has been handed down, before Mercy bears another child, if only to avoid any controversy on her child’s legitimacy.

Below are the specific articles from the Family Code that will help us understand this provision better:

Article 168.  If the marriage is terminated and the mother contracted another marriage within 300 days after such termination of the former marriage, these rules shall govern in the absence of proof to the contrary:

(1) A child born BEFORE 180 days after the solemnization of the subsequent marriage is considered to have been conceived during the former marriage, provided it be born within 300 hundred days after the termination of the former marriage;

(2) A child born AFTER 180 days following the celebration of the subsequent marriage is considered to have been conceived during such marriage, even though it be born within the 300 days after the termination of the former marriage.

It is also good to note that getting married immediately after the issuance of the decree of annulment may be considered a crime of premature marriage; this is punishable under Article 351 of the Revised Penal Code.

Sources:

www.gov.ph

http://www.manilatimes.net

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06 - 01

To avoid delays when going through pre-flight boarding procedures for your domestic flights, make sure you have ANY of the following identifications on hand.  Note that airport and airline personnel may request for additional IDs as they deem necessary and so it is best that you have more than one government-issued ID with you when travelling.

  1. Passport (Philippine and Foreign Issued)
  2. Driver’s License
  3. Philippine Regulation Commission ID
  4. SSS ID
  5. GSIS E-card
  6. Voter’s ID
  7. Integrated Bar of the Philippines ID
  8. Seaman’s Book
  9. Government Office ID
  10. ACR / ICR
  11. Company ID
  12. Unified Multi-purpose ID
  13. NBI Clearance
  14. Police Clearance
  15. Senior Citizen ID
  16. Postal ID
  17. TIN Card
  18. Barangay Certification
  19. Health Insurance Card ng Bayan
  20. OWWA ID
  21. OFW ID
  22. National Council of Disability Affairs ID
  23. DSWD Certification
  24. School ID with Principal’s signature

Sources:

www.philippineairlines.com

http://www.philippines-travel-guide.com

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06 - 01-1 (1)

If you are due to vacate your rented apartment unit (or any other residential building, including a dorm room or bed space), your landlord should reimburse your security deposit.  This is the money you gave your landlord before you moved in to the property, apart from your advance.  If your unit does not have any damages and is basically ready for the next occupant to move in, the security deposit should be refunded to you in full.

But what if the landlord refuses to hand your security deposit?  How do you get it back?

Step 1:  Review your lease.

You have a contract, right?  Go over the document and verify that you did not violate any of the rules.  Make sure that the contract includes the landlord’s acknowledgment of your advance and security deposits.

A contract clearly stipulates the length of time you are to occupy the unit; if you are leaving before the agreed time is up, your landlord has the right to withhold your deposit.

But I don’t have a contract with the landlord.

You should have at least kept the receipts or acknowledgment slips from when you handed him your advance and deposit.  You will also have a better chance at winning this argument if you maintained punctuality in your monthly payments.

Step 2: Clean the unit before leaving.

Make sure all fixtures such as light bulbs, faucets, electric wall sockets, pipes, cabinets, and windows are all in good working condition before you vacate the property.  Clean up and sanitize rooms, especially the kitchen and bathrooms.  If possible, leave the place looking better than when you moved in.  Do not leave any room for your landlord to complain about damages and dirt.

Your deposit should not be used to pay for the unit’s restoration and other ordinary wear and tear such as:

  1. Faded wall paint
  2. Tacks or nails on the wall
  3. Black spots in the bathroom mirror
  4. Clogged toilet
  5. Stains on figurines, etc.

Step 3: Request for a report on deductions

Should there be unavoidable deductions against your deposit, you may request for a detailed report from the landlord.  Ask him to itemize the expenses, including the cost of each material that he supposedly will purchase to repair your unit.  This way, you can double check that all expenses shall go to damages present in your unit only.

Step 4: Know your rights

Basically, you are entitled to your security deposit and your landlord’s obligation is to hand it back to you before you leave.  He has 30 days to produce the amount if he is not able to give it immediately after you vacate the property.

Should the landlord find any reason why you should not be refunded your deposit, he must send you a letter detailing the damages in your unit.  If you do not receive such letter within 30 days, you may demand for your deposit.

Ultimately, complete and proper information remain to be your best weapons against stubborn landlords.  It helps that they know that you did your research on tenancy laws.

Also, keep a friendly yet professional relationship with your landlord/landlady.  Avoid becoming too close with them or asking for personal favors to discourage familiarity.  Always command respect when dealing with them.

If you have questions about tenancy in the Philippines, drop us a line and we will do our best to find the answers for you!

Source:

www.dotproperty.com.ph

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05 - 31

If you are renting an apartment, a condo unit, or a single detached house structure, this article is for you.

According to a study conducted by the Statistical Research and Training Center (SRTC), nearly 7.2% of households in the country are renting their residential space.  These are mostly young couples and small families, average income earners, and migrants from provinces.   Leasing homes has become a lucrative business in the Philippines.  And while most renters are able to take advantage of good house locations, reasonable rates and fees, and friendly landlords who later on become more like family members, there are still a lot who suffer injustice simply because they are “mere renters”.  Sadly, very few have working knowledge of the laws that govern residential tenancy in our country and because of this, more and more are trapped in the vicious cycle of exorbitant fees and annual increases in rent, poor maintenance of the structure, and worse, unlawful evictions.

This article aims to educate every reader of his rights as a residential tenant in Metro Manila and other urbanized areas in the Philippines, through RA 9653, also known as the Rent Control Act of 2009.

  1. Definition of Terms
    • Residential units – separate properties and properties that are part of larger unit are covered by the term residential units.  This excludes motels, motel rooms, hotels, and hotel rooms but apartments and buildings used for business are still considered residential units.
    • Rent – the amount paid for a residential unit monthly, based on the lease contract.
    • Subleasing – when a tenant rents the place that he is currently to other people.
  2. Coverage
    • All residential units that are rented or are up for rent, from Php 10,000 to P5,000 below, situated in Metro Manila and other urbanized areas in the country, are covered by this law.
    • Rent-to-own units, due to its completely different terms and agreement between owner and renter, are not covered.
  3. Rent Increases
    • If the unit is rented by the same tenant annually, the lessor or landlord can increase the rent by more than 7% (annually).
    • The same rate may be applied to bed space rentals and dormitories.
    • The rate increase must only be applied once a year.
  4. Leasing and Subleasing
    • This is possible provided a formal or written agreement with the original landlord is in effect.  The absence of the said document may be grounds for eviction (of the original tenant and the subleasing tenant).
  5. Eviction – Below are grounds for eviction, as stipulated by law:
    • The tenant fails to pay the rent for 3 months.
    • The tenant subleased the area without the landlord’s knowledge and consent.
    • Legitimate reasons exclusive to the landlord or his family members that may compel them to occupy the rented space.
    • If the unit is under Order of Condemnation, or if the space needs immediate repairs and renovation.
    • Expiration of Lease Contract.
  6. Rules of Payment
    • Rent payments must be made one month in advance within the first five days of the month.
    • The landlord may only require a one-month advance and a two-month deposit from tenant.
    • Deposits can be used to cover damages done in the property; however, the renter has the right to demand for a full refund of the deposit if there are no damages.

Anyone caught and proven to be violating the law on residential tenancy may face imprisonment of 6 months and a fine of Php 25,000 to Php 50,000.

Tomorrow, we will feature a “how-to” guide in claiming your security deposit from errant landlords, so do stand by for that.

We hope this article has been helpful.  If you have any questions about residential tenancy in the Philippines, drop us a line and we will do our best to find the answers for you.

Sources:

www.hudcc.gov.ph

www.dotproperty.com.ph

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05 - 30 (1)

Percy has been working as an Overseas Filipino Worker in South Korea for almost five years when he met Kim, a Korean national.  He expressed his desire to stay permanently in South Korea and work without the need for contracts with a Philippine agency.  Upon learning this, Kim offered Percy a deal: for 500,000 SKW, Kim will marry Percy so he can gain legal residency in South Korea.  

Percy readily agreed to the deal.  But instead of celebrating the marriage in South Korea, both of them decided to come to the Philippines and get married before a judge in Manila.  In less than two months, Kim and Percy were married.

Unfortunately upon their return to South Korea, Percy was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was advised by his doctor to refrain from doing hard labor.  He found it difficult to find a job without a valid medical clearance that is required in most office jobs in the city.  In the end, he and Kim decided it would be best for Percy to stay in the Philippines while he undergoes treatment for his condition.

Back home, Percy realized that living permanently abroad may not be a good idea after all.  Given his condition, he would rather be around his family who are ready and willing to take care of him while he is ill.  He called Kim and told her that he will no longer be coming back to South Korea.  Since Kim already received Percy’s full payment for their deal, she simply agreed with his decision and wished him well.

A few years later, Percy reunited with his childhood sweetheart and in a few months, both of them decided to get married.  Thinking that his ‘marriage for convenience’ with Kim was invalid anyway, he went ahead and began preparing for his wedding.  When he requested for a copy of his CENOMAR, he received a copy with the details of his previous marriage with Kim.

Apparently, a ‘marriage for convenience’ is valid for as long as it satisfied all the legal requisites of marriage.  Both he and Kim were of legal age when they presented themselves before the judge, they were able to present all the required documents, and the marriage was celebrated by a duly authorized solemnizing officer.

Pero hindi naman namin mahal ang isa’t isa nung nagpakasal kami.  Pinakasalan ko lang siya dahil sa citizenship ko sa South Korea.

According to the Family Code of the Philippines, the possibility that the parties in a marriage might have no real intention to establish a life together is insufficient grounds to nullify the union.  Therefore, even if the reason for Percy and Kim’s wedding was merely for him to gain permanent residency in South Korea, Philippine laws still recognize their marriage as binding and legal.

Given all these, Percy might find it difficult to build a case for annulment against Kim.

This case is also applicable if the wedding between a foreign national and a Filipino was held abroad – for as long as all legal requisites in that country were fulfilled and the marriage was recognized as valid, Philippine laws will also consider the marriage valid and legal, even if the reason for getting married is merely for convenience.

There is no convenient way to end a marriage for convenience.

References:

www.gov.ph

www.pao.gov.ph

www.manilatimes.net

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