Child marriage in all forms is now criminalized in the Philippines.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11596, or an Act Prohibiting the Practice of Child Marriage and Imposing Penalties for Violations Thereof. A copy of the signed law was released this week.
The measure criminalizes and penalizes the facilitation and solemnization of child marriage, and the cohabitation of an adult with a child outside wedlock. Those who violate the act can face jail time of up to 12 years and pay at least P40,000 in fines.
The above mentioned acts are considered public crimes, allowing any individual to initiate cases. Under the law, child marriage is ab initio, or void from the beginning.
If violators of the law are public officers, they will be dismissed from service and may be barred from holding office at the discretion of the courts.