Benguet ordinance bans pre-arranged marriages

>> Monday, July 2, 2007


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The provincial government has declared illegal the pre-arranging of marriage by parents while their children are still young.

The newly approved Benguet Children’s Code prohibits pre-arranging of marriage to give children the freedom to choose their partners in life.

The provincial ordinance bans parents from forging an agreement on the marriage of their children.

The ordinance also prohibits the enticement of minors to enter into live-in arrangements in exchange for money or other consideration.

Pre-arranged marriage is a local practice that grossly violates children’s rights, officials said, adding the measure was aimed at protecting children from such practices.

The provincial government in the ordinance said children are important assets of society and that it is only when they arte able to exercise their rights that they develop their full potentials as citizens of the country.

For many decades, parents had been pre-arranging the marriage of their children especially in far-flung communities to make them feel secure when their children reach the age of maturity.

Although, the practice is accepted by some groups, the provincial board said this arbitrary tradition must be stopped to allow children to choose their life’s partners.

The measure urges parents to guide their children so that they become productive citizens. The parents are also asked not to waste the youngster’s talents and skills due4 to wrong decisions early in their life.


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