Gray Matter


Marriage and the Age of Consent in the Philippines

RT Cunningham | August 14, 2020 (UTC) | Culture

marriageI read everything I could find about marriage ages in the Philippines. I now believe “The Family Code of the Philippines” causes more problems than it solves.

The government can control marriages but it can’t control sex. The minimum age for consensual sex is 12 in the Philippines. Although no Philippine laws specifically state it as such, articles 335 and 337 of “The Revised Penal Code” of 1930 alludes to it, as do Republic Acts 7610 (1992) and 8353 (1997).

Marriage Ages 18 through 20

Filipinos in the Philippines can live together, have sex and make babies, but they can’t get married if either party is under the age of 18. Some girls in my neighborhood had children shortly after they graduated from high school, which used to be as early as age 16. Some had children before graduating.

A Filipino who wants to get married before the age of 21 must have a letter of consent from someone who has authority over them (usually parents). They cannot get married without it.

The Roman Catholic religion, of which something like 80 percent of Filipinos belong to, allows 16 for women and 18 for men. Why does the government have to be different?

Marriage Ages of 21 through 24

A Filipino who wants to get married before the age of 25 must either have a letter of advice from someone who has authority over them (usually parents) or they have to wait three months from the date of the marriage application.

When my younger son (who was 30 at the time) and my daughter-in-law got married, she was only 22. Her parents were on Mindanao, an island he wasn’t allowed to visit (he’s in the United States Army). He had to bring them to Olongapo City on the island of Luzon.

Filipinos who want to get married without any hassles have to wait until they’re both 25. That’s crazy.

The Age of Consent

As I said earlier, the age of consent for consensual sex is 12. That applies to both girls and boys. There are restrictions, of course. You can read the laws I mentioned if you want to know what they are.

I see a lot of older men (Filipino or otherwise) with young women, especially in the malls and certain fast food joints. Most Filipino women look really young until they’re well beyond their teens, so I really can’t say if any of them are under 18. Some city girls (but not all) seem to look older than their provincial counterparts and I blame that on make-up.

I don’t see older women with young men but that’s probably because I’m not looking.

When my younger son was going to college (a dedicated nursing school at the time), he met women who’d had children when they were 13, 14, and 15. It happens even if no one talks about it.

Photo Attribution: Thomas Breher from Pixabay
Edited and updated. Originally published at one of my other websites in November 2016.

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