Foreigners seeking Filipino wives ‘should be certified’

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Male foreigners should be certified unmarried, of good moral character and of good employment standing before marrying Filipino women, a lawmaker said on Friday.

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Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu made the proposal under her House Bill 2387 or an Act amending Article 66 of the Civil Code of the Philippines in order to prescribe additional requirements for male citizens or subjects of a foreign country desiring to marry a Filipino woman.

Garcia noted that not a few of male foreigners’ motive for marriage is to exploit Filipino women by making them work and worse, by forcing them to prostitution and other degrading and dehumanizing occupation—done thru mail-order scheme, Facebook, and other social networking sites—has not only caused untold misery and sufferings to Filipino women but also brought dishonor and disgrace to Filipino womanhood.

Under Garcia’s proposal, a male who is not of Filipino citizenship would need to secure certification of legal capacity, of good moral character and a proof that he has a gainful trade, business or employment, to be issued by his diplomatic or consular official, before a marriage license can be obtained.

“We are all aware of incidents that some foreigners who come to the Philippines to marry Filipino women are vagabonds or social and moral derelicts in their own country whose real motive is only to take advantage and exploit our women. The proposed requirements, in addition to the usual certificate of legal capacity, will protect our women from these undesirable foreigners,” Garcia, the former Cebu governor, said in a statement.

Garcia’s bill has been referred to the House Committee on Revision of Laws chaired by Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas of Pangasinan.

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