City Council approves ‘mass wedding’ ordinance

UNWED COUPLES get lucky. Through an ordinance approved by the Cebu City Council, unwed couples living in the city could avail themselves of City Hall’s yearly mass weddings without spending a centavo. (SunStar file photo)

COUPLES living in Cebu City who are not married yet won’t have to worry about spending for an expensive wedding.

This after the Cebu City Council institutionalized the city’s yearly mass wedding activity through an ordinance authored by City Councilor Lea Japson.

The ordinance was enacted during the Council’s regular session on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019.

The City has been initiating the program for unwed couples since 2007.

Japson said that to date, around 1,200 couples have already benefited from the program. Those who can benefit from the program are couples who are registered voters in Cebu City who are unable to bear the cost of marrying and those unwed couples who have been living together for a period of not less than five years.

The applicants should personally register at the Cebu City Women and Family Affairs Commission Office (WFACO) and submit an application form, birth certificate, residence certificate, barangay clearance and voter’s certification.

They also have to submit a certificate of no- marriage (Cenomar).

Other requirements are baptismal certificate and confirmation certificate.

The ordinance strictly sees to it that the applicants or the couples must be 23 years old and above.

Every year, the WFACO will select 100 beneficiaries based on the order of the submitted complete requirements.

The City will provide the couples with one whole lechon which will be given after the wedding.

The City will also shoulder the couple’s notarial fees for all the required affidavits for marriage application, church fees including officiating officer’s stipend, the marriage seminar, marriage license application, and pre-marriage counseling, and the couples will be refunded for their payment of Cenomar upon presentation of an official receipt duly issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The Department of Social Welfare Services, WFACO, City Civil Registrar and the City Legal Office are the offices tasked to formulate the implementing rules and regulations for the ordinance. (JJL)


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