Image from Robin Padilla’s Facebook page.

Neophyte Senator Robin Padilla filed a bill that aims to institutionalize civil unions for same sex couples in the Philippines. 

Padilla filed Senate Bill No. 449 or the Civil Unions Act, that plans to provide equal rights and recognition for same sex couples. 

“It is high time that the Philippines provides equal rights and recognition for couples of the same sex with no prejudice as to sexual relationships are protected and recognized and given access to basic social protection and security,” he stated on his bill’s explanatory note.

“Providing equal rights and privileges for same-sex couples will in no way diminish or trample on the rights granted to married couples,” he continued.

Padilla said that same-sex marriage or civil unions have already been legalized in 31 nations and territories around the world. However, he lamented that the country has not enough legal structures to provide equal rights and privileges for same-sex couples.

“This proposed measure therefore seeks to recognize the civil union between two (2) persons of the same or opposite sex to be able to enjoy the rights, protection, and privileges afforded in this bill,”  Padilla said on his bill’s explanatory note.

Under Padilla’s bill, the requirements for a same-sex couple to enter a civil union are the following:

  • Legal capacity of the contracting parties (at least 18 years old; not prohibited to enter into civil union by reason of public policy; free from any previous marriage or civil union)
  • Consent freely given in the presence of the administering officer
  • Authority of the administering officer
  • Valid license to contract or enter into a civil union issued by and obtained from the local civil registrar of the city or municipality where either party habitually resides
  • Civil union ceremony which takes place with the personal appearance of the contracting parties before the administering officer and their personal declaration with at least two adult witnesses.


Ronald Espartinez