Poor couples exempted from the increased fees

TACLOBAN CITY– Couples who are planning to get married should put additional budget as the city council here has approved an ordinance increasing fees on marriage orientation and counseling.

Under the country’s Family Code, couples need to undergo orientation and counseling before they could be issued a marriage license.

Under the ordinance authored by Councilor Aimee Grafil passed during their regular session on Feb.2, fees for both pre-marriage orientation and counseling were increased from the previous fees.

The increased fees are embedded under the ordinance on the revised pre-marriage orientation and counseling program of the city.

Under the newly-approved ordinance, for marriage orientation and counselling, from the previous P300 fee, it is now pegged at P1,500 for both.

The rate for those who will be seeking special pre-marriage counseling and orientation is now at P2,000.

The current rate for special orientation and counseling is just at P500.

However, for those who will secure marriage and orientation but considered as indigents, they are exempted from paying the fees but are still mandated to attend both sessions which last less than six hours.

Those who will undergo the process are those from 18 years old to 25 years old.
The old ordinance did offered pre-marriage counseling.

Grafil said that it’s about time that the fees be increased considering the amount has been pegged for some time now.

She also noted that the amount collected for the orientation and seminar will be used to pay the honorarium of the members of the marriage orientation and counseling team.

The team is composed of representatives from the City Population Office which serves as the leader with members from the city offices of health and social welfare and development.

For marriage orientation, the team will receive P150 for their honorarium and P200 for marriage counseling.

The rest of the funds collected from conducting the orientation and counseling will be used to buy materials needed during the activities, Grafil said.

The ordinance will take effect 15 days after its publication in a local newspaper and upon the signing of it by Mayor Alfred Romualdez.