The proposed law says that "whenever a marriage, duly and legally solemnized by a priest, minister, rabbi or presiding elder of any church or religious sect in The Philippines is subsequently annulled in accordance with the canons or precepts of the church or religious sect, the said annulment shall have the same effect as a decree of annulment issued by a competent court."
An ecclesiastical decree of nullity would need to be registered with the Filipino government before a citizen was eligible to be remarried.
Catholic ecclesiastical tribunals consider the validity of marriages according to several criteria: whether a marriage was celebrated according to ceremonial requirements, whether parties to the marriage had the psychological capacity to make an act of consent, and whether the parties withheld some essential good or property of marriage from their consent, among others. A marriage can not be judged invalid solely because of acts of infidelity, the use of contraception, or because of a premarital pregnancy.
Romualdez said she was influenced by Pope Francis to provide Catholics a simpler and more efficient means to resolve "irreparable marriages."
"While he reaffirmed traditional teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, he streamlined annulment procedures which many considered cumbersome, lengthy, outdated and expensive to make it affordable and accessible to Catholics."
Rep. Romualdez and House Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia sponsored the bill. The law was also endorsed by House Committee on Population and Family Relations and co-authored by the committee's head Laguna Rep. Sol Aragones. The bill will now be considered by the Philippine Senate.