Anti Mail-Order Bride Law
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The Anti Mail-Order-Bride Law, also known as Republic Act 6955 prohibits in the Philippines the business of organizing or facilitating marriages between Filipinas and foreign men, or Mail-Order Brides. The Philippine congress enacted in 1990 as a result of stories in the local media about Filipinas being abused by their foreign husbands. Because of this, Filipinas often use "reverse publications" – publications in which men advertise themselves – to contact foreign men for marriage to Filipina women.
In practice, the law is readily circumvented by basing matchmaking agencies outside the Philippines as no law prohibits their operation in destination countries such as Japan, the United States of America or South Korea. In 2009, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) had just three active cases open against marriage brokers; there were no cases between 2003 and 2007. It has been used occasionally to combat forced marriage and human trafficking; while its penalties are weaker than those of Republic Act 9208 (the 2003 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act), cases under it may be easier to prove in the slow and inefficient Philippine judicial system.
In April 2009, Philippine ambassador to South Korea Luis Cruz estimated 6,000 Filipinas had met South Korean spouses through matchmaking agencies. Some of these brides have complained of domestic violence or false information regarding their partner’s background. Philippine embassies have issued warnings regarding interracial matchmaking agencies that violate local laws in their own country and use deceptive advertising.
In August 2013, a bill was filed in the Philippine House of Representatives to extend the law to internet services. Rep. Cinchona Gonzales (CIBAC), who filed the bill, said "A new era of professional prostitution or high-end pornography through the web was born which downgrades the integrity not only of Filipino women, but of the country as a whole."
The Republic Act No. 6955 was approved on June 13, 1990. It declared illegal:
(a) For a person, natural or juridical, association, club or any other entity to commit, directly or indirectly, any of the following acts:
(1) To establish or carry on a business which has for its purpose the matching of Filipino women for marriage to foreign nationals either on a mail-order basis or through personal introduction;
(2) To advertise, publish, print or distribute or cause the advertisement, publication, printing or distribution of any brochure, flier, or any propaganda material calculated to promote the prohibited acts in the preceding subparagraph;
(3) To solicit, enlist or in any manner attract or induce any Filipino woman to become a member in any club or association whose objective is to match women for marriage to foreign nationals either on a mail-order basis or through personal introduction for a fee;
(4) To use the postal service to promote the prohibited acts...
(b) For the manager or officer-in-charge or advertising manager of any newspaper, magazine, television or radio station, or other media, or of an advertising agency, printing company or other similar entities, to knowingly allow, or consent to, the acts prohibited in the preceding paragraph.''
- Ferrer, Arianne. Anti-Mail Order Bride Legislation And Feminist Legal Theory: An Inquiry Towards A Rescript Of The Diasporic Filipino Bride Phenomenon In The Philippines. Philippine Law Journal. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- Carmela Fonbuena (2009-09-17). "Out-Sourcing the Wife: Dreams turned Sour". ABS-CBN. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "PHILIPPINES: Legal system falls short on human trafficking". IRIN Asia. 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Pinay mail-order brides still rampant in SKorea". GMA News. 2009-09-13. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Announcements". Philippine embassy to Seoul, Korea. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Bill seeks to criminalize online matchmaking". GMA News Online. August 24, 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013.