There were discussions about a proposed law which seeks to penalize the refusal or failure of “any person” to pay “legal child support.” This refers to the proposed “Child Support Enforcement Act” (House Bill No. 6079 during the 16th Congress; House Bill No. 387 during the 17th Congress), which seeks to penalize the refusal or failure of “any person” to give legal child support without justifiable cause. While the proposed law covers “any person”, reading the provisions gives the impression that it basically threatens the father of the child with imprisonment in case of failure or refusal to give support.
The proposed “Child Support Enforcement Act” was not passed. Nevertheless, there are existing laws applicable to child support in the Philippines. These are:
FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES
The basic law on support is the Family Code. As noted in a previous post, Articles 195 and 196 of the Family Code enumerate the persons who are under obligation to support each other:
- (1) The spouses;
- (2) Legitimate ascendants and descendants;
- (3) Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;
- (4) Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;
- (5) Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of full or half-blood; and
- (6) Brothers and sisters not legitimately related, whether of the full or half-blood, except only when the need for support of the brother or sister, being of age, is due to a cause imputable to the claimant’s fault or negligence.
Parents have the legal duty to support their children, whether legitimate or illegitimate. As to the amount, it is proportional to the resources or means of the giver and the necessities of the recipient. The father and the mother may agree on the amount and manner of payment of child support.
In the absence of such agreement, the court will decide the matter based on the applicable provisions of the Family Code. It is important to note that the decision of the court is never final, considering that support is based on the child’s needs, which may change, and the parent’s capacity to pay, which may also change.
ANTI-VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN ACT OF 2004
The “Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004“ (Republic Act No. 9262) defines specific offenses which can only be committed by the father/husband/partner against the child/wife. The Anti-VAWC law is specifically directed against men, which is what the proposed “Child Support Enforcement Act” sought to cover.
R.A. 9262 covers economic abuse. Acts of violence against women and their children include: “causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or humiliation to the woman or her child, including, but not limited to, repeated verbal and emotional abuse, and denial of financial support or custody of minor children of access to the woman’s child/children.”
The father may also be made criminally liable for acts committed with the purpose or effect of controlling or restricting the woman’s or her child’s movement or conduct. These acts include depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her children of financial support legally due her or her family, or deliberately providing the woman’s children insufficient financial support.
These are acts penalized as separate crimes under R.A. 9262, punishable with imprisonment.
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Hi Good day! I am seeking for legal advice po. Seperated po kami nang live in partner ko nasakanya 10 yrs old na anak namin, hndi naman po ako nagkulang sa supporta as long as may work ako, during pandemic nawalan po ako nang work sa Dubai and maliit nahalaga po ang nakakayanan ko itulong sa nanay 2k php monthly kasi nang uutang lang po ako until now naka hanap na ulit ako nang work pero soon to start palang. My concern is hindi po nakaka intindi ang nanay at nag rereklamo na maliit at kulang ang 2k buwan2, she is forcing me this law and mangutang daw ako hndi na nya problem kung pandemic man o wala and mag papadala siya nang mga legal papers about the child suppprt.. ano po kaya ma aadvice nyo sa case ko?
Pa advice po. Pano po kung nasa ibang bansa nagwowork yung father ng anak ko then ayaw niya po sa akin mgbigay ng pera, pero sabi niya lahat daw ng kailngn ng bata e sabihin ko lang. Eh samantalang diaper,gatas vitamins lang naman po napprovide ng magulang niya. Yung magulang niya po ang bumibili ng mga yon at 2x a month lng po. Pano naman po yung ibang kailngang bilhin sa bata pati sa pagkain. Pinipilit po ako magtrabaho ng tatay ng anak ko para my pngtustus ako sa sarili ko eh hindi po ako makapagtrabaho dahil wala pong magbabantay ng anak ko. Isa pa po ayaw po ng magulang niya na bigyan o padalhan ako ng pera. Gusto po kasi ng magulang niya sila lang ang hahawak sa pera na ippadala ng anak nila. Masyado po ata ako ginigipit ng nanay niya.
Hello po good evening. I have pamangkin po kasi. Anak po NG brother ko. Since lockdown po. Nasa Amin po Yung Bata dito sa probinsya kasi po bumalik po Yung brother ko at Ina NG Bata sa Manila. Habang nasa Manila po sila naghiwalay po sila. Bale di pa po sila kasal. Ngayon po kinukuha na po Yung Bata sa Amin nung Ina Niya. Ayos Lang po sa Amin ang pagbibigay suporta sa Bata po. Pero ang kinakatakot po kasi namin. Baka gamitin na naman po Niya ang Bata na panakot sa kapatid ko upang balikan po siya at makawakan na naman po Niya sa leeg ang kapatid ko. Ano po pwede namin gawin upang maiwasan ang ganito pong scenario. Lalo na po ayaw na NG kapatid ko na balikan siya.
Good day po atty. Pa help nman po ask ko lang po in may case. May anak po ako isa sa ka leave in ko dati hindi po kami kasal. Ngayon po hiwalay na kami 2yrs na. Yung anak ko po hindi naka apilyedo sa tatay ng ama niya na ka leave in ko. Nagbibigay po siya ng suporta sa bata kaya lang po minsan hindi.May possible po ba na pwede siya ipakulong at kasuhan?