New protocols for pre-marriage orientation, counseling up
ILOILO CITY, July 7 (PIA) — The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) said that the conduct of Pre-Marriage Orientation and Counseling (PMOC) for would-be couples seeking for marriage license shall observe sessions through alternative and innovative modalities amid the health crisis situation due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Harold Alfred Marshall, POPCOM-6 Regional Director, said that part of the alternative modes detached/non-interactive face-to-face sessions with limited participants and number of hours or can be done by simply showing of videos
Likewise, this can be through online sessions where participants have the opportunity to ask or still non-interactive, wherein, couples would simply watch and listen to the different information, education and communication materials.
“Traditional face-to-face sessions can still be conducted but with strict compliance to the health standard protocols like temperature check, wearing of face masks, physical distancing, disinfections, and approved policies from the locality,” Marshall said.
Through Joint Advisory No. 2020-01, issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Commission on Population and Development, and Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), this shall serve as interim guidelines on the provision of PMOC services during the state of public health emergency where community quarantine is implemented.
The conduct of PMOC is pursuant to Presidential Decree 965, the 1987 Family Code, the Local Government Code, and the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law.
Primarily, the PMOC seeks to prepare contracting parties or would-be couples to effectively assume their roles as spouses and parents within the bound of marriage through the inputs provided by trained and accredited pre-marriage orienteers and counselors.
At the local level, the PMOC Team is headed by the Appointed or Designated Local Population Officer with representatives from the City/Municipal Health and Nutrition Office, City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office, and Local Civil Registrar’s Office.
The Pre-Marriage Orientation shall be attended by all would-be couples applying for marriage license as stipulated in the RPRH Law.
Meanwhile Pre-Marriage Counseling (PMC) is prescribed by the 1987 Family Code which requires all contracting parties , in which one or both are aged 18 to 25 year old or upon the recommendation of the PMOC Team or on voluntary basis.
PMC shall be conducted only by the DSWD accredited counselors. (JSC/LTP/POPCOM-6/PIA-Iloilo)