Over 6,000 couples and live-in partners tied the knot during the month-long Kasalang Bayan program of the Quezon City government.

Dubbed Feb-ibig, 6,233 indigent QCitizen couples who have been living together, some for as long as four decades, were finally able to solemnize their union through the Kasalang Bayan, for free. In addition, the children of the QCitizen couples who were married through the city government’s program may now change their illegitimate status to legitimated children by subsequent marriage.

Executive Order No. 209, series of 1987 or the Family Code of the Philippines (Article 165) defines illegitimate children as “children conceived and born outside a valid marriage.” Aside from that, Article 176 of the Family Code also states that illegitimate children have less rights compared to legitimate children. Now, Legitimated children by subsequent marriage shall enjoy the same rights as legitimate children and this effect shall retroact to the time of the child’s birth (Article 179-180, Family Code).

Moreover, the couples can also enjoy the legal benefits that come with marriage such as signing documents on a partner’s behalf if one of them gets incapacitated.

“Our Kasalang Bayan primarily aims to provide support to indigent couples who are already living together but are unable to pay for a ceremony due to economic constraints. But more than that, we want to give them and their kids the rights they deserve as they are now legally bonded,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.

In the city’s Kasalang Bayan, Mayor Joy Belmonte serves as the marriage officiant and the weddings are witnessed by other city officials including Vice Mayor Gian Sotto, City Civil Registry Department Head Salvador Carino Jr., and city councilors.

All fees for the marriage processing are free, including the application for marriage license and registration of marriage certificate.

The traditional cake-cutting and wine tasting are also participated in by selected newly-weds after the ceremony to add to the mass weddings’ festivities. They also receive wedding gifts from their Ninongs and Ninangs.