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Bill to criminalize refusal to pay legal child support pushed

A lady legislator said on Thursday that she would push for the passage of a proposed bill that would criminalize willful failure or refusal to pay predetermined child support obligations. Manila Rep. Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David, an administration ally, said that there was a need to enact a law that would deter irresponsible parents from evading financial responsibility to their children. A member for the majority of the House Committee on Women, Bonoan-David, cited Article 105, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Family Code which provides that parents are obliged to support their children, either legitimate or illegitimate. Although the obligation to support a child is the responsibility of both parents, there are a number of parents who continuously refuse to financially support their children even if they have the capacity to do so, Bonoan-David said. The lady lawmaker earlier filed House Bill 5132 or the proposed Child Support Act that shall penalize any person who willfully fails to give financial support to a child/children, if such obligation has remained unpaid for a period longer than one year, or if the amount due to the child/children is greater than thirty thousand pesos. The same penalty would apply if the parent/parents tried to evade their responsibility by leaving their children to the care of other people, without providing for their needs for more than one year. The case, according to the lawmaker, may be filed against the offenders in the courts in the place where the child/children reside at the time of the non-payment of the support obligation. Support obligation means any amount determined under a court order or an amount determined under a binding contract required of a parent/s for the support and maintenance of a child/children or of a child/children, the bill said.
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