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(from left) Rep. Emerenciana de Jesus, Deputy House Speaker Pia Juliana Cayetano, Chairperson of the Committee on Population and Family Relations (CPFR) Rep. Marisol Aragones-Sampelo, CPFR Secretary Isabelita Magnaye, Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat and Rep. John Bertiz during the consultation hearing.

23 January 2018—The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur hosted the House Committee on Population and Family Relations (CPFR) as it conducted a public consultation hearing on proposed bills related to church annulment, foreign divorce and dissolution of marriage on January 21 at the Embassy premises.

Present during the hearing were Deputy Speaker Pia Juliana Cayetano, CPFR Chairperson Rep. Marisol Aragones-Sampelo, Rep. Emerenciana de Jesus, Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat and Rep. Aniceto ‘John’ Bertiz III.  Ambassador Charles Jose led the resource speakers, composed of members of the Filipino community and Malaysian civil and family law practitioners.  Around 150 members of the Filipino community attended the hearing, with hundreds more watching the proceedings via the Embassy’s Facebook page. 

The Representatives presented the provisions of House Bills 116, 1062, 1629, 2380, 3705, 6027 and 6446, and explained their finer points, while the resource speakers provided their views on the proposed bills.  During the Q&A portion of the program, some members of the audience shared their personal and family experiences as OFWs in Malaysia, and offered their views on how the bills could possibly address their concerns regarding their spouses, marriages and children. 

For his part, Ambassador Charles Jose gave a context to the situation of the Filipino community in Malaysia, including their demographics.  He also related the legal and civil problems commonly encountered by the OFWs in the country that are borne out of their family relationships, and the need for the Embassy to have the capacity to assist them.  

This is a series of hearing undertaken by the CPFR on these bills.  Earlier, they conducted the same consultations in Japan and Hong Kong.  END

Ambassador Charles Jose (fourth from left, in blue polo) joins the members of the committee, resource persons and the members of the Filipino community in this photo after the consultation hearing. Around 150 Filipino community members were present during the hearing.