Makati launches online pre-marriage counseling
Makati Mayor Abby Binay today announced that the Makati Social Welfare Department (MSWD) has launched its Online Pre-Marriage Counselling service for the safety and convenience of couples applying for a marriage license during the pandemic.
The mayor said the move was another “adaptive strategy” of the city government to make public services accessible in the safest way possible through the use of technology.
“With this latest online service of City Hall, our constituents who wish to get married need not go out of their homes to comply with a pre-requisite to marriage license application,” Mayor Abby said.
“We intend to continuously innovate and reinvent our systems and processes. In these uncertain times, we must always be a step ahead to remain responsive to the needs of our constituents, and be able to provide quality services even during a crisis,” the mayor stressed.
Under the 1987 Family Code, applicants for a marriage license ages 18 to 25 years old must personally attend a pre-marriage counselling conducted by an accredited counsellor.
MSWD records show that before the pandemic, their pre-marriage counselling sessions held thrice a week were attended by 15 to 18 couples per session. At present, sessions are conducted daily for a maximum of four couples to observe social distancing and other safety protocols.
Through the online counselling service, the agency aims to accommodate up to 15 couples per session.
To avail themselves of the service, applicants should first call the MSWD Family and Men’s Welfare Section at 8870-1644 and provide their email address and contact information. They will then be instructed to fill out the online registration forms for pre-marriage counselling and family planning, and wait for the confirmation of their schedule for the online counselling.
Once the schedule is confirmed, couples will fill out the Marriage Expectation Inventory online. They may then proceed to the Miscellaneous Division at the 3rd floor of City Hall to pay P100 for the certificate. After attending the online session on the scheduled date, the couples will be given a certificate of attendance via their given email addresses. They will present the certificate together with the official receipt to claim the Pre-Marriage Counselling certificate at the MSWD office located at the 4th floor of City Hall main building.
Participants in the online counselling sessions must have a stable and uninterrupted internet connection with at least 5mbps internet speed, a WebEx account, and a computer with a web camera and microphone. All participants are also asked to wear presentable attire during the session and asked to keep the video on while the audio is muted.
Last June, the city government also launched the free Mask Garden Wedding for residents to accommodate couples who want to tie the knot even during the pandemic. Officiated by Mayor Abby, the civil wedding ceremony is held weekly at the Washington Sycip Park in Legaspi Village, except during inclement weather.
Each couple is allowed to bring up to six guests only to attend the wedding. All attendees, including the bride and groom, are required to wear face masks and face shields and observe health protocols such as social distancing.
Before the pandemic, the city had provided mass weddings for indigent couples wherein the city sponsors the couple's wedding attire, the rings, the wedding cakes, and the venue.
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