Lawyer, lawmaker and social media influencer Rep. Margarita Nograles. (Photo from Migs Nograles Facebook)

A proposed amendment to the Family Code of the Philippines seeks to grant limited co-ownership rights in property administration of cohabiting couples, “regardless of gender.”

House Bill No. 9502 filed by Assistant Majority Leader and Representative of Puwersa ng Bayaning (Atleta PBA) Party-list Margarita Nograles advocates for the inclusion of the phrase “regardless of the gender of the couple” to the law.

This is to give protection to “gender-fluid” couples and those in the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.

Nograles emphasized the bill’s significance in recognizing the evolving dynamics of relationships in contemporary society.

“While it may still take more time for the Philippines to fully accept unions of all couples regardless of gender, this bill is something we should not deny those who are vulnerable from economic exploitations of their partners,” she said in the explanatory note.

The bill grants limited co-ownership to “gender-fluid” couples for properties acquired during cohabitation. It outlines that properties obtained through joint contributions will be commonly owned, reflecting the partners’ respective contributions, with an equal presumption in the absence of proof to the contrary.

“In the absence of proof to the contrary, their contributions and corresponding shares are presumed to be equal. The same rule and presumption shall apply to joint deposits of money and evidence of credit,” the bill reads.

In cases where one party is validly married, their share will be absorbed by the existing marriage’s absolute community or conjugal partnership. If bad faith is proven, the share of the party involved, whether validly married or not, shall be forfeited.

“The passage of House Bill No. 9502 is an earnest endeavor to provide equal legal protection to all couples, contributing to the fulfillment of the State’s mandate to safeguard the dignity and human rights of every individual,” Nograles said.

“By passing this bill, we are giving all couples the protection which the State mandates. Thus, the passage of this bill is earnestly sought,” she stressed.

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