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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

MARRIAGE MATTER: Sri Lankans Marrying In The Philippines


Inquiry: Two LDS Sri Lankan nationals are planning to have their Temple Marriage at the Manila Philippines Temple and they would like to inquire the arrangement and the requirements they needed to complete prior to the said marriage.


Reply: All parties to a marriage in the Philippines whether Filipinos or foreigners are required to secure a Marriage License unless exempt under Articles 27, 28, 33 & 34 of the Family Code of the Philippines (i.e. in the point of death, in five - year cohabitation without legal impediments, no means of transportation, muslim marriages, etc.) But in addition to the usual requirements for marriage license, the Philippine Government requires foreigners to obtain from his/her Embassy or Consulate in the Philippines, a “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage” before applying for a marriage license. This certification affirms that there are no legal impediments to the intended marriage of the parties pursuant to the first paragraph of Article 21 of the Family Code of the Philippines, which states:
“When either or both of the contracting parties are citizens of a foreign country, it shall be necessary for them before a marriage license can be obtained, to submit a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage, issued by their respective diplomatic or consular officials.”

Since both parties to the marriage are Sri Lankan nationals, they should contact the Sri Lankan Embassy or Consulate in the Philippines [srilanka@broline.com] for the requirements in securing this Legal Capacity to Marry. Once the parties are already issued a Legal Capacity to Marry, they can go to the Local Civil Registrar of the place where they are found in the Philippines. Usually LDS foreigners apply for Marriage License at the Quezon City Local Civil Registrar, since the Manila Philippines Temple is in Quezon City. At the Office of the Quezon City Civil Registrar, the parties will need to present their respective Certificates of Legal Capacity, Birth certificates with an English copy, passports with appropriate 9A Temporay Visitors Entry visas [from the consulate abroad since Sri Lankans are “restricted nationals”], arrival stamps, documentation regarding parental consent (if between 18-21 years old) or parental advice (if 21-25 years old) and divorce decree [if previously married or a death certificate if a widow or widower]. Please note that there is a 10 - day waiting period before the Marriage License can be issued so the parties have to consider that in planning their length of stay in the Philippines. This waiting period is prescribed by law to inform the public about the pending license application and to give the local civil registrar an opportunity to entertain any objections to the upcoming marriage. The marriage license, once issued, is valid in any part of the Philippines for 120 days. If it has not been used during this 120-day period it will then automatically expire.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

TAX TALKS: Importation of Disaster Relief Goods -Duties & VAT Exemptions


My client is a consignee of 500 family tents and 5 sets of water purification equipment from the United States for Typhoon Yolanda disaster relief. Since my client is an accredited Resource Agency of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and what are being shipped are relief goods, the importations can enjoy both import duties and import VAT exemptions (and even warehouse storage fees waiver). All exemptions are processed at the One - Stop - Shop created by the Bureau of Customs pursuant to Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) dated November 11, 2013.



Pursuant to the CMO, the documentary requirements for the release of donated relief goods have been streamlined and simplified. To facilitate their immediate release, only a letter of intent to donate goods (or Deed of Donation), original copy of the bill of Lading or airway bill, and a packing list and/or a commercial invoice (among other documents as may be required), are needed provided that all donations shall only be to the account of the DSWD and/or any DSWD registered relief organization like my client.




Provided further that "used clothing" cannot be subject of any donations whether exempt or not from duties and taxes.




In addition to the above, there is also a need to submit (i) Notarized Deed of Acceptance by consignee; (ii)Board Resolution in favor of authorized representative (me) for file only;(iii)Notarized Secretary's Certificate with attached photocopy of signatory's I.D. and (iv)Distribution Plan for the donations.


At the One-Stop Shop, there is a need to sign the following Pro-Forma Documents: (i) Deed of Donation by consignee in favor of DSWD; (ii)Affidavit of Undertaking (that consignee will be the one to distribute and submit Post Distribution Plan within one month); (iii) File Informal Entry; and (iv)Obtain Gate Pass.


The process is fast since the signatories from the DSWD, Department of Finance (DoF) Revenue Group and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) are just table away from each other.