The Makati city government, through the Makati Social Welfare Department (MSWD), is offering pre-marriage counseling services online for residents who wish to apply for a marriage license amid the health crisis situation.
Mayor Abigail Binay said the initiative is part of the city government’s measures to provide public service as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“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 the marriage license application,” Binay said in a statement.
Mask weddings in Makati
At the onset of the pandemic, the national government has prohibited the conduct of mass gatherings including glamorous weddings for couples intending to tie the knot.
However, the city government continues to solemnize civil weddings provided that couples comply with all documentary requirements of the city civil registration office.
Binay said the city has been holding mask weddings for couples, as part of the city government’s move to halt the spread of the Covid-19 within the city.
“We intend to continuously innovate and reinvent our systems and processes,” Binay said. “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.”
Before the pandemic, the MSWD said the pre-marriage counseling sessions were held thrice a week attended by 15 to 18 couples per session.
Currently, sessions are conducted daily for a maximum of four couples to observe strict physical distancing and other safety protocols.
With the launching of the online counseling service, the city government targets to accommodate up to 15 couples per session.
Residents who wish to avail of the service should contact the MSWD Family and Men’s Welfare Section at 8870-1644 and provide their email address and contact information.
After that, they will be asked to fill out online registration forms for pre-marriage counseling and family planning, and wait for the confirmation of their schedule for online counseling.
Once the couples get a confirmation message, they will then 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,” the city government said in an advisory.
“After attending the online session on the scheduled date, the couples will be given a certificate of attendance via their given email addresses,” it added, noting that the applicant couples need to present the certificate together with the official receipt to claim the pre-marriage counseling certificate at the MSWD office located at the 4th floor of the city hall main building.
During the session proper, the city government requires the online counseling participants to 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,” the city government said.
In June, the city government has started the free Mask Garden Wedding for residents to accommodate couples who want to tie the knot amid the pandemic.
Binay officiates the civil wedding ceremony at the Washington Sycip Park in Legaspi Village, every week.
Each couple is allowed to bring up to six guests only to attend the wedding ceremony.
The attendees including the bride and groom are required to wear face masks and face shields and observe stringent health protocols to prevent the Covid-19 transmission.
Before the pandemic, the city government has been conducting mass weddings for indigent couples wherein the city government provided the couple’s wedding attire, rings, wedding cakes, and the venue. (PNA)