91 couples say ‘I do’ in Valentine’s Day Iloilo City mass wedding
ILOILO CITY — Ninety-one indigent couples from this city exchanged vows, highlighting the celebration of the “Heart’s Day” in this City of Love, on Wednesday.
Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III, who officiated the wedding, underscored that the event was significant for the couples as they now can avail of rights and privileges given by the government to families.
He added that their children will “be naturally born legitimate”.
“Your family will be supported by the government because the family is the basic social institution protected by our government,” he said.
He added that the city government and its people are with them as they exchange their marriage vows. They gained support from the community through their godparents who witnessed the ceremony.
“This is one happy occasion. I am, happy to see love prospering in our city. Love is in the air,” he said.
He added that if this kind of activity continues, then “love will spread” that will also reflect the image of Iloilo as the “City of Love” and that the family is being considered sacred in this part of the country.
The couples were provided with free wedding rings by the city government in addition to the free processing of their documents.
The activity is spearheaded by the City Population Office and City Civil Registry Office in partnership with SM City Iloilo that provided the venue.
Chytchymua Rejaba, organizer of the event, said they hoped to sustain the activity to be able to reach out to more unmarried couples.
She said that they came up with an idea to organize the mass wedding after finding out the number of illegitimate children in this city or whose parents are not married.
“The City Population has a program wherein we gather all the information from the City Civil Registry Office about how many children in the city were illegitimate or whose parents are not married. As of January 2013, we recorded a total of 400 couples who are not married. We continue to sort out the data,” she said. (PNA)
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