Lawmaker pushes DNA testing for illegitimate children

A LAWMAKER is proposing that DNA testing be recognized as one way to prove filiation even after the death of the alleged parents of an illegitimate child.

Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento (1st District, Western Samar), author of House Bill 2586, now referred to the House Committee on Revision of Laws, seeks to amend Article 172, 173 and 175 of the Family Code of the Philippines to ensure that claims of filiation will be settled through DNA testing which is a tried and tested scientific method.

“It is unfortunate for illegitimate children who have never had the chance to be acknowledged by their alleged parents during their lifetime,” said Sarmiento.

“The Inclusion of DNA testing will make sure that implementation of the Family Code of the Philippines utilizes to its advantage advancements in technology,” Sarmiento said.

Sarmiento said under the current Family Code, illegitimate filiation may be proven through record of birth or through public or private documents containing admission of filiation by the concerned parent.

Sarmiento said when the first two documents could not be presented, the claim may be proven by the open and continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate child or other means allowed by the Rules of Court as long as the claim is brought during the lifetime of the alleged parent.

“This provision would marginalize illegitimate children whose parents have already died and who did not take necessary steps to acknowledge them as their illegitimate children,” Sarmiento said.

Under the bill, if the alleged parent has already died and no biological sample could be retrieved, DNA testing will be done between child and other children of deceased parents.

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