Iloilo to pilot test counseling centers for couples in crisis


ILOILO – Couples having a hard time together can soon find guidance on how to keep their relationship intact in six selected towns here.

Dubbed as the “Multipurpose Counseling and Family Development Center” (MCFDC), this new project will be pilot tested in the towns of Oton, San Miguel, Alimodian, Cabatuan, Dueñas and Concepcion starting this year.

Manned by trained marriage counselors, MCFDC is a venue mainly intended for the conduct of pre-marriage counseling sessions as a pre-requisite to the issuance of marriage license (Presidential Decree 965) to engage or to-be-married couples.

But the center will also accept and give priority to married clients with marital problems and conflicting parenting styles, explained Provincial Population Officer Ramon C. Yee, the proponent of the project.

“This is where couples can learn about marriage enrichment, how to resolve or avoid marital crisis and depending on the case, there will be trial separation counseling to those who think that their marriage is collapsing,” said Yee.

With a budget of P1.8-million or P300,000 each, MCFDC will be established pursuant to the new Family Code, the Local Civil Code and the Reproductive Health Law.

It will also serve as a sanctuary for individuals, youth, single parents, and indigenous peoples so they can develop their potential as individuals, as responsible spouse, parents and active members of the community.

“The solid foundation of the family is one of the major determinants of having an empowered community, the reason why interventions have to be made in order to make couples realize their responsibilities in founding a family,” stressed Yee.

The pre-marriage counseling session in MCFDC covers lectures on marriage and relationships, responsible parenthood, maternal and child health, family planning and home management.

The session is a must for engaged couples so they can be equipped with the right knowledge and attitude on how to make their marriage successful and how to nurture their own family, he said.

He added that the project is timely considering the rising trend of marriage as a result of teenage pregnancy, increasing number of illegitimate births and unemployed couples in the province.

“The (pre-marriage counseling) session is the opportune time for the government to remind these couples of their responsibilities. We want them to be prepared so they can share in producing stronger families and contribute to nation building,” he said.

MCFDC is in partnership with the host local government unit, liga ng mga barangay and faith-based organizations.

It will be open come June-August 2017depending on the schedule of inauguration and blessing of each center.

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