A Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) is simply what its name implies. It is a certification issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) stating that a person has not contracted marriage. The NSO is the central repository of among others, marriage records in the Philippines. It receives copies of marriage certificates from local civil registrars pursuant to the duty of the person solemnizing the marriage to send the duplicate and triplicate copies of the marriage certificate not later than fifteen days after the marriage, to the local civil registrar of the place where the marriage was solemnized.
A CENOMAR is not a requirement for marriage. It is only essential if you want to be certain that the civil status of the person you are marrying is still single and that he or she is unattached. This may be important since any marriage contracted while another one is still subsisting is considered as null and void under Article 35 (4) of the Family Code of the Philippines for being bigamous. Moreover, bigamy (the contracting of a second or subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been legally dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered in the proper proceedings) is also punishable as a crime under Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code. So if you have doubts regarding the civil status of your future spouse, it might be a good idea to procure a CENOMAR.
At times, a CENOMAR may be required if your future spouse is applying for a fiancee visa in your behalf. Moreover, Philippine embassies may also require a CENOMAR for Filipino nationals who wish to get married in a foreign country or in the Philippine Embassy within the foreign country.
You can now avail of a CENOMAR through the internet. The e-Census (www.e-census.com.ph) is an online facility that allows you to submit requests for Certificates of No Marriage. According to its website, for local requests, the price for copy issuance for CENOMAR (Singleness) fee per copy is PhP400.00, except if you opt to pay using credit card where your request will be considered as a foreign request and will be charged in US currency. The fees for local requests are inclusive of courier charges for destinations within the Philippines.
For foreign requests, the price is US25.00 per copy for CENOMAR (Singleness) requests. The fees are inclusive of delivery charges using the registered mail service of the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost). For more information, please visit the e-census faq page.