Abstract. This study explored the effects of the Anti-Child and Forced Marriage Ordinance on the Tagakaulo and Blaan in Malungon, Sarangani Province. A mixed method employing quantitative and qualitative approaches, specifically concurrent triangulation design was used to gather relevant data. This study provided the customary practices of the indigenous communities in which the results showed the gender separation and taboos against premarital interaction between men and women. They also accepted polygyny and the separation of married couples. The marital practices of Blaan and Tagakaulo include child and arranged marriages as well as the instances of forced marriages where children married against their own will. Malungon enacted the Anti-Child and Forced Marriage Ordinance in 2018 to ensure children's education and protection. The results showed that the mentioned practices declined as it is prohibited, especially with the approval of RA 11596 or the law criminalizing child marriage. Even though there are violators in its initial implementation in the far-flung areas, results showed that both communities highly accepted the Anti-Child and Forced Marriage ordinance and the law criminalizing child marriage with the subthemes: education as a priority, protection, and welfare of their children, and negative consequences of early marriage. Furthermore, friendships and relationships are already accepted without requiring them to marry instantly. This study contributed to the understanding of the implementation of the Anti-Child and Forced Marriage ordinance followed by approval of the law criminalizing child marriage affected the customary marital practices of the Blaan and Tagakaulo communities.

Keywords: Child marriage; Forced marriage; Arranged marriage; Government ordinance.