It’s time to have a divorce law in the Philippines

It’s time to have a divorce law in the Philippines

“Enduring years of physical violence, suffering emotional abuse, tolerating infidelity, allowing children to live in a hostile home and witness daily discord and constant conflict – these are far worse than divorce.” – Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman

“Past surveys have demonstrated that the majority of Filipinos favor divorce to be instituted in the country. We better listen to our people.”
– Senator Risa Hontiveros

ISN’T IT WEIRD that out of all countries on planet Earth, only the theocratic Vatican – headquarters of the Roman Catholic religion – and the Philippines – which, ironically, its Constitution says that there is a separation of Church and state — have not legalized divorce?

Sorry to say, but I really find it stupid for those who argue that having a divorce law in this archipelago will lead to the collapse of our morality, and could cause the breakdown of society.

Religious bigots and close-minded moralists should have empathy for those who are suffering from toxic marriages.

That is why I salute our congressmen when last March 21, the House Population and Family Relations committee unanimously approved a bill seeking to reinstitute absolute divorce for married couples who are in a dysfunctional or abusive relationship.

Whereas, at the Senate, only three senators – Risa Hontiveros, Raffy Tulfo, and Robinhood Padilla – bravely made their stand in favor of divorce.

Last April 18, Hontiveros renewed her call to pass Senate Bill 147 or the Dissolution of Marriage Act.

“When a marriage becomes irreparable, it is incumbent upon the State to not only provide relief to spouses, but also protect children from the pain, anxiety, and trauma of witnessing regular marital clashes. Let us give Filipino families the chance to let go of toxic relationships,” Hontiveros said.

In 2017, the Social Weather Station (SWS) ran a survey, revealing that 53% agreed to legalize divorce. Another survey, run by the Catholic Radio Veritas in 2018, showed that 52% “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” with the measure.

It can also be noted that even the Philippine Commission on Women earlier expressed support for the passage of the divorce bill, saying the current system of not allowing divorce is disadvantageous to Filipino women.

Well, if there are battered wives, then there are also battered husbands, many of whom are just ashamed to come out in the open to bruise their macho egos.

Without recourse to a speedy and inexpensive divorce, these men and women suffer silently through the years.

With a divorce, they can have another crack at happiness.

Personally, I believe that divorce is just like a fire extinguisher that can only be used in hopeless marital situations.

If a couple has a happy and contented married life, then there’s no need to extinguish that blissful union.

I hope that this time the two houses of Congress will pass the divorce bill and the President sign it to become a law that will liberate those trapped in cruel and unhappy marriages.
(Amado Inigo/MTVN)

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