Bills on divorce, civil partnership, 5 yrs of separation as ground for annulment filed
MANILA, Philippines — Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers has filed a bill allowing five years of separation as another ground for nullifying a couple’s marriage, while former Speaker and Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez refiled his absolute divorce and civil partnership bills.
House Bill No. 502 seeks to amend Title I, Chapter 3, of Executive Order No. 209 or the “Family Code of the Philippines” by introducing Article 45-A which provides that a “marriage may also be annulled if the parties have been separated in fact for at least five years.”
In his explanatory note, Barbers said HB 502 seeks to acknowledge a factual and existing marital condition for many Filipinos.
“Without dwelling on the deeper reasons behind the separation, this bill offers a remedy without opening a Pandora’s box or a can of worms that are usually present during annulment proceedings,” he said.
Barbers argued that five years of actual separation would make the couples estrange enough that a possible reconciliation is unlikely. Five years should have also made the parties “adjust and move on with their individual lives without further straining the relationship,” according to him.
Divorce, civil partnership
Alvarez, meanwhile, has refiled his pet bills, Absolute Divorce Bill under House Bill No. 2263 and Civil Partnership Bill under House Bill No. 2264.
HB 2263 seeks to provide spouses in “irremediably failed marriages” to secure an absolute divorce decree under limited grounds, to protect children from pain and stress resulting from their parents’ marital problems, and to grant divorced spouses to marry again.
Under the proposed civil partnership measure, all benefits and protections granted to spouses in marriage under existing laws, administrative orders, court rulings, or those derived as a matter of public policy would also be enjoyed by civil partnership couples.
“This bill… hereby proposes to allow couples to enter into a civil partnership, whether they are of the opposite or of the same sex,” Alvarez said.
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