Gabriela hopes to revive divorce bill
MANILA, Philippines — Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas is looking to again file a bill on divorce in the 19th Congress, which she hoped would finally become law this time around.
In a radio interview on Sunday, Brosas lamented that the proposed “Absolute Divorce Act” was only approved at the level of the House committee on population and family relations in the 18th Congress.
The bill, sponsored by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, was approved at the committee level in August last year.
“Again we will file this. The remedies currently available to married Filipinos are limited, expensive and are unfavorable to women,” Brosas said.
She pointed out, “We’re the only country in the world without a divorce law. Divorce is not discussed or taboo although our people need to because annulment or legal separation is not enough.”
2 countries remaining
Brosas noted that there are only two sovereign states worldwide without a divorce law: the Philippines and the Vatican, which is mostly populated by priests and nuns.
The Family Code of the Philippines allows legal separation, marriage annulment, and the filing of a petition for the declaration of nullity on the ground of psychological incapacity.
She said that a divorce law would “loosen” grounds for dissolving a marriage particularly when there were irreconcilable differences between the couple.
Brosas assured, “We are also sensitive to the Filipino context and culture,” so the proposed law would not make it too easy to get divorces one after the other.
“We all want happy marriages. We all want that … but we should recognize that there are relationships that are really irreconcilable and those are where we need State remedies, which is divorce,” she pointed out, citing the urgent need of abused spouses, specifically women, to get out of a marriage.
According to Brosas, it would depend on the “configuration of the next administration, on the leadership of the Congress and the Senate” if a divorce bill would be passed.
“Of course, we’re hopeful. We are always hopeful that discussions would be opened on this,” she said.
Brosas noted that it would also help for the people to clamor for a divorce law.
“If that’s what the people truly want, it would come into fruition. I mean if people really want to push for the country to have divorce, it will happen because it’s what the majority wants,” she pointed out.
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