House panel approves in principle 8 bills on divorce, subject for consolidation
MANILA, Philippines — A committee in the House of Representatives on Thursday approved in principle eight bills on divorce, which are subject for consolidation.
Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman’s motion for approval for House Bill nos. 78, 1021, 1593, 2593, 3843, 3885, 4957, and 4998 was seconded by other representatives present before the Committee on Population and Family Relations.
The divorce bills will be consolidated into a substitute bill by a technical working group, which Lagman will lead.
“May I move to approve in principle House Bill numbers 78, 1021, 1593, 2593, 3843, 3885, 4957, and 4998 subject to the submission of a substitute bill encompassing the various bills to be crafted by a technical working group soonest with special concern on the civil recognition of marriages dissolved by the Catholic Church and other recognized religious denomination as a possible separate measure but a companion bill to the absolute divorce bill,” said Lagman.
In his speech, Lagman told the committee that the Philippines remains the only country that has not yet legalized absolute divorce, which he said would benefit couples in “inordinately toxic and irreparably dysfunctional marriages.”
He also cited studies from progressive countries that show how children from divorced parents “are more resilient, more loving, and independent as they are liberated from daily exposure to the bickering of their parents.”
Likewise, Cecil Jueco, of the group Divorce for the Philippines Now, said that divorce must be accessible to all couples, especially for victims of abuse and abandonment.
“If church leaders insist on having just an annulment, nullity, and legal separation for their followers, then let them use the church annulment only and allow other religions to have a divorce law,” said Jueco.
“The government should leave the moralizing to the church and objectively address the reality of marriages breaking up of countless Filipinos having families outside of marriages and all the social issues related to the phenomenon,” she added.
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