Lawmaker hopeful of no further delay in approval of divorce bill

Lawmaker hopeful of no further delay in approval of divorce bill

/ 05:10 AM February 07, 2024

Divorce stock images

A veteran lawmaker expressed hope that the approval of the absolute divorce bill, which was sent back to a House panel for review, would face no further delay.

The House committee on population and family relations, in a hearing on Tuesday, decided to send back the draft measure unchanged to the committee on rules, which had previously recommitted the bill instead of setting its deliberation at the plenary.


Lagman lamented that similar divorce bills have been filed since the 8th Congress or about 37 years ago.


The committee on population and family relations, chaired by Isabela Rep. Ian Paul Dy, earlier moved to send the bill to the House rules panel without any alteration so that it could be calendared for debates and approval at the plenary. The motion was approved.

But Lagman said the rules committee recommitted House Bill No. 9349 on the grounds that it should have been referred to the panel on appropriations before it could be sent to the plenary.

The committee on population and family relations, however, again returned the bill to the rules committee, which set it for deliberations at the plenary.

“Only bills with an appropriation language are referred to the appropriations committee. The divorce bill has no appropriation language,” Lagman said.

READ: Filipinos demand right to divorce: ‘We want to break free’

“The appropriation cover of a bill, if necessary, can be provided for by the plenary during the period of committee or individual amendments. The plenary has superior authority than the committee on appropriations,” he added.


Pro-women legislation

According to him, the need for appropriation can be supplied in the Senate version or provided during the bicameral conference committee.

“The need for funding can be provided for in the annual General Appropriations Act,” Lagman said.

He pointed out that besides the Vatican, the Philippines is the only country that has yet to legalize divorce.

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“Millions of Filipino women have been waiting for the enactment of this bill since this is a pro-woman legislation considering that wives are the victims of toxic and destroyed marriages due to the cruelty, violence, or abandonment by their husbands,” Lagman said. INQ

TAGS: divorce, Divorce bill, law

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