Hontiveros hopes divorce bill can be given ‘fair hearing’ in Senate

PHOTO: Sen. Risa Hontiveros STORY: Hontiveros hopes divorce bill can be given ‘fair hearing’ in Senate

Sen. Risa Hontiveros (File photo from the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau)

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Risa Hontiveros expressed hope on Wednesday that a divorce bill could find its way back onto the Senate’s legislative agenda.

In the House of Representatives, a bill on absolute divorce was brought for plenary consideration on Tuesday.

The divorce bill in the Senate, however, remains pending for plenary discussion.

“I had the committee report of the Senate Committee on Women regarding the dissolution of marriage bill signed months ago. But it has not yet been scheduled for plenary interpellation and debate,” Hontiveros said, speaking partly in Filipino, in a press briefing.

It has been five months since the Committee on Women, which she chairs, came out with a report on Senate Bill No. 2443, which aims to expand the grounds for the dissolution of marriage.

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The “grant of absolute divorce” is specified and defined in the bill.

“In these times, I hope that like many important bills delayed due to the significant and intense turmoil surrounding Cha-cha [Charter change], this will also be heard in consideration of the Senate’s response to various situations affecting our fellow citizens who are experiencing appalling situations that are not right in marriage, not right in the family — such as violence, various forms of abuse, and neglect. That’s not what we all envision for marriage and family life,” Hontiveros said.

She could not say though if the bill could get the approval of Congress within the year.

“I’m not sure if it’s possible within the year. But I hope that within this Congress, the Senate will give it a fair hearing,” she said.