Tuesday, September 18, 2018
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Church survey: More Filipinos ‘strongly agree’ with divorce law

More Filipinos “strongly agree” with the legalization of divorce in the country, with more women than men expressing their approval for it, a survey by the Catholic Church-run Radio Veritas has indicated.

Based on the Veritas Truth Survey (VTS) released on Tuesday, 39 percent of the 1,200 respondents from urban and rural areas nationwide said that they “strongly agree” with making divorce legal, with 35 percent saying they “strongly disagree.”

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The House of Representatives on Monday passed the bill allowing divorce and the dissolution of marriage. The bill will be transmitted to the Senate for its concurrence.

Of those surveyed, 13 percent said they “somewhat agree,” while another 13 percent said they “somewhat disagree.”

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The survey was conducted by the Research Department of Radio Veritas from December 2017 to January 2018.

‘Wake-up call’

Radio Veritas president Fr. Anton Pascual described the results of the survey as “a wake-up call and a big challenge to the Catholic Church” which, he said, opposed divorce because this would further destroy the bond between  husband and wife.

More female respondents “strongly agreed” with legalizing divorce at 43 percent, versus 34 percent of male respondents expressing strong approval for it. Thirty five percent of female and male respondents, respectively, said they “strongly disagreed” with having divorce in the country.

Younger, richer

Younger respondents “strongly agreed” with the legalization of divorce, with 43 percent aged 13-20 years old, 34 percent aged 21-39, 38 percent from 40-60 years old, and 19 percent aged 61 and above.

Respondents who are better off economically tend to favor divorce as well, with 46 percent of those who “strongly agree” coming from Class A; 62 percent from Class B; 55 percent from Class C2; 48 percent from Class C1; 40 percent from Class D, and 31 percent from Class E.

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Not any less Catholic

Pro-divorce lawmakers, meanwhile, assured the faithful that approving divorce would not make the Philippines any less Catholic.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the bill’s co-author, pointed out that many other Catholic countries have legalized divorce, including Ireland, Italy and Spain.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said that even Jerusalem—where Jesus Christ lived—has a law on divorce.

In the meantime, he added, there was still time to change the mind of President Duterte, who had expressed reservations on divorce, saying he had the welfare of children and neglected spouses in mind.

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TAGS: Anton Pascual, Divorce bill, Radio Veritas, Veritas Truth Survey
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