Feb 6, 2020

On Feb. 5, one of the many filed bills pushing for divorce in the Philippines was approved by the House of Representatives. During the hearing of the House Committee on Population and Family Relations, the panel approved House Bill No. 100 or the Absolute Divorce Bill of 2019 authored by Albay 5th District Rep. Edcel Lagman.

A technical working group (TWG) will then be formed and tasked to combine the Absolute Divorce Bill of 2019 with other divorce bills authored by Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Arlene Brosas and Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez alongside inputs from resource persons before it will be passed to the Senate and eventually be up for voting in a bicameral conference. 

The House’s acknowledgement to the divorce bill was unsurprisingly met with mixed reactions. In an Inquirer report, several pro-family groups and individuals brought up how this will threaten the sanctity of marriage with some also suggesting to change the word “divorce” owing to its negative connotations that spring from Western cultures. 

“Catholicism is also a foreign concept and we have embraced it in the Philippines,” said Rep. Lagman in response. “Now, we will have to restudy the suggestion that we should call this bill a reinstitution of divorce because truly, we had divorce practices and policies even before the Spanish time.”

A deluge of sentiments and arguments were evident on social media. Here’s what people had to say: 

 

Many citizens were declaring that it was about time for divorce to be legalized since the Philippines is in fact the only remaining state aside from the Vatican City without any divorce laws. 

People also found this to be good news as a divorce law will bring freedom to the rising number of people who are in bad marriages

 

Then again, some people were still against it as they brought up religious beliefs and argued that this will make it even harder to trust and commit to your partner and may as well promote infidelity.

But a reasonable point by @veryvalderrama is that Divorce will ultimately depend on the couple and the marriage.

An intriguing conspiracy theory is that this announcement is simply being used as a distraction from the rising coronavirus cases in the Philippines. 

With all the controversy, I also sent the news article to a group chat to see my friends’ opinions. One of my friends who’s in law school replied with this:

House’s nod to divorce bill met with mixed reactions
Screenshot of our group chat where I sent Inquirer’.net’s breaking news about the divorce bill

After voicing his opinions, he goes on to explain how the House’s approval is still only the first step as it will need to go through hearings before it becomes a law. 

Another reply was from a friend who has admittedly suffered the consequences of a dysfunctional marriage. She echoes:

House’s nod to divorce bill met with mixed reactions
Another friend’s reply in our group chat about the divorce bill

And the final reaction is from the other half of a couple who could be affected by divorce becoming a law in the near future.

A comment among many under a news post about the divorce bill

 

 

 

Header photo by  pasja1000 on Pixabay

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Read more:

Divorce is finally making progress in the PH

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