Current Issues in Philippines

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1. Divorce in the Philippines
INTROSPECTIVE By Tony Katigbak (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 26, 2012 - 12:00am I am in favor of a divorce law in the Philippines.
I know I may not see such a bill passed by our lawmakers in my lifetime, but I honestly see no reason why such a measure can not be voted on by Congress in the near future. After all, we are the only country other than the Vatican that does not have divorce. Even Spain and Italy and all the other Catholic countries around the world consider divorce a practical solution to a couple that can not live together their whole lives and find themselves miserable and “stuck”. In the past, we still had Malta that also did not practice divorce, but they have also recently decided it was time to face reality. I know it seems like such a drastic change for a country like ours. And immediately when people think of divorce they think of the drive-through marriage and quickie divorces that are the trademark of such countries like the United States. The fear becomes that people will not think things through before getting married because they know they have a way out, so to speak. However, this will not be the case, because a divorce can not be obtained simply because you have decided you no longer like your spouse. There will be regulations and strict reasons for divorce that will be decided upon by the courts, so it is not a quick and easy solution that many others worry about. It is important to at least consider this for our country. There are already close to 800 cases or so being applied for annulment or legal separation a month — most of these cases by women. We need to realize the important reasons why this is happening. A lot of it goes beyond no longer getting along. Sometimes it’s due to domestic violence, infidelity, and abandonement. Should these spouses be made to suffer for the rest of their lives when they find themselves in a situation like this? It certainly does not seem fair. Gabriela Party-list Rep. Luz Ilagan and fellow lawmaker Emmi de Jesus have filed a House bill introducing divorce, under strict conditions, in the Philippines and it is now with the House committee on revision of laws. They are waiting for the committee to schedule hearings to ask sponsors and resource persons to explain the pros and cons of the proposed legislation. It is very likely that this will be tackled by Congress in its third regular session in July. And even as the head of the lower House is supporting the proposal as early as now, Ilagan surmises that the Senate is also likely to support the bill citing the case of several senators who are currently or have undergone the annulment process. It will be a change for sure, but not for the worse. To give people the freedom to divorce their spouse will not make them cavalier about marriage. I think we have to give our people a little more credit than that. This will not be the further breaking down of our morals. Much like the RH bill, which I also consider necessary for our times, divorce will not make it easy to be “immoral”. It simply gives a couple an option when they have exhausted all means to make their relationship work and have found that it is just not possible. Opinion ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Of course, at the same time that certain lawmakers have already given their support to such a bill, we can be sure that there are others who will be vehemently against it. Again, like the RH bill circus, certain lawmakers will make a show of how this will not be for our best interest and will stand firmly with the Catholic Church spouting fire and brimstone. Who can forget the very lively and often utterly confusing dramatics of Senator Sotto during the RH bill voting session. If he thinks he has gained brownie points with the Church for his vigorous stand against the bill, he is severely mistaken. In fact, it is his actions against this bill that made people continue to talk about him. From...
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