Divorce Bill Reactions

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Divorce in PH: Pros and cons

MANILA, Philippines - Amid heated debates on the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, lawmakers are setting their sights on another divisive measure: the divorce bill. Speaking on ANC's "The Rundown," Cavite Congressman Elpidio Barzaga says the grounds for divorce are stated in the measure are too flexible. "There is no provision on how long these conditions are existing before the parties in the marriage can avail of divorce." Lawmakers have identified several grounds for divorce: when the married couple has been separated for five years de facto and reconciliation is highly improbable; the couple has been separated for two years before filing for divorce; when the grounds for legal separation (infidelity, psychological incapacity and irreconcilable differences) are present resulting to an irreparable marriage. Barzaga says divorce would not strengthen the nation and may only lead to hasty marriages. "We have a constitutional mandate requiring the protection of the family and state as far as marriage is concerned. According to the framers, in order to have a strong nation, we must have a strong family, and it's necessary for the state to solidify the family, promote its total development and express the sanctity of the Filipino family." "If we allow absolute divorce we may result in hasty marriage. Our wish for having a strong family will not be realized if we allow divorce in the country. Divorce would not strengthen but in fact will destroy the family," Barzaga adds. Unfounded fears

But former Gabriela party-list Representative Liza Maza says, the fear that most married couples will avail of divorce is unfounded. "Divorce is an option for marriages experiencing irreparable breakdown. This is not for happy marriages." Maza adds that a measure providing divorce as an option would, in fact, ensure the survival of problem-ridden families. "A strong family marked by violence violates the sanctity of marriage." "Tayo na lang po ang bansa...
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