Divorce Bill

Topics: Family law, Divorce, Marriage Pages: 21 (6130 words) Published: June 4, 2013
Here is the copy or full text of Divorce Bill in the Philippines, also known as House Bill No. 1799, filed by Gabriela Representative Liza Maza in Congress in 2005. The bill was re-filed in August 2010 by Gabriela Women's party-list.

Philippines is the only country, apart from the Vatican City State, that does not allow divorce. 

House Bill 1799, or An Act Introducing Divorce in the Philippines, and other divorce bill such as House Bill No. 6993 filed by La Union Representative Manuel C. Ortega in congress are being opposed by Philippine Catholic Church leaders. They warned that the proposal to introduce divorce in the Philippines would further divide the country after the bitter debate over the contentious reproductive health (RH) bill and implant a "culture of death" in the nation. Republic of the Philippines

Quezon City

First Regular Session

House Bill No. 1799

Introduced by GABRIELA Women's Party


Underpinning this proposal is a commitment to the policy of the State to protect and strengthen marraige and the family as basic social institutions, to value the dignity of every human person, to guarantee full respect for human rights, and to ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men. 

In the Filipino culture, marriage is regarded as a sacred union, and the family founded on marriage is considered as a fount of love, protection and care. Philippine society generally frowns upon and discourages marital break-ups and so provides cultural and legal safeguards to perserve marital relations. Cultural prescriptions and religious norms keep many couples together despite the breakdown of the marriage. But the cultural prescriptions for women and men differ. Women are traditionally regarded as primarily responsible for making the marriage work and are expected to sacrifice everything to preserve the marriage and the solidarity of the family. While absolute fidelity is demanded of wives, men are granted sexual license to have affairs outside marriage. Yet when the marriage fails, the woman is blamed for its failure.

Reality tells us that there are many failed, unhappy marriages across all Filipino classes. Many couples especially from the marginalized sectors, who have no access to the courts, simply end up separating without the benefit of legal processes. The sheer number of petitions that have been filed since 1988 for the declaration of the nullity of the marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code (commonly known as "annulment") shows that there are just too many couples who are desperate to get out of failed marriages. 

Even when couples start out well in their marriage, political, economical and social realities take their toll on their relationship. Some are not prepared to handle the intricacies of the married life. For a large number of women, the inequalities and violence in marriage negate its ideals as the embodiment of love, care and safety and erode the bases upon which a marriage is founded. The marital relations facilitate the commission of violence and perpetuate their oppression. Official figures in 2009 showed that nineteen women were victims of marital violence everyday. Among the different forms of violence and abuse against women committed in 2009, wife battery ranked highest at 6,783 or 72% according to the Philippine National Police (PNP). The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) likewise recorded marital violence as highest among different forms of violence against owmen at 1,933. Previous reports of the PNP about three of ten perpetrators of violence against women were husbands of the victims. Husbands accounted for 28 percent of the violence against women crimes. 

Given these realities, couples must have the option to avail of remedies that will pave the way for the attainment of their full human development and...
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