The Philippines remains the only nation in the world that does not have a law legalizing divorce. Is the country ready for such a law?
The Divorce Bill, is a bill aiming to protect and strengthen marriage 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. This bill give Filipino couples in irreparable and unhappy marriages an option.
Yes, we are a Catholic country. God did not made man and woman to be united and then separated after dealing with problems. But this bill is a CHOICE, an OPTION. It is a chance for either the wife or the husband to make amends about what he or she has done wrong in the past. And by this, they are able to live a new and happy life. Despite the beliefs, traditions, and cultures, put yourself in the shoes of a battered wife. Wouldn’t you want to leave your marriage? Would you keep up with the abuses your partner gives you? Would you keep up with the marriage that would probably lead to nothing? Would you want your children to suffer because of a broken family? Would you keep trying to make your marriage work even though you know it won’t anymore?
I am sure that we all have the same answer for that, NO.
Being a Catholic country and having a Filipino culture, marriage is regarded as a sacred union, and the foundation of family which undergone marriage is considered as a source of love, where there should be protection and care throughout the family. Because of our views, the Philippines society strongly discourages marital break-ups and provides cultural safeguards to preserve marital relations. But as we all know, the men and women’s customs in terms of culture differ. Women are expected of making the marriage work and preserving the marriage. When the marriage fails, women are the ones to blame for its failure.
In reality, there are many unhappy and failed marriages. Even when couples start out very well in their marriage, political, economic and social issues take over and somehow ruin their relationship. Some are not even prepared to handle to have a married life. The inequalities and violence in marriage make the couples forget the embodiment of love,care and safety.
This bill show the Filipino families that separation is usually the last resort of many Filipino couples whose marriage has failed. Divorce could actually provide protection to battered women and their children from further violence and abuse. With the dominating Catholic faith in the Philippines, the fear that divorce will destroy personal values on marriage appears erroneous. But as to what I mentioned earlier, it is a matter of choice. When the spouses suffer from irreconcilable differences that have caused the irreparable breakdown of the marriage, divorce may be granted. This bill also includes when one or both spouses are unable to comply with the essential marital obligations and the conflicting differences that causes the irreparable breakdown of the marriage.
Currently, Philippines only allow annulment of marriage – a long, expensive, and painful legal process for estranged couples who no longer want to live together as man and wife. But a for divorce, the processes will not be as financially, emotionally, and legally taxing as annulment.
I think divorce should be available to people who become violent at the sight of each other. That is better than making each other miserable for the rest of their lives and impacting the lives of their children as well.
I, as a scholar, think that the Philippine society is ready for the legalization of divorce. When a marriage is no longer viable, divorce should be an OPTION.
We are ready and we are the only country left now.