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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Bill on ‘absolute divorce’ gets House vote on second reading

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The House of Representatives on Wednesday night approved on second reading the measure legalizing divorce in the Philippines—a predominantly Catholic country.

The lower chamber presided by Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales, Jr.—in a viva voce (voice) voting—approved House Bill 9349, or an “Act reinstituting absolute divorce as an alternative mode for the dissolution of marriage.”  The bill is authored by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman.

The bill proposes to reinstitute divorce as an alternative mode for the dissolution of an irreparably broken or dysfunctional marriage under limited grounds and well-defined judicial procedures.

It grants the divorced spouse the right to marry again for another chance to achieve marital bliss.

Divorce, according to the bill, will “save the children from the pain, stress, and agony consequent to their parents’ marital clashes or irreconcilable differences.”

The bill stated the grounds upon which a petition for absolute divorce may be filed, such as the grounds for legal separation under the Family Code of the Philippines; the grounds for annulment of marriage under the Family Code of the Philippines; separation of the spouses for at least five years; psychological incapacity as provided in the Family Code of the Philippines; irreconcilable differences and domestic or marital abuse.

It also recognizes the validity of a foreign divorce decree secured by either the alien or Filipino spouse provided it is authenticated by the Philippine Consul.

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