The House of Representatives yesterday, March 19, has approved on its third and final reading House Bill 7303, or “An Act Instituting Absolute Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage In the Philippines.”
A total of 134 lawmakers voted yes to the bill, while 57 were against it, and two abstained.
House Bill 7303, also known as the “Absolute Divorce Act of 2018,” aims to provide couples in “irremediably failed marriages” to secure absolute divorce under limited grounds as well as “judicial procedures to end dysfunction of a long-broken marriage; save the children from the pain, stress, and agony consequent to their parents' constant marital clashes; and grant the divorced spouses the right to marry again for another chance to achieve marital bliss.”
“Absolute divorce,” as stated in the bill, is “the separation between married couples that is total and final where the husband and wife return to their status of being single with the right to contract marriage again.”
Grounds for an absolute divorce include the following:
- reasons stated under legal separation and annulment under the Family Code of the Philippines
- separation for at least five years
- legal separation by judicial decree for at least two years
- psychological incapacity
- gender reassignment surgery
- irreconcilable differences
- joint petition of spouses
The bill will now be transferred to the Senate for further deliberations.
“Ang Presidente po ay tutol sa divorce. Ang sabi niya, kawawa ang mga anak at kung magkakaroon ng divorce mawawalan ng karapatang magsampa ng kaso ang mga asawa na pinabayaan ng asawa nila matapos ang divorce,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Netizens also shared their thoughts on the historical feat (this is the farthest the bill has reached in Congress).
Some are already looking forward for the bill to become an act:
While others are still opposed to it...
The Philippines is one of only two countries (the other is the Vatican) in the world that does not allow divorce.