It appears that the Divorce Bill would violate the constitutional provision to protect and strengthen marriage and the family as basic social institutions. „Divorce is a deterrent to working on differences,“ said a pastoral statement by the Catholic Bishops` Conference of the Philippines, reaffirming its stance against the divorce law. „Marriage is and should be a work in progress.“ Duterte has spoken out against divorce in the past. But he has also been a fierce and vicious critic of the Catholic Church over the church`s condemnation of its war on drugs, which rights groups say has claimed more than 12,000 lives since it began nearly two years ago. „It`s assumed there`s violence, but that`s not always the case, and there`s always a social impact on children and couples,“ Alvarez said. Not allowing divorce as a legal option is like not allowing emergency exits in a building. Imagine there was a fire, but the building owner didn`t have emergency exits in place because they „don`t believe it“ and you were expected to continue to manage the fire, not escape. Always imagine a building infested with toxic mold, but that you are not allowed to evacuate because others could not understand why you did not have the will to cure it. Hopefully, most people won`t have to use emergency exits in their lives. And you`ll be happy that it`s there when you need it. The bill consolidates several previously introduced divorce laws, all of which are aimed at allowing marriage dissolution and addressing the concerns of couples in failed marriages. This version represents an important step: going through the committee phase, it is more advanced than any previous attempt to legalize divorce.

Sotto`s own opposition, he says, won`t stop him from allowing a vote in the Senate. „We will discuss it,“ he said. „I`m not going to stand in the way of the bill because I`m not in favor of divorce, that doesn`t mean I`m not going to do my job. If a senator comes to me and says, „Please put it on the Orders of the Day because we want it discussed,“ after discussing it in committee, so be it. We will. Marriage, as one of the sacraments of the Catholic Church, has this indelible identity of God`s fidelity to his people. Spouses are therefore called to witness to a life of God`s fidelity to his people, remaining faithful for life. Thus, divorce is certainly contrary to Catholic Christian marriage and family life. Even by the standards of the former Spanish colonies, the Philippines has extremely socially conservative laws.

It is the only country in the world, outside Vatican City, that prohibits divorce (with the exception of Muslims). The only way to end a marriage, other than to die, is to have it annulled, but this can only happen for narrow reasons and at a high cost. Abortion is also illegal, and anyone who undergoes or performs it faces up to six years in prison. Contraceptives, while not banned, are the subject of fierce legal battles as opponents seek to prevent the state from distributing them. But a bill passed by the Philippine House of Representatives in March gives divorce advocates hope. It would allow divorce for a variety of reasons, including irreconcilable differences, abuse, infidelity, and abandonment. The Philippines is the only place in the world, outside Vatican City, where divorce is illegal. But a bill currently before the House of Representatives could change that. Yet there is an unusual level of bipartisan support for the divorce bill — a concern of the Catholic Church. MANILA – When Amy Perez-Castillo tried to separate from her husband, she had to tell the courts that she was suffering from mental illness. This was not true, but it was the only way for her to obtain a legal separation in the Philippines, where divorce is illegal.

Nonsense, says Padilla. She says the Philippines „is pretty much behind the rest of the world“ — even in the „dark ages,“ she says — when it comes to issues like divorce and LGBT rights. „The president is against divorce,“ Duterte`s spokesman said at a press conference after the ruling in March this year. Divorce has been shown to have a negative impact on the children concerned, especially during the transition period when they face the separation of their parents. This can manifest itself in a variety of ways, such as decreased social skills, susceptibility to anger, and increased irritability. Cornelio says a divorce bill is a reasonable and even „inevitable“ next step after the passage of the country`s reproductive health law in 2013, which gave poorer Filipinos in particular access to birth control. Many congregations have been slow to implement the Reproductive Health Act, which took more than a decade – a testament to the power the church still enjoys. If the bill goes to Parliament, there would be state prosecutors for those who cannot afford the costs associated with a divorce.

The ongoing battle does not bode well for the divorce legalization bill currently before Congress. Mr Duterte`s own marriage was annulled after a court ruled that he was so business-inclined that his wife of 27 years had been only nominal. But religious opposition to the law is so strong that even Mr. Duterte does not support it. Still, says Carlos Conde of Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group, the ongoing attempts to introduce liberal bills despite their slim chances of success are an encouraging sign in themselves. ■ Overall, we believe that divorce should not be legalized in our country for the benefit of the physical, psychological and emotional state of children, as well as for the protection of the family. We must continue our fight against the full adoption of the divorce law. It is not too late to take a stand for protecting the sanctity of Filipino marriages and families. As it is often seen as unfair or too complicated due to its many specific conditions, many Filipinos have called for the legalization of divorce in order to have an easier and less complicated way to withdraw an unsuccessful marriage. The Philippine legal system has been in place against it for more than 70 years, but recently, Bills 100, 838 and 2263, the bills introducing divorce, were approved by a House committee. Nevertheless, we remain firmly convinced that divorce must continue to be prohibited in our country.

As a couple, if you don`t want to consider divorce in your marriage, you don`t have to. The legalization of divorce does not threaten harmonious families. People who are happy and satisfied with their marriage won`t suddenly rush to get one just because it`s available. If you`re worried that your spouse will divorce once it becomes legal, then you have much more important things to take care of in your relationship. However, it can save the lives of many victims of domestic violence (mostly women) and allow people to take control of their lives. Finally, with the legalization of divorce, the Filipino spirit is being tested. As a predominantly Catholic country, Filipinos believe in the sanctity of marriage and family life. Both are gifts of the ultimate source of life and love that his people have never abandoned throughout history. Although the divorce bill received strong support in the House of Representatives, opposition is much stronger in the Senate. Women are the most affected by the lack of divorce legislation.

With 49.4 percent of the population but only 34 percent of the workforce, they are rarely the breadwinners, according to statistics provided to News Deep by the Philippine Bureau of Statistics. If enough Filipinos publicly show that they support a divorce bill, populist Duterte could join. Some observers suspect that giving people what they want while giving the Church a black eye, could be a second that Duterte simply cannot resist. If passed, the law will provide for formal separation for couples with irreconcilable differences in cases of abuse or where the couple is already de facto separated.