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Should the Divorce Bill Be Passed? PH Divorce Bill Sparks National Debate

Should the Divorce Bill Be Passed? PH Divorce Bill Sparks National Debate

Should the Divorce Bill Be Passed? PH Divorce Bill Sparks National Debate

Since then, the Philippines and the Vatican have been the only countries that don’t support divorce. However, a new divorce bill in the Philippines has been passed to the Senate for reading and approval. This has sparked a national debate between anti-divorce and pro-divorce advocates.

Moreover, those who disagreed with the bill mainly cited religious beliefs. On the other hand, supporters of the bill argue that it provides individuals another chance to find genuine happiness. So, the question for the people is: Should the divorce bill be legalized?

Should the Divorce Bill Be Passed: Annulment vs. Divorce

First, let us learn the two separation procedures in the Philippines. For sure, we know the annulment procedure, which processes separation similarly to divorce. However, the difference between the two is that annulment nullifies a marriage. This enables both parties to remarry; whereas divorce acknowledges the previous marriage and allows for remarriage—the same way as annulment.

Furthermore, annulment and divorce have different grounds for filing. The grounds for annulment include lack of parental consent, psychological incapacity, and more. In contrast, the grounds for divorce include physical violence, addiction, infidelity (such as having a child with someone who is not your spouse), and many others.

Legalizing Divorce in the Philippines

As you can see, the grounds for the new bill offer a wider selection for people to escape abusive situations. Referring back to what Senator Risa Hontiveros said about divorce, she acknowledged that divorce is sad as it signifies separation. However, she emphasized that it should be available to those who need it, as it gives people second chances.

Nobody wants divorce. It’s painful. It signifies the end of love. But it should be there for those who need it. For second chances. For healing.

See Also

Senator Risa Hontiveros, September 2019

Moreover, she also compared the effects of annulment. An annulment requires proof that the other person fits the specific grounds for annulment. For instance, one must prove that their spouse is psychologically incapable of keeping a marriage. Doing this can be draining and damaging to a person’s mental health because they need to go through such measures to force a separation.

Meanwhile, divorce presents more tangible grounds and is generally easier to identify than annulment. And when coming out from an abusive marriage, which unfortunately occurs, divorce offers an easier path to freedom and safety.

Unfortunately, some marriages already involve infidelity, violence, and even child abuse, harming not only spouses but also the children involved. These things might have already voided the sanctity of marriage. Furthermore, recognizing the purpose of this bill demonstrates compassion towards those enduring such situations, providing them with a means to heal and escape abuse. However, it’s understandable that some religious beliefs may clash with the notion of divorce. And if this bill is legalized, individuals who disagree with it can choose not to get one. However, the proposed divorce bill is intended solely for those who need it. Let us not hinder these people from second chances and healing.
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