In favor or not? Gabriela files divorce bill for the fifth time in Congress

  • Women’s party-list filed divorce bill in Congress
  • Gabriela reps said it’s time for divorce to be available especially for abused women
  • Survey cited claims 60 percent of Filipinos in favor of divorce

MANILA, Philippines – Are you in favor or not?

For the fifth time, women’s party-list group Gabriela filed their divorce bill in Congress even as it is expected to face rough sailing amid objections from the Catholic Church.

House Bill 2380, filed by Representatives Emmi De Jesus and Arlene Brosas provides that divorce may be availed of by either husband or wife in the following cases:

  • A de facto separation for five years between the spouses with high improbability of reconciliation;
  • A legal separation for two years between the spouses with high improbability of reconciliation;|
  • When the grounds for legal separation has irreparably broken down their marriage
  • Psychological incapacity;
  • Irreconcilable differences making their marriage beyond repair.

According to De Jesus, divorce should be made available especially to women who have been abused by their husbands. She said the constitutional provision of the sanctity of marriage should be construed to mean the quality of each marriage, and not the number of years spouses stay together even though their union has clearly broken down beyond repair.

“A marriage is sacred when there is no violence or abuse and when love and respect prevails. Establishing the state of sanctity of marriage according to the Constitution can be seen not in the number of people married in the country or in the number of years that couples have stayed in the relationship,” she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

For her part, Brosas cited a Pulse Asia survey showing that 60 percent of Filipinos today support a divorce law.

“Three of every five Filipinos or at least 60% are in favor of the legislation of divorce. This shows only not just the public pulse but the de facto need for the option of divorce to be given,” she said.