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New Divorce Bill Stirs Controversy in the Philippines

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The Philippines and Vatican City are the only Catholic countries and in fact the only two countries which do not permit divorce. Though The Philippines is a democratic country, and over the years, the evolution and transformation of the ways of life and the ways of thinking there have undergone dramatic changes, adopting other cultures and traditions, the nation remained religiously contained and oriented, which indicates that the majority of Filipinos still value their beliefs in the Supreme Being.Divorce Bill in the Philippines

A Divorce Bill, also known as House Bill 1799, is currently a controversial hot topic in the country. Though annulment, which is filed under Article 36 of Family Code in the Philippines, is duly being applied and allowed in the country, most of those who are pro-divorce would say that is not enough intervention for those couple who can’t live together anymore.

Annulment is too costly for the marginalized sectors or common people to get approved in the Supreme Court. Thus, it only means legal separation but not actually ending marriage. This involves a claim that a marriage even from the beginning was defective and is thus null and void. Infidelity, battery or abuse, gross irresponsibility, homosexuality, impotency, and some sexually transmitted diseases in either spouse can be grounds for annulment.

Furthermore, the increasing rate of abuse of women and children is an ongoing reason why people want divorce to be legal in the country. There are about 22 women per day reporting physical abuse by their spouses and that in itself is an indication that it is about time to pass a divorce law, according to the pro-divorce.

For the anti-divorce, however, the sanctity of marriage is always highly regarded in respect to divine law made from the Holy Scriptures. The fear of God and the religious belief system remains intact among the majority of Filipinos, be it non-Catholic Christians or Roman Catholics. Thus, this is also a good indication of how Filipinos greatly value their families.

The divorce law is not an answer to decreasing the rate of abusive relationships or partnerships. In fact, it will actually worsen the situation. The abuse will happen not only once, twice or three times once the divorce law gets approved, because chances are that the abusive spouse will do the same thing from one partner to another. The history of domestic violence would most likely increase.

The trauma divorce can cause to children would have a great impact on their wellbeing, and it is not even healthy to raise children in a broken family. There is still nothing better than to be raised in a family with a strong bond and good relationships where there will be an image of father and mother who can continuously guide and support the children.

Moreover, it raise the risks to moral and social obligations. There will most likely be a greater chance of infidelity and immorality, grave acts of sin which are not only against constitutional law but also against divine law.

For the anti-divorce, divorce is not and will never be an answer for the ongoing domestic problems in the country. Counseling remains the top intervention prior to marriage, which includes seminars and proper teachings in responsible parenthood. Counseling also remains the proper intervention for solving any domestic problems and making a struggling relationship work again.

Image Source: http://bonbonquest.blogspot.com

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About azeweht

  • Nicola

    For me,divorce must be legalized in the Philippines.We are just humans,we makes mistakes.Marrying the wrong man/woman is a mistake,by legalizing divorce,we can make our mistake right.

  • maliza afable

    am a pro divorce…it is not that am not a christian,but i think divorce is of great help to the couples who can no longer live harmonously .In my personal opinion, when a couple is given a chance to live legally after the separation, they can easily move on,for they no longer think of the past relationship that will come on an on to their minds that will lead them to feel guilty.Divorce i think is for common people that cant afford to file for annulment for the very reason that it will cost lots of money and time consuming……………

  • The Anonymous

    Annulment would only mean legal separation to claim that the marriage is invalid or null even from the start but it does not end up marriage while Divorce is a legal separation to end up a valid marriage that would allow both parties to go back to status of being single and to re-marry.

  • http://www.iwalkthroughlife.blogspot.com Azeweht

    There is a great tendency that divorce will be abused in the country and it is not the answer to solve any domestic problems. As an anti-divorce, I always give importance to “FAMILY”– the basic institution that makes up the society…and children would definitely gets more affected in situation like this if divorce bill would be approved in to law. There is nothing better than to have a strong and intact family. Divorce would only give way to infidelity and increase the rate of broken families which I don’t really agree about.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    azeweht –

    I’m sure you know that those of us in the INC – like the Catholics – do not agree with divorce, and both INC ministers and Catholic priests point to Scripture to show why.

    That said, I’m also sure that you know that there are many who can no longer remain with the spouse, and often for very good reasons…and that they usually wind up finding someone else that becomes a Filipino equivalent of a common-law spouse. Such a person would normally be considered by the INC or the Catholics as living in sin.

    While I’ve seen common-law relationships there, I’ve also seen couples that separated but remained married…and this is as it is written in the Bible, that the couple may separate, but not divorce. By remaining married, they kept their membership in the Church even though they could not remain physically together.

    Scriptural law, however, is not secular law – and this is a secular world. Because of this I cannot judge those who make other choices. I am INC and cannot support the passage of a law allowing divorce…but neither will I stand in its way. Church law is for those within the Church, and true members will remain in the Church regardless of secular law, even if they cannot physically stay with their spouses. Conversely, those who are not true Church members will leave and do that which is wrong anyway in their search for a better relationship. I would grieve for them, but I could not in good conscience deny them their search for happiness.

  • http://www.iwalkthroughlife.blogspot.com Azeweht

    -glen contrarian-

    I do appreciate your comment on my post. We do have different sets of opinion or point of views and I do respect that. Indeed, no one is righteous, and it’s difficult to live in the path of righteousness. Thus, like everyone else, I would also say that we are only just humans who are vulnerable to make mistakes.

    However, I do really see divorce as a way to make all things much more complicated. The problem will not end there. Everyone will be affected. I, myself, I can’t bear to see my family broken. The psychological or even the totality of the human aspect or well being of children will be the most affected in situation like this. Think about the trauma it can cause to the children. How can we build a strong nation if we can’t build a strong and intact family that is the ultimate foundation of our society.

    On the other hand, the number of abusive spouse will most likely increase its rate as it will be repeated from one partner to the next or to another. And this is just a sure way to infidelity and immorality, and there is a greater chance of DIVORCE that it will be abused in the country and that is another story.

    We are all different and this is only an opinion. Thanks for sharing what is on your mind. Godspeed everyone!

  • http://bonbonquest.blogspot.com/ Ludwig

    Thanks for crediting the image…

    For the record: I’m completely pro-DIVORCE. :)

  • http://www.iwalkthroughlife.blogspot.com Azeweht

    Thanks Ludwig for dropping by and making a post.=)

    And thanks for allowing me to use the image, though, I was not able to ask permission from you before posting this… so i just credited your blog here where I got the illustration.

    Godspeed! =)

  • Erroll Isip

    i am aware a pro divorce ! its not a sin to be honest that you dont love one another as a husband and wife , its become a sin when you start cheating to your wife that you dont love anymore , divorce should be legalised . and moral to be re marry and freedom to re married.

  • Lili

    “The divorce law is not an answer to decreasing the rate of abusive relationships or partnerships. In fact, it will actually worsen the situation. The abuse will happen not only once, twice or three times once the divorce law gets approved…”

    How does it worsen domestic abuse? Silence and complacency on domestic abuse is what worsens domestic abuse.

    Any abuser will continue to abuse his/her spouse until the spouse files a case against him/her. It has nothing to do with divorce.

    Also, said criminal will not be at liberty to marry after divorce if he/she is in jail.

    Divorce isn’t enabling domestic abuse. What enables it is society’s inability to take it to court. Marital affairs such as these are considered private matters.
    If you’ve studied domestic abuse, you’ll know that it’s a tragic cycle, starting from abuse, then the couple makes up, the abuser asks forgiveness from the abused, a honeymoon phase, and then abuse again, making-up, honeymoon phase, abuse. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    If you throw divorce into the matter, it will be the END of domestic abuse, not the beginning of it. A divorce will sever all legal ties (marriage, conjugal property, child custody, etc.) between the abuser and the abused.

    Read more: http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/new-divorce-bill-stirs-controversy-in/page-2/#ixzz1SXfmvjPA

  • Lili

    “The trauma divorce can cause to children would have a great impact on their wellbeing, and it is not even healthy to raise children in a broken family.”

    Trauma can be minimized if children undergo therapy and are informed that they are not at fault for their parents’ divorce. Communication with the child is key. Studies show that children actually think that they could have prevented it, and so they feel that it was their own inadequacy that caused their parents’ divorce. Explaining that it is not the case will help, and ensuring that they will still be loved (and showing it) is very important.

    Besides, there are many broken families in the Philippines. Don’t think that they will only exist when/if divorce is legalized.

    Couples separate for all kinds of reasons.
    There are children who are born from cohabitation, and then one or both parents decide to marry someone else (I personally know two in this category, actually. One is an honor student, and because he’s loved and cared for by both parents, albeit separately, he has accepted the arrangement. The other grew up with her father, and then moved in with her mother and her husband, because they could afford to finance her studies better.).
    There are children with married parents who have separated and have simply started another family with someone else (I only know one. He’s good friends with my brother, and isn’t particularly bothered by the arrangement).
    They have separated parents, but they are doing well, because their parents have tried their best to make sure that the dispute between them does not affect their parenting.

    Now, to bring up domestic abuse, because it has been used by most proponents of divorce. Where do we place children on domestic abuse?
    All we have to remember is this: Ongoing abuse is more damaging to the child than the divorce itself.
    If we care about the children at all, then we should know that an abusive and violent environment is never healthy for a child.

  • JBAOO_O

    That is so right… I am an anti-divorce, for what it is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and is typically painful process for all concerned. On the first place what is the used of promises which ” till death do as part” if this bill would be raise.WTF……..

  • Wes

    Mat 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
    It is not up to us if God has already said it.

  • John

    Divorce may not be alway the right path to take. But for those that are in abusive situation should be able to get an divorce. And for those that have been separated for more than 5 years and living together should be grounds for divorce. And not all have kids involved are wanting divorce. I’m not catholic, but it choice and freedom to be divorce or separated from the spouse that no longer want the relationship.

  • leenie

    I think it’s wrong to have divorce. Well if you are already married and you no longer love the person that you married, well then just leave him/her and found yourselves another love… but at this time face the fact that you can no longer married again.. Just stay as lovers, having a paper it’s not that important when you truly love each other…

  • LIVING with Someone you dont love is like you live because you breath

    whether u like it or not ,Divorce Bill must be passed as a Law, Dont give advice, dont make your religions a reason for depriving the rights of the other to decide for themselves, You are not the one on their shoes to know and understand what deep inside him/her.STOP BEING HYPOCRITES

  • http://www.iwalkthroughlife.blogspot.com Azeweht

    this is stating opinion, not giving advice. you don’t have to be so judgmental just because you can’t accept the opinion of the others. This is a freedom of thoughts and not being hypocrite. Watch your mouth. @Living with someone whatever..

  • wms913

    I’m annuled, it cost me a fortune, and recently got remarried. Now, I think I’m in the same situation again. I wish the divorce bill will fin’lly be passed as a law in the Philippines. I’m still young at 31 and wishes to find happiness. I wish 2 be single again and remarry only when I’m sure I won’t commit the same misake I did — marryig for the wrong reasons.

  • concerned citizen

    To all Anti Divorce is is easy for you to say,since you dont experience failed marriage.And for those claiming they are catholics,INC etc. look at your church first there so many failed marriages also in you.you are all just closing your eyes.to those people who are suffering from failed marriage.Give them the chance and correct what is failed.And dont force the issue on them.

  • G!

    I pity those who end up in a bad, unhappy relationship after marriage. Relationship is really not perfect. Some made it, and some didn’t. For those who didn’t make it for a reasonable cause, I think they should be given a chance until they find their true happiness. On the contrary, other people might capitalize it. You know! Only in the Philippines! as we ALWAYS say…

  • Bianca

    “The trauma divorce can cause to children would have a great impact on their wellbeing, and it is not even healthy to raise children in a broken family.”

    I came from a broken family all my life and I’m proud to say I’m fine.
    The issue isn’t about the divorce, it’s about how the family teaches you and loves you.
    If my parents openly showed hate to me, then maybe I would have grown up differently. But all my life, I grew up with my mom and often saw my dad. They never fought with each other or made it difficult for me.

    Now a child from a legally complete family who witnesses abuse and hate can grow up negatively. I personally know someone who wants her parents separated because she is tired of the pretense and drama. She herself told me that no amount of counseling can help her parents now.

    Divorce will only have a negative effect on kids when you let it.

    Furthermore. what is worse, two people who decided to call it quits or two people who pretend and are incomplete?