Recently, the House Committee on Population and Family Relations had cleared the debate about divorce bill.
The bill regarding divorce was authored by lawmakers from various political entities headed by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Representative of Taguig City, Pia Cayetano, Representative of Albay, Edcel Lagman, Ako Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe, and Gabriela partylist Rep. Emmi de Jesus.
The bill “Absolute Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage Act” listed the grounds for divorce such as marital infidelity that results to having a child with another person other than the spouse. But, it excludes that victim of r**e and bears a child through in vitro fertilization.
Other grounds supported by the divorce bill include:
- Physical a***e against the petitioner
- Attempt to force the petitioner/his or her child to prostitution
- Physical violence compelling the petitioner to change political or religious affiliation
- If the respondent engages in d**g addiction, chronic gambling, and habitual alcoholism
- If the respondent engage in bigamous marriage or a homosexual
- If the respondent had showed threat against the petitioner/his or her child
There are different ways to administer the summary proceedings about the dissolution of marriage:
- There should be a joint petition filed satisfying the grounds for absolute divorce
- If the married couple have been living separately de facto for a minimum of 5 years
- If one of the spouses has separated for at least two years through a judicial decree
- If one of the spouses committed bigamous marriage
Indigent petitioners who would file dissolution of marriage have nothing to worry about the costs because they will be waived from the filing and attorney’s fees. Likewise, the court will provide a psychologist and psychiatrist during the proceedings.
A petitioner whose real property is not more than Php5 million is considered as indigent. However, the average cost for an annulment is Php250,000.
The bill will also help OFWs whose spouse is living with another woman or man in the Philippines while the OFW is working abroad.
However, there is a cooling-off period in which both parties are given six months chance to reconcile. This only shows that the bill also protects the family allowing them to reconcile and avoid broken marriages.