ABOUT three of five Filipinos, or 60 percent, want divorce to be legalized for “irreconcilably separated” couples, results of a survey conducted by pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS) revealed on Monday.
The survey was conducted among 1,800 respondents from November 27 to December 1 last year.
The poll showed that 60 percent of the 1,800 respondents agree that “married couples who have already separated and cannot reconcile anymore should be allowed to divorce so that they can get legally married again” while 29 percent disagreed.
About 11 percent remain undecided Majority or 63 percent of the respondents are married, 21 percent are single and 16 percent are cohabiting with their live-in partners.
“Support for divorce has always been ‘strong’ among those with live-in partners. Since May 2005, support for divorce has always been strong among those with live-in partners. On the other hand, it switched from neutral to strong among singles, and from neutral to moderate among marrieds,” the SWS said in a statement posted on its website.
In the last survey conducted in March 2011, only 50 percent of the respondents favored the proposition.
“In March 2011, the proposition elicited 50 percent agreement, which was a plurality since greater than the 33 percent disagreement. In May 2005, it elicited a split opinion of 43 percent agreement and 44 percent disagreement,” the SWS said.
The Philippines and the Vatican are the only independent states in the world, which ban divorce.
Reacting to the survey results, a priest acting as the spokesman of the local Catholic Church quoted a biblical passage in replying to a Times query.
“WHAT therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder,” said Fr. Jeremo Secillano, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) Permanent Committee on Public Affairs as quoting chapter 10:9 of the gospel according to St. Mark.
“The official teaching of the Church is no to divorce because the sacramentality of marriage is a doctrine based on the teachings of Christ—that married is a lifetime commitment,” Secillano told The Manila Times.
Secillano pointed out that the numbers were irrelevant or immaterial because nobody could change the teachings and stand of the Church on doctrinal matters.
“The doctrine of the Church is the teachings of Christ. It is the truth, and nobody, even the Pope, no power can change it,” Secillano stressed.
“The CBCP is clear that divorce is not allowed because the issue at stake is a valid marriage which is being made invalid. Nobody can make it invalid,” he further said.