The House of Representatives has approved a measure that will allow Filipinos to remarry if their foreigner spouses had obtained a foreign judicial decree of absolute divorce.
House Bill 5907, authored by brothers Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro and Maximo Rodriguez of Abante Mindanao, seeks to amend Article 13 of the Family Code of the Philippines by stating that: “In case either of the contracting parties has been previously married, the applicant shall be required to furnish, instead of the birth or baptismal certificate required in the last preceding article, the death certificate of the deceased spouse or the judicial decree of the absolute divorce obtained by the alien spouse duly authenticated by the Philippine consul in the country where the decree was obtained, or the judicial decree of annulment or declaration of nullity of his or her previous marriage.”
Moreover, the Filipino spouse will no longer seek judicial recognition or enforcement of the foreign judicial decree of absolute decree.
“The proposed amendments provides that a judicial decree of absolute divorce obtained by the alien spouse duly authenticated by the Philippine consul where the decree was obtained may be presented as one of the documentary requirements for the issuance of a marriage license without need for a judicial decree,” the authors pointed out.
Under the existing Family Code, a Filipino spouse cannot remarry even if his or her foreigner spouse has long divorced him or her.
The Philippines is the only country in the world that bans divorce.
Only Rep. Lito Atienza of Buhay Hayaang Yumabong party-list opposed the measure.