A BILL legalizing divorce and the dissolution of marriage in the Philippines was approved at the committee level in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
Voting “viva voce,” 10 members of the Committee on Population and Family Relations gave their nod on the measure authored by lawmakers across party-lines namely: Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte, Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay, Rep. Pia Cayetano of Taguig City, Rep. Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol, Rep. Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela party-list, among others.
Alvarez, Cayetano and Batocabe are allies of President Rodrigo Duterte while Lagman and de Jesus are with the opposition and Duterte critics.
The Act of Absolute Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage provides for summary proceedings or speedy dissolution of marriage for those who have secured legal separation and those whose spouse was convicted of bigamous marriage, among others.
The proposed bill also made divorce affordable as the state is mandated to assist poor petitioners by waiving their filing and lawyers’ fees and ordering the courts to provide psychiatric and psychological services during proceedings.
A petitioner is considered indigent if his or her real estate property is P5 million and below. LLANESCA T. PANTI