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Senate panel passes divorce bill 

A Senate panel has passed a bill seeking to allow divorce in the Philippines.

The Senate Committee on Women, children, family relations, and gender equality said that while the State continues to recognize the sanctity of the family, they are also duty-bound to protect the dignity of every person and protect the best interests of their children.

“Towards the end, the State shall adopt a divorce policy in keeping with the fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution…,” the panel said in its resolution.

The panel said that couples need to file a joint petition before being able to apply for divorce.

The petition will include a plan for parenthood that provides support, custody, and living arrangements for their children.

“If the court determines that the joint plan for parenthood is adequate to protect the rights and interests of the common children, the court shall approve the joint plan for parenthood together with the grant of a divorce decree if warranted,” the panel said.

Here are the grounds for the divorce bill:

  • Five years of separation, whether continuous or broken, without a judicial decree of separation,
  • The commission of the crime of rape by the respondent-spouse against the petitioner-spouse, whether before or after the celebration of their marriage,
  • The grounds for legal separation under the Family Code; provided that physical violence or grossly abusive conduct… need not be repeated; provided further, that, lesbianism and homosexuality… shall not be ground, unless either or both spouses commit marital infidelity,
  • A final decree of absolute divorce validly obtained in a foreign jurisdiction by any Filipino citizen,
  • Irreconcilable marital differences or irreparable breakdown of marriage, despite earnest efforts at reconciliation,
  • A marriage annulment or dissolution, duly authorized by a church or religious entity, or a marriage termination duly authorized by customs and practices traditionally recognized, accepted, and observed by an ICC or IP to which the parties belong.

Staff Report

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