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'Mabigyan Man Lang Ng Freedom At Voice Ang Mga Inabuso': Moms Weigh In On Divorce Bill
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  • In August 2021, the House Committee on Population and Family Relations endorsed the reinstitution of the divorce bill, where marital union can be void and former spouses will be allowed to remarry. This approval sparked heated debates among Filipinos who are in favor of it and those who are not.

    The Philippines is the only country in the world where divorce is illegal. Given our strong familial ties, the divorce bill is understandably undergoing a lengthy legislative process so that lawmakers can decide whether this legal remedy can be enacted into law.

    Should divorce in the Philippines be legal?

    News about the passage of the bill sparked a discussion  our parenting community, Smart Parenting Village, where moms and dads weighed in on the issue. Here are some of their answers.

    1. There must be balance

    “Yes to divorce bill but only on very specific grounds. We have to find a balance between preserving the sanctity of marriage and preserving our sanity and life.” — R. F.

    2. ‘Palawigin ang annulment’

    “May annulment naman. Palawigin na lang.” - A. F.

    3. Getting child support should be made easier

    “Hindi lang parents sana ang covered ng divorce bill but also the children. I hope there's a provision for child support. Tipong hindi na dadaan sa napakaraming proseso (barangay, violence against women and their children (VAWC), fiscal). Once na hindi na nag-support, diretso na sana sa fiscal tapos court order for warrant.” — T. R.

    (Read more about your child support rights here.)

    4. Divorce gives voice to the abused

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    “It's a must. Bakit pipilitin na magsama kung hindi na dapat. Fair for both parties ang divorce at mabuti ito para makapag-start over ang bawat isa sa mga taong angkop sa kanila at mamahalin din sila ng lubusan. Kawawa rin kasi 'yung iba na inabuso ng mga asawa sila. Mabigyan man lang sila ng freedom at voice through divorce.” — N. C.

    “Divorce is not compulsory for all married couples. If you don't like it, don't take it, but let others get away from an abusive marriage. It's time to accept the fact that not everyone has a peaceful marriage.” — A. A.

    “Good marriages don’t end in divorce — bad marriages do. The future generation will have more options and will not feel trapped in a bad, abusive marriage because society told them there’s no way out. That’s a win for me.” — A. A

    “Bakit kailangan ang divorce sa Pilipinas? Dahil sa dumaraming kaso ng abuso sa asawa at mga anak. Hayaan natin silang kumawala sa sitwasyong sumisira sa pagkatao nila, at hayaan natin silang magsimula ng bagong buhay.

    “Hindi makakawala ang dating mag-asawa kung kasal pa rin kasi nakatali pa rin sila sa isa't isa ayon sa batas. At hindi makakawala ang mga anak sa magulang na mapang-abuso kasi shared pa rin ang parental custody nila. Tandaan, hindi buo ang pamilyang nagsasama nga sa iisang bubong pero nagwawasakan naman ng pagkatao at dignidad sa loob.

    “Alam ninyo ba na hindi grounds for annulment ang domestic abuse? Kahit bugbugin ka ng asawa mo, hindi dahilan ‘yon para makapag-file ka ng annulment. Kung ikaw ay madlang may sapat lang na kinikita para sa anak mo at nais mo lang makawala sa anino ng mapang-abuso mong asawa, saan ka kukuha ng pambayad sa annulment mo

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    “Maraming Pilipino ang nagtitiis na lang sa unhealthy environment dahil sa mga pagkukulang ng batas natin. Sa tagal ng panahon na dinadanas ito ng marami, sana naman makinig tayo sa kanila, sa hinaing nila.” — S. E.

    5. ‘Di na po uso ang martyr’

    “Let people have the option to leave a crumbling marriage and start over again. ‘Di na po uso ang martyr. ‘Di ka si Tandang Sora na magkakarebulto kapag nagpaka-martyr ka. Love yourself and give yourself (the chance) to start over again.” — Y. L.

    “Your home should be a safe place where you live with your kids. It should be a safe haven with someone you love. If there is no love between the parents and araw-araw mag-aaway, would you still consider it as a safe haven for your kids? Mahalin mo ang sarili mo, higit sa kahit na sino. Paano ka magmamahal ng ibang tao kung patay ka na — not physically, but emotionally and mentally?”— L. A.

    6. ‘I’m pro-marriage

    “I respect everyone's opinion; very alarming lang na ang dami na in favor or yes sa divorce. I’m thinking of the future generations, ang mga anak natin. ‘Pag legal na ang divorce, they will have the mentality na ‘pag nasa euphoria of being in love, ‘Let's get married. ‘Pag ayaw ko na sa’yo, we can divorce.

    “Call me old-fashioned pero sabi nga ang pagpapakasal ay hindi parang kanin na mainit na pag sinubo at napaso ay iluluwa mo. I’m pro-marriage.” — S.I.

    “I can't agree with this bill. The values and hard work in order to make a lasting relationship, eh unti-unti nang mawawala.” — R. L.

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    “Big no. Democratic country na tayo, choice ninyo na yan sa umpisa pa lang. Tama lang na mahal ang annulment sa Pinas. Baka gawin lang trial ang pag-aasawa.” — K. G.

    7. It is a legal remedy

    “Hindi naman siguro porket legal ang divorce, everyone will avail it. It is a legal remedy therefore, it should follow due process; the presumption of the integrity of the divorce (kung maisasa-batas) is there.” — S. G.

    “To others who are worried about the 'sanctity' of marriage, remember it's not just about religion. Marriage is about legality; the legal union of two consenting parties. If they are no longer fit to be together, who are we to judge?” — R. S.

    “The law is not as foolish as some think. A simple ‘ayaw’ or ‘sawa na’ or ‘hindi masaya’ are not grounds for divorce. There is thought to it which will be for the greater good. The future generation should learn the seriousness and responsibility of getting married before jumping into it.”— R. F.

    8. Encourage marriage counseling instead

    “Encourage marriage counseling. To couples planning to get married, talk to your prospective godparents, not necessarily with the ones who have a perfect marriage but different couples. One way or another they will see what their life would be, what would they prevent to do and what do they need to keep their marriage.” — H.B.

    9. Address the root cause

    “We have to address the root cause: ‘'Wag magmadali magpakasal!” — L. A.

    “Kailangan talaga na kilalanin ang isang tao bago mo pakasalan.” — M. O.

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    10. Unhealthy marriages can cause trama to children

    “No one deserves to suffer a lifetime of verbal, emotional, financial, and physical abuse just because they're married. It's not about ‘for better or for worse,’ especially when someone's life is at risk already.

    “I'm from a broken family and I could say that if divorce had been available in the Philippines, my emotional traumas would have been inexistent.” — J. P.

    “If you don't love and are not happy with each other anymore then why stay in a horrible relationship? What's the point of keeping each other just to say you have a complete family? Some would say just bear with it for the sake of the kids.

    “It's more traumatizing for the children if they see their parents fighting and if they don't have a happy home. Their children will just blame their parents for not being honest with them from the very start. — G. M.

    Click here for the legal action to take if you or your child needs protection against abuse.

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