A bill to legalize divorce in the country was reintroduced in the 19th Congress.
In House Bill (HB) 78, Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman, the main author of previous bills legislating absolute divorce, pointed out that there are only two sovereign states in the world where divorce is illegal: the Philippines and Vatican City.
“The Philippines is the only country, other than the Vatican, that remains to ban absolute divorce even as the Catholic hierarchy grants canonical dissolution of marriage,” he said.
According to Lagman, all other Catholic countries recognize absolute divorce with varying degrees of liberality.
But Lagman said he finally hopes that “beleaguered and tormented women can soon be freed from irretrievably dysfunctional marriages or excessively abusive marital relationships.”
“Not being able to leave a loveless, unhappy or even abusive marriage is a human rights concern for women. The right of women to live free from physical, emotional and psychological violence is a human right. The right of women not to live in fear is a human right. Women’s right to paid work and economic independence is a human right. Women’s right to autonomy in all aspects of their lives is a human right,” added the legislator.