Alvarez proposes instant dissolution of marriages, civil unions

HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Monday elaborated on his proposal to speed up the separation of unhappy couples, which he mentioned in passing during his speech at the opening of the second regular session.

In a press conference, Alvarez was asked if his proposal will be the local version of divorce, which the Philippines is yet to legalize.

"Iba yun sa divorce. Ginawa nating mas simple yung pag didisolve ng marriage para naman di na pahirapan [ang couples]. If they agree to dissolve their marriage, I think kailangan nating respetuhin 'yun. Ang korte titiyakin lang walang coercion ang parties at sa mga children, sino yung may custody, at yung division ng properties ay nandon na rin,” he said.

He also denied that it will pave way for the passage of divorce in the country.

"Masyadong masalimuot at ayokong kumopya sa ibang bansa. Kung pwede naman nating gawin yung batas dito base sa ating kultura eh gawin natin 'yon," Alvarez said.

Alvarez also clarified that the "civil union" he mentioned in his speech is not limited to same sex couples but also for heterosexuals who opt to be together but are not ready to be married.

"Ito ay hindi lamang para sa same sex kundi para din sa opposite sex. Halimbawa ayaw nila magpakasal, dun sila sa civil union kung saan ay pinoprotektahan din ng ating batas yung relationship ng dalawang partido,” he explained.

Those who choose the civil union, according to Alvarez, will also be given some rights accorded to married couples.

"Dun sa civil union, magkakaroon ng property relations tapos yung right to support each other, tapos yung right to adopt children. Talagang protected yung kanilang relationship," he said.

Alvarez plans to execute the bill by "introducing new provisions to the family code." He added that these reforms must be instituted before 2019, an election year, to “avoid going back to square one."

Alvarez added that he is ready to face objections, especially from the Catholic church.

"Of course may mga objections dyan. Ang sa akin naman pakinggan natin yung hinaing ng sambayanan hindi lang ang isang sektor. So that is why I also intend to conduct committee hearings hindi lang dito sa Pilipinas kundi do sa mga OFWs," Alvarez said. (SunStar Philippines)
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