House passes divorce bill on second reading

THE House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 14, passed on second reading the bill seeking the dissolution of marriage.

The members of the House approved House Bill 7303, or "An Act Instituting Absolute Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage in the Philippines," via viva voce voting.

The bill stemmed from the salient features of House Bill (HB) 116, 1062, 2380 and 6027, all seeking the creation of a law that would address failed marriages.

It promises an inexpensive and efficient divorce to couples in failed marriages.

According to the measure, indigents, defined under the bill as those who do not have property of more than P5 million can avail of the court's services for free.

The bill also allows spouses who have been separated for at least five years and spouses who have been legally separated by judicial decree for two years or more to undergo summary judicial proceedings.

Lagman previously said that the summary judicial proceedings is faster than the normal course of proceedings at the court.

If one of the spouses has been sentenced for imprisonment for six years or if one underwent sex realignment surgery their case can also be subject to summary judicial proceedings.

Alvarez earlier vowed to pass the bill on final reading before the Congress' session break.

Meanwhile, a lawmaker source said that the Senate has expessed willingness to adopt the divorce bill crafted by the House of Representatives.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III earlier said the Senate is unlikely to pass a divorce bill.

The bill was introduced by Magnificent 7 members Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr.; Makabayan bloc members: Gabriella Reps. Emmi De Jesus and Arlene Brosas, ACT Teachers Reps. France Castro and Antonio Tinio, Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate.

The members of the majority who also contributed to the bill are House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Cebu 3rd District Rep Gwendolyn Garcia, Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe, Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Rober Ace Barbers, North Cotabato 2nd District Rep. Nancy Catamco, Taguig City Pateros 2nd District Rep. Pia Cayetano, Isabela 2nd District Rep. Anna Cristina Go, Quezon City 4th District Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, Mindoro 1st District Rep. Doy Leachon and Apayao Rep. Eleanor Bulut-Begtang. (SunStar Philippines)


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