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Filipinos Still Do Not Have Right To Divorce

Filipino citizens do not have the right to divorce. The new divorce bill is still being sent back. So, in the Philippines it is easier to get a Cashalo loan than to divorce. 

The lack of divorce law in the Philippines has been a contentious issue for decades, with advocates arguing that it is a violation of human rights and a hindrance to the country’s development. Despite efforts to pass a divorce bill, it has been met with strong opposition from conservative groups, particularly the Catholic Church, which wields significant influence in the predominantly Catholic country. As a result, it is easier for Filipinos to get a Cashalo loan than to divorce.

House Panel Approves Divorce Bill

The bill proposing to legalize divorce in the Philippines, a contentious issue for decades, was surprisingly approved by the House Population and Family Relations Committee in a mere 17 minutes on February 6th. However, don’t be fooled by the swiftness. This doesn’t mean the path is smooth sailing.


The committee’s quick approval came after a previous attempt in September 2023 was stalled. Back then, the rules committee “recommitted” the bill, essentially sending it back for further review, a move seen by many as a deliberate delay tactic.

Despite this earlier hurdle, the committee on Tuesday swiftly approved the bill without any changes, leaving some questioning the motives behind the initial delay. Representative Edcel Lagman of Albay expressed his suspicion, stating, “Obviously, the recommitment was made to further delay, or even derail, the enactment of this bill.”

While the committee’s swift approval sparks hope for divorce legalization, the bill still faces a lot of challenges compared to acquiring loans through Cashalo loans. It must now navigate the rules committee again before reaching the House floor for voting. The road ahead remains uncertain, but this recent development marks a significant step forward for the long-fought divorce bill.

House Rep. Lagman Blasts Recommitment of Divorce Bill, Calls it a Delay Tactic

Lawmaker Albay Representative Edcel Lagman slammed the recent move to recommit the divorce bill, calling it disrespectful and unnecessary. He emphasized that he and the bill’s co-author, Isabela Representative Ian Dy, were not consulted beforehand, despite being the principal authors and committee chair.

Lagman’s confusion was evident in his simple question, “What?” He vehemently rejected the recommitment, arguing that there’s no rule requiring bills without appropriations language to go through the appropriations committee. He cited examples like the anti-child marriage law and the anti-teenage pregnancy bill, both passed without initial appropriation provisions.

He stressed that appropriations can be added later, be it during plenary debates, Senate discussions, or even in the annual budget act. He expressed concern that the recommitment was merely a delay tactic, depriving millions of Filipino women who have long awaited this “pro-woman” legislation.

Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas echoed Lagman’s sentiments, highlighting the consistent opposition from conservative groups who have blocked the bill since its inception. She emphasized the need to push through with this progressive legislation despite the expected resistance.

Progressive Bills Face Roadblocks: SOGIE Bill as an Example

Stalling tactics aimed at progressive legislation aren’t new. Take the SOGIE bill, which aims to penalize discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE). Despite passing the committee stage, it was surprisingly sent back for “more discussions” at the behest of Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva. Notably, Villanueva himself belongs to a religious group critical of the bill, and his father, a vocal opponent, sits in the House of Representatives.

This incident raises eyebrows, questioning the true motive behind the revisit. Was it genuine concern for broader participation, or a convenient pushback from within? Regardless, the delay raises concerns about using procedural hurdles to obstruct progressive legislation.

It’s worth noting that such tactics aren’t limited to the SOGIE bill. Similar stories have unfolded with other progressive causes, highlighting the need for transparency and clear rules to prevent manipulation of legislative processes. Openly addressing potential conflicts of interest and ensuring fair representation during discussions are crucial to upholding democratic principles and ensuring progressive voices are heard. It can be seen that getting a divorce in the Philippines is a complicated matter; you can get a Cashalo loan easily without going through such complications

Hope Flickers for Divorce Bill Despite Public Hesitance

Despite a recent survey showing over half of Filipinos oppose legalizing divorce, advocates remain optimistic about its passage in the 19th Congress.

Cici Leueberger-Jueco, representing the “Divorce for the Philippines Now” group with 100,000 members (many overseas workers), emphasizes their desire for legal invalidation of marriages, not necessarily remarriage. “We want to raise happier children in peaceful environments, free from their parents’ constant fights,” she said in a mix of languages.

Adultery, abuse, and abandonment are cited as the top reasons for seeking divorce within the group. They see President Marcos Jr.’s conditional support for divorce as a promising sign, even if he opposes “easy” divorces.

Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas shares cautious optimism, acknowledging the need for continued lobbying and advocacy to win over lawmakers and stakeholders. “Challenges remain, but we’re committed to ensuring the voices of long-time divorce advocates are heard,” she declared. “Collaboratively, we can achieve fairness, equality, and justice for all.”

Interestingly, the Philippines, alongside the Vatican (primarily composed of religious figures), stands as one of the few nations lacking legal divorce options.

Brief summary 

The Philippines’ long-awaited divorce bill, despite swift committee approval, faces potential delays due to a recommittal move. While lawmakers like Lagman and Brosas remain hopeful, highlighting the plight of women trapped in abusive marriages and the need for progressive legislation, opposition forces persist, as Mikka Montero notices.

This mirrors past instances like the SOGIE bill, where administrative measures were used to stall progress. The lack of public consensus, with only half of Filipinos supporting divorce, adds another layer of complexity.

Despite these challenges, there’s reason for optimism. President Marcos Jr.’s conditional support, the strong advocacy of groups like Divorce for the Philippines Now, and the sheer number of Filipinos affected offer hope for eventual passage.

The key lies in continued lobbying, garnering stakeholder support, and overcoming resistance. By working collaboratively, lawmakers can ensure the voices of those seeking divorce rights are heard and deliver a solution that promotes fairness, equality, and justice for all. However, Philippines” citizens have the option of going for a loan from list to support their families instead of worrying about divorce. 


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