The House of Representatives approved the third and final reading of the Divorce Bill on March 21. But what does this actually mean to us? This is the farthest in history that we’ve gotten to legalising divorce.
Maybe it’s because of the fact that the Philippines and Vatican are the only places left in the world without a divorce bill. After all, our country prides itself for preserving moral integrity. Because with divorce, couples are being given a cheaper and faster way to getting themselves out of marriage.
The Divorce bill’s goal is to help Filipinos- especially women who are in abusive or abandoned relationships- an alternative to annulment, which takes a lot of time and money.
But why are people against it?
It’s clear that a lot of us are torn about divorce, but the interpretation of the issue depends on your personal, moral and religious views.
Even our president, Rodrigo Duterte, does not like the idea of the dissolution of marriage. He claims that divorce could greatly affect children and that the abandoned spouse will lose their right to get support from their other spouse.
Do we actually need the divorce bill, though?
There are people who don’t approve of divorce because they value the teachings of the Church on marriage. But there are families, especially children and women who are stuck between marital clashes.
Children have to pay the price of seeing their parents fight everyday, traumatised because of the fact that their families don’t just tolerate each other but hate on each other now because the marriage isn’t working out anymore.
Some believe that divorce will give way to taking marriages lightly. But divorce isn’t just about one person – we’re talking about the whole nation here. Divorce isn’t made so you can marry another person once you’ve moved on from the first. But even then, are we not allowed to find love again? Would we have married someone, thinking “I would divorce you if I don’t love you anymore”?
Because if this is how we think about the issue, maybe the problem doesn’t lie with divorce but more on ourselves?
Getting a divorce doesn’t make you any less Catholic. The reality is that there are broken families in our country and not all couples can afford annulment.
Personally, if you care about your religion so much, then you don’t have to get a divorce. That’s on you and your spouse. After all, you’ve vowed to love each other for richer and for poorer, for sickness and in health. ‘Til death do you part.
But despite all of these concerns, maybe we are missing the point by failing to ask the real questions:
How do we help the ones who can’t save their marriage anymore? And more importantly, how do we save their children?