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Divorce is Coming to the Philippines: Now on Its Final Reading

The Philippines is about to make a big change. After being one of the only countries in the world to ban divorce, the House of Representatives just approved a new bill to bring it back.

divoce act philippines

This is a big deal. The “Absolute Divorce Act” passed with 131 votes in favor, 109 against, and 20 abstentions. It’s now headed to the Senate.

So what’s in this bill? Well, it lays out the grounds for getting a divorce. That includes things like psychological issues, irreconcilable differences, abuse, and if one spouse undergoes a sex change. 

Lagman clarified that the bill does not support “no-fault, quickie drive-thru, email, or notarial divorces.” Instead, it sets out limited and reasonable grounds for divorce, ensuring each petition undergoes judicial scrutiny to prevent abuse and collusion.

The bill outlines specific grounds for absolute divorce, including:
– Psychological incapacity
– Irreconcilable differences
– Domestic or marital abuse
– Sex reassignment surgery or transitioning from one sex to another
– Separation of spouses for at least five years

Other grounds for divorce include physical violence, moral pressure to change religious or political affiliation, corruption or inducement to engage in prostitution, imprisonment of more than six years, drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, chronic gambling, homosexuality, bigamous marriage, marital infidelity, and abandonment without justifiable cause for over a year.

The bill also says foreign divorces will be recognized. And it has a 60-day “cooling off” period for couples to try and reconcile, with some exceptions for abuse cases.

If the divorce goes through, the marriage is completely dissolved. The ex-spouses can then go off and remarry whoever they want.

Now, this is just the first step. The Senate still has to approve the bill, and the President has to sign it into law. But it’s clear Filipinos want this change.

As one of the bill’s authors, Congressman Edcel Lagman, said – this is a “clear and resounding victory” for Filipinos, especially women, who’ve been trapped in unhappy marriages.

It’s a big shift for a country that has long held onto tradition. But with this vote, it seems the Philippines is ready to enter the modern era of divorce but will have to see in the next couple of months if this will be approved and sign into law.

For full details about the bill read here. 127

What do you think is Philippines ready for this? Let us know your inputs in the comments below.

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Avatar for Randolph Novino

Founder of Pinoyscreencast started using YouTube as a medium to disseminate Filipino-spoken technical tutorials. He decided to embark on reviews focusing on affordable gadgets. As he kept sharing more content, his subscriber base grew and shared how his videos influenced them in making a product purchase. Randolph a.k.a "Biboy" has over a decade of experience with digital content creation, social media marketing, e-commerce strategy. He is also a maker who loves tinkering and creating functional things to make his life easier everyday. Email

1 Response

  1. Avatar for D. Charles Kenny D. Charles Kenny says:

    Unless legal divorce is inexpensive the new law even if passed will not make a huge impact
    Lack of money holds people back here

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