Lagman refiles bill on absolute divorce

Published July 3, 2022, 4:30 PM

by Seth Cabanban

The Absolute Divorce Bill or House Bill (HB) No. 78 has been re-filed by human rights lawyer and Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman, he said on Sunday, July 3.

Rep. Edcel Lagman (File Photo)

The re-filed bill in question seeks to reinstate “absolute divorce as an alternative mode for the dissolution of marriage.”

If enacted into law, Lagman remains hopeful that “beleaguered and tormented wives can soon be liberated from irretrievably dysfunctional marriages or inordinately abusive marital relations.”

During the 18th Congress, Lagman filed HB 100–legislation pushing for the institution of Absolute Divorce–though it remained in the Committee on Appropriations. As per the Congress’ website, HB 100 was last deliberated on by the House Technical Working Group in March 2020.

Similarly in the 17th Congress, HB 7303–which also pushed for Absolute Divorce–was transmitted to the Senate in March 2018 but was not acted upon.

“Notwithstanding the adoption of the 1987 Constitution of the precepts that marriage is a social institution, the foundation of the family and is inviolable, the Commissioners of the 1986 Constitutional Commission were unanimous that the Congress is not prohibited or precluded from instituting absolute divorce and dissolution of marriage under the current Charter,” Lagman said in his statement on July 3.

Lagman added that the Absolute Divorce Act, like the Reproductive Health Act which he also principally authored, would be an “apt sequel” in progressive legislation directed towards the rights of women.

Presently, the Philippines and Vatican City are the only two sovereign states in the world wherein divorce is illegal.