Press Release
August 5, 2019

Hontiveros meets divorce advocates, gears up for bill's "historic fight"

Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday met with major advocacy groups to step up efforts to pass a divorce law in the country, which she described a "historic fight to free Filipinos from abusive, loveless and unhappy marriages."

Hontiveros, who is the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, filed Senate Bill Number 356 or the Divorce Act of 2019 last July 10, shortly before the formal opening of the 18th Congress. The Senator seeks to make "psychological incapacity of either spouse," "irreconcilable marital differences," marital rape, or being "separated for at least 5 years" grounds for divorce, among others.

Five major groups attended the meeting: Divorce Advocates of the Philippines (DAP), Boses ng Kababaihan, Divorce for the Philippines Now International (DIPI), Divorce Philippines Coalition (DPC), and Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage Philippines (DDoMPh).

"This is history in the making. This meeting marks an important stage in the larger work to have a divorce law in the country. It's time that we gave Filipinos the chance to free themselves from abusive, loveless and unhappy relationships, and to help them find love and start all over again," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros said that her office is in the process of consolidating the different versions of the bill, setting the appropriate committee hearings and talking to like-minded legislators.

"I believe in and support the institution of marriage. I myself was happily married. However, I also believe that Filipinos, especially women and their children have the right to second chances to turn the page and live good and happy lives. This measure is for them," Hontiveros said.

According to a 2017 survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS), 53% of Filipinos agree to legalize divorce. Meanwhile, a 2018 Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report found that 1 in 4 women experience spousal violence. Unhealthy marriages bring trauma that are passed on for generations through children.

The Philippines is the only nation in the world that does not have a divorce law.

News Latest News Feed