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House approves divorce bill

(UPDATE) THE House of Representatives has approved the absolute divorce bill on second reading.

House Bill 9349, as amended, was approved through a voice vote during plenary session on Wednesday.

The measure aims to «reinstitute absolute divorce as an alternative mode for the dissolution of an irreparably broken or dysfunctional marriage under limited grounds and well-defined judicial procedures,» the bill's fact sheet read.

Grounds for absolute divorce include physical violence or «grossly abusive conduct,» a final prison sentence of over six years; drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, chronic gambling, bigamous marriage; and marital infidelity.

Also grounds for absolute divorce were moral pressure to change religious or political affiliation; attempt to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child, of the petitioner's child to engage in prostitution and homosexuality.

Under the bill, either spouse is allowed to seek absolute divorce if they have been legally separated for over two years.

Grounds for annulment under Article 45 of the Family Code, as modified in the bill, were also grounds for absolute divorce.


Separation in fact for at least five years with «highly improbable» reconciliation; psychological incapacity, whether it «existed at the time of the marriage or supervenes after the marriage;» and irreconcilable differences were also grounds for absolute divorce.

The bill included psychological and emotional violence, sexual violence, or economic abuse as grounds for absolute divorce.

«When one of the spouses undergoes a sex reassignment surgery or transitions from one sex to another, the other spouse is entitled to petition for absolute divorce with the transgender or transsexual as respondent, or vice versa,» it said.

The bill also recognizes a valid foreign divorce, which «must be authenticated by the Philippine Consul in or proximate to the foreign country where it was secured, and subsequently registered with the proper Civil Registry Office in the Philippines» or the Office of the Philippine Consul where the Filipino lives.


Marriages nullified or dissolved by the Roman Catholic Church «or any other recognized religious