The Philippines, a predominantly Roman Catholic nation, is the only country in the world without divorce. President Benigno Aquino III himself described the legalization of divorce in the country as “a no-no.”
A survey in 2011, however, revealed that half of Filipino adults believe that married couples who have already separated and cannot reconcile anymore should be allowed to divorce.
A bill seeking to legalize divorce in the Philippines, authored by lawmakers from the Gabriela Women's party-list, is pending at the committee level in the House of Representatives.
The measure proposes “the irreparable breakdown of marriage” and “the total non-performance of marital obligations” as primary grounds for divorce. Lawmakers from both chambers of Congress have expressed willingness to tackle the bill in the next Congress.
UNA female bets against it
In fact, all three female senatorial candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)—Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay, Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros "Mitos" Magsaysay, and former Tarlac Gov. Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco—are against the idea.
The three underscored the importance of family, which they said should be kept intact as much as possible.
"I am not for divorce. I believe that government should strengthen the family, not break it up," Binay, the eldest daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, told GMA News Online.
She added that her biggest achievement was being mother to her four kids. "Actually 12 pala kasi I just opened up an orphanage and meron akong 8 na batang inaalagaan ngayon so I consider myself as mother to 12 kids," she said.
Magsaysay, who was voted as the most outstanding congressman for five consecutive years, similarly said that her biggest accomplishment was being able to "raise [her] children well."
"For me, family is number one. I can give up politics anytime. It's useless to be a very good politician if you are not a very good mother and wife. That's my biggest accomplishment, that despite the fact that I am a politician, I was able to keep my foundation in the family intact," she said.