The Philippines enjoys the distinction of being the only country in the world that has not legalized divorce. Unfortunately, some legislators do not see this as a blessing we have been given as a nation. Currently, House Bill 1799, also known as the Divorce Bill, is pending at the committee level in Congress. The bill proposes that couples that have been legally separated for two years be given the right to file a petition for divorce. Let us, once again, be one with the clergy in this battle to fight for family.
Archbishop Oscar Cruz, head of the church’s National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal, lamented the decreasing number of couples heading down the aisles and warned that legalization of divorce could aggravate the situation. He further said that aside from the weakening sanctity of marriage, many couples worry about the consequences of splitting up later.
“With this administration wanting to introduce divorce, why get married at all? It will further destroy our culture,” Cruz said.
Last week, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) reported that fewer Filipino couples are getting married during the past decade due to rising poverty. Government data showed that the number of registered marriages had dropped by 13 percent from 559,162 in 2001 to 482,480 in 2010.
But the church official stressed that poverty is a lame reason since getting married does not require being lavish. Cruz said that this is the reason why the Church must further teach the faithful that spending excessively is not a requirement in getting married.