MANILA, May 3 (PNA) - 2013 senatorial aspirant Christian Señeres (Democratic Party of the Philippines) is against legalizing divorce in the country.
"There's no need for divorce in the Philippines," he said during State-run PTV 4's 'Paghahanda para sa Hatol ng Bayan' program for the 2013 mid-term polls.
He believes in preserving the family, noting this is the basic unit of society.
If parting is unavoidable, however, he noted couples concerned can either opt for legal separation or have their respective marriages annulled.
"Government musn't make annulment and legal separation expensive to undertake, though," he said.
During the 15th Congress, Gabriela party list representatives Luzviminda Ilagan and Emerenciana de Jesus filed House Bill 1799 introducing divorce as another option for couples in 'failed and irreparable marriages."
"Reality tells us there are many failed, unhappy marriages across all Filipino classes," they said in the bill. "Many couples especially from the marginalized sectors, who have no access to the courts, simply end up separating without the benefit of legal processes. The sheer number of petitions that have been filed since 1988 for declaration of nullity of the marriage under Art. 36 of the Family Code (commonly known as 'annulment') shows that there are just too many couples who are just too desperate to get out of failed marriages."
They pointed out divorce has been part of the country's legal system.
Several tribes even during pre-Hispanic times observed absolute divorce, they noted.
Like Señeres, however, Social Justice Society's senatorial candidate Samson Alcantara isn't backing the divorce proposal either.
"I'm against it since we already have the Family Code provision on annulment," he said during the program.
He fears allowing divorce will only encourage people to enter into marriage haphazardly.
Independent 2013 senatorial aspirant Ricardo Penson is open to discussions on possibly allowing divorce in the country, however.
"It's high time to discuss the matter because in annulment and separation, child support isn't given due attention," he said during the program.
Señeres earlier commenced preparing for his Senate bid by setting a legislative agenda that includes raising government appropriation for health and boosting land reform.
"Our party also supports proposals to hike teachers' salaries and soldiers' pensions," he noted.
He likewise plans proposing review of the Local Government Code to help enhance LGUs' performance.
"We aim to strengthen LGUs and empower these on revenue-generation," he added. (Catherine J Teves/Lily O Ramos/Media Ng Bayan)