MANILA- The House of Representatives will vote on the proposed divorce law on 3rd and final reading early next week.
Divorce bill author, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said the vote is scheduled either on Monday or Tuesday.
He noted that former senator Pia Cayetano is lobbying for the bill's counterpart measure in the Senate.
"From the very start, I said that the divorce bill will have a much better chance of passage early enough in the House," he said.
The lower chamber on Wednesday approved a bill legalizing divorce.
Lagman believes that a counterpart measure will also be approved by the Senate.
"My fearless forecast is like the RH (Reproductive Health) bill, it will also pass in the Senate," he said.
This despite Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III's earlier pronouncement that the prospects of passing a divorce bill at the Senate are "dim."
The Philippines remains as one of only 2 states in the world, besides the Vatican, where divorce is outlawed. Annulments are legal, but the process could take years and cost at least P250,000.
"In the first place, I don't think the opposition of the Catholic Church is that pronounced unlike in the RH bill," Lagman said.
Fr. Jerome Secillano, secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines committee on public affairs, said passing a divorce law would "hardly [be] a surprise" considering the present political climate.
“With the present political climate in Congress, the passage of divorce is hardly a surprise. The Church, though, continues to believe in the indissolubility of marriage. Our belief is in something that Christ Himself taught and not what our congressmen thought," he said.
-report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News