MANILA - The divorce bill passed by the House of Representatives is pro-poor contrary to what the Catholic Church believes, one of its authors said Monday.
Many poor people wish to dissolve their marriage through annulment but could not do so because of legal fees, said Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus.
With the divorce measure, there will be no filing fee and indigents whose annual cumulative earning amounts to only P5 million will be qualified to receive legal support, she said.
"Can you imagine, ang sakit-sakit na nga ng ginawa sa’yo, tapos sasabihin "I don’t think 'pag nambabae siya, ito-tolerate mo ba?" I don’t think papayag 'yung mahirap na babae if she really has that dignity. I think this brinks on the human rights na," she told ANC's Headstart.
The bill would retain provisions in the Family Code of the Philippines outlining details on child support, said De Jesus.
"All parental obligation, whether coming from the father or the mother who is gainfully employed, should really be provided," she said.
The House of Representatives last week passed on third and final reading a bill introducing divorce, but a similar measure has yet to be discussed in the Senate.
President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed his reservations, believing children of divorce will suffer, his spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said.
The predominantly Catholic Philippines remains as one of only two states in the world, aside from the Vatican, where divorce is outlawed.