MANILA - House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez offered a solution to those trapped in loveless, unhappy marriages.
Alvarez said among his advocacies in the second regular session of the 17th Congress is a bill for the dissolution of marriages.
Under his bill, parties will be spared the painful process of annulment by allowing couples to jointly petition a court for the dissolution of their marriage.
"Gawin nating hindi painful sa parties kasi 'yung annulment painful masyado sa families kasi ang dami eh. 'Yung kabilang party aakusahan mo na merong psychological incapacity 'di ba. Dito dissolution of marriage sabihin natin both parties will agree. Ngayon, 'di pwede that's a ground for denial of annulment, collusion between the parties. Bakit niyo gagawin 'yan? Dito sa batas na ito both parties can agree and jointly petition the court for the dissolution of the marriage," Alvarez said.
Alvarez explained this is not a divorce bill but merely seeks to free couples from an unhappy marriage.
"Hindi ito divorce dissolution of marriage ito. Halimbawa, 'di tayo magkasundo, 'di na tayo masaya sa isa't isa, we can go to court and petition jointly for the dissolution of our marriage. Then doon sa petition na iyon mag-agree na tayo, custody of children, paano mo hatiin 'yung properties. Ang duty ng judge, ministerial na lang. Titignan niya kung walang intimidation, kung may free will ba ang parties to enter into an agreement na di-dissolve ang marriage," he said.
He also said should one of the spouses refuse the dissolution, the other spouse can still petition a court on the ground of unhappiness.
"Ayaw nung isang party na i-dissolve ang marriage, isang party can petition the court based on unhappiness, 'di na ko masaya eh. 'Di ba petition so hearing 'yan bakit di ka na masaya," Alvarez added.
Alvarez said his bill won't undermine the institution of marriage and will in fact reinforce it because it will compel couples to work on keeping their marriages happy.
"Ito mas napo-protektahan natin 'yung marriage as an institution. Why? Because 'pag nagpakasal ang two parties kailangan 'yung spouses na 'yun must see to it na masaya 'yung kaniyang partner. 'Di ba kasi ngayon pagkatapos ng kasalan isang party balik sa barkada inom dito inom doon," he said.
Aside from dissolution of marriages, Alvarez also seeks to pass a law that will prevent marriages for money or convenience.
He told ABS-CBN News that he is filing a bill to amend the family code to abolish the absolute community property regime in marriages and revert to the status of properties at the time the marriage was contracted.
"Siyempre kung 'yun ang consideration, hindi purely because of love, hindi magiging successful 'yung marriage," Alvarez said.
Alvarez explained that under his proposal, couples no longer have to sign a pre-nuptial agreement so that they can keep their properties separate.
"Magkaamyendahan natin ulit 'yan, tatalakayin natin dito sa House. 'Pag walang marriage settlement, complete separation of property ang presumption and default provision complete separation of property para maiwasan natin 'yung nagpapakasal dahil sa pera, dahil mayaman ang lalaki, dahil mayaman ang babae. 'Di ba kultura ng Pilipino nahihiya tayong magpapirma ng marriage settlement," he said.
If his bill is approved, properties of the couple will stay separate even after the start of the marriage.
Currently, properties of married couples become properties of both spouses unless there is a pre-nuptial agreement.
"Dati sa Civil Code natin pagka walang marriage settlement automatic nakalagay conjugal partnership ang regime of property. Inamendahan ito ng Family Code ginawa from conjugal, ginawa community property halo halo na lahat," Alvarez said.