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51% Filipinos oppose legalizing divorce—OCTA survey

By Melanie Uson Published Dec 05, 2023 6:03 pm

OCTA Research's recent survey showed that 51% of Filipinos were not in favor of the legalization of divorce in the Philippines. 

In their "Tugon ng Masa” nationwide survey conducted from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4, the institute asked 1,200 male and female participants ages 18 and above about their stance regarding divorce, which over half of their percentage voted against it versus 41% who said that they support the bill, while 9% are undecided. 

Based on the findings, nearly half, or 48%, of the respondents residing in the Mindanao region support it, followed by NCR which got 46%. 

Meanwhile, opposing views were deemed higher in Visayas, garnering 59% of overall participants.  

In terms of age, respondents from the 18 to 24 age bracket voted in favor, while those aged 67 to 74 expressed disapproval. 

On the socioeconomic class, favorable votes came from respondents from Class D with 42%, while 70% of opposing views came from Classes ABC. 

Looking at the educational background, 47% of the participants who expressed support had college or postgraduate education, while 25% of the low support came from those without formal education or with only elementary education.

The data gathered has a ±3% margin of error at a 95% confidence level. 

Meanwhile, a substitute divorce bill was approved by the House panel in March with a unanimous 12-0 vote. 

"Spouses, especially wives, will soon have the option of getting out of an irremediably broken marriage and get a new lease on life with the approval by the House Committee on Population and Family Relations of the bill reinstituting absolute divorce in the Philippines," Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman said in a statement. 

On September 19, the Senate Committee on women, children, family relations, and gender equality approved Senate Bill No. 2443, or absolute divorce bill which aims to “safeguard the dignity of every person, guarantee full respect for human rights, uphold the fundamental equality before the law and protect the best interest of children." 

Under this bill, valid grounds for divorce include five years of separation, rape by the respondent-spouse before or after the marriage, physical violence or grossly abusive conduct, marital infidelity from both parties, a valid divorce obtained from a foreign jurisdiction, irreparable breakdown of marriage, and annulment authorized by the church.