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The race is on - Philippine Parliament to consider divorce!

The cartoon in The Times today.

The cartoon in The Times today.

 The race is on to find which country will be the last to introduce legislation on divorce.

Following the referendum go-ahead for divorce legislation in Malta, it was revealed today that the House of Representatives in the Philippines will also start discussing a bill to introduce divorce. The debate starts on Wednesday.

Gabriel party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan made the announcement right after Malta voted in a referendum to pass a divorce law—giving the Philippines the distinction of being the only country outside of the Vatican City without a divorce law, ABS-CBN News reported.

Ilagan filed her bill in July 2010 (as did Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando in Malta), while another MP, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez filed a similar bill just last March in the Philippines parliament..

Ilagan said in a statement emailed to reporters: "Let us not keep our country in the dark ages. I appeal to my colleagues in Congress to let the legislative mill run its course on the Divorce bill without further delay and give Filipino couples in irreparable and unhappy marriages this option."

Ilagan's bill proposes five grounds for the filing of a petition for divorce. According to the measure, couples who may apply for divorce include those who have been separated in fact for five years and those already legally separated for two years.

Grounds for legal separation may also apply when these same grounds have already caused the irreparable breakdown of the marriage.

In addition, psychological incapacity, causing one's failure to comply with essential marital obligations and irreconcilable differences causing the irreparable breakdown of the marriage are also recognized as grounds for divorce.

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