The proposal of a women’s partylist group to prescribe expiration dates on marriage contracts has drawn mixed reactions from lawmakers, with at least one senator saying the proposal is a good starting point for discussing current social issues.
“It’s a reflection of what is happening in our society,” Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said in the vernacular, apparently referring to the growing clamor from women for more rights and social freedoms.
Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr. for his part said he finds the idea floated by the 1-Ako Babaeng Astig Aasenso (1-ABAA) as funny.
The group’s main advocacy is “to help women become economically empowered by helping them become entrepreneurs, giving them better employment, providing sources of livelihood, access to capital, and other ways to make women financially independent.”
“It’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in my life. Ibig sabihin trial lang ang marriage? (Does it mean marriage is just a trial?),” Pimentel said of the group’s novel proposal.
The issue of a marriage contract with expiration will certainly go against the majority belief that marriage is a sacred union, Pimentel added.
Aside from the Philippines being a predominantly Christian country, Pimentel pointed out that the Philippine Constitution also recognizes the family as the basic unit of society.
“It will go against the Constitutional provision that family is the basic foundation of society. Certainly the proposal will also go against majority beliefs,” Pimentel said.
Even in a country which exercises democracy, women still experience inequality, Cayetano said, although he agreed with Pimentel’s view that the family is the basic unit of society.
Cayetano, in an interview, said he sees the proposal as a good starting point for discussing social issues, but the senator said he doubts whether efforts to introduce such measure in Congress would succeed since many lawmakers are still conservative.
“Kung divorce nga hindi mapag-usapan, iyon pa kaya,” Cayetano said.
The proponents said a 10-year expiration on marriages would give couples the opportunity to review their relationship, and decide whether to continue or not with the union. By HANNAH L. TORREGOZA- Manila Bulletin