Experts warn of negative social impacts of proposed divorce bill

admin   •   February 19, 2018   •   7763

The Philippines and Malta are the only countries in the world that strongly oppose the legalization of divorce.

MANILA, Philippines — Karen, not her real name, recalled the time when her parents separated, she was just 12 years old.  After that she had lost motivation to finish her studies.

“Gusto kong huminto na lang sa pag-aaral para hindi ako naiinggit, para hindi rin ako lagi tinatanong ‘nasaan ang tatay mo bakit di mo kasama’,” said Karen.

(I no longer wanted to continue my studies so that I wouldn’t feel envious of others, and so that no one will ask me anymore where my father is and why he is not with me.)

Psychologist Dr. Camille Garcia said that what Karen experienced is an emotional impact of having separated parents.

Now that the divorce bill is being pushed in the House of Representatives (HoR), Garcia is worried about the more negative effects of a broken family on children.

Stubbornness is also one effect of parental separation.

The worst, the psychologist noted, is when a child begins to think that separation among married couples is normal.

“Baka mamaya magkaroon sila ng confusion na ayoko na ng kasal. Ayoko na maging binding. Ayoko ng commitment kasi ganito nangyari sa parents ko, nagkaroon ng commitment tapos inanak lang kami, after two years wala na,” said the psychologist.

(They might get confused. They might no longer want marriage, or commitment because they would think it’s what normally happens. They will just conceive children, and then after two years, they will separate.)

Congressman Edcel Lagman is pushing for the passage of the proposed bill which seeks to legalize and make easier the process of divorce.

However, Lagman’s ally in the minority group, Magdalo partylist Rep. Gary Alejano, expressed opposition to the proposal.

“If open door sa mabilis na maghiwalay, marami na maghihiwalay. Kawawa ang mga anak. We should strengthen the family (If we provide an open door to easier separation, the children will suffer. We should strengthen the family.) ,” said Alejano.

The Philippines and Malta are the only countries in the world that strongly oppose the legalization of divorce. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue


House okays bill requiring students to plant 10 trees before graduation

Marje Pelayo   •   May 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives (HOR) approved on third and final reading a measure that requires all graduating students to plant 10 trees each as a prerequisite for graduation.

House Bill 8728 or the “Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act” aims to move the youth into action to “promote environmental protection, biodiversity, climate change mitigation, poverty reduction, and food security,” according to the bill’s authors Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano and Bacoor, Cavite Rep. Strike Revilla.

The bill enumerates areas where the tree planting would be executed.

These include forestlands, mangrove and protected areas, ancestral domains, inactive and abandoned mine sites, among other suitable areas.

Concerned agencies shall be the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in cooperation with the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), among others.

The agencies shall be responsible in seedling production, site preparation, nursery establishment, monitoring and evaluation, as well as technical support and extension services.

They should also provide for the students’ transportation, security and medical needs on the course of the tree planting activity.

The bill is now for transmission to the Senate for action. – Marje Pelayo

Gov’t tells Alejano: Trip to Panatag shoal OK but should be cleared

Robie de Guzman   •   April 16, 2019

Senatorial candidate Gary Alejano (📷 Twitter)

Everyone may visit the disputed Panatag Shoal off Zambales, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Spokesperson Captain Armand Balilo said on Monday.

Balilo made the statement after Otso Diretso Senatorial candidate and Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano wrote a formal letter to the PCG to request for permission to visit the contested shoal.

The letter, dated April 13, was addressed to PCG Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino.

“Sir, the PCA ruling in 2016 clearly stated that the Scarborough Shoal is a traditional fishing ground of Filipino and Chinese fishermen, hence, both of our fishermen can fish there. However, our local media has reported otherwise, which, if left unchecked would greatly undermine our people’s rights to the resources found there,” Alejano’s letter read.

Balilo said there is no policy that prohibits people from visiting Panatag Shoal as long the trip is properly coordinated with the PCG station for rescue operation in case of emergency.

However, the Philippine Navy said Alejano and other opposition senatorial candidates cannot just sail to the disputed area, saying this should be cleared with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM).

The Philippine Navy said Alejano’s request should be forwarded to the AFP-NOLCOM as it has operational control of the navy ships deployed in Panatag shoal.

Nevertheless, authorities expressed doubt that the trip would be permitted if it’s going to be used for something other than fishing.

The PH Navy also stressed it can always deny request to travel to Panatag Shoal as it is not a tourist destination that anyone can visit.

The military said the AFP-NOLCOM’s priority concern is safety, and the current maritime dispute between the Philippines and China comes second. – Robie de Guzman

Sereno’s impeachment not a priority – Senate

admin   •   March 21, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III

MANILA, Philippines — The impeachment of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is not a Senate priority.

This was the statement of Senator Tito Sotto in a forum in Manila on Wednesday.

According to the senator, there are pending bills in the upper chamber such as the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL); salary standardization; penalties of arresto menor; the Fair Elections Act; agricultural land conversion ban; and the Expanded Absentee Voting Act, among others.

Senate may possibly hear the impeachment in the first week of August.

Meantime, Sotto also believes the fate of the divorce bill in the Senate is blurry even as it passed the third and final reading in the Lower House.

“Chances are very slim. Additional grounds or expanding the grounds for annulment has a bigger chance for us. Maybe that has a bigger chance,” he said.

“Annulment from the start [is void], as if the marriage did not happen,” Sotto explained.    — UNTV News & Rescue


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