June 19, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

House Oks Divorce bill on final reading as house adjourn sine die

PRIOR to the sine die adjournment, the House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Wednesday approved House Bill 9349, or the proposed “Absolute Divorce Act” on third and final reading.

The measure received 131 affirmative votes, 109 negative votes and 20 abstentions. 

The bill seeks to provide absolute divorce as a legal remedy for irreparably broken marriages under specific grounds and judicial processes, with the goal of sparing children from the emotional strain of parental dispute and allowing divorced individuals to remarry.

HB 9349 lays down the comprehensive guidelines for absolute divorce petitions, encompassing grounds, procedures, and the effects on custody, property division, and support. It also includes provisions for reconciliation methods, fines, and community-based initiatives, which will be supervised by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The House also passed HB 10439, or the proposed “Access to Medical Cannabis Act,” on second reading. 

House Committee on Dangerous Drugs chairperson and Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, sponsor of the measure, stated that access to medical cannabis will only be available by prescription and under the medical supervision of an accredited medical cannabis physician. 

Additionally, a regulatory body under the direction of the Department of Health (DOH) will be in charge of overseeing the establishment of a regulatory framework, including the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and prescription of medical cannabis to patients for medical and research purposes.

Deputy Speaker Antonio Albano also emphasized that the proposal represents not merely legislation, but a vital lifeline for numerous patients, encompassing those afflicted with epilepsy, cancer and other conditions, while also safeguarding patients’ rights to select their treatments.

The House also passed on second reading HB 10466, or the proposed “Foreign Affairs Retirement Benefits Act.” The measure is sponsored by House Committee on Foreign Affairs chairperson and Pangasinan Rep. Maria Rachel Arenas.