The current Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines – Pantaleon Alvarez has made an incentive speech at the opening of the second regular session of the 17th Congress on July 24, 2017. Among many other important issues he had stressed on, was a point about introducing civil unions and streamlining of divorce procedures for married couples. To be more specific, Mr. Alvarez called on his colleagues to support a bill he planned to file for the easy dissolution of marriage, and a separate bill allowing civil union for homosexual and heterosexual couples.
“We must also consider the fact that marriage may not be for everyone. Presently, it even excludes certain groups of people. Let us tackle this issue head on. I will file a bill that will legally recognize and protect civil partnerships. Our citizens should not be excluded from society just because of the person they love. They must also be treated with equality before the law”, said the Speaker. He submitted to add a new provision in the Family Code that would allow both same sex and opposite sex couples to enter into a civil union.
Considering the fact that Pantaleon Alvarez is a close ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, his suggestions on current law changes might be implemented sooner rather than later. If Mr. Alvarez’s promotions of a bill will succeed, The Philippines might become the first country in South East Asia to legalize same-sex civil unions.