36% OF PINOYS FAVOR LIVE-IN, DIVORCE SURVEY

Manila, Jan. 23, 2003 - A recent survey has revealed that most Filipinos are satisfied with family life but it also found a "significant" minority who agree with divorce and with cohabitation outside marriage.

Of the 1,200 Filipinos surveyed nationwide by veteran poll firm Social Weather Stations (SWS), 36 percent agreed with the statement that "divorce is usually the best solution when a couple can't seem to work out their marriage problems."

SWS said this is a "significant increase" from the 29 percent a year ago.

In the latest poll, 50 percent of the respondents said they disagreed with divorce, down from the 61 percent in last year's survey.

The noncommissioned poll was conducted from Nov. 15 to Dec. 2. It has margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points and a 95 percent confidence level.

On the question "it's a good idea for a couple who intend to get married to live together first," 35 percent agreed while 50 percent disagreed, the survey said.

The figures were largely unchanged from the 1998 poll in which the question was last asked.

Asked if they are satisfied with family life, 27 percent said they were completely satisfied, 29 percent said they were very satisfied, and 30 percent were fairly satisfied.

Six percent said they were either fairly, very or completely dissatisfied, while another six percent said they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, and the rest could not choose an answer.

On the question "married people are generally happier than unmarried people," an overwhelming 61 percent agreed while only 19 percent said otherwise.

Divorce is banned in the Philippines, where the Constitution states that "marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State."

But the family courts are empowered to invalidate marriages on certain grounds, such as "psychological incapacity."


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