Congress passes bill granting married women to use maiden surname

Congress passes bill granting married women to use maiden surname

By Glen S. Ramos

MANILA — The House of Representatives on November 29, 2021, approved on final House Bill No. 10459, a measure providing for the right of married women to retain their maiden surname, with a total vote cast of 227 affirmative votes, zero negative, and no abstention.
Under the bill, married women may use any of the following:

• Maiden first name and surname;

• Maiden first name and surname and add her husband’s surname;

• Maiden first name and her husband’s surname; or

• Husband’s full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as “Mrs.”

Previously, the Civil Code states that married women “may use” maiden first name and surname and add her husband’s surname; maiden first name and her husband’s surname; or husband’s full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as “Mrs.” after marriage.

A previous Supreme Court ruling stressed that the use of “may” in the Civil Code “indicates that the use of the husband’s surname by the wife is permissive rather than obligatory.”

The House bill seeks to further clarify the current Civil Code by categorically including “maiden first name and surname” among the possible options for women after marriage.

The committee on revision of laws said that the measure seeks to provide equality between men and women before the law by allowing married women to retain their maiden surname. (ai/mtvn)

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