The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on final reading a bill that will allow married women to retain their maiden surname, amending a portion of the country’s 72-year-old New Civil Code (NCC).
With an overwhelming 277 votes, the House of Representatives approved House Bill 4605 on third and final reading.
“Although our Civil Code currently allows three options for identification, we see this bill as a relevant and timely move to prove the commitment of the House of Representatives to promoting equality of men and women before the law,” Speaker Martin G. Romualdez said.
“It is not enough that our jurisprudence says that a married woman has an option, but not a duty, to use the surname of the husband. It is important that we institutionalize that they can decide to retain both their maiden name and surname,” the Leyte 1st District representative added.
Under the current version of Article 370 of Title XIII, Book III of the Republic Act No. 386, as amended, a married woman has three options: (1) use her maiden first name and surname and add her husband’s surname; (2) use her maiden first name and her husband’s surname; or (3) use her husband’s full name then prefix a word indicating that she is his wife, such as “Mrs.”.
The proposed Article 370 under HB 4605 introduces a fourth option retaining the maiden first name and surname — in other words, a married woman may choose not to introduce any change to her name.
House Majority Leader Mannix Dalipe was among the principal authors of the measure. Maricel V. Cruz