The House of Representatives approved a bill allowing married women to keep their maiden surnames on Dec. 1.
House Bill 10459, titled "an act clarifying the right of married women to retain their surnames," seeks to amend Article 370 of Republic Act 386, otherwise known as the "New Civil Code of the Philippines." It got the approval of 227 lawmakers with no objections.
Currently, RA 386 states that women may use the following:
- Maiden first name and surname, and add her husband's surname
- Maiden first name and her husband's surname
- Her husband's full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as "Mrs."
But with the new measure, they'll have this fourth option: Maiden first name and surname
Representatives Luis N. Campos Jr., Arlene Brosas, Xavier Jesus Romualdo, Rufus Rodriguez, Lawrence Fortun, Tyrone Agabas, Joy Myra Tabunting, Gabriel Bordado Jr., and Cheryl Deloso-Montalla co-authored the bill.
"This is no small feat for women,” said Gabriela Partylist's Brosas. "In fact, this is a welcome development in recognizing the legal identity of women apart from their spouse."
The measure pushes for "equality between men and women before the law" by upholding a married woman's right to keep her maiden surname even after marriage.