Married women may now keep their maiden names, per approved House Bill

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Are you planning to get hitched anytime soon? Well, it looks like you can retain your maiden name once you do. This is because the House of Representatives approved a bill allowing married women to keep their maiden surnames.

House Bill 10459, which is also called “an act clarifying the right of married women to retain their surnames” is looking to amend Article 370 of Republic Act 386, otherwise known as the “New Civil Code of the Philippines.” There were no objections from any of the 227 congressmen. 

As of now, married women are allowed the following options under the stipulations of RA 386:

  • 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.”

However, with the new measure in the works, married women will be granted a fourth option: retaining their maiden first name and surname. The bill gives women a CHOICE. It will not force women to retain their maiden surname if they don’t want to. 

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. While this is a promising step in the right direction, it might take some time for the law to be implemented. Nevertheless, isn’t it nice to know women will have a choice?

Art Daniella Sison

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