House Approves Married Women Keeping Maiden Names

Photo by Drew Coffman

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives passed a measure allowing married women to retain their original surnames rather than being forced to acquire their husbands’ last names.

On Tuesday’s plenary session, all 277 lawmakers present voted in favor of House Bill (HB) No. 4605, while there were no votes against or abstentions.

Under the existing law, a married woman has the option to use certain name combinations. But, if the bill is passed into law, it will change Article 370 of Republic Act No. 386, often known as the New Civil Code of the Philippines.

HB No. 4605 suggests that married women can use their maiden name and surname, their maiden name and surname with the addition of their husband’s name, or their maiden name with their husband’s surname. The bill also suggests adding a prefix like “Mrs.” to the husband’s full name to show that the woman is his wife.

The bill passed its second reading after being presented in the plenary on an all-women session day during Women’s Month on March 14.

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