Bill allowing married women to retain maiden surnames approved on 2nd reading
MANILA, Philippines — A proposal that would allow married women to retain and use their maiden surnames has been approved by the House of Representatives on the second reading.
House Bill No. 4605 authored by Manila 4th District Rep. Edward Vera Maceda, was approved via viva voce, or voice voting, during the plenary session on Tuesday.
The approval came after the bill was brought up to the plenary on Monday, when the House ceded control to women legislators in celebration of Women’s Month.
If the bill is enacted, Article 370 of Republic Act No. 386 or the New Civil Code of the Philippines would be amended, which would now allow the following name combinations for married women:
- maiden first name and surname
- maiden first name and surname, and add her husband’s name
- maiden first name and her husband’s surname
- husband’s full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as “Mrs.”
According to the bill, this aims to provide equality for women, as they can now use a name they prefer despite marriage — as currently, married women take their husbands’ surnames.
This is not the first time though that a bill has been filed to allow married women to retain their maiden surnames: last December 2021, during the 18th Congress, House Bill No. 10459 was approved on the third and final reading but lacked the time needed for further deliberations in the Senate due to the election season.
Former speaker and now Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo also filed a similar bill in August 2018.