Senator Lito Lapid has filed a bill seeking to allow women to revert to their maiden name without the “tedious and expensive” court process associated with it.
According to Lapid, Senate Bill No. 985, also known as the Reversion to Maiden Name Act, intends to empower women to be truly independent in their social and economic affairs by granting them freedom to use their maiden surnames.
The veteran legislator explained in the bill that in the current law, a married woman has the option to use her husband’s surname, but is not required to do so.
However, with the current regulatory set-up, the seasoned lawmaker pointed out that there still are barriers for the exercise of this right of reversion to maiden name.
“There are still discriminatory policies and practices in some government agencies which require a married woman to adopt her husband’s surname.”
There are still discriminatory policies and practices in some government agencies which require a married woman to adopt her husband’s surname in application forms and other records and even refuse to process legitimate transactions of married women who opt to use their maiden name.
“Sa ilalim ng kasalukuyang batas, hindi papayagang magpalit ng apelyido ang isang babae sa kanyang pasaporte kahit na hindi na sila nagsasama ng kaniyang asawa. Pwede lamang baguhin ang apelyido ng isang babae sa kanyang pasaporte kung namatay na ang kanyang asawa, di kaya naman sila ay annulled na sa korte, o kung ikaw ay ikinasal sa ibang bansa at nakipagdiborsiyo sa iyo ang iyong foreigner asawa,” the senator said.
He added: “Ang ganitong klase ng napakahigpit na panuntunin ay nakakahadlang naman sa karapatan ng ating mga kababaihan. Ang piliing bumalik sa dati niyang apelyido ay dapat maging bukas na opsyon sa mga babae.”
The bill intends to facilitate women’s right to revert to her surname in instances of legal separation, annulment or declaration of nullity of their marriage.
The proposed measure intends to facilitate women’s right to revert to their surnames in instances of legal separation, annulment or declaration of nullity of their marriages. It shall also empower the Office of the Civil Registrar, the Department of Justice, the Department of Finance, the Supreme Court and such other concerned government agencies to provide for a procedure for a woman’s choice to revert to her maiden name.
Moreover, this bill shall also expand the scope of the Civil Registrar’s power to change or correct entries in the civil registry without need of a judicial order.