Monthly Archives: September 2011

My Name, My Choice

I’ve always gotten weird looks when people find out that I am still using my “maiden name” despite being married for a couple of years now. Two questions usually follow after I explain that yes, my married name is the same as my maiden name: (1) is that allowed? and (2) how does my husband feel about that?

It’s unfortunate that few people seem to know that under Philippine law, a married woman may choose to retain her maiden name. While a woman can change her last name when she gets married, she doesn’t have to.

Article 370 of the Civil Code states that “[a] married woman may use:(1) Her maiden first name and surname and add her husband’s surname, or (2) Her maiden first name and her husband’s surname, or (3) Her husband’s full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as “Mrs.”

By using the word “may,” the Civil Code is giving the married woman the option to change her name. It does not, however, compel the same. As pointed out by the Supreme Court in Bar Matter No. 1625, “[m]arriage does not change a woman’s name, it merely changes her civil status.”

As for the second question, my husband respects the fact that it is my right to choose my last name. And I’ll have it no other way. Someone once told me that it would be emasculating for a man to have a wife who chooses to keep her surname. Well my reply is this: if that particular man sees an exercise of a right as a threat to his masculinity, then perhaps he is not ready to enter into a relationship with an equal partner.

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Posted by on 09/25/2011 in Law, Uncategorized



Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009 Implementing Rules

Really happy to note that the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009 has already been issued. This is important for nursing moms like me who pump in the office as now all establishments, including public places, are required to establish lactation rooms. Rule III, Section 10 gives the minimum requirements for these lactation stations, as follows:

  • It should be accessible to the breastfeeding women;
  • It should be adequately provided with the necessary equipment and facilities and other items, the standards of which shall be defined by the Department of Health;
  • It should be clean, well ventilated, comfortable and free from contaminants and hazardous substances;
  • It shall ensure privacy for the women to express their milk and/or in appropriate cases, breastfeed their child; and
  • It shall NOT be located in a toilet.

The last bullet point is italicized because the most common question I’ve been getting from well-meaning officemates is why I don’t pump in the bathroom. Well, because it’s a bathroom.

Further, nursing moms are entitled to break intervals in addition to the regular time-off for meals to breastfeed or express milk. These breaks are counted as compensable time and should not be less than 40 minutes for every 8 hour working period. The employee and employers may agree as to how often and how long each break interval shall be.

You may get a copy of the IRR here. I suggest you print a copy of the IRR and submit it to your HR so they can start setting up lactation rooms!

According to Fabnaima, the IRR will be effective on 12 September 2011. Yeay! Pretty soon, no more pumping in the office bodega for me! (Unless of course, they turn the office bodega into the lactation room.)

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Posted by on 09/10/2011 in Breastfeeding, Parenthood


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