Separation no ground for amendment of passport of married woman
"My husband and I quarreled because he is accusing me of having a paramour. We eventually decided to part ways. My passport is due for renewal within six months, so I decided to discontinue using my husband’s surname in said document. I consulted a relative working with the local civil registrar and he told me that I could use my maiden name since this is allowed under the New Civil Code however, the concerned government agency refused to grant my request for change of name. Since I am the owner of said passport, is it correct to say that I should be followed under the circumstances?
The use of surname involving a married woman is governed by Article 370 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines, which 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.’”A married woman may use any of the above-mentioned name when applying for a passport, but once the same has been granted, her name reflected therein cannot be changed at her own freewill as this matter is now governed by Republic Act 8239, as amended, or otherwise known as the “Philippine Passport Act of 1996.” This was further supported by the decision of the court in the case of Remo vs. The Honorable Secretary of Foreign Affairs (GR 169202, March 5, 2010), where the Supreme Court, through Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, stated that:“The acquisition of a Philippine passport is a privilege. The law recognizes the passport applicant’s constitutional right to travel. However, the State is also mandated to protect and maintain the integrity and credibility of the passport and travel documents proceeding from it as a Philippine passport remains at all times the property of the Government. The holder is merely a possessor of the passport as long as it is valid and the same may not be surrendered to any person or entity other than the government or its representative.“As the OSG (Office of the Solicitor General) correctly pointed out:
“[T]he issuance of passports is impressed with public interest. A passport is an official document of identity and nationality issued to a person intending to travel or sojourn in foreign countries. It is issued by the Philippine government to its citizens requesting other governments to allow its holder to pass safely and freely, and in case of need, to give him/her aid and protection. x x x“Significantly, Section 1, Article 12 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 8239 provides:“The passport can be amended only in the following cases:“a) Amendment of woman’s name due to marriage“b) Amendment of woman’s name due to death of spouse, annulment of marriage or divorce initiated by a foreign spouse or“c) Change of surname of a child who is legitimated by virtue of a subsequent marriage of his parents.”Applying the above-quoted decision in your situation, your wish to change the surname indicated in your passport cannot be followed or granted because your separation-in-fact from your husband is not one of the grounds for the amendment of the passport.We hope that we were able to answer your query. This advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org"
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"Separation no ground for amendment of passport of married woman"
was written by Mary
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comments. The article was created on 15 September 2021
and updated on 15 September 2021