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Salient Points of the Republic Act 9255: An Act Amending Article 176 of the Family Code of the Philippines


Do you know that an illegitimate child may now use the surname of their father?

This long-awaited move was made possible upon the signing of Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, on 24 February 2004, Republic Act 9255 entitled “An Act Allowing Illegitimate Children to Use the Surname of Their Father, Amending for the Purpose Article 176 of Executive Order No. 209, otherwise known of “Family Code of the Philippines”.

The law took effect on March 19, 2004, fifteen (15) days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation, and shall apply to all illegitimate children born before or after its effectivity.

Quoted hereunder is the amended article, to wit”

“Article 176. Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother, and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code. However, illegitimate children may use the surname of their father if their filiation has been expressly recognized by the father through the record of birth appearing in the civil register, or when an admission in a public document or private handwritten instrument is made by the father. Provided, the father has the right to institute an action before the regular courts to prove non-filiation during his lifetime. The legitime of each illegitimate child shall consist of one half of the legitime of a legitimate child.”

Consequently, on 14 May 2004 the National Statistics Office issued the Implementing Rules and Regulations, salient points of which are as follows:

The rule shall include unregistered births and registered births where the illegitimate children use the surname of the mother; and the father, mother, child if of age, or the guardian, may file the public document or Affidavit to use the Surname of the Father in order for the child to use the surname of the father; and said public document executed within the Philippines shall be filed at the Local Civil Registry Office (LCRO) where the child was born, if the birth occurred within the Philippines; whereas if executed outside the Philippines, the public document shall be filed at the LCRO of Manila.

Further details of the law can be accessed at:

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