Under Article 370 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines, Filipino women have the prerogative to choose their surname after marriage. The option includes retention of maiden name or the use of the surname of the husband. As a general rule, since the use of the husband’s surname is not obligatory, a married woman may retain to her maiden name.
However, if a Filipino woman has opted to use her husband’s surname upon marriage, Section 5 (d) of the Philippine Passport Act of 1996, enumerates the instances when she may revert to her maiden surname in the passport, namely, i) death of husband; ii) annulment of marriage; and iii) divorce initiated by foreign husband. Only in these instances will reversion to maiden name in the passport be allowed.