MANILA (PNA) -
Senator Ramon Revilla is optimistic President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo will sign into law this month Senate
Bill 2510 which seeks to amend Article 176 of the
As the lawmaker proposed,
passage of this bill into law will allow children born
out of wedlock to use their fathers' surnames if these
male parents consent to such and if the biological
mothers allow their offspring to use their fathers'
"This will spare
illegitimate children from the stigma associated with
their status," Revilla said, explaining that
provisions of the proposed legislation he authored
aims to protect the subjects from being treated as
The existing Family Code
requires children born out of wedlock to use the
surnames of their mothers.
The Code also prohibits
illegitimate children from adapting the surnames of
their fathers under any circumstance.
"These provisions are
contrary to Section 12 Article 1 of the 1987
Constitution which declares that as a policy, the
State shall protect the life of the unborn from the
time of its conception," Revilla reasoned.
constitutional mandate, the lawmaker continued, it
becomes the responsibility of the State to shield
illegitimate children from unwarranted discrimination
In a study, the National
Statistics Office noted that the current provision of
the Family Code regarding such use of parents'
surnames is one reason why parents often do not
promptly register the birth of their illegitimate
Data from the agency for
2000 revealed that the birth of over five million
Filipinos nationwide are unregistered.
On the other hand, the
Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey of 1999 showed that
three out of 10 children below 5 years old – including
those who were not registered due to their
illegitimate status – do not have birth certificates.
Carmelita Ericta observed that such practice of not
registering illegitimate children eventually leads to
falsification of their birth records.
Ericta said that
registration of birth is important since this
represents the first official acknowledgement of the
State that a child exists.
will be deprived of the means to secure their rights
to identification following war, abandonment and
abduction," the administrator noted, emphasizing the
importance of birth registration.
individuals have limited access to benefits and
services of government, she stressed.
On a national level,
proper documentation of birth helps to strengthen
government efforts to plan for children, Ericta said.
In filing the bill,
Revilla noted that government must provide
illegitimate children with an environment that will
enable them to lead normal lives and that will help
them understand that despite their status, they can
still become productive citizens.