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Silverio vs.

Republic of the Philippines
G.R. no. 174689 October 22, 2007
Corona, J.:
Facts:
Petitioner Silverio is a male transsexual (thinks and feels as a female) born in Manila
on April 4, 1962. In the US he underwent psychological examination, hormone
treatment, and breast augmentation. Finally he had a sex reassignment in Bangkok
on Jan 27, 2001 and lived as a female from then on and was even engaged to be
married. Following this, he sought to have his first name changed from “Rommel
Jacinto” to “Mely” and his sex from “male” to “female”. He filed SP Case No. 02-
105207 in the RTC of Manila, Branch 8, with the Civil Registrar of Manila as the
RTC ruling: respondent. The RTC ruled in his favor on the grounds that:
June 4, 2003  Petitioner does not intend to evade law, but simply align his present sex w/
his birth cert.
 Petitioner is entitled to this request bec:
1. Principles of justice and equity
2. No harm will be produced, only happiness of the petitioner and her
fiancé
3. There is no evidence to deny the petition
The R.P filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certoriari questioning the ruling
Aug. 18, 2003 of the RTC bec:
There is not law allowing for the change of either name of sex
C.A. ruling: The C.A. ruled in favor of the R.P. bec:
Feb. 23, 2006  RTC’s decision lacked legal basis. There is no law allowing for the change of
either name of sex
Petitioner moved for reconsideration but it was denied. Hence this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not a change of name and sex in the birth cert. is allowed under Articles 407 to 413 of the
Civil Code, Rules 103 and 108 of the Rules of Court and RA 9048, as petitioner claims.
Ruling:
The petition lacks merit. For these reasons:
 Change of name is a privilege, not a right (even after acquiring physical change)
 The petition was filed in the wrong place (it should have been filed with the local civil registrar
concerned, not the RTC)
 R.A. 9048 is now the governing law, and removes name change from the coverage of 103
(change of name) and 108 (cancellation or correction of entries in the civil registry)
 R.A 9048 only allows name change when:
1. Name is ridiculous, w/ dishonor, hard to pronounce
2. Name is publicly known in community
3. Change of Name will avoid confusion
 Art. 407 of the Civil Code only allows for correction of error, not change. (there was no error
in birth cert.), even then, Art. 407 does not cover correction on grounds of sex reassignment.
 It has been established that “sex” falls under special laws since it is part of a “status” that
affects legal situation (such as in marriage and family). However, there is no special law in the
Philippines governing sex reassignment and its effects.

 Sex is determined at birth by the people present. not the courts. change will alter the laws on marriage and family relations to include people who have undergone sexual reassignment. The approval of the RTC. . only male and female in their ordinary sense as it was understood in the early 1900s. 2. The laws pertaining to women only will be affected  Only the legislature can set the guidelines who may apply for such changes.  To change the birth cert. and sexual assignment is not recognized. 1. The courts can only implement the law. with the open intention of the petitioner to marry after the birth cert. is in fact not in line with equity.