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Fast food crew 'Jollibee' wants to be a teacher but can't because she's 'Jolivie' in school records. What should be done?

By NICK GARCIA Published Nov 21, 2023 8:10 pm Updated Nov 21, 2023 9:16 pm

A woman, whose legal name is Jollibee, is making the rounds online as she’s working for the popular fast food chain’s sister brand instead. But apart from her name's irony and catchiness, her situation spells out a more serious issue that prevents her from pursuing her dreams of becoming a licensed teacher.

A social media user named Robe Zamora Dagcuta on Facebook said the woman is a former scholar of his grandmother.

The woman was supposedly studying to become a teacher and wanted to take the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET), but she couldn’t because of her name. While she was born Jollibee, as stated in her birth certificate, she opted to use Jolivie in her school records.

“Yes, that is her name and she’s been using it since forever,” Dagcuta said.

So, what can be done regarding the situation of Jollibee/Jolivie?

Update school records

Atty. Erika Mari Lectura, assistant manager of the Alburo Alburo & Associates Law Offices, said in an interview with L!fe that Jolibee’s case isn’t unusual.

Her first option is to update her school records by sending a letter addressed to the DepEd regional director requesting the correction. Here, she must attach an original copy of her PSA-issued birth certificate and photocopies of her school records.

She must also execute an affidavit explaining the circumstances surrounding the discrepancy in her records, as well as find two persons unrelated to her to execute a joint affidavit attesting that Jolibee’s name in school and the name in her birth certificate refer to one and the same person.

The DepEd regional office shall then review her documents and issue a resolution.

If it’s on the college level, Lectura said Jolibee may just request for correction of her name in her official transcript of records.

But what if Jolibee wants to change her name permanently to Jolivie?

Legal name change

According to Atty. Kristina Conti of the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers, she has to go to court and ask that her birth certificate be corrected to conform to the name she wants and uses in all her records.

“There will be no new birth certificate,” Conti told L!fe. “The old one will be annotated, the dispositive of the court decision will be written on the side of the birth certificate.”

Alternatively, Conti said Jollibee can argue that she wants to change her name if it causes her embarrassment under Rule 103 of the Rules of Court. She explained that one can effect a change of name using valid and meritorious grounds, such as "when the name is ridiculous, dishonorable, or extremely difficult to write or pronounce" and "when the surname causes embarrassment and there is no showing that the desired change of name was for a fraudulent purpose or that the change of name would prejudice public interest."

Conti, however, noted the requirements can be prohibitive for the regular Filipino as it could run from at least P10,000.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, a simple correction of one's first name is worth P3,000. Migrant petitioners have to pay an additional P500. There’s also a separate cost of publication in a newspaper of general circulation. 

Employment website Indeed reported that a fast food attendant in the Philippines earns about P500 daily, or P10,000 monthly. (with reports from Brooke Villanueva)