The chairperson of the House committee on overseas workers affairs on Tuesday urged the Italian government not to implement a directive asking overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to drop their middle names. Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello, chair of the House committee on overseas workers affairs said the Italian Ministry of Labor should let OFWs use their full names because removing their middle names will have “legal and cultural ramifications.”
The Italian Ministry of Labor last October issued Circular No. 29 asking Filipinos living and working in Italy to omit their middle names from official documents so as not to confuse them with their first names. Italians do not use middle names. Filipinos in Italy —estimated to be around 123,000 based on a 2010 estimate of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas —have earlier expressed opposition to the Italian agency’s directive.