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Attorneys of the Philippines Legal News

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All You Need To Know About Estate Tax

Estate tax or also referred to as inheritance tax is defined by the Bureau of Internal Revenue as “Estate tax is a tax on the right of the deceased person to transmit his/her estate to his/her lawful heirs and beneficiaries at the time of death and on certain transfers, which are made by law as equivalent to testamentary disposition. It is not a tax on property. It is a tax imposed on the privilege of transmitting property upon the death of the owner. The Estate Tax is based on the laws in force at the time of death notwithstanding the postponement of the actual possession or enjoyment of the estate by the beneficiary."

The executor, administrator, beneficiaries or heirs are the ones paying for the estate taxes. Transferring property to heirs or beneficiaries will not be executed unless the estate tax is paid.  

1. Who are required to file the Estate Tax return? 

a) The executor or administrator or any of the legal heirs of the decedent or non-resident of the Philippines under any of the following situation:

- In all cases of transfer subject to Estate Tax;

- Where though exempt from Estate Tax, the gross value of the estate exceeds two hundred thousand P 200,000.00; and

- Where regardless of the gross value, the estate consists of registered or registrable property such as real property, motor vehicle, share of stocks or other similar property for which a clearance from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is required as a prerequisite for the transfer of ownership thereof in the name of the transferee. (part II par.(1.#3) of RMC No. 34-2013)

b) Where there is no executor or administrator appointed, qualified and acting within the Philippines, then any person in actual or constructive possession of any property of the decedent must file the return.

c) The Estate Tax imposed under the Tax Code shall be paid by the executor or administrator before the delivery of the distributive share in the inheritance to any heir or beneficiary. Where there are two or more executors or administrators, all of them are severally liable for the payment of the tax. The estate tax clearance issued by the Commissioner or the Revenue District Officer (RDO) having jurisdiction over the estate, will serve as the authority to distribute the remaining/distributable properties/share in the inheritance to the heir or beneficiary.

d) The executor or administrator of an estate has the primary obligation to pay the estate tax but the heir or beneficiary has subsidiary liability for the payment of that portion of the estate which his distributive share bears to the value of the total net estate. The extent of his liability, however, shall in no case exceed the value of his share in the inheritance.

2. What are included in gross estate?

For resident alien decedents/citizens:

a) Real or immovable property, wherever located

b) Tangible personal property, wherever located

c) Intangible personal property, wherever located 

For non-resident decedent/non-citizens:

a) Real or immovable property located in the Philippines 

b) Tangible personal property located in the Philippines 

c) Intangible personal property - with a situs in the Philippines such as:

- Franchise which must be exercised in the Philippines

- Shares, obligations or bonds issued by corporations organized or constituted in the Philippines

- Shares, obligations or bonds issued by a foreign corporation 85% of the business of which is located in the Philippines

- Shares, obligations or bonds issued by a foreign corporation if such shares, obligations or bonds have acquired a business situs in the Philippines ( i. e. they are used in the furtherance of its business in the Philippines)

- Shares, rights in any partnership, business or industry established in the Philippines

3. What are excluded from gross estate?

  • GSIS proceeds/ benefits
  • Accruals from SSS
  • Proceeds of life insurance where the beneficiary is irrevocably appointed
  • Proceeds of life insurance under a group insurance taken by employer (not taken out upon his life)
  • War damage payments
  • Transfer by way of bona fide sales
  • Transfer of property to the National Government or to any of its political subdivisions
  • Separate property of the surviving spouse
  • Merger of usufruct in the owner of the naked title
  • Properties held in trust by the decedent
  • Acquisition and/or transfer expressly declared as not taxable

4. What will be used as basis in the valuation of property?

The properties subject to Estate Tax shall be appraised based on its fair market value at the time of the decedent's death.

The appraised value of the real estate shall be whichever is higher of the fair market value, as determined by the Commissioner (zonal value) or the fair market value, as shown in the schedule of values fixed by the Provincial or City Assessor.

If there is no zonal value, the taxable base is the fair market value that appears in the latest tax declaration.

If there is an improvement, the value of improvement is the construction cost per building permit or the fair market value per latest tax declaration.

5. What are the allowable deductions for Estate Tax Purposes?

Applicable for deaths occurring after the effectivity of RA 8424 which is January 1, 1998

For a citizen or resident alien 

A. Expenses, losses, indebtedness and taxes

(1) Actual funeral expenses (whether paid or unpaid) up to the time of interment, or an amount equal to five percent (5%) of the gross estate, whichever is lower, but in no case to exceed P200,000.

(2) Judicial expenses of the testamentary or intestate proceedings.

(3) Claims against the estate.

(4) Claims of the deceased against insolvent persons where the value of the decedent’s interest therein is included in the value of the gross estate; and,

(5) Unpaid mortgages, taxes and casualty losses

B. Property previously taxed (Vanishing Deduction) (Section 86(2) of the NIRC as amended by Republic Act No. 8424)

An amount equal to the value specified below of any property forming a part of the gross estate situated in the Philippines of any person who died within five (5) years prior to the death of the decedent, or transferred to the decedent by gift within five (5) years prior to his death, where such property can be identified as having been received by the decedent from the donor by gift, or from such prior decedent by gift, bequest, devise or inheritance, or which can be identified as having been acquired in exchange for property so received:

One hundred percent (100%) of the value, if the prior decedent died within one (1) year prior to the death of the decedent, or if the property was transferred to him by gift within the same period prior to his death;

Eighty percent (80%) of the value, if the prior decedent died more than one (1) year but not more than two (2) years prior to the death of the decedent, or if the property was transferred to him by gift within the same period prior to his death;

Sixty percent (60%) of the value, if the prior decedent died more than two (2) years but not more than three (3) years prior to the death of the decedent, or if the property was transferred to him by gift within the same period prior to his death;

Forty percent (40%) of the value, if the prior decedent died more than three (3) years but not more than four (4) years prior to the death of the decedent, or if the property was transferred to him by gift within the same period prior to his death; and

Twenty percent (20%) of the value, if the prior decedent died more than four (4) years but not more than five (5) years prior to the death of the decedent, or if the property was transferred to him by gift within the same period prior to his death;

These deductions shall be allowed only where a donor’s tax or estate tax imposed was finally determined and paid by or on behalf of such donor, or the estate of such prior decedent, as the case may be, and only in the amount finally determined as the value of such property in determining the value of the gift, or the gross estate of such prior decedent, and only to the extent that the value of such property is included in the decedent’s gross estate, and only if in determining the value of the estate of the prior decedent, no Property Previously Taxed or Vanishing Deduction was allowable in respect of the property or properties given in exchange therefor. (Section 6 & 7 of RR 2-2003)

C. Transfers for public use

D. The family home - fair market value but not to exceed P1,000,000.00

The family home refers to the dwelling house, including the land on which it is situated, where the husband and wife, or a head of the family, and members of their family reside, as certified to by the Barangay Captain of the locality. The family home is deemed constituted on the house and lot from the time it is actually occupied as a family residence and is considered as such for as long as any of its beneficiaries actually resides therein. (Arts. 152 and 153, Family Code)

E. Standard deduction – A deduction in the amount of One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) shall be allowed as an additional deduction without need of substantiation.

F. Medical expenses – All medical expenses (cost of medicines, hospital bills, doctor’s fees, etc.) incurred (whether paid or unpaid) within one (1) year before the death of the decedent shall be allowed as a deduction provided that the same are duly substantiated with official receipts. For services rendered by the decedent’s attending physicians, invoices, statements of account duly certified by the hospital, and such other documents in support thereof and provided, further, that the total amount thereof, whether paid or unpaid, does not exceed Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000).

G. Amount received by heirs under Republic Act No. 4917-Any amount received by the heirs from the decedent’s employer as a consequence of the death of the decedent-employee in accordance with Republic Act No. 4917 is allowed as a deduction provided that the amount of the separation benefit is included as part of the gross estate of the decedent.

H. Net share of the surviving spouse in the conjugal partnership or community property

For a non-resident alien

A. Expenses, losses, indebtedness and taxes

B. Property previously taxed

C. Transfers for public use

D. Net share of the surviving spouse in the conjugal partnership or community property

No deduction shall be allowed in the case of a non-resident decedent not a citizen of the Philippines, unless the executor, administrator, or anyone of the heirs, as the case may be, includes in the return required to be filed in the Section 90 of the Code the value at the time of the decedent’s death of that part of his gross estate not situated in the Philippines.

Please note that the allowable deductions will vary depending on the law applicable at the time of the decedent’s death.

6. What does the term "Funeral Expenses" include? (Sec 6 (A)(1) of RR 2-2003)

The term "FUNERAL EXPENSES" is not confined to its ordinary or usual meaning. They include:

(a) The mourning apparel of the surviving spouse and unmarried minor children of the deceased bought and used on the occasion of the burial;

(b) Expenses for the deceased’s wake, including food and drinks;

(c) Publication charges for death notices;

(d) Telecommunication expenses incurred in informing relatives of the deceased;

(e) Cost of burial plot, tombstones, monument or mausoleum but not their upkeep. In case the deceased owns a family estate or several burial lots, only the value corresponding to the plot where he is buried is deductible;

(f) Interment and/or cremation fees and charges; and

(g) All other expenses incurred for the performance of the rites and ceremonies incident to interment.

Expenses incurred after the interment, such as for prayers, masses, entertainment, or the like are not deductible. Any portion of the funeral and burial expenses borne or defrayed by relatives and friends of the deceased are not deductible. Actual funeral expenses shall mean those which are actually incurred in connection with the interment or burial of the deceased. The expenses must be duly supported by official receipts or invoices or other evidence to show that they were actually incurred.

7. What does the term "Judicial Expenses" include? (Sec 6 (A)(2) of RR 2-2003)

Expenses allowed as deduction under this category are those incurred in the inventory-taking of a assets comprising the gross estate, their administration, the payment of debts of the estate, as well as the distribution of the estate among the heirs. In short, these deductible items are expenses incurred during the settlement of the estate but not beyond the last day prescribed by law, or the extension thereof, for the filing of the estate tax return. Judicial expenses may include:

(a) Fees of executor or administrator;

(b) Attorney’s fees;

(c) Court fees;

(d) Accountant’s fees;

(e) Appraiser’s fees;

(f) Clerk hire;

(g) Costs of preserving and distributing the estate;

(h) Costs of storing or maintaining property of the estate; and

(i) Brokerage fees for selling property of the estate.

Any unpaid amount for the aforementioned cost and expenses claimed under “Judicial Expenses” should be supported by a sworn statement of account issued and signed by the creditor.

8. What are the requisites for deductibility of claims against the Estate? (Sec 6(A)(3) of RR 2-2003)

(a) The liability represents a personal obligation of the deceased existing at the time of his death except unpaid obligations incurred incident to his death such as unpaid funeral expenses (i.e., expenses incurred up to the time of interment) and unpaid medical expenses which are classified under a different category of deductions pursuant to these Regulations;

(b) The liability was contracted in good faith and for adequate and full consideration in money or money’s worth;

(c) The claim must be a debt or claim which is valid in law and enforceable in court;

(d) The indebtedness must not have been condoned by the creditor or the action to collect from the decedent must not have prescribed.

9.  How do we determine the fair market value of the unlisted stocks? (RR NO. 6-2013) (Annex U)

In determining the value of the shares, the Adjusted Net Asset Method shall be used whereby all assets and liabilities are adjusted to fair market values. The net of adjusted asset minus the adjusted liability value is the indicated value of the equity. 

For purposes of this item, the appraised value of real property at the time of sale shall be the highest among the following:

       (a) The fair market value as determined by the Commissioner, or

       (b) The fair market value as shown in the schedule of values fixed by the Provincial and City Assessors, or

       (c) The fair market value as determined by Independent Appraiser. 

Source: www.bir.gov.ph

House Bill No. 6082: Reversion to Maiden Name Act

Our current law prohibits the use of the wife's maiden name unless the changes have undergone a judicial process after the court declares nullity of marriage. Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, also the former President of the Philippines proposed a bill that will entitle women to revert to her surname without court order. House Bill No. 6082 or the Reversion to Maiden Name Act seeks to bypass expensive court process in terms of surname revision. With this bill, a woman can revert to her maiden surname on the following circumstances: 

(1) after her marriage has been judicially declared null and void or after its annulment;

(2) After a judicial declaration of legal separation, provided that there has been no manifestation of reconciliation filed with the court;

(3) After a judicial declaration of separation of property, provided there has been no subsequent decree reviving the old property regime between the spouses;

(4) If the spouses stipulated in their marriage settlement that a regime of separation of properties shall govern their property relations;

(5) If the petitioner has been de facto separated from or abandoned by her husband for a period of not less than 10 years;

(6) If the petitioner’s husband may be presumed dead.

If this bill will be enacted into a law, the woman will no longer have to pay for the annulment proceedings, which usually range from P150,000 to P200,000. For the conversion of documents, the woman needs at least P50,000 to change the identification cards including Social Security System ID, telecommunications bills, postal ID and many others. 

The Republic Act 386 currently has the following conditions in terms of the use of surname: 

Art. 370. A married woman may use:

      (1) Her maiden first name and surname and add her husband's surname, or

      (2) Her maiden first name and her husband's surname or 

      (3) Her husband's full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as "Mrs."

Art. 371. In case of annulment of marriage, and the wife is the guilty party, she shall resume her maiden name and surname. If she is the innocent spouse, she may resume her maiden name and surname. However, she may choose to continue employing her former husband's surname, unless:

      (1) The court decrees otherwise, or

      (2) She or the former husband is married again to another person.

Art. 372. When legal separation has been granted, the wife shall continue using her name and surname employed before the legal separation.

Art. 373. A widow may use the deceased husband's surname as though he were still living, in accordance with Article 370.

Art. 374. In case of identity of names and surnames, the younger person shall be obliged to use such additional name or surname as will avoid confusion.

What Should Be The Minimum Age Of Criminal Responsibility?

Many crimes are committed by minors and offenders are getting younger and younger because they know all too well that they will not be held liable for the crime. Some of them can even commit a heinous crime at such a young age without any sign of remorse. The Republic Act No. 9344 states that the minimum age of criminal responsibility should be 15 years old. However, the Republic Act No. 10630 seeks to amend Republic Act No. 9344. The amendment reduces criminal liability from 15 years old to 9 years old. 

Section 6. Section 20 of Republic Act No. 9344 is hereby amended to read as follows:

"SEC. 20. Children Below the Age of Criminal Responsibility. – If it has been determined that the child taken into custody is fifteen (15) years old or below, the authority which will have an initial contact with the child, in consultation with the local social welfare and development officer, has the duty to immediately release the child to the custody of his/her parents or guardian, or in the absence thereof, the child’s nearest relative. The child shall be subjected to a community-based intervention program supervised by the local social welfare and development officer, unless the best interest of the child requires the referral of the child to a youth care facility or ‘Bahay Pag-asa’ managed by LGUs or licensed and/or accredited NGOs monitored by the DSWD.

"The local social welfare and development officer shall determine the appropriate programs for the child who has been released, in consultation with the child and the person having custody over the child. If the parents, guardians or nearest relatives cannot be located, or if they refuse to take custody, the child may be released to any of the following:

 

"(a) A duly registered nongovernmental or religious organization;

 

"(b) A barangay official or a member of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC);

 

"(c) A local social welfare and development officer; or, when and where appropriate, the DSWD.

"If the child has been found by the local social welfare and development officer to be dependent, abandoned, neglected or abused by his/her parents and the best interest of the child requires that he/she be placed in a youth care facility or ‘Bahay Pag-asa’, the child’s parents or guardians shall execute a written authorization for the voluntary commitment of the child: Provided, That if the child has no parents or guardians or if they refuse or fail to execute the written authorization for voluntary commitment, the proper petition for involuntary commitment shall be immediately filed by the DSWD or the Local Social Welfare and Development Office (LSWDO) pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended, otherwise known as ‘The Child and Youth Welfare Code’ and the Supreme Court rule on commitment of children: Provided, further, That the minimum age for children committed to a youth care facility or ‘Bahay Pag-asa’ shall be twelve (12) years old."

"SEC. 20-A. Serious Crimes Committed by Children Who Are Exempt From Criminal Responsibility. – A child who is above twelve (12) years of age up to fifteen (15) years of age and who commits parricide, murder, infanticide, kidnapping and serious illegal detention where the victim is killed or raped, robbery, with homicide or rape, destructive arson, rape, or carnapping where the driver or occupant is killed or raped or offenses under Republic Act No. 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) punishable by more than twelve (12) years of imprisonment, shall be deemed a neglected child under Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended, and shall be mandatorily placed in a special facility within the youth care faculty or ‘Bahay Pag-asa’ called the Intensive Juvenile Intervention and Support Center (IJISC).

"In accordance with existing laws, rules, procedures and guidelines, the proper petition for involuntary commitment and placement under the IJISC shall be filed by the local social welfare and development officer of the LGU where the offense was committed, or by the DSWD social worker in the local social welfare and development officer’s absence, within twenty-four (24) hours from the time of the receipt of a report on the alleged commission of said child. The court, where the petition for involuntary commitment has been filed shall decide on the petition within seventy-two (72) hours from the time the said petition has been filed by the DSWD/LSWDO. The court will determine the initial period of placement of the child within the IJISC which shall not be less than one (1) year. The multi-disciplinary team of the IJISC will submit to the court a case study and progress report, to include a psychiatric evaluation report and recommend the reintegration of the child to his/her family or the extension of the placement under the IJISC. The multi-disciplinary team will also submit a report to the court on the services extended to the parents and family of the child and the compliance of the parents in the intervention program. The court will decide whether the child has successfully completed the center-based intervention program and is already prepared to be reintegrated with his/her family or if there is a need for the continuation of the center-based rehabilitation of the child. The court will determine the next period of assessment or hearing on the commitment of the child."

"SEC. 20-B. Repetition of Offenses. – A child who is above twelve (12) years of age up to fifteen (15) years of age and who commits an offense for the second time or oftener: Provided, That the child was previously subjected to a community-based intervention program, shall be deemed a neglected child under Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended, and shall undergo an intensive intervention program supervised by the local social welfare and development officer: Provided, further, That, if the best interest of the child requires that he/she be placed in a youth care facility or ‘Bahay Pag-asa’, the child’s parents or guardians shall execute a written authorization for the voluntary commitment of the child: Provided, finally, That if the child has no parents or guardians or if they refuse or fail to execute the written authorization for voluntary commitment, the proper petition for involuntary commitment shall be immediately filed by the DSWD or the LSWDO pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 603, as amended."

What Are The Prohibitions Of Wages?

Both employers and employees must be aware of prohibitions regarding wages including the time and form of payment. Many salary disputes happen because the law on minimum wage rates are not properly discussed. Everything you need to know about wage rates is explained on the Labor Code of the Philippines. 

MINIMUM WAGE RATES

Art. 99. Regional minimum wages. The minimum wage rates for agricultural and non-agricultural employees and workers in each and every region of the country shall be those prescribed by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards. (As amended by Section 3, Republic Act No. 6727, June 9, 1989).

Art. 100. Prohibition against elimination or diminution of benefits. Nothing in this Book shall be construed to eliminate or in any way diminish supplements, or other employee benefits being enjoyed at the time of promulgation of this Code.

Art. 101. Payment by results.

The Secretary of Labor and Employment shall regulate the payment of wages by results, including pakyao, piecework, and other non-time work, in order to ensure the payment of fair and reasonable wage rates, preferably through time and motion studies or in consultation with representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations.

PAYMENT OF WAGES

Art. 102. Forms of payment. No employer shall pay the wages of an employee by means of promissory notes, vouchers, coupons, tokens, tickets, chits, or any object other than legal tender, even when expressly requested by the employee.

Payment of wages by check or money order shall be allowed when such manner of payment is customary on the date of effectivity of this Code, or is necessary because of special circumstances as specified in appropriate regulations to be issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment or as stipulated in a collective bargaining agreement.

Art. 103. Time of payment. Wages shall be paid at least once every two (2) weeks or twice a month at intervals not exceeding sixteen (16) days. If on account of force majeure or circumstances beyond the employer’s control, payment of wages on or within the time herein provided cannot be made, the employer shall pay the wages immediately after such force majeure or circumstances have ceased. No employer shall make payment with less frequency than once a month.

The payment of wages of employees engaged to perform a task which cannot be completed in two (2) weeks shall be subject to the following conditions, in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement or arbitration award:

That payments are made at intervals not exceeding sixteen (16) days, in proportion to the amount of work completed;

That final settlement is made upon completion of the work.

Art. 104. Place of payment. Payment of wages shall be made at or near the place of undertaking, except as otherwise provided by such regulations as the Secretary of Labor and Employment may prescribe under conditions to ensure greater protection of wages.

Art. 105. Direct payment of wages. Wages shall be paid directly to the workers to whom they are due, except:

In cases of force majeure rendering such payment impossible or under other special circumstances to be determined by the Secretary of Labor and Employment in appropriate regulations, in which case, the worker may be paid through another person under written authority given by the worker for the purpose; or

Where the worker has died, in which case, the employer may pay the wages of the deceased worker to the heirs of the latter without the necessity of intestate proceedings. The claimants, if they are all of age, shall execute an affidavit attesting to their relationship to the deceased and the fact that they are his heirs, to the exclusion of all other persons. If any of the heirs is a minor, the affidavit shall be executed on his behalf by his natural guardian or next-of-kin. The affidavit shall be presented to the employer who shall make payment through the Secretary of Labor and Employment or his representative. The representative of the Secretary of Labor and Employment shall act as referee in dividing the amount paid among the heirs. The payment of wages under this Article shall absolve the employer of any further liability with respect to the amount paid.

Art. 106. Contractor or subcontractor. Whenever an employer enters into a contract with another person for the performance of the former’s work, the employees of the contractor and of the latter’s subcontractor, if any, shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of this Code.

In the event that the contractor or subcontractor fails to pay the wages of his employees in accordance with this Code, the employer shall be jointly and severally liable with his contractor or subcontractor to such employees to the extent of the work performed under the contract, in the same manner and extent that he is liable to employees directly employed by him.

The Secretary of Labor and Employment may, by appropriate regulations, restrict or prohibit the contracting-out of labor to protect the rights of workers established under this Code. In so prohibiting or restricting, he may make appropriate distinctions between labor-only contracting and job contracting as well as differentiations within these types of contracting and determine who among the parties involved shall be considered the employer for purposes of this Code, to prevent any violation or circumvention of any provision of this Code.

There is "labor-only" contracting where the person supplying workers to an employer does not have substantial capital or investment in the form of tools, equipment, machineries, work premises, among others, and the workers recruited and placed by such person are performing activities which are directly related to the principal business of such employer. In such cases, the person or intermediary shall be considered merely as an agent of the employer who shall be responsible to the workers in the same manner and extent as if the latter were directly employed by him.

Art. 107. Indirect employer. The provisions of the immediately preceding article shall likewise apply to any person, partnership, association or corporation which, not being an employer, contracts with an independent contractor for the performance of any work, task, job or project.

Art. 108. Posting of bond. An employer or indirect employer may require the contractor or subcontractor to furnish a bond equal to the cost of labor under contract, on condition that the bond will answer for the wages due the employees should the contractor or subcontractor, as the case may be, fail to pay the same.

Art. 109. Solidary liability. The provisions of existing laws to the contrary notwithstanding, every employer or indirect employer shall be held responsible with his contractor or subcontractor for any violation of any provision of this Code. For purposes of determining the extent of their civil liability under this Chapter, they shall be considered as direct employers.

Art. 110. Worker preference in case of bankruptcy. In the event of bankruptcy or liquidation of an employer’s business, his workers shall enjoy first preference as regards their wages and other monetary claims, any provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding. Such unpaid wages and monetary claims shall be paid in full before claims of the government and other creditors may be paid. (As amended by Section 1, Republic Act No. 6715, March 21, 1989)

Art. 111. Attorney’s fees.

In cases of unlawful withholding of wages, the culpable party may be assessed attorney’s fees equivalent to ten percent of the amount of wages recovered.

It shall be unlawful for any person to demand or accept, in any judicial or administrative proceedings for the recovery of wages, attorney’s fees which exceed ten percent of the amount of wages recovered.

PROHIBITIONS REGARDING WAGES

Art. 112. Non-interference in disposal of wages. No employer shall limit or otherwise interfere with the freedom of any employee to dispose of his wages. He shall not in any manner force, compel, or oblige his employees to purchase merchandise, commodities or other property from any other person, or otherwise make use of any store or services of such employer or any other person.

Art. 113. Wage deduction. No employer, in his own behalf or in behalf of any person, shall make any deduction from the wages of his employees, except:

In cases where the worker is insured with his consent by the employer, and the deduction is to recompense the employer for the amount paid by him as premium on the insurance. 

For union dues, in cases where the right of the worker or his union to check-off has been recognized by the employer or authorized in writing by the individual worker concerned; and

In cases where the employer is authorized by law or regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

Art. 114. Deposits for loss or damage. No employer shall require his worker to make deposits from which deductions shall be made for the reimbursement of loss of or damage to tools, materials, or equipment supplied by the employer, except when the employer is engaged in such trades, occupations or business where the practice of making deductions or requiring deposits is a recognized one, or is necessary or desirable as determined by the Secretary of Labor and Employment in appropriate rules and regulations.

Art. 115. Limitations. No deduction from the deposits of an employee for the actual amount of the loss or damage shall be made unless the employee has been heard thereon, and his responsibility has been clearly shown.

Art. 116. Withholding of wages and kickbacks prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, to withhold any amount from the wages of a worker or induce him to give up any part of his wages by force, stealth, intimidation, threat or by any other means whatsoever without the worker’s consent.

Art. 117. Deduction to ensure employment. It shall be unlawful to make any deduction from the wages of any employee for the benefit of the employer or his representative or intermediary as consideration of a promise of employment or retention in employment.

Art. 118. Retaliatory measures. It shall be unlawful for an employer to refuse to pay or reduce the wages and benefits, discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee who has filed any complaint or instituted any proceeding under this Title or has testified or is about to testify in such proceedings.

Art. 119. False reporting. It shall be unlawful for any person to make any statement, report, or record filed or kept pursuant to the provisions of this Code knowing such statement, report or record to be false in any material respect.

Law That Prohibits Hospitals From Demanding Deposit

Being hospitalized is an additional burden for the impoverished as many hospitals require deposit before a patient can be admitted. On Thursday, August 3, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law that increases penalties for clinics and hospitals that fail to administer initial medical treatment to patient who fail to provide deposit. The law is known as Republic Act No. 10932 or the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law. 

The law states that "in emergency or serious cases, it shall be unlawful for any hospital or medical clinic to request, solicit, demand or accept any deposit or any other form of advance payment as prerequisite for administering basic emergency care, for confinement or medical treatment, or to refuse to administer medical treatment and support to any patient.

The violation of the Act will be punishable by imprisonment of not less than six (6) months and one (1) day but not more than two (2) years and four (4) months, or a fine of not less than P100,000.00 but not more than P300,000.00 or both. Stiffer penalties will also be imposed upon officers and directors of clinics and hospitals. 

Upon three (3) repeated violations committed pursuant to an established policy of the hospital or clinic or upon the instructions of its management, the health facility's license to operate shall be revoked by the DOH. The president chairman, board of directors, or trustees, and other officers of the health facility shall be solidarily liable for damages that may be awarded by the court to the patient complainant. 

Under Section 3 of the same Act, "after the hospital or medical clinic mentioned above shall have administered medical treatment and support, it may cause the transfer of the patient to an appropriate hospital consistent with the needs of the patient especially in the case of poor or indigent patients. 

There are also provisions intended for pregnant women. While the previous version of this Act stated that hospitals were only held accountable for cases in which patient required immediate medical care, the new version states that clinics and hospitals can also be held accountable if they fail to administer treatment to a woman. 

Free Tertiary Education Now A Law

Not all parents can send their children to college due to lack of funds. This is why when President Rodrigo Duterte signed a bill granting free tertiary education in state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs), most students are ecstatic about the good news.

Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act shoulders tuition and other school fees. However, there are qualifications that must be met to ensure that free college tuition is only given to deserving students. 

Under section 6 of RA 10931, the following students are ineligible to avail of the free tertiary education: 

a) In SUCs and LUCs

1. Students who have already attained a bachelor's degree or comparable undergraduate degree from any HEI whether public or private; 

2. Students who fail to comply with the admission and retention policies of the SUC or LUC;

3. Students who fail to complete their bachelor's degree or comparable undergraduate degree within a year after the period prescribed in their program. and

b) In State-Run TVIs:

1. Students who have obtained a bachelor's degree, as well as those who have received a certificate or diploma for technical-vocational course equivalent to at least National Certificate III and above. 

2. Students who fail in any course enrolled in during the course of the program. 

Students ineligible to avail of the free tertiary education shall be charged the tuition and other school fees, as determined by the respective boards of the SUCs and LUCs and in the case of the state-run TVIs, to be determined by the TESDA. 

Students loan programs will also be available alongside free tuition law to cover the cost of tertiary education. 

Section 8 states that "repayment shall be effected by incorporating a portion of the loan amount or a percentage thereof in the employee's monthly Social Security System (SSS) or Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) contribution, as the case may be, based on a reasonable schedule of repayment and interest rates, as may be formulated by the UniFAST Board.  

Payment of the loan amount will commence once the beneficiary secures any gainful employment with compensation, remuneration or earnings that reach the Compulsory Repayment Threshold (CRT). For purposes of this ACT, the CRT shall be set and reviewed by the UniFAST Board, and adjusted when necessary. 

Robbery With Intimidation And Violence Against Persons

Nowadays, vigilance is essential to every homeowner because a stranger can break into your house and steal your personal belongings while you are away or asleep. These robbers can even intimidate or kill you to get what they want. Robbery with homicide is a serious offense. Anyone who is guilty of committing the crime will be sentenced to life imprisonment. The penalty imposed upon the perpetrator will depend on the gravity of the crime. 

ROBBERY IN GENERAL

Art. 293. Who are guilty of robbery. — Any person who, with intent to gain, shall take any personal property belonging to another, by means of violence or intimidation of any person, or using force upon anything shall be guilty of robbery.

Section One. — Robbery with violence or intimidation of persons.

Art. 295. Robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons; Penalties. — Any person guilty of robbery with the use of violence against or intimidation of any person shall suffer:

1. The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death, when by reason or on occasion of the robbery, the crime of homicide shall have been committed.

2. The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua when the robbery shall have been accompanied by rape or intentional mutilation, or if by reason or on occasion of such robbery, any of the physical injuries penalized in subdivision 1 of Article 263 shall have been inflicted; Provided, however, that when the robbery accompanied with rape is committed with a use of a deadly weapon or by two or more persons, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death (As amended by PD No. 767).

3. The penalty of reclusion temporal, when by reason or on occasion of the robbery, any of the physical injuries penalized in subdivision 2 of the article mentioned in the next preceding paragraph, shall have been inflicted.

4. The penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period to reclusion temporal in its medium period, if the violence or intimidation employed in the commission of the robbery shall have been carried to a degree clearly unnecessary for the commission of the crime, or when the course of its execution, the offender shall have inflicted upon any person not responsible for its commission any of the physical injuries covered by sub-divisions 3 and 4 of said Article 23.

5. The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its medium period in other cases. (As amended by R. A. 18).

Art. 295. Robbery with physical injuries, committed in an uninhabited place and by a band, or with the use of firearm on a street, road or alley. — If the offenses mentioned in subdivisions three, four, and five of the next preceding article shall have been committed in an uninhabited place or by a band, or by attacking a moving train, street car, motor vehicle or airship, or by entering the passenger's compartments in a train or, in any manner, taking the passengers thereof by surprise in the respective conveyances, or on a street, road, highway, or alley, and the intimidation is made with the use of a firearm, the offender shall be punished by the maximum period of the proper penalties.

In the same cases, the penalty next higher in degree shall be imposed upon the leader of the band.

Art. 296. Definition of a band and penalty incurred by the members thereof. — When more than three armed malefactors take part in the commission of a robbery, it shall be deemed to have been committed by a band. When any of the arms used in the commission of the offense be an unlicensed firearm, the penalty to be imposed upon all the malefactors shall be the maximum of the corresponding penalty provided by law, without prejudice of the criminal liability for illegal possession of such unlicensed firearms.

Any member of a band who is present at the commission of a robbery by the band, shall be punished as principal of any of the assaults committed by the band, unless it be shown that he attempted to prevent the same.

Art. 297. Attempted and frustrated robbery committed under certain circumstances. — When by reason or on occasion of an attempted or frustrated robbery a homicide is committed, the person guilty of such offenses shall be punished by reclusion temporal in its maximum period to reclusion perpetua, unless the homicide committed shall deserve a higher penalty under the provisions of this Code.

Art. 298. Execution of deeds by means of violence or intimidation. — Any person who, with intent to defraud another, by means of violence or intimidation, shall compel him to sign, execute or deliver any public instrument or documents, shall be held guilty of robbery and punished by the penalties respectively prescribed in this Chapter.

Domestic Workers Are Entitled To Social Benefits

Domestic workers or also referred to as "kasambahay" are very common in a Filipino household. They take care of chores, run errands and look after children when both parents are working. This is why it is only imperative that they get social benefits as no amount of money can repay their dedication, commitment and kindness. The Republic Act of 10361 protects the welfare of domestic workers. Entitlement to social benefits is one of the terms and conditions that the employer should fulfill when hiring domestic workers according to this law. 

EMPLOYMENT – TERMS AND CONDITIONS

SEC. 19. Health and Safety. – The employer shall safeguard the health and safety of the domestic worker in accordance with laws, rules and regulations, with due consideration of the peculiar nature of domestic work.

SEC. 20. Daily Rest Period. – The domestic worker shall be entitled to an aggregate daily rest period of eight (8) hours per day.

SEC. 21. Weekly Rest Period. – The domestic worker shall be entitled to at least twenty-four (24) consecutive hours of rest in a week. The employer and the domestic worker shall agree in writing on the schedule of the weekly rest day of the domestic worker: Provided, That the employer shall respect the preference of the domestic worker as to the weekly rest day when such preference is based on religious grounds. Nothing in this provision shall deprive the domestic worker and the employer from agreeing to the following:

(a) Offsetting a day of absence with a particular rest day;

(b) Waiving a particular rest day in return for an equivalent daily rate of pay;

(c) Accumulating rest days not exceeding five (5) days; or

(d) Other similar arrangements.

SEC. 22. Assignment to Nonhousehold Work. – No domestic worker shall be assigned to work in a commercial, industrial or agricultural enterprise at a wage rate lower than that provided for agricultural or nonagricultural workers. In such cases, the domestic worker shall be paid the applicable minimum wage.

SEC. 23. Extent of Duty. – The domestic worker and the employer may mutually agree for the former to temporarily perform a task that is outside the latter’s household for the benefit of another household. However, any liability that will be incurred by the domestic worker on account of such arrangement shall be borne by the original employer. In addition, such work performed outside the household shall entitle the domestic worker to an additional payment of not less than the existing minimum wage rate of a domestic worker. It shall be unlawful for the original employer to charge any amount from the said household where the service of the domestic worker was temporarily performed.

SEC 24. Minimum Wage. – The minimum wage of domestic workers shall not be less than the following:

(a) Two thousand five hundred pesos (P2,500.00) a month for those employed in the National Capital Region (NCR);

(b) Two thousand pesos (P2,000.00) a month for those employed in chartered cities and first class municipalities; and

(c) One thousand five hundred pesos (P1,500.00) a month for those employed in other municipalities.

After one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act, and periodically thereafter, the Regional Tripartite and Productivity Wage Boards (RTPWBs) shall review, and if proper, determine and adjust the minimum wage rates of domestic workers.

SEC 25. Payment of Wages. – Payment of wages shall be made on time directly to the domestic worker to whom they are due in cash at least once a month. The employer, unless allowed by the domestic worker through a written consent, shall make no deductions from the wages other than that which is mandated by law. No employer shall pay the wages of a domestic worker by means of promissory notes, vouchers, coupons, tokens, tickets, chits, or any object other than the cash wage as provided for under this Act.

The domestic worker is entitled to a thirteenth month pay as provided for by law.

SEC. 26. Pay Slip. – The employer shall at all times provide the domestic worker with a copy of the pay slip containing the amount paid in cash every pay day, and indicating all deductions made, if any. The copies of the pay slip shall be kept by the employer for a period of three (3) years.

SEC. 27. Prohibition on Interference in the Disposal of Wages. – It shall be unlawful for the employer to interfere with the freedom of any domestic worker to dispose of the latter’s wages. The employer shall not force, compel or oblige the domestic worker to purchase merchandise, commodities or other properties from the employer or from any other person, or otherwise make use of any store or services of such employer or any other person.

SEC 28. Prohibition Against Withholding of Wages. – It shall be unlawful for an employer, directly or indirectly, to withhold the wages of the domestic worker. If the domestic worker leaves without any justifiable reason, any unpaid salary for a period not exceeding fifteen (15) days shall be forfeited. Likewise, the employer shall not induce the domestic worker to give up any part of the wages by force, stealth, intimidation, threat or by any other means whatsoever.

SEC. 29. Leave Benefits. – A domestic worker who has rendered at least one (1) year of service shall be entitled to an annual service incentive leave of five (5) days with pay: Provided, That any unused portion of said annual leave shall not be cumulative or carried over to the succeeding years. Unused leaves shall not be convertible to cash.

SEC. 30. Social and Other Benefits. – A domestic worker who has rendered at least one (1) month of service shall be covered by the Social Security System (SSS), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG, and shall be entitled to all the benefits in accordance with the pertinent provisions provided by law.

Premium payments or contributions shall be shouldered by the employer. However, if the domestic worker is receiving a wage of Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) and above per month, the domestic worker shall pay the proportionate share in the premium payments or contributions, as provided by law.

The domestic worker shall be entitled to all other benefits under existing laws.

SEC. 31. Rescue and Rehabilitation of Abused Domestic Workers. – Any abused or exploited domestic worker shall be immediately rescued by a municipal or city social welfare officer or a social welfare officer from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in coordination with the concerned barangay officials. The DSWD and the DILG shall develop a standard operating procedure for the rescue and rehabilitation of abused domestic workers, and in coordination with the DOLE, for possible subsequent job placement.

Demand For Child Support From Father With No Source Of Income

Many would have already known that an illegitimate child is entitled to support. Does this law still apply to fathers who have no income? The father may have acknowledged his illegitimate child, but refused to provide support due to lack of income. According to the Family Code of the Philippines, the father of the illegitimate child is still responsible to provide support. The support will be be taken from the separate property. In the event the spouse does not have any separate property, the support will be taken from the conjugal partnership or absolute community. This is also referred to as the common property of the spouses. Now, if the wife is the breadwinner of the family, the income will be considered as an absolute community of gains. The only time the party will be liable to provide support is when the amount essential for the support of the family has been deducted. 

Art. 197. In case of legitimate ascendants; descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate; and brothers and sisters, whether legitimately or illegitimately related, only the separate property of the person obliged to give support shall be answerable provided that in case the obligor has no separate property, the absolute community or the conjugal partnership, if financially capable, shall advance the support, which shall be deducted from the share of the spouse obliged upon the liquidation of the absolute community or of the conjugal partnership. (n)

Art. 198. During the proceedings for legal separation or for annulment of marriage, and for declaration of nullity of marriage, the spouses and their children shall be supported from the properties of the absolute community or the conjugal partnership. After the final judgment granting the petition, the obligation of mutual support between the spouses ceases. However, in case of legal separation, the court may order that the guilty spouse shall give support to the innocent one, specifying the terms of such order. (292a)

Art. 199. Whenever two or more persons are obliged to give support, the liability shall devolve upon the following persons in the order herein provided:

(1) The spouse;

(2) The descendants in the nearest degree;

(3) The ascendants in the nearest degree; and

(4) The brothers and sisters. (294a)

Art. 200. When the obligation to give support falls upon two or more persons, the payment of the same shall be divided between them in proportion to the resources of each.

However, in case of urgent need and by special circumstances, the judge may order only one of them to furnish the support provisionally, without prejudice to his right to claim from the other obligors the share due from them.

When two or more recipients at the same time claim support from one and the same person legally obliged to give it, should the latter not have sufficient means to satisfy all claims, the order established in the preceding article shall be followed, unless the concurrent obligees should be the spouse and a child subject to parental authority, in which case the child shall be preferred. (295a)

Philippine Lemon Law: A Law For Defective Products

There are instances when the motor vehicle you purchase does not meet your expectations. With the Philippine Lemon Law, motor vehicles that are deemed defective will be covered. A motor vehicle refers to any four-wheeled road vehicle such as vans, Sports Utility Vehicle (SUVs), sedans, station wagons, Asian Utility Vehicles (AUVs) and more. However, it is also important to note that motorcycles are not covered by the law. 

Although the law protects motor vehicles, only brand new motor vehicles that are purchased in the Philippines are protected by the Lemon Law. Brand-New means it is built or constructed from new parts, it is covered by an express warranty by the manufacturer and never been registered or sold with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC). Here are the details of the Lemon Law:

Section 4. Coverage. – This Act shall cover brand new motor vehicles purchased in the Philippines reported by a consumer to be in nonconformity with the vehicle’s manufacturer or distributor’s standards or specifications within twelve (12) months from the date of .original delivery to the consumer, or up to twenty thousand (20,000) kilometers of operation after such delivery, whichever comes first. The following causes of nonconformity shall be excluded:

(a) Noncompliance by the consumer of the obligations under the warranty;

(b) Modifications not authorized by the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer;

(c) Abuse or neglect of the brand new motor vehicle; and

(d) Damage to the vehicle due to accident or force majeure.

Section 5. Repair Attempts. – At any time within the Lemon Law rights period, and after at least four (4) separate repair attempts by the same manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer for the same complaint, and the nonconformity issue remains unresolved, the consumer may invoke his or her rights under this Act.

The repair may include replacement of parts components, or assemblies.

Section 6. Notice of Availment of Lemon Law Rights. – Before availing of any remedy under this Act and subject to compliance with the provisions of Section 5 hereof, the consumer shall, in writing, notify the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer of the unresolved complaint, and the consumer’s intention to invoke his or her rights under this Act within the Lemon Law rights period.

The warranty booklet issued by the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer shall clearly state the manner and form of such notice to constitute a valid and legal notice to the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer. It shall also clearly state the responsibility of the consumer under this section.

Section 7. Availment of Lemon Law Rights. – Subsequent to filing the notice of availment referred to in the preceding section, the consumer shall bring the vehicle to the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer from where the vehicle was purchased for a final attempt to address the complaint of the consumer to his or her satisfaction.

It shall be the duty of the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer, upon receipt of the motor vehicle and the notice of nonconformity required under Section 6 hereof, to attend to the complaints of the consumer including, as may be necessary, making the repairs and undertaking such actions to make the vehicle conform to the standards or specifications of the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer for such vehicle.

In case the nonconformity issue remains unresolved despite the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer’s efforts to repair the vehicle, pursuant to the consumer’s availment of his or her Lemon Law rights, the consumer may file a complaint before the DTI as provided for under this Act: Provided, however, That if the vehicle is not returned for repair, based on the same complaint, within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of notice of release of the motor vehicle to the consumer following this repair attempt within the Lemon Law rights period, the repair is deemedsuccessful: Provided, finally, That, in the event that the nonconformity issue still exists or persists after the thirty (30)-day period but still within the Lemon Law rights period, the consumer may be allowed to avail of the same remedies under Sections 5 and 6 hereof.

To compensate for the non-usage of the vehicle while under repair and during the period of availment of the Lemon Law rights, the consumer shall be provided a reasonable daily transportation allowance, an amount which covers the transportation of the consumer from his or her residence to his or her regular workplace or destination and vice versa, equivalent to air-conditioned taxi fare, as evidenced by official receipt, or in such amount to be agreed upon by the parties, or a service vehicle at the option of the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer. Any disagreement on this matter shall be resolved by the DTI. 

Nothing herein shall be construed to limit or impair the rights and remedies of a consumer under any other law. 

Section 8. Remedies for Dispute Resolution. – The DTI shall exercise exclusive and original jurisdiction over disputes arising from the provisions of this Act. All disputes arising from the provisions of this Act shall be settled by the DTI in accordance with the following dispute resolution mechanisms:

(a) Mediation

(1) The principles of negotiation, conciliation and mediation towards amicable settlement between the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer and the consumer shall be strictly observed;

(2) In the course of its dispute resolution efforts, the DTI shall endeavor to independently establish the validity of the consumer’s outstanding complaint. The DTI shall likewise retain the services of other government agencies or qualified independent private entities in the ascertainment of the validity of the consumer’s complaint. Any cost incurred in establishing the validity of the consumer’s complaint shall be bornejointly by the consumer and the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer;

(3) The complaint shall be deemed valid if it is independently established that the motor vehicle does not conform to the standards or specifications set by the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer;

(4) Upon failure of the negotiation or mediation between the manufacturer, distributor, authorized, dealer or retailer and the consumer, the parties shall execute a certificate attesting to such failure; and

(5) At any time during the dispute resolution period, the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer and the consumer shall be encouraged to settle amicably. All disputes that have been submitted for mediation shall be settled not later than ten (10) working days from the date of filing of the complaint with the DTI.

(b) Arbitration

In the event there is a failure to settle the complaint during the mediation proceedings, both parties may voluntarily decide to undertake arbitration proceedings.

(c) Adjudication

(1) In the event that both parties do not undertake arbitration proceedings, at least one of the parties may commence adjudication proceedings, administered by the DTI. The DTI shall rely on the qualified independent findings as to conformity to standards and specifications established herein. In no case shall adjudication proceedings exceed twenty (20) working days;

(2) In case a finding of nonconformity is arrived at, the DTI shall rule in favor of the consumer and direct the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer to grant either of the following remedies to the consumer:

(i) Replace the motor vehicle with a similar or comparable motor vehicle in terms of specifications and values, subject to availability; or

(ii) Accept the return of the motor vehicle and pay the consumer the purchase price plus the collateral charges.

In case the consumer decides to purchase another vehicle with a higher value and specifications from the same manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer, the consumer shall pay the difference in cost.

In both cases of replacement and repurchase, the reasonable allowance for use, as defined in this Act, shall be deducted in determining the value of the nonconforming motor vehicle; and

(3) In case a nonconformity of the motor vehicle is not found by the DTI, it shall rule in favor of the manufacturer, distributor, .authorized dealer or retailer, and direct the consumer to reimburse the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer the costs incurred by the latter in validating the consumer’s complaints.

An appeal may be taken from a final judgment or order of the Adjudication Officer which completely disposes of the case within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof. The appeal shall be taken by filing a Memorandum of Appeal with the Secretary of the DTI, with Notice of Appeal to the Adjudication Officer, and with a copy duly furnished the adverse party or parties on any of the following grounds:

(i) Grave abuse of discretion;

(ii) The decision/order is in excess of jurisdiction or authority of the Adjudication Officer; and

(iii) The decision/order is not supported by the evidence or there is serious error in the findings of facts.

The Secretary of the DTI shall decide on the appeal within thirty (30) days from receipt thereof. A party seeking further appeal from the decision of the Secretary of the DTI may file a case for certiorari to the Court of Appeals under Section 4, Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court.

Unreasonable Rate Of Interest Upon Loans

When taking a loan, one thing that you usually worry about, aside from the principal amount you have to pay is the interest rate. It can double like crazy once you fail to pay on a regular basis. Some people find it difficult to repay what they owe. This is why it is difficult to recover from debt when there is only one option left to consider. Lending firms are warned regarding unreasonable interest rates. It is also unlawful for them to take your personal property such as your car, jewelry and other valuable possessions in exchange of the money owed. 

Sec. 2. No person or corporation shall directly or indirectly take or receive in money or other property, real or personal, or chooses in action, a higher rate of interest or greater sum or value, including commissions, premiums, fines and penalties, for the loan or renewal thereof or forbearance of money, goods, or credits, where such loan or renewal or forbearance is secured in whole or in part by a mortgage upon real estate the title to which is duly registered, or by any document conveying such real estate or an interest therein, than twelve per centum per annum or the maximum rate prescribed by the Monetary Board and in force at the time the loan or renewal thereof or forbearance is granted: Provided, That the rate of interest under this section or the maximum rate of interest that may be prescribed by the Monetary Board under this section may likewise apply to loans secured by other types of security as may be specified by the Monetary Board.

Sec. 3. No person or corporation shall directly or indirectly demand, take, receive or agree to charge in money or other property, real or personal, a higher rate or greater sum or value for the loan or forbearance of money, goods, or credits where such loan or forbearance is not secured as provided in Section two hereof, than fourteen per centum per annum or the maximum rate or rates prescribed by the Monetary Board and in force at the time the loan or forbearance is granted.

Sec. 4. No pawnbroker or pawnbroker's agent shall directly or indirectly stipulate, charge, demand, take or receive any higher rate or greater sum or value for any loan or forbearance than two and one-half per centum per month when the sum lent is less than one hundred pesos; two per centum per month when the sum lent is one hundred pesos or more, but not exceeding five hundred pesos; and fourteen per centum per annum when it is more than the amount last mentioned; or the maximum rate or rates prescribed by the Monetary Board and in force at the time the loan or forbearance is granted. A pawnbroker or pawnbroker's agent shall be considered such, for the benefits of this Act, only if he be duly licensed and has an establishment open to the public.

It shall be unlawful for a pawnbroker or pawnbroker's agent to divide the pawn offered by a person into two or more fractions in order to collect greater interest than the permitted by this section.

It shall also be unlawful for a pawnbroker or pawnbroker's agent to require the pawner to pay an additional charge as insurance premium for the safekeeping and conservation of the article pawned.

Sec. 4-a. The Monetary Board may eliminate, exempt from, or suspend the effectivity of, interest rate ceilings on certain types of loans or renewals thereof or forbearances of money, goods, or credit, whenever warranted by prevailing economic and social conditions.

Sec. 4-b. In the exercise of its authority to fix the maximum rate or rates of interest under this Act, the Monetary Board shall be guided by the following:

1. The existing economic conditions in the country and the general requirements of the national economy;

2. The supply of and demand for credit;

3. The rate of increase in the price levels; and 

4. Such other relevant criteria as the Monetary Board may adopt.

Sec. 5. In computing the interest on any obligation, promissory note or other instrument or contract, compound interest shall not be reckoned, except by agreement: Provided, That whenever compound interest is agreed upon, the effective rate of interest charged by the creditor shall not exceed the equivalent of the maximum rate prescribed by the Monetary Board, or, in default thereof, whenever the debt is judicially claimed, in which last case it shall draw six per centum per annum interest or such rate as may be prescribed by the Monetary Board. No person or corporation shall require interest to be paid in advance for a period of more than one year: Provided, however, That whenever interest is paid in advance, the effective rate of interest charged by the creditor shall not exceed the equivalent of the maximum rate prescribed by the Monetary Board.

Laziness: Not A Ground For Annulment

People who only discover their spouse's true colors after they get married often say that they marry a stranger. While marriage is an opportunity to get to know your partner's strengths and weaknesses, some individuals are not yet ready to embrace these weaknesses. In fact, weaknesses can even be a reason that will push an individual to file a petition for annulment. For instance, a wife will not realise her husband's laziness unless they live under one roof. As most people dream of a better life after marriage, annulment has been deemed an escape when things do not go as planned. Can laziness be considered a ground for annulment? Can husband's failure to fulfill marital obligations enough to consider him psychologically incapacitated? Here are the grounds for annulment under Family Code of the Philippines:

VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES

Art. 80. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning:

(1) Those contracted under the ages of sixteen and fourteen years by the male and female respectively, even with the consent of the parents; 

(2) Those solemnized by any person not legally authorized to perform marriages;

(3) Those solemnized without a marriage license, save marriages of exceptional character;

(4) Bigamous or polygamous marriages not falling under Article 83, Number 2;

(5) Incestuous marriages mentioned in Article 81;

(6) Those where one or both contracting parties have been found guilty of the killing of the spouse of either of them;

(7) Those between stepbrothers and stepsisters and other marriages specified in Article 82. (n)

Art. 81. Marriages between the following are incestuous and void from their performance, whether the relationship between the parties be legitimate or illegitimate:

(1) Between ascendants and descendants of any degree;

(2) Between brothers and sisters, whether of the full or half blood;

(3) Between collateral relatives by blood within the fourth civil degree. (28a)

Art. 82. The following marriages shall also be void from the beginning:

(1) Between stepfathers and stepdaughters, and stepmothers and stepsons;

(2) Between the adopting father or mother and the adopted, between the latter and the surviving spouse of the former, and between the former and the surviving spouse of the latter;

(3) Between the legitimate children of the adopter and the adopted. (28a)

Art. 83. Any marriage subsequently contracted by any person during the lifetime of the first spouse of such person with any person other than such first spouse shall be illegal and void from its performance, unless:

(1) The first marriage was annulled or dissolved; or

(2) The first spouse had been absent for seven consecutive years at the time of the second marriage without the spouse present having news of the absentee being alive, or if the absentee, though he has been absent for less than seven years, is generally considered as dead and believed to be so by the spouse present at the time of contracting such subsequent marriage, or if the absentee is presumed dead according to Articles 390 and 391. The marriage so contracted shall be valid in any of the three cases until declared null and void by a competent court. (29a)

Art. 84. No marriage license shall be issued to a widow till after three hundred days following the death of her husband, unless in the meantime she has given birth to a child. (n)

Art. 85. A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage:

(1) That the party in whose behalf it is sought to have the marriage annulled was between the ages of sixteen and twenty years, if male, or between the ages of fourteen and eighteen years, if female, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parent, guardian or person having authority over the party, unless after attaining the ages of twenty or eighteen years, as the case may be, such party freely cohabited with the other and both lived together as husband and wife;

(2) In a subsequent marriage under Article 83, Number 2, that the former husband or wife believed to be dead was in fact living and the marriage with such former husband or wife was then in force;

(3) That either party was of unsound mind, unless such party, after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband or wife;

(4) That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as her husband or his wife, as the case may be;

(5) That the consent of either party was obtained by force or intimidation, unless the violence or threat having disappeared, such party afterwards freely cohabited with the other as her husband or his wife, as the case may be;

(6) That either party was, at the time of marriage, physically incapable of entering into the married state, and such incapacity continues, and appears to be incurable. (30a)

Art. 86. Any of the following circumstances shall constitute fraud referred to in Number 4 of the preceding article:

(1) Misrepresentation as to the identity of one of the contracting parties;

(2) Non-disclosure of the previous conviction of the other party of a crime involving moral turpitude, and the penalty imposed was imprisonment for two years or more;

(3) Concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was pregnant by a man other than her husband.

No other misrepresentation or deceit as to character, rank, fortune or chastity shall constitute such fraud as will give grounds for action for the annulment of marriage. (n)

Art. 87. The action for annulment of marriage must be commenced by the parties and within the periods as follows:

(1) For causes mentioned in Number 1 of Article 85, by the party whose parent or guardian did not give his or her consent, within four years after attaining the age of twenty or eighteen years, as the case may be; or by the parent or guardian or person having legal charge, at any time before such party has arrived at the age of twenty or eighteen years;

(2) For causes mentioned in Number 2 of Article 85, by the spouse who has been absent, during his or her lifetime; or by either spouse of the subsequent marriage during the lifetime of the other;

(3) For causes mentioned in Number 3 of Article 85, by the sane spouse, who had no knowledge of the other's insanity; or by any relative or guardian of the party of unsound mind, at any time before the death of either party;

(4) For causes mentioned in Number 4, by the injured party, within four years after the discovery of the fraud;

(5) For causes mentioned in Number 5, by the injured party, within four years from the time the force or intimidation ceased;

(6) For causes mentioned in Number 6, by the injured party, within eight years after the marriage. (31a)

Art. 88. No judgment annulling a marriage shall be promulgated upon a stipulation of facts or by confession of judgment.

Art. 89. Children conceived or born of marriages which are void from the beginning shall have the same status, rights and obligations as acknowledged natural children, and are called natural children by legal fiction.

Children conceived of voidable marriages before the decree of annulment shall be considered as legitimate; and children conceived thereafter shall have the same status, rights and obligations as acknowledged natural children, and are also called natural children by legal fiction. (n)

Art. 90. When a marriage is annulled, the court shall award the custody of the children as it may deem best, and make provision for their education and support. Attorney's fees and expenses incurred in the litigation shall be charged to the conjugal partnership property, unless the action fails. (33a)

Art. 91. Damages may be awarded in the following cases when the marriage is judicially annulled or declared void from the beginning:

(1) If there has been fraud, force or intimidation in obtaining the consent of one of the contracting parties;

(2) If either party was, at the time of the marriage, physically incapable of entering into the married state, and the other party was unaware thereof;

(3) If the person solemnizing the marriage was not legally authorized to perform marriages, and that fact was known to one of the contracting parties, but he or she concealed it from the other;

(4) If a bigamous or polygamous marriage was celebrated, and the impediment was concealed from the plaintiff by the party disqualified;

(5) If in an incestuous marriage, or a marriage between a stepbrother and a stepsister or other marriage prohibited by article 82, the relationship was known to only one of the contracting parties but was not disclosed to the other;

(6) If one party was insane and the other was aware thereof at the time of the marriage. (n)

Criminal Actions Against A Person Who Posts Nude Photos Of Ex-Girlfriend

Some people use technology to make lives easier and more convenient while others choose to abuse it. As social networking sites remain popular to all ages, they are also used for blackmailing victims. One of which is posting nude photos of a hapless victim and the perpetrator will only take it down if the victim will give in to their demands. Some victims will choose to nod along with whatever they are told to do for fear of humiliation. However, there are cases that you can file under Republic Act 9262. 

Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004

SECTION 5. Acts of Violence Against Women and Their Children.- The crime of violence against women and their children is committed through any of the following acts:

(a) Causing physical harm to the woman or her child;

(b) Threatening to cause the woman or her child physical harm; 

(c) Attempting to cause the woman or her child physical harm;

(d) Placing the woman or her child in fear of imminent physical harm;

(e) Attempting to compel or compelling the woman or her child to engage in conduct which the woman or her child has the right to desist from or desist from conduct which the woman or her child has the right to engage in, or attempting to restrict or restricting the woman's or her child's freedom of movement or conduct by force or threat of force, physical or other harm or threat of physical or other harm, or intimidation directed against the woman or child. This shall include, but not limited to, the following acts committed with the purpose or effect of controlling or restricting the woman's or her child's movement or conduct:

(1) Threatening to deprive or actually depriving the woman or her child of custody to her/his family;

(2) Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her children of financial support legally due her or her family, or deliberately providing the woman's children insufficient financial support;

(3) Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her child of a legal right; and 

(4) Preventing the woman in engaging in any legitimate profession, occupation, business or activity or controlling the victim's own money or properties, or solely controlling the conjugal or common money, or properties.

(f) Inflicting or threatening to inflict physical harm on oneself for the purpose of controlling her actions or decisions;

(g) Causing or attempting to cause the woman or her child to engage in any sexual activity which does not constitute rape, by force or threat of force, physical harm, or through intimidation directed against the woman or her child or her/his immediate family;

(h) Engaging in purposeful, knowing, or reckless conduct, personally or through another, that alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to the woman or her child. This shall include, but not be limited to, the following acts:

(1) Stalking or following the woman or her child in public or private places;

(2) Peering in the window or lingering outside the residence of the woman or her child;

(3) Entering or remaining in the dwelling or on the property of the woman or her child against her/his will;

(4) Destroying the property and personal belongings or inflicting harm to animals or pets of the woman or her child; and

(5) Engaging in any form of harassment or violence.

(i) Causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or humiliation to the woman or her child, including, but not limited to, repeated verbal and emotional abuse, and denial of financial support or custody of minor children of access to the woman's child/children.

The Rules For Partition Of Commonly Owned Property

What happens when siblings inherit a commonly owned property? Disputes that involve partition of property is not an uncommon scenario especially when one party decides to get his/her share of the property. Without knowing the general rule, the issue with partition of property will be brought to court.  The general rule specified under Articles 1082 to 1090 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines will be able to shed light on this legal matter. 

Art. 1082. Every act which is intended to put an end to indivision among co-heirs and legatees or devisees is deemed to be a partition, although it should purport to be a sale, and exchange, a compromise, or any other transaction. (n)

Art. 1083. Every co-heir has a right to demand the division of the estate unless the testator should have expressly forbidden its partition, in which case the period of indivision shall not exceed twenty years as provided in article 494. This power of the testator to prohibit division applies to the legitime.

Even though forbidden by the testator, the co-ownership terminates when any of the causes for which partnership is dissolved takes place, or when the court finds for compelling reasons that division should be ordered, upon petition of one of the co-heirs. (1051a)

Art. 1084. Voluntary heirs upon whom some condition has been imposed cannot demand a partition until the condition has been fulfilled; but the other co-heirs may demand it by giving sufficient security for the rights which the former may have in case the condition should be complied with, and until it is known that the condition has not been fulfilled or can never be complied with, the partition shall be understood to be provisional. (1054a)

Art. 1085. In the partition of the estate, equality shall be observed as far as possible, dividing the property into lots, or assigning to each of the co-heirs things of the same nature, quality and kind. (1061)

Art. 1086. Should a thing be indivisible, or would be much impaired by its being divided, it may be adjudicated to one of the heirs, provided he shall pay the others the excess in cash.

Nevertheless, if any of the heirs should demand that the thing be sold at public auction and that strangers be allowed to bid, this must be done. (1062)

Art. 1087. In the partition the co-heirs shall reimburse one another for the income and fruits which each one of them may have received from any property of the estate, for any useful and necessary expenses made upon such property, and for any damage thereto through malice or neglect. (1063)

Art. 1088. Should any of the heirs sell his hereditary rights to a stranger before the partition, any or all of the co-heirs may be subrogated to the rights of the purchaser by reimbursing him for the price of the sale, provided they do so within the period of one month from the time they were notified in writing of the sale by the vendor. (1067a)

Art. 1089. The titles of acquisition or ownership of each property shall be delivered to the co-heir to whom said property has been adjudicated. (1065a)

Art. 1090. When the title comprises two or more pieces of land which have been assigned to two or more co-heirs, or when it covers one piece of land which has been divided between two or more co-heirs, the title shall be delivered to the one having the largest interest, and authentic copies of the title shall be furnished to the other co-heirs at the expense of the estate. If the interest of each co-heir should be the same, the oldest shall have the title. (1066a) 

What Are The Types Of Fraud In Contracts?

Contracts are often so complex that all parties involved in signing them are caught in an endless disagreement. There are many reasons problems arise when you bind yourself into a contract. For one, it is possible for one party to have ulterior motives in creating a contract. Sometimes, the conditions are not properly performed and it will take some sort of judicial relief to resolve the problem. When transactions are found to be fraudulent, the process of putting things in proper legal perspectives seems like a tiring task. Just when you think you got things figured out, you will be confronted by legalities. Since ignorance of the law excuses no one, it is essential to know when a contract can be considered fraudulent. If the following warning signs are present, you know you are not getting a fair bargain. 

Art. 1339. Failure to disclose facts, when there is a duty to reveal them, as when the parties are bound by confidential relations, constitutes fraud. (n)

Art. 1340. The usual exaggerations in trade, when the other party had an opportunity to know the facts, are not in themselves fraudulent. (n)

Art. 1341. A mere expression of an opinion does not signify fraud, unless made by an expert and the other party has relied on the former's special knowledge. (n)

Art. 1342. Misrepresentation by a third person does not vitiate consent, unless such misrepresentation has created substantial mistake and the same is mutual. (n)

Art. 1343. Misrepresentation made in good faith is not fraudulent but may constitute error. (n)

Art. 1344. In order that fraud may make a contract voidable, it should be serious and should not have been employed by both contracting parties.

Incidental fraud only obliges the person employing it to pay damages. (1270)

Art. 1345. Simulation of a contract may be absolute or relative. The former takes place when the parties do not intend to be bound at all; the latter, when the parties conceal their true agreement. (n)

Art. 1346. An absolutely simulated or fictitious contract is void. A relative simulation, when it does not prejudice a third person and is not intended for any purpose contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy binds the parties to their real agreement. (n)

The Lack Of Father's Signature Does Not Affect Child's Entitlement To Support

The child's birth certificate is a proof of filiation, but the lack of signature is one of the reasons mothers are deterred from compelling the father to provide financial support. Can the child's entitlement to support be denied due to lack of dad's signature on the child's birth certificate? 

If the father fails to sign the child's birth certificate, you can still present proof showing your child's relationship to the father. There are many ways filiation or relationship between the child and the father can be established. 

Chapter 2. Proof of Filiation

Art. 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the following:

(1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or

(2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned.

In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be

proved by:

(1) The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child; or

(2) Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws. (265a, 266a, 267a)

Art. 173. The action to claim legitimacy may be brought by the child during his or her lifetime and shall be transmitted to the heirs should the child die during minority or in a state of insanity. In these cases, the heirs shall have a period of five years within which to institute the action.

Art. 174. Legitimate children shall have the right:

(1) To bear the surnames of the father and the mother, in conformity with the provisions of the Civil Code on Surnames;

(2) To receive support from their parents, their ascendants, and in proper cases, their brothers and sisters, in conformity with the provisions of this Code on Support; and

(3) To be entitled to the legitimate and other successional rights granted to them by the Civil Code. (264a)

Chapter 3. Illegitimate Children

Art. 175. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children.

The action must be brought within the same period specified in Article 173, except when the action is based on the second paragraph of Article 172, in which case the action may be brought during the lifetime of the alleged parent. (289a)

Art. 176. Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother, and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code. The legitime of each illegitimate child shall consist of one-half of the legitime of a legitimate child. Except for this modification, all other provisions in the Civil Code governing successional rights shall remain in force. (287a) 

Marriages Without The Husband's Knowledge Is Void

There are many reasons marriages may be considered void or voidable and one of which is when the husband or wife is not aware of the marriage that has taken place. For instance, a husband had a secret affair with another woman while married and the woman decides to marry the man by forging his signature. No ceremony has taken place though it has been proven that two marriages have been registered. Can the husband still take some necessary actions to nullify marriage? What are the grounds for nullifying marriage? 

Art. 35. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning:

(1) Those contracted by any party below eighteen years of age even with the consent of parents or guardians;

(2) Those solemnized by any person not legally authorized to perform marriages unless such marriages were contracted with either or both parties believing in good faith that the solemnizing officer had the legal authority to do so;

(3) Those solemnized without license, except those covered the preceding Chapter;

(4) Those bigamous or polygamous marriages not failing under Article 41;

(5) Those contracted through mistake of one contracting party as to the identity of the other; and

(6) Those subsequent marriages that are void under Article 53.

Art. 36. A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization. (As amended by Executive Order 227)

Art. 37. Marriages between the following are incestuous and void from the beginning, whether relationship between the parties be legitimate or illegitimate:

(1) Between ascendants and descendants of any degree; and

(2) Between brothers and sisters, whether of the full or half blood. (81a)

Art. 38. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning for reasons of public policy:

(1) Between collateral blood relatives whether legitimate or illegitimate, up to the fourth civil degree;

(2) Between step-parents and step-children;

(3) Between parents-in-law and children-in-law;

(4) Between the adopting parent and the adopted child;

(5) Between the surviving spouse of the adopting parent and the adopted child;

(6) Between the surviving spouse of the adopted child and the adopter;

(7) Between an adopted child and a legitimate child of the adopter;

(8) Between adopted children of the same adopter; and

(9) Between parties where one, with the intention to marry the other, killed that other person's spouse, or his or her own spouse. 

Lot Donation: Are Verbal Contracts Legally Enforceable?

What happens when a landowner enters into an agreement with another person whereby the landowner disposes of a lot gratuitously? Does the recipient of the lot donation have the right to enforce the verbal agreement despite the absence of proper documents. Article 725 of the New Civil Code considers the donation of an immovable property valid if it is made in a public document. With regard to contracts, Article 1403 of the same code considers the following contract unenforceable:

UNENFORCEABLE CONTRACTS (n)

Art. 1403. The following contracts are unenforceable, unless they are ratified:

(1) Those entered into in the name of another person by one who has been given no authority or legal representation, or who has acted beyond his powers;

(2) Those that do not comply with the Statute of Frauds as set forth in this number. In the following cases an agreement hereafter made shall be unenforceable by action, unless the same, or some note or memorandum, thereof, be in writing, and subscribed by the party charged, or by his agent; evidence, therefore, of the agreement cannot be received without the writing, or a secondary evidence of its contents:

(a) An agreement that by its terms is not to be performed within a year from the making thereof;

(b) A special promise to answer for the debt, default, or miscarriage of another;

(c) An agreement made in consideration of marriage, other than a mutual promise to marry;

(d) An agreement for the sale of goods, chattels or things in action, at a price not less than five hundred pesos, unless the buyer accept and receive part of such goods and chattels, or the evidences, or some of them, of such things in action or pay at the time some part of the purchase money; but when a sale is made by auction and entry is made by the auctioneer in his sales book, at the time of the sale, of the amount and kind of property sold, terms of sale, price, names of the purchasers and person on whose account the sale is made, it is a sufficient memorandum;

(e) An agreement of the leasing for a longer period than one year, or for the sale of real property or of an interest therein;

(f) A representation as to the credit of a third person.

(3) Those where both parties are incapable of giving consent to a contract.

It is also important to note the nature of donations: 

NATURE OF DONATIONS

Art. 725. Donation is an act of liberality whereby a person disposes gratuitously of a thing or right in favor of another, who accepts it. (618a)

Art. 726. When a person gives to another a thing or right on account of the latter's merits or of the services rendered by him to the donor, provided they do not constitute a demandable debt, or when the gift imposes upon the donee a burden which is less than the value of the thing given, there is also a donation. (619)

Art. 727. Illegal or impossible conditions in simple and remuneratory donations shall be considered as not imposed. (n)

Art. 728. Donations which are to take effect upon the death of the donor partake of the nature of testamentary provisions, and shall be governed by the rules established in the Title on Succession. (620)

Art. 729. When the donor intends that the donation shall take effect during the lifetime of the donor, though the property shall not be delivered till after the donor's death, this shall be a donation inter vivos. The fruits of the property from the time of the acceptance of the donation, shall pertain to the donee, unless the donor provides otherwise. (n)

Art. 730. The fixing of an event or the imposition of a suspensive condition, which may take place beyond the natural expectation of life of the donor, does not destroy the nature of the act as a donation inter vivos, unless a contrary intention appears. (n)

Art. 731. When a person donates something, subject to the resolutory condition of the donor's survival, there is a donation inter vivos. (n)

Art. 732. Donations which are to take effect inter vivos shall be governed by the general provisions on contracts and obligations in all that is not determined in this Title. (621)

Art. 733. Donations with an onerous cause shall be governed by the rules on contracts and remuneratory donations by the provisions of the present Title as regards that portion which exceeds the value of the burden imposed. (622)

Art. 734. The donation is perfected from the moment the donor knows of the acceptance by the donee. (623) 

The Grounds For Determining Hospital Detention

Hospitals provide medical care and attention to patients who are sick. Whenever an individual fails to nurse himself/herself back to health, confinement is required for further treatment. Ensuring that you are in good shape is essential because as they say, getting sick is a luxury nowadays considering the vast amount of money you have to pay for your hospital bills. There are many cases where patients are not allowed to be discharged unless bills are settled. Now the question is: Does the hospital have the right to detain patients due to unpaid hospital bills? What are the conditions that determine hospital detention? 

The Republic Act No. 9439 otherwise known as "An Act Prohibiting the Detention of Patients in Hospitals and Medical Clinics on Grounds of Nonpayment of Hospital Bills or Medical Expenses" provides policies and guidelines to hospital and patients. 

V. Policies and Guidelines: 

A. General Policies:

1. Patients, except those who stay in private rooms, who are partially or fully recovered and who wish to leave the hospital or medical clinic but are incapable to pay, in part or in full, their hospital bills or medical expenses/ hospitalization expenses shall be allowed to leave the hospital or medical clinic and shall be issued the corresponding medical certificate and other pertinent documents for their release from the hospital or medical clinic upon execution of a promissory note covering the unpaid obligations. The promissory note shall be secured by either a mortgage, or a guarantee of a co-maker who shall be jointly and severally liable for the unpaid obligations.

2. In the case of a deceased patient, any of his/ her surviving relatives shall be issued the corresponding death certificate and other pertinent documents for interment purpose only. For other purposes, such documents shall be issued only upon execution of a promissory note covering the unpaid obligations by any of the surviving relatives. The promissory note shall be secured by either a mortgage, or a guarantee of a co-maker who shall be jointly and severally liable for the unpaid obligations. In the event the documents will be needed for purposes of getting the benefits from the Social Security System. Government Service Insurance System, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, insurance policies or pre-need plans, the hospital may require the execution of an assignment of proceeds up to the extent of the hospital bills or medical expenses/ hospitalization expenses.

3. In the case of a deceased patient, any of his/ her surviving relatives who refuse to execute a promissory note shall be allowed to claim the cadaver and can demand the issuance of death certificate and other pertinent documents for interment purposes. Documents for other purposes shall be released only after execution of a promissory note.

4. Any hospital or medical clinic detaining or causing, directly or indirectly, the detention of patient for reason of nonpayment, in part or in full, of hospital bills or medical expenses/ hospitalization expenses shall be held accountable for such unlawful act. Detention occurs when all of the following are present:

a) The patient who is partially or fully recovered has expressed his/ her intention to leave the hospital or medical clinic, or the attending physician has issued a discharge order;

b) The patient is not confined in a private room and is financially incapable to settle in part or in full the corresponding hospital bills or medical expenses/ hospitalization expenses;

c) Patient has executed a promissory note covering the unpaid hospital bills or medical expenses/ hospitalization expenses; and

d) The officer or employee of the hospital or medical clinic responsible for releasing the patient has restrained him from leaving the hospital premises.

5. In the case of a deceased patient, any hospital or medical clinic refusing to release the cadaver for reason of nonpayment, in part or in full, of hospital bills or medical expenses/ hospitalization expenses shall be held accountable for such unlawful act. Detention occurs when all of the following are present:

a) The medical officer has made the pronouncement of death;

b) Any of the surviving relatives is incapable to pay the corresponding hospital bills or medical expenses/ hospitalization expenses; 

c) Any of the surviving relatives has executed a promissory note covering the unpaid hospital bills or medical expenses/hospitalization expenses; and

d) The officer or employee of the hospital or medical clinic responsible for releasing the deceased patient has refused to release the cadaver and/ or relevant documents.

B. Specific Guidelines:

1. Classification, Admission and Discharge of Patients

To minimize, if not prevent, incidence of patients being unable to pay, and hospitals or medical clinics detaining patients for reason of nonpayment of hospital bills or medical expenses/ hospitalization expenses, patients and hospitals or medical clinics alike may institute and observe the following:

a) Government hospitals or medical clinics shall classify patients in terms of their capacity to pay according to the guidelines set by the DOH in Administrative Order No. 51-A s. 2000: Implementing Guidelines on Classification of Patients and on Availment of Medical Social Services in Government Hospitals, dated October 12, 2001.

b) Private hospitals or medical clinics shall have written policies and procedures to classify patients in terms of their capacity to pay. For this purpose, private hospitals or medical clinics may refer to AO No. 51-A s. 2000.

c) The DOH, government and private hospitals or medical clinics shall, as far as practicable, assist patients in looking for financial assistance from government and non-government sources to settle the unpaid hospital bills or medical expenses/ hospitalization expenses. Toward this end, the DOH shall work closely with financial institutions like, but not limited to, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, Local Government Units, as well as ,Congress, to provide funds for this purpose.

d) All hospitals or medical clinics shall establish billing and collection procedures subject to current accounting and auditing rules and regulations.

e) All hospitals or medical clinics shall have written policies and procedures for admitting and releasing patients, including identifying the officer/s or employee/s responsible for releasing patients.

2. Execution of Promissory Note

a) Except those who stay in private rooms, patients who are partially or fully recovered and who wish to leave the hospital or medical clinic but are incapable to pay, in part or in full, their hospital bills or medical expenses/ hospitalization expenses are obliged to execute a promissory note secured by either a mortgage, or a guarantee of a co-maker.

b) In the case of a deceased patient, any of his surviving relatives is obliged to execute a promissory note secured by either a mortgage, or a guarantee of a co-maker.

c) Hospitals or medical clinics shall have written policies and procedures for execution of promissory notes secured by either a mortgage, or a guarantee of a co-maker.

3. Penalty

Any officer or employee of a hospital or medical clinic responsible for releasing patients who has been found to commit any violation of R.A. No. 9439 and its implementing rules and regulations shall be punished by either a fine of not less than Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000) but not more than Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000), or imprisonment of not less than One (1) Month but not more than Six (6) months, or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the proper court.

What Are The Crimes Against Persons In Authority And Their Agents

Recent news involving persons in authority or public officers clouded people's mind with doubts, questioning the credibility of individuals who are supposed to maintain peace and order. However, perpetrators resisting arrest and disobeying authorities are as prevalent as public officers employing force. The Revised Penal Code gives details on crimes against persons in authority. 

ASSAULT UPON, AND RESISTANCE AND DISOBEDIENCE

TO, PERSONS IN AUTHORITY AND THEIR AGENTS

Art. 148. Direct assaults. — Any person or persons who, without a public uprising, shall employ force or intimidation for the attainment of any of the purpose enumerated in defining the crimes of rebellion and sedition, or shall attack, employ force, or seriously intimidate or resist any person in authority or any of his agents, while engaged in the performance of official duties, or on occasion of such performance, shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods and a fine not exceeding P1,000 pesos, when the assault is committed with a weapon or when the offender is a public officer or employee, or when the offender lays hands upon a person in authority. If none of these circumstances be present, the penalty of prision correccional in its minimum period and a fine not exceeding P500 pesos shall be imposed.

Art. 149. Indirect assaults. — The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods and a fine not exceeding P500 pesos shall be imposed upon any person who shall make use of force or intimidation upon any person coming to the aid of the authorities or their agents on occasion of the commission of any of the crimes defined in the next preceding article.

Art. 150. Disobedience to summons issued by the National Assembly, its committees or subcommittees, by the Constitutional Commissions, its committees, subcommittees or divisions. — The penalty of arresto mayor or a fine ranging from two hundred to one thousand pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment shall be imposed upon any person who, having been duly summoned to attend as a witness before the National Assembly, (Congress), its special or standing committees and subcommittees, the Constitutional Commissions and its committees, subcommittees, or divisions, or before any commission or committee chairman or member authorized to summon witnesses, refuses, without legal excuse, to obey such summons, or being present before any such legislative or constitutional body or official, refuses to be sworn or placed under affirmation or to answer any legal inquiry or to produce any books, papers, documents, or records in his possession, when required by them to do so in the exercise of their functions. The same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who shall restrain another from attending as a witness, or who shall induce disobedience to a summon or refusal to be sworn by any such body or official.

Art. 151. Resistance and disobedience to a person in authority or the agents of such person. — The penalty of arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding 500 pesos shall be imposed upon any person who not being included in the provisions of the preceding articles shall resist or seriously disobey any person in authority, or the agents of such person, while engaged in the performance of official duties.

When the disobedience to an agent of a person in authority is not of a serious nature, the penalty of arresto menor or a fine ranging from 10 to P100 pesos shall be imposed upon the offender.

Art. 152. Persons in authority and agents of persons in authority; Who shall be deemed as such. — In applying the provisions of the preceding and other articles of this Code, any person directly vested with jurisdiction, whether as an individual or as a member of some court or governmental corporation, board, or commission, shall be deemed a person in authority. A barrio captain and a barangay chairman shall also be deemed a person in authority.

A person who, by direct provision of law or by election or by appointment by competent authority, is charged with the maintenance of public order and the protection and security of life and property, such as a barrio councilman, barrio policeman and barangay leader and any person who comes to the aid of persons in authority, shall be deemed an agent of a person in authority.

In applying the provisions of Articles 148 and 151 of this Code, teachers, professors and persons charged with the supervision of public or duly recognized private schools, colleges and universities, and lawyers in the actual performance of their professional duties or on the occasion of such performance, shall be deemed persons in authority. (As amended by PD No. 299, Sept. 19, 1973 and Batas Pambansa Blg. 873, June 12, 1985). 



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