Attorneys of the Philippines Legal News

Welcome to our legal news pages. Here is where we provide updates about what's happening in Philippines legal news, and publish helpful articles and tips for Pinoys researching legal matters.

A Guide to Protecting Your Intellectual Property in the Philippines

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, and images used in commerce. It is important to protect your intellectual property to ensure that others cannot use or profit from your creation without your permission. This blog will provide a guide on how to protect your intellectual property in the Philippines.


A trademark is a symbol, word, or phrase used to identify and distinguish the source of goods and services. In the Philippines, trademarks are registered with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Philippines.

How to register for a Trademark

To register a trademark, you will need to file an application with the IPO and pay the required fees. The application should include a clear image of the trademark, a description of the goods or services associated with the trademark, and the name and address of the applicant.

Examining of the Trademark application

Once the IPO receives the trademark application, they will conduct an examination to determine if the trademark meets the criteria for registration. This examination will include a search to see if there are any similar or identical trademarks already registered in the Philippines. If the IPO finds any conflicts with existing trademarks, they may reject the application or ask the applicant to modify the trademark to avoid confusion with the existing ones.

Receiving the Certificate of Registration

If the trademark application is approved, the IPO will issue a Certificate of Registration to the trademark owner. The Certificate of Registration serves as proof that the trademark is protected under the Intellectual Property Code, and the owner has the exclusive right to use the trademark for their goods and services in the Philippines. The validity period of the Certificate of Registration for a trademark application is ten years from the filing date, and it can be renewed for consecutive periods of ten years.


Patents are another type of intellectual property protection that provides exclusive rights to an inventor or creator for their inventions or discoveries. In the Philippines, patents are granted by the IPO under the Intellectual Property Code. A patent gives the inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, or importing the invention without their permission.

How to file a Patent application

To obtain a patent in the Philippines, an inventor or creator must file a patent application with the IPO. The application must include a detailed description of the invention, along with drawings or diagrams if necessary, and a claim that identifies the unique features of the invention. The application must also include the necessary fees and any other required documentation.

Examining the patent application

Once the IPO receives the patent application, they will conduct an examination to determine if the invention meets the criteria for patentability. This examination will include a search to see if the invention is new, non-obvious, and useful. The IPO may also request additional information or clarification from the inventor during the examination process.

Receiving the Patent Certificate

If the IPO approves the patent application, they will issue a Patent Certificate to the inventor or creator. The Patent Certificate serves as proof that the invention is protected under the Intellectual Property Code, and the inventor has the exclusive right to use, sell, and import the invention in the Philippines for a period of 20 years from the filing date of the patent application.


Copyright law protects the form in which ideas are expressed, including literature, art, and music. The owner of a copyright holds the sole right to reproduce, distribute, perform, and display the copyrighted work, as well as to create adaptations of the original work.

In the Philippines, copyright protection is automatic as soon as the work is fixed in a tangible form. This means that as soon as you write a story, take a photograph, or compose a song, you automatically have copyright protection for that work.

While copyright protection is automatic, you can also register your copyright with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Philippines. Registering your copyright with the IPO establishes a public record of ownership and makes it easier to prove ownership in court if someone infringes on your copyright.

DTo register your copyright, you need to submit a completed application form, a copy of the work, and the required fee to the IPO. The IPO will examine your application and, if approved, will issue a Certificate of Copyright Registration.

Trade Secrets

Trade secrets are confidential information that gives a business a competitive advantage. This information can include formulas, processes, customer lists, and other confidential information.

Protecting Trade Secrets under the Intellectual Property Code

In the Philippines, trade secrets are protected under the Intellectual Property Code. To protect your trade secrets, you should take steps to keep the information confidential, such as using non-disclosure agreements with employees and limiting access to the information to only those who need to know.

Keeping information confidential

Keeping trade secrets confidential is essential to protecting your business's intellectual property. You should limit access to the information, use passwords and other security measures to protect digital information, and use non-disclosure agreements with employees and contractors who have access to the information.

Monitoring your Intellectual Property

Property Monitoring your intellectual property is essential to protecting your rights. You should regularly search for infringement of your trademarks, patents, and copyrights, and take action to enforce your rights if someone is infringing on your intellectual property.

Taking legal action to enforce your rights

If you discover that someone is infringing on your intellectual property, you can take legal action to enforce your rights. This can include sending a cease and desist letter, filing a lawsuit, or seeking an injunction to prevent further infringement.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, protecting your intellectual property in the Philippines is a crucial step in safeguarding your business and ensuring its success. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, you can protect your ideas, inventions, and creative works from infringement and theft. Remember, your intellectual property is your most valuable asset, so don't leave it vulnerable. Take action today and secure your future success!

Ensuring a Smooth Transition: How to Determine the Validity of Wills in the Philippines

Determining the validity of a will is crucial in the Philippines to ensure a smooth transition of assets and properties according to the wishes of the deceased. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the key factors involved in evaluating the validity of a will. By following these guidelines, individuals can navigate the legal requirements and ensure a seamless process.

Legal Age and Capacity

To ensure the validity of a will, the testator must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind when making the will. This requirement ensures that the testator has the mental capacity to understand the nature and consequences of their actions. Mental capacity is crucial for making informed decisions and ensuring that the testator's wishes are accurately reflected in the will.

Proper Form

The will must be in writing and can be handwritten, typewritten, or printed. Handwritten wills must be signed by the testator at the end and on each page, while typewritten or printed wills must be signed at the end, preferably on each page, and on the left margin of the pages except the last. Adhering to these formalities ensures that the will is properly executed and reduces the risk of disputes regarding its validity.


To validate a will, it must be attested and signed by at least three credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and each other. These witnesses must be of legal age, meaning they must be at least 18 years old, and competent to testify in court. Witness signatures serve as evidence that the testator willingly made the will and that it accurately reflects their intentions.

Testamentary Capacity

The testator must have testamentary capacity, meaning they understand the nature and consequences of making a will. They should be aware of the extent of their properties and assets and comprehend the distribution they are making through the will. This requirement ensures that the testator is making informed decisions and prevents situations where the testator may be easily influenced or coerced.

Absence of Undue Influence or Fraud

To ensure the validity of a will, it must be made voluntarily and without any undue influence, fraud, or coercion from any person. If there is evidence of manipulation or pressure exerted on the testator that affected their decisions in making the will, its validity may be called into question. This requirement protects the testator's autonomy and ensures that they will accurately represent their true intentions.

Revocation of Previous Wills

If there are previous wills, the most recent will is considered valid. It is important to determine whether any earlier wills have been properly revoked or if the new will is intended to replace the previous ones. Proper revocation of previous wills ensures that the testator's most recent intentions are respected and implemented.

Probate Proceedings

After the death of the testator, the will must undergo probate proceedings in court. Probate is the legal process where the court evaluates the validity of the will and ensures that all legal requirements have been met. During this process, the will and supporting documents are submitted to the court, interested parties are notified, and evidence is presented to establish the validity of the will. Probate proceedings provide a legal framework for resolving any disputes and ensure that the testator's wishes are properly executed.


In conclusion, validating a will in the Philippines involves considering legal age and capacity, proper form, witnesses, testamentary capacity, absence of undue influence or fraud, revocation of previous wills, and compliance with the probate process. Following these guidelines guarantees that the testator's wishes are honored, assets and properties are smoothly transferred, and potential disputes are minimized. Consulting a qualified legal professional is essential to navigate the legal requirements and address any challenges or changes in the law. By taking these steps and seeking proper advice, individuals can have peace of mind knowing that their wills are valid and their estate planning is secure.

Firearms and Weapons Law in the Philippines: Licensing, Ownership, and Restrictions

Firearms and weapons ownership in the Philippines is strictly regulated by Republic Act No. 10591, also known as the "Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act" (CFARA). This law aims to ensure public safety and prevent the misuse of firearms and other weapons. Understanding the licensing, ownership, and restrictions related to firearms and weapons is crucial for anyone interested in owning or possessing them in the Philippines.


To own or possess a firearm in the Philippines, individuals are required to obtain a firearms license from the Philippine National Police (PNP). There are several types of firearms licenses, including those for civilians, government officials and employees, military and law enforcement personnel, and security guards. The process for obtaining a firearms license includes submitting the necessary documents, undergoing a background check, and completing firearms safety and proficiency training.

In addition to a firearms license, individuals are also required to obtain an ammunition license to purchase, possess, and transport ammunition in the Philippines. This license is separate from the firearms license and must be renewed annually.


There are certain requirements and restrictions related to firearm ownership in the Philippines. Individuals must be at least 21 years old to be eligible to own a firearm. Applicants for a firearms license must undergo a thorough background check, which includes a review of their criminal, mental, and medical records. This is to ensure that firearms are only owned by responsible individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety.

Firearms in the Philippines are categorized into four types: small arms, light weapons, heavy weapons, and explosives. Ownership of heavy weapons and explosives is highly regulated and generally limited to the military, law enforcement, and licensed security agencies. The law also sets limits on the number of firearms that an individual can own, depending on the type of license and purpose of ownership. For example, civilians are generally allowed to own up to a maximum of three firearms, while members of the military and law enforcement may be allowed to own more, subject to certain conditions.


There are certain restrictions on firearms and weapons ownership in the Philippines. Prohibited firearms include fully automatic firearms, machine guns, and firearms disguised as ordinary objects. These firearms are not allowed for civilian ownership.

Firearms are generally not allowed in certain areas, such as schools, churches, and government buildings, unless carried by authorized law enforcement officers or security personnel. The transport and storage of firearms must be done in a secure and safe manner, as prescribed by the law and regulations. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in penalties and revocation of firearms licenses.

Firearms licenses are subject to renewal and can be revoked by the PNP for various reasons, including violation of firearms laws, mental incapacity, or loss of qualification to possess firearms. It is important for firearm owners to understand and comply with all relevant laws and regulations to avoid legal repercussions.

Using Firearms During Election Period in the Philippines

Elections are a crucial part of democracy, allowing citizens to exercise their right to vote and choose their leaders. However, in some cases, the use of firearms during the election period in the Philippines has been a cause for concern.

During the election period, the use of firearms, explosives, and other deadly weapons is strictly prohibited, except for authorized law enforcement officers and military personnel in the performance of their official duties. This prohibition applies to all individuals, including civilians, candidates, and government officials, regardless of whether they possess a valid firearms license.

The Gun Ban Law prohibits the carrying, bearing, transporting, or displaying of firearms, explosives, and other deadly weapons, including replica firearms and airguns, in public places or within the vicinity of polling places, election precincts, and other areas designated by the COMELEC. This includes the possession of firearms even if they are not being used or discharged.

Final Thoughts

Firearms and weapons laws in the Philippines are strict and heavily regulated to ensure public safety and prevent misuse. Obtaining the necessary licenses, complying with ownership requirements, and adhering to restrictions on firearms and weapons are essential for responsible firearm ownership. It is important to prioritize public safety and always comply with the law to avoid severe penalties. By understanding and following the firearms and weapons laws in the Philippines, individuals can contribute to a safer society and promote responsible firearm ownership.

Real Estate and Property Law in the Philippines: Key Considerations for Buyers and Sellers

Real estate transactions in the Philippines are governed by specific laws and regulations that both buyers and sellers need to be aware of. Understanding the legal framework and key considerations is crucial to protect one's rights and interests in any real estate transaction. This blog aims to provide a comprehensive guide for buyers and sellers in navigating the complex landscape of real estate and property law in the Philippines.

Ownership and Title

The Philippines follows the Torrens system of land registration, wherein ownership and title to land are registered with the government. It is important for buyers and sellers to verify the ownership and title of the property they are dealing with to avoid any disputes or issues in the future. Liens, encumbrances, and disputes related to the property should also be carefully examined to ensure a clean and marketable title.

Contract of Sale

The contract of sale is a critical document in real estate transactions as it outlines the terms and conditions of the sale. It is important to include key terms such as the purchase price, mode of payment, and timeline for completion. Thorough review and legal advice should be sought before signing the contract to ensure that the rights and interests of both parties are protected.

Taxes and Fees

Real estate transactions in the Philippines are subject to various taxes and fees, including documentary stamp taxes, capital gains taxes, transfer taxes, and registration fees. Buyers and sellers have specific obligations in terms of proper payment and documentation of these taxes and fees. It is important to be aware of the applicable taxes and fees and ensure compliance with legal requirements.

Zoning and Land Use Regulations

Zoning and land use classification in the Philippines can significantly impact the permitted uses, development potential, and restrictions of a property. Buyers and sellers should understand the zoning and land use regulations in the area where the property is located and verify the permits and clearances required from the local government.

Due Diligence

Conducting thorough due diligence is crucial for buyers to ensure that they are making an informed decision. This may include a physical inspection of the property, verification of documents such as the title, survey plans, and tax declarations, and investigation of any legal or environmental issues that may affect the property. Sellers also have an obligation to provide necessary information and disclosures to potential buyers.

Financing and Mortgages

Understanding mortgage terms and conditions is important for buyers who may require financing to purchase a property. Factors such as interest rates, repayment terms, and consequences of default should be carefully considered. If the property has existing mortgages or liens, it is important to properly discharge or settle them to ensure a clear title.

Dispute Resolution

Disputes may arise in real estate transactions, and it is important to be prepared. Including dispute resolution clauses in the contract of sale can help in resolving disputes in a timely and efficient manner. Mediation, arbitration, or litigation may be options for resolving disputes, and understanding the available mechanisms for dispute resolution is important for both buyers and sellers.


In conclusion, navigating real estate transactions in the Philippines requires a thorough understanding of the legal framework, key considerations, and compliance with legal requirements. Seeking legal advice, conducting due diligence, and being aware of the obligations and responsibilities of both buyers and sellers is essential in protecting one's rights and interests. By being informed and vigilant, buyers and sellers can ensure a smooth and successful real estate transaction in the Philippines.

What to Do When You Lose Your Philippine Land Title: Tips and Tricks

The process of buying land in the Philippines and obtaining a land title is long, tedious and expensive – but it can be even more frustrating if you lose or misplace your hard-earned certificate! If this has happened to you, don't worry; there are steps you can take to retrieve or renew your land title.

In this article, we'll discuss what to do when you find yourself in such a situation. We will provide tips and tricks on how to retrieve or renew your lost Philippine land title as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

Steps to Take When You Lose Your Land Title

When you lose your land title, the first step is to take immediate action. Here are some things that you can do:

Immediate actions to take

  1. Look for the land title in safe places. Retrace your steps to determine the last time you saw it.
  2. Notify the relevant authorities as soon as possible, such as the Register of Deeds (RD), the local government unit (LGU), and the Philippine National Police (PNP). Provide details of the lost land title, including its number, date of issuance, and the property's location.

Reporting the loss of a land title to relevant authorities

  1. Reporting the loss of your land title to the RD is important. The RD is responsible for issuing and keeping records of land titles. They can put a notice on the record of your property to prevent it from being transferred without your knowledge.
  2. Reporting the loss of your land title to the LGU is also important. The LGU can issue a certification of ownership to you, which you can use to prove your ownership of the property.
  3. Reporting the loss of your land title to the PNP is important in case of theft or any other criminal activity.

Recovering Your Lost Land Title

Recovering a lost land title involves legal remedies that you can avail of. Here are some legal remedies that you can consider:

Legal remedies for recovering a lost land title

  1. Affidavit of Loss: This is a legal document that you can execute under oath, stating that you lost your land title and that you have taken reasonable steps to locate it.
  2. Petition for Reconstitution: This is a legal remedy that you can avail of when your land title is damaged or destroyed due to a natural calamity, such as a fire or flood.
  3. Petition for Reissuance: This is a legal remedy that you can avail of when your land title is lost or destroyed due to reasons other than a natural calamity.

Requirements and procedures for applying for a new land title

  1. In case you cannot recover your lost land title, you may need to apply for a new one. The requirements and procedures for applying for a new land title depend on the type of land title that you need.
  2. You will need to provide documents that prove ownership, such as tax declarations, proof of payment of real property taxes, and proof of identity.

Applying for a New Land Title

When applying for a new land title, it's important to know the different types of land titles in the Philippines and the requirements and fees for each.

Different types of land titles in the Philippines

  1. Original Certificate of Title (OCT): This is the first land title issued for a piece of property. OCTs are issued for properties that were acquired before 1978.
  2. Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT): This is the land title issued for properties that were acquired after 1978.

Required documents and fees for applying for a new land title

The required documents and fees for applying for a new land title vary depending on the type of land title, the property's location, and the applicable laws and regulations. Generally, you will need to provide the following documents:

  1. Proof of ownership, such as a deed of sale or donation, tax declaration, and survey plan.
  2. Identification documents, such as a valid government-issued ID.
  3. Payment of fees and taxes.

Dealing with Challenges and Obstacles

Recovering a lost land title can be challenging, especially when there are conflicting claims or legal technicalities involved. Here are some common challenges and obstacles that you may encounter and some tips and tricks for overcoming them:

Common challenges and obstacles in recovering a lost land title

  • Conflicting claims: When there are multiple claimants to a piece of property, it can be challenging to prove ownership.
  • Legal technicalities: When there are errors or inconsistencies in the land title or the documents required for its recovery, it can be challenging to correct them.
  • Lack of resources: Recovering a lost land title can be costly and time-consuming, especially if you need to hire lawyers or other professionals to assist you.

Tips and tricks for overcoming these challenges

  • Seek legal advice from a reputable lawyer who specializes in land titles and real estate law.
  • Gather as much evidence as possible to prove your ownership, such as tax declarations, receipts, and affidavits from witnesses.
  • Be persistent and patient. Recovering a lost land title can take time and effort, but it's worth it to protect your property rights.

Prevention is Better than Cure

Preventing the loss of your land title is better than trying to recover it. Here are some tips for keeping your land title safe and secure:

Tips for preventing the loss of land titles

  • Keep your land title in a secure and fireproof location, such as a safety deposit box or a fireproof safe.
  • Make copies of your land title and store them in a different location from the original.
  • Keep your land title up-to-date by updating your records whenever there are changes in ownership, location, or other details.

Importance of keeping land titles safe and secure

  • Losing a land title can be costly and time-consuming to recover. Prevention is always better than cure.
  • Keeping your land title safe and secure can protect your property rights and prevent others from making fraudulent claims to your property.


In conclusion, having your land title in the Philippines is an important part of owning and protecting your legal property rights. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you lose it, take a few moments to regroup and then start taking action. Follow these simple steps to get your land title reinstated quickly and with minimal hassle. With these tips, you can ensure that your land rights are safeguarded from unscrupulous characters looking to take them away from you. So don’t hesitate—get the new title issued today!

Landlord-Tenant Law in the Philippines: Rights and Obligations of Landlords and Tenants

Renting a property is a common arrangement between landlords and tenants in the Philippines. However, to ensure a smooth and harmonious relationship, it's crucial to understand the rights and obligations of both parties under the law. In the Philippines, the Rent Control Act of 2009 (RA 9653) governs the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants, providing guidelines and protections for both parties. Let's take a closer look at the key rights and obligations of landlords and tenants under Philippine law.

Rights and Obligations of Landlords

Right to receive rent

As a landlord, you have the right to receive timely payment of the agreed-upon rent from the tenant, as stipulated in the lease or rental agreement. It's important to establish a clear understanding of the rent amount, due date, and mode of payment to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes.

Right to increase rent

While landlords are allowed to increase rent, it must be done in accordance with the law. RA 9653 provides guidelines on the allowable maximum rent increase and the frequency of such increases. It's essential to be familiar with these guidelines and follow them strictly to avoid any violations or legal issues.

Right to demand a security deposit

Landlords can demand a security deposit from the tenant, usually equivalent to one month's rent, as a form of security against damages or unpaid rent. However, the security deposit must be returned to the tenant at the end of the lease or rental agreement, less any deductions for damages beyond normal wear and tear. It's crucial to provide a written receipt for the security deposit and keep it properly documented.

Obligation to maintain the rental property

As a landlord, you are responsible for maintaining the rental property in a habitable and safe condition. This includes ensuring that the property is structurally sound, has adequate utilities, and is compliant with building and health codes. Regular inspections and necessary repairs should be conducted to provide a safe and comfortable living environment for the tenant.

Obligation to respect tenant's privacy

Landlords are prohibited from entering the rental property without proper notice and consent from the tenant, except in cases of emergency or when the tenant has abandoned the property. It's important to provide reasonable notice before entering the property for inspections or repairs and respect the tenant's right to privacy and peaceful enjoyment of the rental property.

Rights and Obligations of Tenants

Right to peaceful possession

Tenants have the right to peacefully possess and enjoy the rental property during the term of the lease or rental agreement, as long as they comply with the terms and conditions of the lease or rental agreement. The landlord cannot interfere with the tenant's right to peaceful possession unless there is a legal basis for eviction.

Right to demand a receipt for rent and deposits

Tenants have the right to demand a receipt for any rent or deposit paid to the landlord. The receipt should indicate the amount paid, the purpose of the payment, and the date of payment. It's important for tenants to keep all receipts as proof of payment in case of any disputes or issues.

Obligation to pay rent on time

Tenants are obligated to pay the rent on time and in the manner agreed upon in the lease or rental agreement. Failure to pay rent on time may result in penalties or eviction. Tenants should prioritize rent payments and communicate with the landlord in case of any financial difficulties.

Obligation to take care of the rental property

Tenants are responsible for taking care of the rental property and using it only for its intended purpose. Any damages beyond normal wear and tear caused by the tenant may be deducted from the security deposit. It's important for tenants to report any damages or issues with the rental property to the landlord promptly and to seek permission before making any alterations or modifications.

Obligation to comply with rules and regulations

Tenants are obligated to comply with the rules and regulations set by the landlord or building management, such as noise regulations, waste disposal, and maintenance of common areas. Failure to comply with these rules may result in penalties or termination of the lease or rental agreement.

Legal Remedies for Landlords and Tenants

In case of disputes or violations of rights and obligations, both landlords and tenants have legal remedies available under Philippine law. These may include:

  1. Termination of lease or rental agreement: Both landlords and tenants have the right to terminate the lease or rental agreement in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the agreement or as provided by law. For example, landlords may terminate the lease for non-payment of rent or violation of lease terms, while tenants may terminate the lease for the failure of the landlord to maintain the rental property or provide essential services.

  2. Filing a complaint with the appropriate government agency: Both landlords and tenants can file complaints with the appropriate government agency, such as the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), for violations of the Rent Control Act of 2009 or other housing-related laws. The HLURB has the authority to mediate, conciliate, or adjudicate disputes between landlords and tenants and impose penalties for violations of the law.

  3. Seeking legal assistance: Both landlords and tenants have the right to seek legal assistance from qualified lawyers or legal professionals to protect their rights and interests. Legal remedies may include filing a civil case for damages, specific performance, or eviction, or defending against wrongful eviction or harassment.


In conclusion, understanding the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants is crucial for a smooth and harmonious landlord-tenant relationship in the Philippines. The Rent Control Act of 2009 provides guidelines and protections for both parties, ensuring that their rights are respected and upheld. Landlords have the right to receive rent, increase the rent within allowable limits, demand a security deposit, maintain the rental property, and respect the tenant's privacy. Tenants have the right to peaceful possession, demand receipts for payments, pay rent on time, take care of the rental property, and comply with rules and regulations.

Both parties have legal remedies available in case of disputes or violations of rights and obligations. It's essential for landlords and tenants to be aware of their rights and obligations under Philippine law and to seek legal assistance when necessary to protect their interests. By understanding and respecting each other's rights and obligations, landlords and tenants can build a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship.

The Purpose Of Earnest Money

A contract is already a proof that two or more persons have entered an agreement. However, there are instances when a written contract is not enough to determine one's sincerity in fulfilling what has been agreed on. An earnest money or "arras" is usually given by the prospective buyer to the seller. This is to show that the buyer is interested in purchasing the property. The main purpose of the earnest money is to bind the bargain. It is also considered as part of the purchase price and will be deducted from the total price. Once the earnest money is given to the seller, it will perfect the contract of sale. A payment will only be considered an earnest money if it constitutes as part of the purchase price. The money will be refunded if the sale did not push through. 

Here is a scenario of how an earnest money is determined:

On March 28, 1990, respondent, through his counsel Atty. Ponciano Espiritu, wrote petitioners informing them of his readiness to pay the balance of the contract price and requesting them to prepare the final deed of sale.[3]

On April 4, 1990, petitioners, through Atty. Ruben V. Lopez, sent a letter[4] to respondent stating that petitioner Amparo Herrera is leaving for abroad on or before April 15, 1990 and that they are canceling the transaction. Petitioners also informed respondent that he can recover the earnest money of P100,000.00 anytime.

Again, on April 6, 1990,[5] petitioners wrote respondent stating that they delivered to his counsel Philippine National Bank Managers Check No. 790537 dated April 6, 1990 in the amount of P100,000.00 payable to him.

In view of the cancellation of the contract by petitioners, respondent filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 63, Makati City a complaint against them for specific performance and damages, docketed as Civil Case No. 90-1067.[6]

On June 27, 1994, after hearing, the trial court rendered its Decision[7] finding there was a perfected contract of sale between the parties and ordering petitioners to execute a final deed of sale in favor of respondent. The trial court held:

x x x

In the evaluation of the evidence presented by the parties as to the issue as to who was ready to comply with his obligation on the verbal agreement to sell on March 23, 1990, shows that plaintiffs position deserves more weight and credibility. First, the P100,000.00 that plaintiff paid whether as downpayment or earnest money showed that there was already a perfected contract. Art. 1482 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, reads as follows, to wit:

Art. 1482. Whenever earnest money is given in a contract of sale, it shall be considered as part of the price and as proof of the perfection of the contract.

Second, plaintiff was the first to react to show his eagerness to push through with the sale by sending defendants the letter dated March 25, 1990. (Exh. D) and reiterated the same intent to pursue the sale in a letter dated April 6, 1990. Third, plaintiff had the balance of the purchase price ready for payment (Exh. C). Defendants mere allegation that it was plaintiff who did not appear on March 23, 1990 is unavailing. Defendants letters (Exhs. 2 and 5) appear to be mere afterthought.

The Fundamentals Of Succession

Succession as defined under Art. 774 of the New Civil Code is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the property, rights and obligations to the extent of the value of the inheritance, of a person are transmitted through his death to another or others either by his will or by operation of law

There are two kinds of successors:

Compulsory heirs refer to the legitime reserved by law, and who succeed whether the testator likes it or not. 

Voluntary heirs refer to the person other than the compulsory heirs. 

Art. 775. In this Title, "decedent" is the general term applied to the person whose property is transmitted through succession, whether or not he left a will. If he left a will, he is also called the testator. (n)

Art. 776. The inheritance includes all the property, rights and obligations of a person which are not extinguished by his death. (659)

Art. 777. The rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent. (657a)

Art. 778. Succession may be:

(1) Testamentary;

(2) Legal or intestate; or

(3) Mixed. (n)

Art. 779. Testamentary succession is that which results from the designation of an heir, made in a will executed in the form prescribed by law. (n)

Art. 780. Mixed succession is that effected partly by will and partly by operation of law. (n)

Art. 781. The inheritance of a person includes not only the property and the transmissible rights and obligations existing at the time of his death, but also those which have accrued thereto since the opening of the succession. (n)

Art. 782. An heir is a person called to the succession either by the provision of a will or by operation of law.

Devisees and legatees are persons to whom gifts of real and personal property are respectively given by virtue of a will. (n) 


Art. 783. A will is an act whereby a person is permitted, with the formalities prescribed by law, to control to a certain degree the disposition of this estate, to take effect after his death. (667a)

Art. 784. The making of a will is a strictly personal act; it cannot be left in whole or in part of the discretion of a third person, or accomplished through the instrumentality of an agent or attorney. (670a)

Art. 785. The duration or efficacy of the designation of heirs, devisees or legatees, or the determination of the portions which they are to take, when referred to by name, cannot be left to the discretion of a third person. (670a)

Art. 786. The testator may entrust to a third person the distribution of specific property or sums of money that he may leave in general to specified classes or causes, and also the designation of the persons, institutions or establishments to which such property or sums are to be given or applied. (671a)

Art. 787. The testator may not make a testamentary disposition in such manner that another person has to determine whether or not it is to be operative. (n)

Art. 788. If a testamentary disposition admits of different interpretations, in case of doubt, that interpretation by which the disposition is to be operative shall be preferred. (n)

Art. 789. When there is an imperfect description, or when no person or property exactly answers the description, mistakes and omissions must be corrected, if the error appears from the context of the will or from extrinsic evidence, excluding the oral declarations of the testator as to his intention; and when an uncertainty arises upon the face of the will, as to the application of any of its provisions, the testator's intention is to be ascertained from the words of the will, taking into consideration the circumstances under which it was made, excluding such oral declarations. (n)

Art. 790. The words of a will are to be taken in their ordinary and grammatical sense, unless a clear intention to use them in another sense can be gathered, and that other can be ascertained.

Technical words in a will are to be taken in their technical sense, unless the context clearly indicates a contrary intention, or unless it satisfactorily appears that he was unacquainted with such technical sense. (675a)

Art. 791. The words of a will are to receive an interpretation which will give to every expression some effect, rather than one which will render any of the expressions inoperative; and of two modes of interpreting a will, that is to be preferred which will prevent intestacy. (n)

Art. 792. The invalidity of one of several dispositions contained in a will does not result in the invalidity of the other dispositions, unless it is to be presumed that the testator would not have made such other dispositions if the first invalid disposition had not been made. (n)

Art. 793. Property acquired after the making of a will shall only pass thereby, as if the testator had possessed it at the time of making the will, should it expressly appear by the will that such was his intention. (n)

Art. 794. Every devise or legacy shall cover all the interest which the testator could device or bequeath in the property disposed of, unless it clearly appears from the will that he intended to convey a less interest. (n)

Art. 795. The validity of a will as to its form depends upon the observance of the law in force at the time it is made. (n) 




The Elements And Nature Of Eminent Domain

Eminent domain refers to the inherent right of the state to condemn private property to public use upon payment of just compensation. Before the property can be taken for purposes of eminent domain, the following elements must be present:

(1) the expropriator must enter a private property;

(2) the entrance into private property must be for more than a momentary period;

(3) the entry into the property should be under warrant or color of legal authority;

(4) the property  must be devoted to a public use or otherwise informally appropriated or injuriously affected; and

(5) the utilization of the property for public use must be in such a way as to oust the owner and deprive him of all beneficial enjoyment of the property.


Section 1. In determining just compensation for private property acquired through eminent domain proceedings, the compensation to be paid shall not exceed the value declared by the owner or administrator or anyone having legal interest in the property or determined by the assessor, pursuant to the Real Property Tax Code, whichever value is lower, prior to the recommendation or decision of the appropriate Government office to acquire the property.

Sec. 2. Upon the filing of the petition for expropriation and the deposit in the Philippine National Bank at its main office or any of its branches of an amount equivalent to ten per cent (10%) of the amount of compensation provided in Section 1 hereof, the government or its authorized instrumentality agency or entity shall be entitled to immediate possession, control and disposition of the real property and the improvements thereon, including the power of demolition of necessary, notwithstanding the pendency of the issues before the courts.

Sec. 3. Presidential Decree No. 42, Section pars. 2 and 3 of PD No. 76, Sec. 92 of PD No. 464, PD 794, Sections 2 and 3 of PD 1224, Sections 2 and 3 of PD 1259 and Section 1 of PD 1313 and all other acts, decrees, letters of instructions, orders, ordinances or rules and regulations which are inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

Are Donated Properties Part Of Community Property?

Executing any marriage settlement is not common among married couples unless the situation really calls for it. This is why issues involving properties create conflict as far as the law on property relations is concerned. The problem arises once the couple is annulled. Case in point: The spouse of Mr. X was given a parcel of land by his employer with a Certificate of Title issued in his name. The wife was surprised to discover that the donated property is excluded from their community properties. This means that the donated property is not considered to be part of the conjugal properties. Should the donated property be divided equally? 

The law on property relations states that: 

Art. 75. The future spouses may, in the marriage settlements, agree upon the regime of absolute community, conjugal partnership of gains, complete separation of property, or any other regime. In the absence of a marriage settlement, or when the regime agreed upon is void, the system of absolute community of property as established in this Code shall govern.

Art. 92. The following shall be excluded from the community property:

(1) Property acquired during the marriage by gratuitous title by either spouse, and the fruits as well as the income thereof, if any, unless it is expressly provided by the donor, testator or grantor that they shall form part of the community property;

(2) Property for personal and exclusive use of either spouse. However, jewelry shall form part of the community property;

(3) Property acquired before the marriage by either spouse who has legitimate descendants by a former marriage, and the fruits as well as the income, if any, of such property. (201a)

Art. 93. Property acquired during the marriage is presumed to belong to the community, unless it is proved that it is one of those excluded therefrom. 

The property was donated to Mr.X during marriage, but it remains to be his exclusive property because the title was issued only in his name. It is not deemed to be part of the community property. This is why it is excluded from the community property.

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

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) 

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:


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: 


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) 

Exclusive Property: Administration, Ownership and Possession

Married couples who decide to call it quits often argue about the properties acquired before and during marriage. Matters regarding splitting properties in half between husband and wife are brought to court as couples cannot seem to meet half way. The law has different take on this matter, depending on the circumstances. The Family Code of the Philippines provides a detailed explanation about the law governing marital properties. Since it took effect in 1988, revisions must be taken into account. Hence, couples who got married on August 3, 1988 up to present will no longer follow the law of conjugal property. This is because former-president Corazon Aquino signed the provisions of the Family Code of the Philippines. Under the provisions of this law, without marriage settlement or more commonly referred to as prenuptial agreement, a married couple's properties, which are acquired before and during marriage will be considered to be co-owned by the couple. This is called absolute community of property. 

Even properties which have been inherited or donated by either spouse will still be part of the absolute community of property. If couples decide to file a petition for legal separation, annulment or divorce, the legal action will have no effect on the property regime unless judicial separation of properties (where couples are required to split properties in half) has been filed. 

Exclusive Property of Each Spouse

Art. 109. The following shall be the exclusive property of each spouse:

(1) That which is brought to the marriage as his or her own;

(2) That which each acquires during the marriage by gratuitous title;

(3) That which is acquired by right of redemption, by barter or by exchange with property belonging to only one of the spouses; and

(4) That which is purchased with exclusive money of the wife or of the husband.

Art. 110. The spouses retain the ownership, possession, administration and enjoyment of their exclusive properties.

Either spouse may, during the marriage, transfer the administration of his or her exclusive property to the other by means of a public instrument, which shall be recorded in the registry of property of the place the property is located.

Art. 111. A spouse of age may mortgage, encumber, alienate or otherwise dispose of his or her exclusive property, without the consent of the other spouse, and appear alone in court to litigate with regard to the same.

Art. 112. The alienation of any exclusive property of a spouse administered by the other automatically terminates the administration over such property and the proceeds of the alienation shall be turned over to the owner-spouse.

Art. 113. Property donated or left by will to the spouses, jointly and with designation of determinate shares, shall pertain to the donee-spouses as his or her own exclusive property, and in the absence of designation, share and share alike, without prejudice to the right of accretion when proper.

Art. 114. If the donations are onerous, the amount of the charges shall be borne by the exclusive property of the donee spouse, whenever they have been advanced by the conjugal partnership of gains.

Art. 115. Retirement benefits, pensions, annuities, gratuities, usufructs and similar benefits shall be governed by the rules on gratuitous or onerous acquisitions as may be proper in each case.

The Effect of Property Donations and its Limitations

The deed of donation will only be perfected if it meets the requisites. One of which is that the donor must have the capacity to make the donation. It is also imperative that the donee is entitled to be supported by the donor. 


Art. 750. The donations may comprehend all the present property of the donor, or part thereof, provided he reserves, in full ownership or in usufruct, sufficient means for the support of himself, and of all relatives who, at the time of the acceptance of the donation, are by law entitled to be supported by the donor. Without such reservation, the donation shall be reduced in petition of any person affected. (634a)

Art. 751. Donations cannot comprehend future property.

By future property is understood anything which the donor cannot dispose of at the time of the donation. (635)

Art. 752. The provisions of Article 750 notwithstanding, no person may give or receive, by way of donation, more than he may give or receive by will.

The donation shall be inofficious in all that it may exceed this limitation. (636)

Art. 753. When a donation is made to several persons jointly, it is understood to be in equal shares, and there shall be no right of accretion among them, unless the donor has otherwise provided.

The preceding paragraph shall not be applicable to donations made to the husband and wife jointly, between whom there shall be a right of accretion, if the contrary has not been provided by the donor. (637)

Art. 754. The donee is subrogated to all the rights and actions which in case of eviction would pertain to the donor. The latter, on the other hand, is not obliged to warrant the things donated, save when the donation is onerous, in which case the donor shall be liable for eviction to the concurrence of the burden.

The donor shall also be liable for eviction or hidden defects in case of bad faith on his part. (638a)

Art. 755. The right to dispose of some of the things donated, or of some amount which shall be a charge thereon, may be reserved by the donor; but if he should die without having made use of this right, the property or amount reserved shall belong to the donee. (639)

Art. 756. The ownership of property may also be donated to one person and the usufruct to another or others, provided all the donees are living at the time of the donation. (640a)

Art. 757. Reversion may be validly established in favor of only the donor for any case and circumstances, but not in favor of other persons unless they are all living at the time of the donation.

Any reversion stipulated by the donor in favor of a third person in violation of what is provided in the preceding paragraph shall be void, but shall not nullify the donation. (614a)

Art. 758. When the donation imposes upon the donee the obligation to pay the debts of the donor, if the clause does not contain any declaration to the contrary, the former is understood to be liable to pay only the debts which appear to have been previously contracted. In no case shall the donee be responsible for the debts exceeding the value of the property donated, unless a contrary intention clearly appears. (642a)

Art. 759. There being no stipulation regarding the payment of debts, the donee shall be responsible therefor only when the donation has been made in fraud of creditors.

The donation is always presumed to be in fraud of creditors, when at the time thereof the donor did not reserve sufficient property to pay his debts prior to the donation. (643) 

The Difference Between Immovable And Movable Property

Property ownership has its own classification: movable and immovable property. Movable property refers to personal property, which is either consumable or nonconsumable. On the other hand, immovable property refers to roads, constructions and buildings. They are referred to as immovable because they adhere to the soil. The Civil Code of the Philippines gives a detailed information about the difference between these classifications. 



Art. 415. The following are immovable property:

(1) Land, buildings, roads and constructions of all kinds adhered to the soil;

(2) Trees, plants, and growing fruits, while they are attached to the land or form an integral part of an immovable;

(3) Everything attached to an immovable in a fixed manner, in such a way that it cannot be separated therefrom without breaking the material or deterioration of the object;

(4) Statues, reliefs, paintings or other objects for use or ornamentation, placed in buildings or on lands by the owner of the immovable in such a manner that it reveals the intention to attach them permanently to the tenements;

(5) Machinery, receptacles, instruments or implements intended by the owner of the tenement for an industry or works which may be carried on in a building or on a piece of land, and which tend directly to meet the needs of the said industry or works;

(6) Animal houses, pigeon-houses, beehives, fish ponds or breeding places of similar nature, in case their owner has placed them or preserves them with the intention to have them permanently attached to the land, and forming a permanent part of it; the animals in these places are included;

(7) Fertilizer actually used on a piece of land;

(8) Mines, quarries, and slag dumps, while the matter thereof forms part of the bed, and waters either running or stagnant;

(9) Docks and structures which, though floating, are intended by their nature and object to remain at a fixed place on a river, lake, or coast;

(10) Contracts for public works, and servitudes and other real rights over immovable property. (334a)



Art. 416. The following things are deemed to be personal property:

(1) Those movables susceptible of appropriation which are not included in the preceding article;

(2) Real property which by any special provision of law is considered as personal property;

(3) Forces of nature which are brought under control by science; and

(4) In general, all things which can be transported from place to place without impairment of the real property to which they are fixed. (335a)

Art. 417. The following are also considered as personal property:

(1) Obligations and actions which have for their object movables or demandable sums; and

(2) Shares of stock of agricultural, commercial and industrial entities, although they may have real estate. (336a)

Art. 418. Movable property is either consumable or nonconsumable. To the first class belong those movables which cannot be used in a manner appropriate to their nature without their being consumed; to the second class belong all the others. (337) 

Trademark Infringement: When Imitation Crosses The Line

They say that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", but this is not always the case. While some may consider imitation as a way of paying tribute to the original author, an individual can be held liable for trademark infringement if details of the original work have been copied. Although the details may not be completely identical, any resemblance to the original work can still bring confusion to the buyer or purchaser. How does a person violate intellectual property law? Republic Act No. 8293 or otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines provides a summary of the law:

Chapter II


Sec. 172. Literary and Artistic Works. -

172.1 Literary and artistic works, hereinafter referred to as "works", are original intellectual creations in the literary and artistic domain protected from the moment of their creation and shall include in particular:

(a) Books, pamphlets, articles and other writings;

(b) Periodicals and newspapers;

(c) Lectures, sermons, addresses, dissertations prepared for oral delivery, whether or not reduced in writing or other material form;

(d) Letters;

(e) Dramatic or dramatico-musical compositions; choreographic works or entertainment in dumb shows;

(f) Musical compositions, with or without words;

(g) Works of drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture, engraving, lithography or other works of art; models or designs for works of art;

(h) Original ornamental designs or models for articles of manufacture, whether or not registrable as an industrial design, and other works of applied art;

(i) Illustrations, maps, plans, sketches, charts and three-dimensional works relative to geography, topography, architecture or science;

(j) Drawings or plastic works of a scientific or technical character;

(k) Photographic works including works produced by a process analogous to photography; lantern slides;

(l) Audiovisual works and cinematographic works and works produced by a process analogous to cinematography or any process for making audio-visual recordings;

(m) Pictorial illustrations and advertisements;

(n) Computer programs; and

(o) Other literary, scholarly, scientific and artistic works.

172.2. Works are protected by the sole fact of their creation, irrespective of their mode or form of expression, as well as of their content, quality and purpose. (Sec. 2, P. D. No. 49a)

Chapter III 


Sec. 173. Derivative Works. -

173.1. The following derivative works shall also be protected by copyright:

(a) Dramatizations, translations, adaptations, abridgments, arrangements, and other alterations of literary or artistic works; and

(b) Collections of literary, scholarly or artistic works, and compilations of data and other materials which are original by reason of the selection or coordination or arrangement of their contents. (Sec. 2, [P] and [Q], P. D. No. 49)

173.2. The works referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of Subsection 173.1 shall be protected as a new works: Provided however, That such new work shall not affect the force of any subsisting copyright upon the original works employed or any part thereof, or be construed to imply any right to such use of the original works, or to secure or extend copyright in such original works. (Sec. 8, P. D. 49; Art. 10, TRIPS)

Sec. 174. Published Edition of Work. - In addition to the right to publish granted by the author, his heirs or assigns, the publisher shall have a copy right consisting merely of the right of reproduction of the typographical arrangement of the published edition of the work. (n)  

Chapter IV 


Sec. 175. Unprotected Subject Matter. - Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 172 and 173, no protection shall extend, under this law, to any idea, procedure, system method or operation, concept, principle, discovery or mere data as such, even if they are expressed, explained, illustrated or embodied in a work; news of the day and other miscellaneous facts having the character of mere items of press information; or any official text of a legislative, administrative or legal nature, as well as any official translation thereof. (n)

Sec. 176. Works of the Government. -

176.1. No copyright shall subsist in any work of the Government of the Philippines. However, prior approval of the government agency or office wherein the work is created shall be necessary for exploitation of such work for profit. Such agency or office may, among other things, impose as a condition the payment of royalties. No prior approval or conditions shall be required for the use of any purpose of statutes, rules and regulations, and speeches, lectures, sermons, addresses, and dissertations, pronounced, read or rendered in courts of justice, before administrative agencies, in deliberative assemblies and in meetings of public character. (Sec. 9, First Par., P. D. No. 49)

176.2. The Author of speeches, lectures, sermons, addresses, and dissertations mentioned in the preceding paragraphs shall have the exclusive right of making a collection of his works. (n)

176.3. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, the Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest or otherwise; nor shall publication or republication by the government in a public document of any work in which copy right is subsisting be taken to cause any abridgment or annulment of the copyright or to authorize any use or appropriation of such work without the consent of the copyright owners. (Sec. 9, Third Par., P. D. No. 49)



  Sec. 177. Copy or Economic Rights. - Subject to the provisions of Chapter VIII, copyright or economic rights shall consist of the exclusive right to carry out, authorize or prevent the following acts:

177.1. Reproduction of the work or substantial portion of the work;

177.2 Dramatization, translation, adaptation, abridgment, arrangement or other transformation of the work;

177.3. The first public distribution of the original and each copy of the work by sale or other forms of transfer of ownership;

177.4. Rental of the original or a copy of an audiovisual or cinematographic work, a work embodied in a sound recording, a computer program, a compilation of data and other materials or a musical work in graphic form, irrespective of the ownership of the original or the copy which is the subject of the rental; (n)

177.5. Public display of the original or a copy of the work;

177.6. Public performance of the work; and

177.7. Other communication to the public of the work (Sec. 5, P. D. No. 49a)



  Sec. 178. Rules on Copyright Ownership. - Copyright ownership shall be governed by the following rules:

178.1. Subject to the provisions of this section, in the case of original literary and artistic works, copyright shall belong to the author of the work;

178.2. In the case of works of joint authorship, the co-authors shall be the original owners of the copyright and in the absence of agreement, their rights shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership. If, however, a work of joint authorship consists of parts that can be used separately and the author of each part can be identified, the author of each part shall be the original owner of the copyright in the part that he has created;

178.3. In the case of work created by an author during and in the course of his employment, the copyright shall belong to:

(a) The employee, if the creation of the object of copyright is not a part of his regular duties even if the employee uses the time, facilities and materials of the employer.

(b) The employer, if the work is the result of the performance of his regularly-assigned duties, unless there is an agreement, express or implied, to the contrary.

178.4. In the case of a work-commissioned by a person other than an employer of the author and who pays for it and the work is made in pursuance of the commission, the person who so commissioned the work shall have ownership of work, but the copyright thereto shall remain with the creator, unless there is a written stipulation to the contrary;

178.5. In the case of audiovisual work, the copyright shall belong to the producer, the author of the scenario, the composer of the music, the film director, and the author of the work so adapted. However, subject to contrary or other stipulations among the creators, the producers shall exercise the copyright to an extent required for the exhibition of the work in any manner, except for the right to collect performing license fees for the performance of musical compositions, with or without words, which are incorporated into the work; and

178.6. In respect of letters, the copyright shall belong to the writer subject to the provisions of Article 723 of the Civil Code. (Sec. 6, P. D. No. 49a)

Sec. 179. Anonymous and Pseudonymous Works. - For purposes of this Act, the publishers shall be deemed to represent the authors of articles and other writings published without the names of the authors or under pseudonyms, unless the contrary appears, or the pseudonyms or adopted name leaves no doubts as to the author’s identity, or if the author of the anonymous works discloses his identity. (Sec. 7, P. D. 49)



  Sec. 180. Rights of Assignee. -

180.1. The copyright may be assigned in whole or in part. Within the scope of the assignment, the assignee is entitled to all the rights and remedies which the assignor had with respect to the copyright.

180.2. The copyright is not deemed assigned inter vivos in whole or in part unless there is a written indication of such intention.

180.3. The submission of a literary, photographic or artistic work to a newspaper, magazine or periodical for publication shall constitute only a license to make a single publication unless a greater right is expressly granted. If two (2) or more persons jointly own a copyright or any part thereof, neither of the owners shall be entitled to grant licenses without the prior written consent of the other owner or owners. (Sec. 15, P. D. No. 49a)

Sec. 181. Copyright and Material Object. - The copyright is distinct from the property in the material object subject to it. Consequently, the transfer or assignment of the copyright shall not itself constitute a transfer of the material object. Nor shall a transfer or assignment of the sole copy or of one or several copies of the work imply transfer or assignment of the copyright. (Sec. 16, P. D. No. 49)

Sec. 182. Filing of Assignment of License. - An assignment or exclusive license may be filed in duplicate with the National Library upon payment of the prescribed fee for registration in books and records kept for the purpose. Upon recording, a copy of the instrument shall be, returned to the sender with a notation of the fact of record. Notice of the record shall be published in the IPO Gazette. (Sec. 19, P. D. No. 49a)

Sec. 183. Designation of Society. - The copyright owners or their heirs may designate a society of artists, writers or composers to enforce their economic rights and moral rights on their behalf. (Sec. 32, P. D. No. 49a) 



Sec. 184. Limitations on Copyright. -

184.1. Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter V, the following acts shall not constitute infringement of copyright:

(a) the recitation or performance of a work, once it has been lawfully made accessible to the public, if done privately and free of charge or if made strictly for a charitable or religious institution or society; (Sec. 10(1), P. D. No. 49)

(b) The making of quotations from a published work if they are compatible with fair use and only to the extent justified for the purpose, including quotations from newspaper articles and periodicals in the form of press summaries: Provided, That the source and the name of the author, if appearing on the work, are mentioned; (Sec. 11, Third Par., P. D. No. 49)

(c) The reproduction or communication to the public by mass media of articles on current political, social, economic, scientific or religious topic, lectures, addresses and other works of the same nature, which are delivered in public if such use is for information purposes and has not been expressly reserved: Provided, That the source is clearly indicated; (Sec. 11, P. D. No. 49)

(d) The reproduction and communication to the public of literary, scientific or artistic works as part of reports of current events by means of photography, cinematography or broadcasting to the extent necessary for the purpose; (Sec. 12, P. D. No. 49)

(e) The inclusion of a work in a publication, broadcast, or other communication to the public, sound recording or film, if such inclusion is made by way of illustration for teaching purposes and is compatible with fair use: Provided, That the source and of the name of the author, if appearing in the work, are mentioned;

(f) The recording made in schools, universities, or educational institutions of a work included in a broadcast for the use of such schools, universities or educational institutions: Provided, That such recording must be deleted within a reasonable period after they were first broadcast: Provided, further, That such recording may not be made from audiovisual works which are part of the general cinema repertoire of feature films except for brief excerpts of the work;

(g) The making of ephemeral recordings by a broadcasting organization by means of its own facilities and for use in its own broadcast;

(h) The use made of a work by or under the direction or control of the Government, by the National Library or by educational, scientific or professional institutions where such use is in the public interest and is compatible with fair use;

(i) The public performance or the communication to the public of a work, in a place where no admission fee is charged in respect of such public performance or communication, by a club or institution for charitable or educational purpose only, whose aim is not profit making, subject to such other limitations as may be provided in the Regulations; (n)

(j) Public display of the original or a copy of the work not made by means of a film, slide, television image or otherwise on screen or by means of any other device or process: Provided, That either the work has been published, or, that original or the copy displayed has been sold, given away or otherwise transferred to another person by the author or his successor in title; and

(k) Any use made of a work for the purpose of any judicial proceedings or for the giving of professional advice by a legal practitioner.

184.2. The provisions of this section shall be interpreted in such a way as to allow the work to be used in a manner which does not conflict with the normal exploitation of the work and does not unreasonably prejudice the right holder's legitimate interest.

Sec. 185. Fair Use of a Copyrighted Work. -

185.1. The fair use of a copyrighted work for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching including multiple copies for classroom use, scholarship, research, and similar purposes is not an infringement of copyright. Decompilation, which is understood here to be the reproduction of the code and translation of the forms of the computer program to achieve the inter-operability of an independently created computer program with other programs may also constitute fair use. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is fair use, the factors to be considered shall include:

(a) The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit education purposes;

(b) The nature of the copyrighted work;

(c) The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(d) The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

185.2 The fact that a work is unpublished shall not by itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Sec. 186. Work of Architecture. - Copyright in a work of architecture shall include the right to control the erection of any building which reproduces the whole or a substantial part of the work either in its original form or in any form recognizably derived from the original; Provided, That the copyright in any such work shall not include the right to control the reconstruction or rehabilitation in the same style as the original of a building to which the copyright relates. (n)

Sec. 187. Reproduction of Published Work. -

187.1. Notwithstanding the provision of Section 177, and subject to the provisions of Subsection 187.2, the private reproduction of a published work in a single copy, where the reproduction is made by a natural person exclusively for research and private study, shall be permitted, without the authorization of the owner of copyright in the work.

187.2. The permission granted under Subsection 187.1 shall not extend to the reproduction of:

(a) A work of architecture in form of building or other construction;

(b) An entire book, or a substantial past thereof, or of a musical work in which graphics form by reprographic means;

(c) A compilation of data and other materials;

(d) A computer program except as provided in Section 189; and

(e) Any work in cases where reproduction would unreasonably conflict with a normal exploitation of the work or would otherwise unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author. (n)

Sec. 188. Reprographic Reproduction by Libraries. -

188.1. Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection 177.6, any library or archive whose activities are not for profit may, without the authorization of the author of copyright owner, make a single copy of the work by reprographic reproduction:

(a) Where the work by reason of its fragile character or rarity cannot be lent to user in its original form;

(b) Where the works are isolated articles contained in composite works or brief portions of other published works and the reproduction is necessary to supply them; when this is considered expedient, to person requesting their loan for purposes of research or study instead of lending the volumes or booklets which contain them; and

(c) Where the making of such a copy is in order to preserve and, if necessary in the event that it is lost, destroyed or rendered unusable, replace a copy, or to replace, in the permanent collection of another similar library or archive, a copy which has been lost, destroyed or rendered unusable and copies are not available with the publisher.

188.2. Notwithstanding the above provisions, it shall not be permissible to produce a volume of a work published in several volumes or to produce missing tomes or pages of magazines or similar works, unless the volume, tome or part is out of stock; Provided, That every library which, by law, is entitled to receive copies of a printed work, shall be entitled, when special reasons so require, to reproduce a copy of a published work which is considered necessary for the collection of the library but which is out of stock. (Sec. 13, P. D. 49a)

Sec. 189. Reproduction of Computer Program. -

189.1. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 177, the reproduction in one (1) back-up copy or adaptation of a computer program shall be permitted, without the authorization of the author of, or other owner of copyright in, a computer program, by the lawful owner of that computer program: Provided, That the copy or adaptation is necessary for:

(a) The use of the computer program in conjunction with a computer for the purpose, and to the extent, for which the computer program has been obtained; and

(b) Archival purposes, and, for the replacement of the lawfully owned copy of the computer program in the event that the lawfully obtained copy of the computer program is lost, destroyed or rendered unusable.

189.2. No copy or adaptation mentioned in this Section shall be used for any purpose other than the ones determined in this Section, and any such copy or adaptation shall be destroyed in the event that continued possession of the copy of the computer program ceases to be lawful.

189.3. This provision shall be without prejudice to the application of Section 185 whenever appropriate. (n)

Sec. 190. Importation for Personal Purposes. -

190.1. Notwithstanding the provision of Subsection 177.6, but subject to the limitation under the Subsection 185.2, the importation of a copy of a work by an individual for his personal purposes shall be permitted without the authorization of the author of, or other owner of copyright in, the work under the following circumstances:

(a) When copies of the work are not available in the Philippines and:

(i) Not more than one (1) copy at one time is imported for strictly individual use only; or (ii) The importation is by authority of and for the use of the Philippine Government; or 

(iii) The importation, consisting of not more than three (3) such copies or likenesses in any one invoice, is not for sale but for the use only of any religious, charitable, or educational society or institution duly incorporated or registered, or is for the encouragement of the fine arts, or for any state school, college, university, or free public library in the Philippines.

(b) When such copies form parts of libraries and personal baggage belonging to persons or families arriving from foreign countries and are not intended for sale: Provided, That such copies do not exceed three (3).

190.2. Copies imported as allowed by this Section may not lawfully be used in any way to violate the rights of owner the copyright or annul or limit the protection secured by this Act, and such unlawful use shall be deemed an infringement and shall be punishable as such without prejudice to the proprietor’s right of action.

190.3. Subject to the approval of the Secretary of Finance, the Commissioner of Customs is hereby empowered to make rules and regulations for preventing the importation of articles the importation of which is prohibited under this Section and under treaties and conventions to which the Philippines may be a party and for seizing and condemning and disposing of the same in case they are discovered after they have been imported. (Sec. 30, P. D. No. 49)

The Philippine Anti-Dummy Law

A couple of friends recently told me how their very clever Philippine attorney got around the Philippine rule that non-Philippine citizens can not own real estate in the Philippines by forming a Philippine corporation. The corporation buys the property, then they use a variety of documents to avoid the 40/60 rule that limits non-citizens equity ownership to 40 percent. This all sounds very nice, but, my question to them, did their attorney discuss the Philippine Anti-Dummy Law with you?

Their question to me, what is the Anti-Dummy Law? My answer, good question. The Anti-Dummy Law is a law created to penalize those who violate foreign equity restrictions and evade nationalization laws of the Philippines. The Anti-Dummy Law prohibits dummy, or using what I call a proxy arrangement to accomplish a transaction not allowed under Philippine law. 

To get around the Philippine land ownership rules for example, non-citizens may arrange for a Filipino citizen to purchase land and register the land title to the Filipino citizen’s name, but with the agreement that the whole right to the land belongs to the foreigner. In this case, the Filipino citizen is the “proxy,” thus the “dummy arrangement.” Another common approach, is to create a corporation. The problem with using a corporation to avoid the land restrictions rules, is the 40-60 ratio that applies (40% foreign ownership, 60% Filipino ownership). Therefore a variety of side agreements are used to keep control of the corporation in the hands of the foreigner.

Again, The Anti-Dummy Law prohibits an arrangement usually done by a foreigner to evade nationality restrictions. If you’re caught violating the Anti-Dummy Law, you can receive a jail sentence for up to 5-15 years or receive a hefty fine. Non-Citizens and Filipino citizens who engaged in the dummy arrangement will both be held liable. 

This is only a limited overview of the broad reaching Anti- Dummy Law. If you are setting up a business or acquiring real property in the Philippines, you need to be aware of how the anti-dummy rules may be applied to the way the transaction is being structured. If you don’t want your dream business or property investment in the Philippines to turn into a legal nightmare. 

Now, my friends have assured me after talking to their attorney, there is nothing to worry about. The anti- dummy rules are not being enforced. However, the law is on the books for a reason. Therefore, this does not mean that the law will be enforced in the future. Should this happen, and you run afoul of the Anti- Dummy Law, it is you, not your attorney or friends that told you that it is okay to violate Philippine law, who is on the legal hook.

How Can Landlords And Tenants Meet Halfway?

The Rent Control Act of 2009 used to protect tenants and landlords so both parties can arrive at an agreement. However, the law has already expired on December 31, 2015. While most landlords and tenants in the Philippines rely on verbal agreement, oral contracts are often breached when one party realizes later on, that it was not a fair deal. Even without the written contract, both parties can meet halfway. 

Rent Control Act of 2009

Section 4. Limit on Increases in Rent. - For a period of one (1) year from its effectivity, no increase shall be imposed upon the rent of any residential unit covered by this Act: Provided, That after such period until December 31, 2013, the rent of any residential unit covered by this Act shall not be increased by more than seven percent (7%) annually as long as the unit is occupied by the same lessee: Provided, further, That when the residential unit becomes vacant, the lessor may set the initial rent for the next lessee: Provided, however, That in the case of boarding houses, dormitories, rooms and bedspaces offered for rent to students, no increase in rental more than once per year shall be allowed.

Section 5. Coverage of this Act. - All residential units in the National Capital Region and other highly urbanized cities, the total monthly rent for each of which ranges from One peso (P1.00) to Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) and all residential units in all other areas, the total monthly rent for each of which ranges from One peso (P1.00) to Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) as of the effectivity date of this Act shall be covered, without prejudice to existing contracts.

Section 6. Authority to Continue Rental Regulation. - Notwithstanding he lapse of the period provided in Section 4 of this Act. the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) is hereby granted the authority to continue the regulation of the rental of certain residential units, to determine the period of regulation and its subsequent extensions if warranted, to determine the residential units covered and to adjust the allowable limit on rental increases per annum, taking into consideration, among others, National Statistics Office (NSO) census on rental units, prevailing rental rates, the monthly inflation rate on rentals of the immediately preceding year, and rental price index.

Section 7. Rent and Requirement of Bank Deposit. - Rent shall be paid in advance within the first five (5) days of every current month or the beginning of the lease agreement unless the contract of lease provides for a later date of payment. The lessor cannot demand more than one (1) month advance rent. Neither can he/she demand more than two (2) months deposit which shall be kept in a bank under the lessor's account name during the entire duration of the lease agreement. Any and all interest that shall accrue therein shall be returned to the lessee at the expiration of the lease contract.

The act covered various aspects of renting a property such as the requirement of bank deposit, rental regulation, policies and much more. Just because the act has expired does not mean landlords and tenants are no longer protected. Both parties have the option to negotiate. In terms of deposits, the tenant and landlord can discuss the option that works for both of them. There are landlords that do not rely on oral contract. This is where a written contract comes in. Written contracts will require tenants a security deposit worth 2 to 3 months' rent. If the tenant does not wish to renew the contract, the deposit will be returned provided, the unpaid bills and deductions for repairs have been made. 

When it comes to the duration of contract, the landlord assumes that the contract has been renewed if the tenant stays in the unit 15 days after the contract has expired. The landlord will furnish a new copy of the contract but with a different term. However, if you are in the lower end of the market, both parties rely on oral contracts. In this case, the landlord has the right to eject a tenant if they fail to pay the rent for three months. Most landlords do not allow subleasing and a violation of which will also be a ground for ejection. If the landlord decides to use the property, the tenant will be given three months' formal notice to vacate the place. 

Problems involving landlords and tenants are usually mediated by town tribunals. Matters will be taken to court if they have not been resolved at the town level. You may also refer to the Civil Code of the Philippines to know the general guideline for the conditions of lease of urban and rural lands. The guidelines can be found in Articles 1654-1688. 

Philippine Legal Forms: Contract To Sell

A Contract to Sell refers to an agreement between a seller and a buyer. The contract shows that the seller promises to sell something to the buyer and the buyer also promises the seller the buy the property. However, the contract does not instantly transfer the right to the buyer even when this contract is signed. There are still conditions that have to be fulfilled by one or both parties before transfer of ownership can take place. The Deed of Absolute sale will only be executed once the conditions stated in the Contract to Sell have been met. 




This Contract to Sell is made and executed and entered into by: 

Name of Seller, of legal age, Filipino, single/married to Name of the Spouse of Seller, with residence address at Postal Address of the Seller in the Phiilppines, hereinafter referred to as the SELLER;


       Name of Buyer, of legal age, Filipino, single/married to, Name of Spouse of Buyer and with residence and postal address at Address of the Buyer in the Phiippines, hereinafter referred to as the BUYER; 


         WHEREAS, the SELLER is the registered owner of a parcel of land with improvements located at Address of the property for sale in the Philippines and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 000000 containing a total area of LAND AREA IN SQUARE METERS (000sqm) SQUARE METERS, more or less, issued by the Registry of Deeds of City/Municipality;

WHEREAS, the BUYER has offered to buy and the SELLER has agreed to sell the above mentioned property under the terms and conditions herein below set forth;

NOW THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the total sum of THE CONTRACT PRICE FOR THE PROPERTY FOR SALE (P0,000,000.00) Philippine Currency, and of the covenants herein after set forth the SELLER  agrees to sell and the BUYER agree to buy the aforesaid property subject to the following terms and conditions:

The total consideration shall be THE CONTRACT PRICE FOR THE PROPERTY FOR SALE (P0,000,000.00) Philippine Currency, payable through CASH/MANAGERS’ CHECK/WIRE TRANSFER as follows:

1.1. The amount of THE EARNEST MONEY DEPOSIT (P000,000.00) representing earnest money deposit shall be payable upon execution of this Contract to Sell and shall be considered part of the total Contract price.

1.2. The remaining balance amounting to THE REMAINING BALANCE (P0,000,000.00) PESOS Philippine Currency, shall be payable within ­TIME FRAME upon execution of this Contract to Sell.

1.3  In case the BUYERS could not fulfil any of their obligation stated in this Contract To Sell, the earnest money shall be forfeited in favor of the SELLER.

2.    Al pending utility bills, if any, Real Estate Tax up to the time of sale, Capital Gains Tax, Documentary Stamp Tax, shall be for the account of the SELLER.

3.     Notarization fees, Registration Fee, Transfer Fees and all miscellaneous fees and expenses to transfer the certificate of title in the name of the new owner shall be for the account of the SELLER;

4.     Possession to the subject property shall be delivered by the SELLER to the BUYER upon full payment of the total consideration;

5. ADDITIONAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS SUCH AS Delivery of the property shall be given by the SELLER to the BUYER devoid of any religious artefacts, personal belongings and effects, tenants and any toxic/radioactive substances. Etc.


7.    Upon full payment of the total price, the SELLER shall sign and execute a DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE in favour of the BUYER. The SELLER shall likewise execute and/or deliver any and all documents, including but not limited to the original copy of Transfer Certificate of Title, Tax Declaration and all other documents necessary for the transfer of ownership from SELLER to the BUYER. 

8. In case the SELLER could not fulfil any of the obligations stated in this Contract to Sell, the BUYER shall be entitled to a full refund plus 10% interest per month.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have hereunto affixed their signatures, this


_____ day of _______________________ 20________ at ___________________________________, Philippines.


___________________________________                                       ___________________________________


Printed Name and Signature of SELLER                                          Printed Name and Signature of BUYER



 ___________________________________                                       ______________________________________


Printed Name and Signature of 1st Witness                                                Printed Name and Signature of 2nd Witness





_____________________________ )  SS.

BEFORE ME, a Notary Public for and in ________________________________________________________  personally appeared:


Name                                       ID  Number                                         Date/Place Issued


Known to me and to me known to be the same persons who executed the foregoing instrument and acknowledged to me that the same are their free act and voluntary deed.


This instrument, consisting of 2 pages, including the page on which this acknowledgment is written, has been signed on the left margin of each and every page thereof by the concerned parties and their witnesses, and sealed with my notarial seal.


WITNESS  MY HAND AND SEAL on this ______day of _______________________________20__________ at_____________________________.


Notary Public


Doc. No. ……..;

Page No. …….;

Book No. …….;

Series of 20____.