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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.

The Process Of Evicting A Non-Paying Tenant

While you may try to do everything to ensure renting out your property runs smoothly, there are still instances when you need to deal with a non-paying tenant. There might be other grounds for tenant eviction, but non-payment is the most common. Some prefer to create a verbal agreement while others secure a contract. With or without a contract, a tenant who fails to pay for a maximum of three months can be subject for ejectment. However, things are always easier said than done. Here's what you need to know about ejectment:

Grounds and process of ejectment

"Sec.  5.  Grounds for Judicial Ejectment. — Ejectment shall be allowed on the following grounds:

    a.  Subleasing or assignment of lease of residential units in whole or in part, without the written consent of the owner/lessor: Provided, That in case of subleases or assignments executed prior to the approval of this Act, the sublessor/assignor shall have sixty days from the effectivity of this Act within which to obtain the written approval of the owner/lessor or terminate the sublease or assignment.

    b.  Arrears in payment of rent for three (3) months at any one time: Provided, That in case of refusal by the lessor to accept payment of the rental agreed upon, the lessee shall either deposit, by way of consignation, the amount in court, or in a bank in the name of and with notice to the lessor.

    c.  Need of owner/lessor to repossess his property for his own use for the use of any immediate member of his family as a residential unit, such owner or immediate member not being the owner of any other available residential unit: Provided, however, That the period of lease has expired: Provided, further, That the lessor has given the lessee notice three months in advance of the lessor's intention to repossess the property: and Provided, finally, That the owner/lessor or immediate member stays in the residential unit for at least one year, except for justifiable cause.

    d.  Ownership by the lessee of another residential unit which he may use as his residence: Provided, That the lessee shall have been notified by the lessor of the intended ejectment three months in advance.

    e.  Need of the lessor to make necessary repairs of the leased premises which is the subject of an existing order of condemnation by the appropriate administrative authorities concerned in order to make the said premises safe and habitable: Provided, That after said repair, the lessee ejected shall have the right of first refusal of the lease of the same premises.

    f.  Expiration of the period of a written lease contract. "

Exact Change Is Indeed Coming

When you buy something from a store and the cashier or the store owner owes you a few cents, would you take the change given in the form of a candy? To some, a few cents are not that big of a deal, but shortchanging is considered a violation of the law. Perhaps you have also encountered a cashier from a business establishment asking you for a smaller bill, some will immediately search their pockets for some loose coins while others will give the cashier a questioning glance?

If you are in a hurry, you will simply leave an impression of indifference, take the change available to the cashier and forget about the missing cents. Customers who do not have the luxury of time to argue will not be too concerned with getting the exact change. However, with the Republic Act 10909 gaining traction in the Philippine law, shortchanging should be a big no-no. 

No Shortchanging Act

The law will not exempt establishments lacking loose coins or bills. Exact change must be given to the customer. There are also conditions when establishments are encouraged to provide excess change to ensure that the change given to the customer is not less than the amount due. Other alternatives such as giving candies will not be allowed in exchange to loose change. The amount may be small, but this should not be a reason for the customers to allow managers and staff to be spared from giving the exact change regardless of the amount.

The Penalties

If establishments fail to give the exact change to customers, a fine of P500 will be imposed for the first offense. For the second violation, there will be a suspension of business' license for 3 months and an additional fine of P25,000 will be imposed. For the third offense, the license to operate will be revoked and an additional fine of P25,000 will be imposed. The law applies to big and small establishments, even sari-sari stores. In case you purchase something, make sure you demand for exact change.

The Rule Of Procedure For Small Claims Cases

Patience is a virtue for making people pay for what they owe. You will need to remind them over and over again about the unpaid debts, but the result is not always what you expect. There can be times when you will get more lame excuses than payments until you decide to put the issue to rest. The good news is, you can still get paid, thanks to the existence of small claims court.

The Steps For Filing For A Small Claims Case

1. Go to either the first level court of the city where you reside or the first level court of the city where your debtor resides.

2. The first level courts are defined as the Municipal Circuit Trial Courts Municipal Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court and Municipal Trial Courts in Cities.

3. Go to the Office of the Clerk of Court and fill up the Statement of Claim, Certification of Non-Forum Shopping and Information for Plaintiff.

4. A Verified Statement of Claim must be accomplished as plaintiff and the information must be correct.

5. The important documents must also be provided as proof that the loan occurred. This will include the signed contracts by the defendants, promissory notes, bank deposit slips, receipts and checks, affidavits of witnesses and latest demand letter with proof of delivery or proof of receipt.

6. The plaintiff needs to pay a small amount to file the case, which may usually be around P1250.00

"This Rule applies to all actions that are: (a) purely civil in nature where the claim or relief prayed for by the plaintiff is solely for payment/reimbursement of a sum of money, and (b) the civil aspect of criminal actions, either filed prior to the institution of the criminal action, or reserved upon the filing of the criminal action in court, pursuant to Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. These claims or demands may be:For money owed under any of the following:>Contract of lease;

>Contract of loan;

>Contract of services;

>Contract of sale; or

>Contract of mortgage;

For damages arising from:

>Fault or negligence;

>Quasi-contract; or

>Contract;

Enforcement of a barangay amicable settlement or an arbitration award involving money claims covered by this Rule pursuant to Sec. 417 of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the "Local Government Code of 1991."

Explanatory Note: The kinds of cases that can be filed in Small Claims Court vary, but the case must seek money only. For example, a suit cannot be brought in Small Claims Court to force a person or business to fix a damaged good; or to demand fulfillment of a promised obligation which is not purely for money, or to seek money to compensate for pain and suffering. Some of the kinds of cases which are allowed as small claims include the following:

>Actual damage caused to vehicles, other personal property, real property or person;

>Payment or reimbursement for property, deposit, or money loaned;

>Payment for services rendered, insurance claim, rent, commissions, or for goods sold and delivered;

>Money claim pursuant to contact, warranty or agreement; and

>Purely civil action for payment of money covered by bounced or stopped check."

Problems With Property Buyers Encounter

Do you know your legal rights as a buyer? You may not know its importance until you decide on buying a real estate property. There is quite a good number of laws that can protect the homebuyer against unlicensed agents and scammers. Due to the prevalence of scams, more and more buyers are making an effort to equip themselves with knowledge about real estate laws.

Real Estate Agent Insists On A Contract To Sell Instead Of Issuing A Deed Of Sale

More often than not developers issue a Contract to Sell (CTS) when payment has not yet been completed. CTS signifies that the buyer and seller are bound to an exclusive agreement. There are some cases when the buyer can obtain the property's physical possession from the seller and gain full ownership and title once the payment has been completed.

Legal Options For Homebuyers Victimized By Unlicensed Real Estate Agent

These days, buyers gain protection from being duped by unlicensed real estate agents through the Real Estate Service Act. This act requires homebuyers to buy properties from licensed real estate agents only. Licensed real estate agents are registered with the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service.

In the event you have been victimized by scammers, your only recourse is to file fraud-related charges against the broker or agent. For cases when a buyer dealt with registered agents who did not perform their duties, the buyer can report the incident to the Professional Regulation Commission.

Your Rights As A Buyer

For first-time homebuyers, it is important that you demand the developer the property's title once payment has been completed. You also have the right to receive a reimbursement of the amount you have paid in relation to the agreement including the payment for amortization. A developer cannot forfeit any installment payments in favor of the owner or developer.

Miss Paying Monthly Amortization

In case you miss paying your monthly amortization, your developer should allow you to pay the unpaid amount of installment without additional interest if grace period is one month for every year-worth of installments. It is also your developer's obligation to issue a refund in the event the contract was cancelled.

The buyer has the right to sell the rights or assign the payment to another person if they no longer have the capacity to make a payment to the property. The buyer can aso ask a reinstatement of the contract so the account will be updated within the grace period or before the cancellation of contract takes place. These processes must be done by notarial act.

Selling A Property In The Philippines

If you are planning to sell your real estate property in the Philippines, you need to follow the correct procedures to avoid putting yourself into a nightmarish situation. While it does not take rocket science to sell a property, familiarizing yourself with the procedures is a must as there are some legal documents that you need to secure.

1. Sign A Contract of Agreement

The owner or broker will first discuss the terms of the sale, the commission and the fees. It is also necessary to scrutinize the documents to make sure that the land title meets the condition and free from encumbrances, liens and loans.

2. Issue an Authority to Sell

The purpose of the agreement or contract is to bind the broker as the agent of the owner providing the essential information and the amount of commission of the property that will be sold. The contract will also indicate if the owner will bestow upon the exclusive rights of the broker or a non-exclusive authorization to sell the property. The broker will secure the necessary documents before selling the property to ensure that there are no problems concerning the property. The broker will also check if the property is free from encumbrances. An encumbrance means that another person has interest in, right to, or legal liability on the property that either deter the process of transferring the title or diminish the value of the property.

3. Assessment of property by the broker

The broker will check the property as a way of assessing its current market value. It is important for the property to be appraised to determine its actual price. There are several factors that will be taken into account in determining the asset's value such as the area and location of the property.

4. Broker will offer and sell the property

Before a broker can market the property, it is important that the owner agrees on how to market the property. There are also some limitations that should be taken into consideration such as privacy when realising photos or disclosing the location online. Both parties must also decide on how to split the marketing costs such as communication and transportation expenses. Nowadays, the common practice is that the broker shoulders the expenses depend on the amount of the commission.

5. Viewing of the Property

Once the buyers get in touch with the broker or owner, they will proceed with viewing the property. The owner needs to make sure that the property is presentable to add value to the property.

6. Write a Letter of Intent or Offer to Buy

The buyer will also offer a Letter of Intent to the property owner declaring the intention to purchase. More often than not, the Letter of Intent is given at the first stage in documenting a sale of real property.

7. Acceptance of Owner

The owner accepts the Letter of Intent once signed. This indicates acceptance of the terms given by the buyer. Upon acceptance, the seller will be bound to promist not to offer the property to other buyers so long as the buyer does not breach the conditions in the letter.

8. Provide Earnest Money

The earnest money is provided as means of holding the property subject to the buyer's due diligence. It can be forfeited when there is default on the buyer's part. The money can also be used as refundable subject to deductions depending on the agreement that both parties made.

9. Preparation of Legal Documents

The legal documents must be secured in preparation of the transfer of ownership to the buyer.

These documents must be obtained from the Register of Deeds:
•    Certified True Copy of Transfer Certificate of Title ( Land )
•    Certified True Copy of Condominium Certificate of Title ( Unit )
•    Certified True Copy of Condominium ( Parking – if applicable )

The owner or broker must procure these documents from the Assessor's Office:
•    Certified True Copy of Tax Declaration ( Land )
•    Certified True Copy of Tax Declaration ( Improvement / Building )
•    Certified True Copy of Tax Declaration ( Condominium )
•    Certified True Copy of Tax Declaration ( Condominium parking, if applicable )
•    Real Estate Tax Clearance for Current Year
•    Certificate of Non-Improvement if property is bare and without structures such as a house or a building

The Property Owner should also secure the following documents"
•    Certificate Authorizing Registration from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
•    Original Real Estate Tax Receipts – Current Year
•    Lot Plan / Subdivision Plan

A Deed of Absolute sale will be prepared and signed. The seller transfers ownerships of the property to the buyer. The Deed of Absolute Sale should be signed by both parties so it will be considered to be the absolute owner of the property. After which, both parties will proceed with the payment of expenses such as capital gains tax, documentary stamps tax, registration fees and transfer tax. Upon full payment of the purchase price and other expenses, the contact will be signed and ownership will be legally transferred to the buyer. It is important to notarize Deed of Absolute Sale so it will become a public document.

The seller will turn over the original copies of Transfer of Certificate, Condominium Certificate of Title, Tax Declaration, Tax Clearance for both land and improvement, Tax Clearance for condominium unit and parking. The buyer must also obtain a new tax declaration and when the new tax declaration has been released, the former owner's full obligation will be terminated.

Forgery: A Serious and Punishable Offense

An individual commits a crime of forgery if the signature in the negotiable instrument is forged without the consent of the authorized person. Many people have fallen victim to fraudulent transactions despite precautionary measures. Although most people rely heavily on a person’s ability to produce trustworthy documents, individuals, businesses and even political entities are still not spared from the crime of forgery.

Forgery is committed when:

•    a person signs in another’s name with the intent to defraud;
•    a person alters the name, amount or payee’s name with intent to defraud.

Although a crime of forgery is committed, only the forged signature is considered invalid. The instrument and the genuine signatures are still deemed valid. When it comes to payment under a forged instrument, the person whose signature is forged will not be held liable for the fraudulent transaction except for those who are negligent or those who impliedly ratified the forgery. An example of negligent would be leaving your checkbook with an executive assistant. While the assistant have forged your signature, the mere fact that there was neglect on your part will still make you liable if transactions are made through your forged signature.

“Art. 169. How forgery is committed. — The forgery referred to in this section may be committed by any of the following means:

1. By giving to a treasury or bank note or any instrument, payable to bearer or order mentioned therein, the appearance of a true genuine document.
2. By erasing, substituting, counterfeiting or altering by any means the figures, letters, words or signs contained therein.

Section Four. — Falsification of legislative, public, commercial, and privatedocuments, and wireless, telegraph, and telephone message.

Art. 170. Falsification of legislative documents. — The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period and a fine not exceeding P6,000 pesos shall be imposed upon any person who, without proper authority therefor alters any bill, resolution, or ordinance enacted or approved or pending approval by either House of the Legislature or any provincial board or municipal council.

Art. 171. Falsification by public officer, employee or notary or ecclesiastic minister. — The penalty of prision mayor and a fine not to exceed P5,000 pesos shall be imposed upon any public officer, employee, or notary who, taking advantage of his official position, shall falsify a document by committing any of the following acts:

1. Counterfeiting or imitating any handwriting, signature or rubric;
2. Causing it to appear that persons have participated in any act or proceeding when they did not in fact so participate;
3. Attributing to persons who have participated in an act or proceeding statements other than those in fact made by them;
4. Making untruthful statements in a narration of facts;
5. Altering true dates;
6. Making any alteration or intercalation in a genuine document which changes its meaning;
7. Issuing in an authenticated form a document purporting to be a copy of an original document when no such original exists, or including in such a copy a statement contrary to, or different from, that of the genuine original; or
8. Intercalating any instrument or note relative to the issuance thereof in a protocol, registry, or official book.

The same penalty shall be imposed upon any ecclesiastical minister who shall commit any of the offenses enumerated in the preceding paragraphs of this article, with respect to any record or document of such character that its falsification may affect the civil status of persons. “

Landlords And Tenants: Know Your Rights

Disagreements between tenants and landlords are very common in the Philippines. This is why both parties are encouraged to negotiate rent before signing a contract.  While the Rental Reform Act of 2002, which has already expired in 2004 protects the rights of landlords, the law also provides heaps of information to tenants to prevent conflicts especially in terms of payment. While the landlord and tenant can negotiate any deposit they want, it is still necessary for both parties to fulfill the agreements or obligations on the contract. A tenant who enters into a lease contract is usually required to deposit worth 2 to 3 months’ rent. After the end of the tenancy, the deposit is returned one month, but the repairs and unpaid bills will be deducted.

Generally, landlords require one month’s advance rental and two months’ deposit. The deposit is often referred to as security deposit because it will be used for paying the rent for the last month of the occupancy. In most cases, landlords are the ones who will shoulder unpaid bills and repairs.

Duration of Contract and Eviction

If the tenant is still occupying the property 15 days after the lease contract has expired, and no notice has been given by either the landlord or the tenant, it is an implication that the contract has been renewed. Lease contracts can either be oral or written. The landlord has the right to eject a tenant due to the following reasons:

•    Subleasing the unit without the landlord’s written consent;
•    Non-payment of rent for three months;
•    Landlord needs property for personal use;
•    Landlord needs to make necessary repairs, but may notify ejected tenant if still interested in renting the same unit.

The lease agreement can be terminated by the tenant at any time and may also withhold rent payments if the landlord has not made any necessary repairs. A notice of 15 days will be given to the tenants if the unit is condemned for demolition. A case must be filed in court for tenant eviction and within 10 days, the landlord can apply for a permit to reclaim the property. Within 30 days, the court makes a decision and order the Court Sheriff to assist the landlord in claiming the property.

If there are problems regarding tenancy agreement, barangay tribunals are the ones who mediate in such problems. However, unresolved landlord-tenant problems are taken to court, but this can be a long and expensive process. A landlord often applies pressure by influencing the police in evicting a tenant.

Buyers, Beware Of These Real Estate Scams

It is every hardworking Filipino’s dream to own a home. However, there are instances when their hard-earned money goes to waste because of falling victim to real estate scams. While buyers are hoping to provide a decent shelter that their families can roost in, there are people who are after their money. The good news is, buyers can still avoid these scams. Here are some of the common real estate scams that buyers need to avoid.

1.    Double Sale

Double sale of property refers to selling one property to two different people. This scam happens when the first buyer has not registered and transferred the title to their name. The owner will take advantage of the situation by reselling the property. As a result, both buyers will hold the same title under their own names.

2.    Insufficient Disclosure

Real estate agents or developers intentionally provide incomplete information to the prospective buyer. With this scam, the developer may appear to have an attractive offer but due to the insufficient information, prospects will think twice in committing to buying the property.  However, there are buyers who still fall prey to this scam and suffer from hidden charges, title complications and unsatisfactory structural facts.

3.    Fake Agents

Real estate agent posers will use the Internet to trick buyers into believing that they are selling affordable properties. More often than not, fake agents will create a website where listings are copied from a legitimate site. They will provide believable information to prospects and once buyers agree to paying the initial deposit, these fake agents will mysteriously disappear.

4.    Property Title Fraud

Everybody wants to get a great value for money and an agent that offers an affordable property will surely be appealing to prospects. Unfortunately, these affordable properties are non-existent. Once the security deposit is given to the fake agents, buyers will get fake property title in return.

How to avoid real estate scams?

•    Be sure that the developer or agent has a license to sell. This can be verified through Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board.

•    Ask the agent to visit the project site and the materials used to build the property.

•    Never attempt to sign blank Contract to Sell forms.

•    If still in doubt, consult a trusted lawyer to help you with accomplishing paperwork and signing any contract.

•    Purchase a property from a reputable developer with solid history of delivering properties in a timely manner and without compromising on quality.

•    For developers financing through Pag-Ibig Fund, buyers can verify if the property has been mortgaged with the Fund.

•    The buyer can also verify authenticity of the land title with the Register of Deeds.

•    It is safe to enter into a contract if the project already has a License to Sell.

•    Engage services of a licensed broker especially for pre selling projects.

•    Ask for official receipts when dealing with the owner or developer.

How To Prevent Falling Prey To Lending Schemes?

When you are faced with financial difficulties and you have already exhausted all of your financial resources, the next step you are going to take is to turn to lending companies. When it comes to taking out a loan, the process can be long, tedious and stressful. You do not get the money right off the bat as you have to secure essential documents. Once you have complied with the requirements, you have to wait for the final verdict and the effort will pay off if your loan application has been approved. However, you need to start from scratch if your loan application has been declined. While it is not easy to get the approval of legitimate lending company, resorting to loan sharks (5-6) that leave you with no choice but to agree to excessive interest rates is not going to be a good option either.

Although micro financing has already extended a “helping hand” to people who are in need of instant cash, the thought of shouldering 20% interest is way too much. Due to the fact that not all businesses or small entrepreneurs earn reasonable income, a huge chunk of their money is intended for paying the loan’s interest. Even if the borrowers have the right to file charges due to unconscionable interest rates, they still decide to accept the situation.  One of the requirements for getting an approval for your bank loan applications is by building your credibility. It might seem like a simple step but it will not be difficult for banks to approve your loan application if you have the ability to pay them. What better way to start building your credibility than opening your own savings account.

It also pays off to be keen on selecting the lending company you should put your trust in. Just because you need extra spending money does not necessarily mean you should continue to tread upon an unfamiliar territory without arming yourself with information. You can drown yourself in a cesspool of debt if you just allow yourself to be tricked into believing that these financial trolls are indeed your “savior” in times of need. As for lending companies, RA 9474 or Lending Company Regulation Act of 2007 provides information on the minimum requirements and standards they need to comply with.

“SEC. 6. Citizenship Requirements. - Upon the effectivity of this Act, at least a majority of the voting capital stock shall be owned by citizens of the Philippines.

The percentage of foreign-owned voting stock in any lending company existing prior to the effectivity of this Act, if such percentage is in excess of forty-nine percent (49%) of the voting stock, shall not be increased but may be reduced and, once reduced, shall not be increased thereafter beyond forty-nine percent (49%) of the voting stock of the lending company. The percentage of foreign-owned voting stocks in any lending company shall be determined by the citizenship of the individual stockholders. In the case of corporations owning shares in a lending company, the citizenship of the individual owners of voting stock in such corporations shall be the basis in the computation of the percentage.

No foreign national may be allowed to own stock unless the country of which he is a national accords reciprocal rights to Filipinos.

SEC. 7. Amount and Charges on Loans. - A lending company may grant loans in such amounts and reasonable interest rates and charges as may be agreed upon between the lending company and the debtor: Provided, That the agreement shall be in compliance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 3765, otherwise known as the "Truth in Lending Act" and Republic Act 7394, otherwise known as the "Consumer Act of the Philippines": Provided, further, That the Monetary Board, in consultation with the SEC and the industry, may prescribe such interest rate as may be warranted by prevailing economic and social conditions.

SEC. 8. Maintenance of Books of Accounts and Records. - Every lending company shall maintain books of accounts and records as may be required by the SEC and prescribed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and other government agencies. In case a lending company engages in other businesses, it shall maintain separate books of accounts for these businesses.

The Manual of Accounts prescribed by the BSP for lending investors shall continue to be adopted by lending companies for uniform recording and reporting of their operations, until a new Manual of Accounts shall have been prescribed by the SEC.

It shall issue the appropriate instruments and documents to the parties concerned to evidence its lending and borrowing transactions.”

The Legal Impact Of Notarized Documents

People enter into an agreement for various reasons such as buying, selling or rendering services. Contracts contain relevant agreements which both parties should perform. However, there are instances when one of the contracting parties ends up dealing with legal disputes because of one essential element that has been taken for granted: notarization.  Does notarization bear any weight on the contract? While merely signing a contract binds a person into an agreement, a contract that bears the signature of contracting parties may not suffice in spite the presence of consent elements. 

The importance of notarization

Notarization has a legal impact on the contract as it converts a private document to a public instrument. Agreements on the contract are enforceable once the document is notarized because it is a strong proof of the document’s authenticity. However, basic requirements must also be observed in notarizing documents. The document is also rendered admissible in court as tangible evidence once it is notarized. Notarization also prevents fraud among legal documents and contracts. The documents that often require notarization are Power of Attorney, medical documents, sworn statements, affidavits, deeds, wills and trusts.

It is stated under Section 1 of Public Act No. 2103, known as the Notarial Law that, ““An instrument or document shall be considered authentic if the acknowledgment is made before a notary public or an officer duly authorized by law of the country to take acknowledgments of instruments or documents in the place where the act is done. The notary public or the officer taking the acknowledgment shall certify that the person acknowledging the instrument or document is known to him and that he is the same person who executed it, and acknowledged that the same is his free act and deed. The certificate shall be made under his official seal, if he is by law required to keep a seal, and if not, his certificate shall so state.”

The process

1.    The unsigned document must be brought to the notary public. It is important to note that the document must not be signed in advance as the notary public will not entertain signed documents without their presence. Proper identification must be secured to ensure that notary public can verify your identity.  Proofs of identity include TIN, NBI Clearance and SSS ID.

2.    Upon verifying your identity, the notary public will also check your documents. There are instances when notary publics prepare document for you to sign. This step is usually required in the case of affidavits.

3.    Once identification and document are clear, you will be asked to sign the document. You will also be observed if you are signing under duress or if another person is forcing you to sign the document against your will.

4.    You should also have one credible witness who is personally known to either the individual signing the document or the notary public.

5.    The transaction will be recorded on the notary’s journal. The record will show the date, place and other essential details of the transaction.

6.    If the requirements and process have been fulfilled, the notary will stamp the document with an official public seal or stamp to prove that your document is notarized. The payment for notarization will vary from location to location.

Important Things To Remember When Dealing With A Broker

Whether you are selling your home or purchasing a new one, it pays to transact with a licensed real estate broker for a smoother transaction. It might not seem like a big deal but there are people who have their own share of horror stories due to dealing with real estate brokers who are not licensed.

A broker can either make your life easier or a living hell once transactions go wrong. Buying and selling a real property entails risks when a real estate broker is not licensed. With a professional license, a buyer or seller is protected because these real estate brokers have a license to protect. The real estate brokers who fail to abide by the law will have their license revoked. A buyer or seller can verify if a real estate broker is licensed by visiting PRC’s official website.

“Section 29. Prohibition Against the Unauthorized Practice of Real Estate Service. - No person shall practice or offer to practice real estate service in the Philippines or offer himself/herself as real estate service practitioner, or use the title, word, letter, figure or any sign tending to convey the impression that one is a real estate service practitioner, or advertise or indicate in any manner whatsoever that one is qualified to practice the profession, or be appointed as real property appraiser or assessor in any national government entity or local government unit, unless he/she has satisfactorily passed the licensure examination given by the Board, except as otherwise provided in this Act, a holder of a valid certificate of registration, and professional identification card or a valid special/temporary permit duly issued to him/her by the Board and the Commission, and in the case of real estate brokers and private appraisers, they have paid the required bond as hereto provided.

Section 30. Positions in Government Requiring the Services of Registered and Licensed Real Estate Service Practitioners. - Within three (3) years from the effectivity of this Act, all existing and new positions in the national and local governments, whether career, permanent, temporary or contractual, and primarily requiring the services of any real estate service practitioner, shall be filled only by registered and licensed real estate service practitioners.
All incumbent assessors holding permanent appointments shall continue to perform their functions without need for re appointment and without diminution of status, rank and salary grade, and shall enjoy security of tenure. However, they may not be promoted to a higher position until they meet the qualification requirements of that higher position as herein prescribed. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to reduce any benefit, interest, or right enjoyed by the incumbents at the time of the enactment of this Act. The appointing authority shall exercise his power to appoint the assessor in accordance with the provisions of this Act only when a vacancy occurs.”

Two Essential Laws To Know Before Purchasing A Land In The Philippines

When it comes to purchasing a piece of land in the Philippines, a buyer needs to arm himself with sufficient knowledge, which includes knowing the essential laws. There are two laws that a buyer must keep in mind to ensure smooth and stress-free transaction.

The Subdivision and Condominium Buyer’s Protective Decree or Presidential Decree No. 957:

“17: Registration
All contracts to sell, deeds of sale and other similar instruments relative to the sale or conveyance of the subdivision lots and condominium units, whether or not the purchase price is paid in full, shall be registered by the seller in the office of the Register of Deeds of the province or city where the property is situated.

18: Mortgages
No mortgage on any unit or lot shall be made by the owner or developer without prior written approval of the authority . Such approval shall not be granted unless it is shown that the proceeds of the mortgage loan shall be used for the development of the condominium or subdivision project and effective measures have been provided to ensure such utilization. The loan value of each lot or unit covered by the mortgage shall be determined and the buyer thereof, if any, shall be notified before the release of the loan.

The buyer may, at his option, pay his installment for the lot or unit directly to the mortgage who shall apply the payments to the corresponding mortgages indebtedness secured by the particular lot or unit being paid for with a view to enabling said buyer to obtain title over the lot or unit promptly after full payment thereof.

19: Advertisements
Advertisements that may be made by the owner or developer through newspaper, radio, television, leaflets, circular or any other form about the subdivision or the condominium or its operations or activities must reflect the real facts and must be presented in such manner that will not tend to mislead or deceive the public.

The owner or developer shall be answerable and liable for the facilities, improvements, infrastructures or other forms of development represented or promised in brochures advertisements and other sales propaganda disseminated by the owner or developer or his agents and the same shall form part of the sales warranties enforceable against said owner or developer, jointly and severally. Failure to comply with these warranties shall also be punishable in accordance with the penalties provided for in this Decree.

24: non-forfeiture of payments
No installment payment made by a buyer in a new or existing subdivision or condominium project for the lot or unit he contracted to buy shall be forfeited in favor of the owner or developer when the buyer, after due notice to the owner or developer and clearance from the Board desists from further payment due to the failure of the owner or developer to develop the project according to the approved plans and within the time limit for complying with the same.

Such buyer may at his option be reimbursed the total amount paid including amortization interests but excluding delinquency interests, with interest thereon at the legal rate.”

The Realty Installment Buyer Act or Republic Act 6552:

“Section 3. In all transactions or contracts involving the sale or financing of real estate on installment payments, including residential condominium apartments but excluding industrial lots, commercial buildings and sales to tenants under Republic Act Numbered Thirty-eight hundred forty-four, as amended by Republic Act Numbered Sixty-three hundred eighty-nine, where the buyer has paid at least two years of installments, the buyer is entitled to the following rights in case he defaults in the payment of succeeding installments:

(a) To pay, without additional interest, the unpaid installments due within the total grace period earned by him which is hereby fixed at the rate of one month grace period for every one year of installment payments made: Provided, That this right shall be exercised by the buyer only once in every five years of the life of the contract and its extensions, if any.

(b) If the contract is canceled, the seller shall refund to the buyer the cash surrender value of the payments on the property equivalent to fifty per cent of the total payments made, and, after five years of installments, an additional five per cent every year but not to exceed ninety per cent of the total payments made: Provided, That the actual cancellation of the contract shall take place after thirty days from receipt by the buyer of the notice of cancellation or the demand for rescission of the contract by a notarial act and upon full payment of the cash surrender value to the buyer.”

Condominiums: Is Ownership A Lifetime Guarantee?

Purchasing a condominium is one of the wise investments that a person may consider, but there are still some lingering questions on the value of condo units after 50 years. Things can get unpredictable when it comes to purchasing a property. A place that is considered to be a real estate hotspot at present may be of no value in the coming years. This is why some people who want to invest their money in a condominium are a little bit hesitant because of the risks involved.

Truth be told, structures and buildings are not damage-proof. Once they are exposed to harsh elements such as heavy rains and strong winds, they will become more prone to damage. When it comes to determining the value of a condominium, the location is an important factor to consider.  Even locations deemed as the central business district is not immune to urban decay. If the location shows some inevitable signs of aging, there can be a time when the building you are residing will be demolished and this is a harsh reality every condo owner needs to face and this is where most of potential buyers’ concerns are coming from. Your mind might be clouded with doubts and fears due to preconceived notions about buying a condo unit, but before you get completely discouraged, here are some answers to common questions about owning a condo unit.

Are there limitations on the ownership in a condo project?

Unlike landed properties, homeowners have limited entitlement when it comes to a condominium project. Homeowners only possess the specific dwellings, and the land where the building stands is not part of the homeowner’s entitlement. In addition, they do not hold exclusive ownership to the common areas of a condominium. Condominium corporation is composed of shareholders, who happen to be the individual unit owners. The equation for condominium corporation is that one unit is equal to one share.

Is there a law that tackles condominium corporation?

The Republic Act No. 4726 or the Condominium Act is a law that provides details of the condominium ownership. Although the Act does not necessarily talk about foreign buyers, it can serve as a buying guide for foreigners who want to buy into a corporation. Since foreigners are prohibited to own land in the Philippines, their only option is a condo project. However, foreign ownership must not exceed 40 percent.

Does the decision of shareholders need to be in unison?

Since a condominium corporation is profit-oriented, issues within a condominium must be decided through the shareholders’ votes. Whether issues are as mundane as having the common areas repainted, the shareholders have to decide in unison.

Does a condominium building have a lifespan?

The law does not specifically indicate that a condo building becomes obsolete after 50 years. However, Section 8c implies: “That the project has been in existence in excess of fifty years, that it is obsolete and uneconomic, and that condominium owners holding in aggregate more than fifty percent interest in the common areas are opposed to repair or restoration or remodeling or modernizing of the project”

It is up to the shareholders to decide if the building will be demolished. There are two options that shareholders to the condominium corporation can consider: 1. Sell the land; 2. Make a deal with the original developer.

While buying a condominium is not discouraged, a buyer must keep in mind that ownership of a condominium is limited compared to a landed property. The decision to buy a condominium will depend on the buyer’s preferences and the benefits they can obtain from a condominium such as convenience.

Investment Scams: Why Is This Monkey Business Lucrative?

It is no secret that investment predators continue to victimize clients who are attracted to the idea of getting hefty returns from little investments. Who wouldn’t? The process is easy and you do not need to devote your time to gain awesome return on investment. However, the trust that clients put in this monkey business cannot be regained. Some clients have set their hard-earned money aside to secure their future, but in a blink of an eye, the money they invested just mysteriously disappears.

On March 7, 2016, 15 executives of a trading corporation faced charges of syndicated estafa. The executives tricked clients into investing, completely clueless about the dangers ahead of them. The clients were blinded by the executives' promise of returns on their investment, but those promises were never fulfilled. These executives have attracted potential clients because of a guaranteed return, which is obviously, too good to be true. People who wish to enter into this kind of investment must think twice especially when the information is limited or deceptive. If you have an attractive business offer that seems to provide you the best way to invest your money, you need to stop and think. Visit Securities and Exchange Commission so you can obtain useful information on the proper way to invest your money and the companies you need to avoid.

The 15 Executives Violated Republic Act No. 8799 Or The Securities Regulation Code:

“PROTECTION OF SHAREHOLDERS INTERESTS
Section 19. Tender Offers. – Any person or group of persons acting in concert who intends to acquire at least 15% of any class of any equity security of a listed corporation of any class of any equity security of a corporation with assets of at least fifty million pesos (50,000,000.00) and having two hundred(200) or more stockholders at least one hundred shares each or who intends to acquire at least thirty percent(30%) of such equity over a period of twelve months(12) shall make a tender offer to stockholders by filling with the Commission a declaration to that effect; and furnish the issuer, a statement containing such of the information required in Section 17 of this Code as the Commission may prescribe. Such person or group of persons shall publish all request or invitations or tender offer or requesting such tender offers subsequent to the initial solicitation or request shall contain such information as the Commission may prescribe, and shall be filed with the Commission and sent to the issuer not alter than the time copies of such materials are first published or sent or given to security holders.

(a) Any solicitation or recommendation to the holders of such a security to accept or reject a tender offer or request or invitation for tenders shall be made in accordance with such rules and regulations as may be prescribe.

(b) Securities deposited pursuant to a tender offer or request or invitation for tenders may be withdrawn by or on behalf of the depositor at any time throughout the period that tender offer remains open and if the securities deposited have not been previously accepted for payment, and at any time after sixty (60) days from the date of the original tender offer to request or invitation, except as the Commission may otherwise prescribe.

(c) Where the securities offered exceed that which person or group of persons is bound or willing to take up and pay for, the securities that are subject of the tender offers shall be taken up us nearly as may be pro data, disregarding fractions, according to the number of securities deposited to each depositor. The provision of this subject shall also apply to securities deposited within ten (10) days after notice of increase in the consideration offered to security holders, as described in paragraph (e) of this subsection, is first published or sent or given to security holders.

(d) Where any person varies the terms of a tender offer or request or invitation for tenders before the expiration thereof by increasing the consideration offered to holders of such securities, such person shall pay the increased consideration to each security holder whose securities are taken up and paid for whether or not such securities have been taken up by such person before the variation of the tender offer or request or invitation.

19.2. It shall be lawful for any person to make any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state any material fact necessary in order to make the statements made in the light of the circumstances under which they are made, not mis-leading, or to engaged to any fraudulent, deceptive or manipulative acts or practices, in connection with any tender offer or request or invitation for tenders, or any solicitation for any security holders in opposition to or in favor of any such favor of any such offer, request, or invitation. The Commission shall, for the purposes of this subsection, define and prescribe means reasonably designed to prevent, such acts and practices as are fraudulent, deceptive and manipulative.”

Some Key Points When Buying A Property In The Philippines

Purchasing a property can be risky if you are completely clueless about the process that comes with it. If you think handing the money to the developer or property owner entitles you of a piece of land, you may have to obtain additional information because these days, it is easy to be duped by people who are preying on innocent real estate buyers. Just because you are a first-time buyer does not necessarily mean you should allow yourself to fall victim to scams. When buying a property, you can talk directly to the owner or transact with a developer. Acquiring a land may not be a walk in the park for some, if the process is not clear. The first step that a buyer needs to secure when buying a property from individual owners is to ensure that the Certificate of Title is genuine. Anyone can be tricked into believing that a Certificate of Title is genuine, but when you are extra careful, you can save yourself from the trouble and inconvenience.

To check whether the Certificate of Title is genuine, you need to secure a certified true copy of the title from the Register of Deeds. Before you can secure a certified true copy of the Title, you need to request for the title’s photocopy from the seller. Unless discussed, you have to see to it that the title is clean or free from any transaction that can lead to a problem with acquiring the land in the future. Transactions on that transpire on the land are annotated as a rule of thumb. If there are no annotations on the page, then the title is clean.

You will also have to validate at the Register of Deeds if the land you are planning to buy coincides with the description on the Title. There are technical descriptions in the title and a surveyor can help you out in checking if the description matches. Yearly real estate taxes must also be paid and updated. Once a property is sold, the government will impose quarterly payment of taxes. The payment can be negotiated by the seller and buyer. Make sure the sellers are the owner of the property. You may request for the sellers’ valid IDs so you can check if it matches the name in the title. Always verify information in the original title. You may also validate with authority figures if the sellers are the true owners of the property. If you are going to buy a property, which is not a residential subdivision such as beach lot, or raw land, you need to check with the DENR to know about the regulated use of the land.

Essential Legal Procedures In Transfer Of Title:

•    Once the owner and buyer agree on sale of a property, a Deed of Absolute Sales (DOAS) will be created and notarized through a lawyer.

•    It is necessary to secure a Land Tax Declaration from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and submit it to the city or municipal Assessor’s office.

•    The buyer will be the one to pay for the real estate tax to the City Treasurer’s Office.

•    The property’s market value will be assessed in the Assessor’s office.

•    The buyer pays the Transfer taxes to the Assessor’s office.

•    Documentary Stamp tax and Capital Gains tax will be paid to BIR.

•    The old title will be cancelled by the Registry of Deeds (RD) and the new one bearing the name of the buyer will be issued.

•    The buyer or the new owner obtains a photocopy of the new title and secures tax declaration from the Assessor’s office.

Free Yourself From The Shackles Of Credit Card Debt

Some people often say that credit cards are only intended for responsible adults who can handle finances properly. Without a doubt, credit cards offer convenience as you do not have to bring cash to pay for your purchases. However, this plastic money can show its sharp fangs and talons to those who are unable to make timely payments. Yes, it is a harmless card that provides you the privilege to make cashless payment, but you can be a slave to debt if you are not a responsible credit card holder. Some may think that the state of being indebted is a humiliating experience, but the truth is, it is a humbling experience as it teaches you one valuable lesson that can make you a better person if and only if you learn from it.

Credit card holders who are being harassed by collectors are a scenario that does not happen once in a super blue moon. There are lots of horror stories involving a credit card holder and a collection agency and if you do not know your rights as a cardholder, the experience can be debilitating. If you have received incessant calls demanding of a payment for your overdue credit card bills, take a deep breath and heave a sigh of relief as it is not the end of the world.

You do not have to make yourself suffer just because of a credit card debt. You can still become debt-free provided, you take full responsibility for mishandling your credit card finances. Some collectors may contact the credit card holder in the wee hours of the morning or late at night just to make the person pay the past due amount. Unless the cardholder has given permission to contact them during these times, calling the cardholder at inconvenient times is prohibited. This violation is under BSP Circular No. 702, Series of 2010.

Under Section 3 and 4 of the circular, the credit companies should do the following:

“1. notify the card holder in writing of the endorsement of the collection to an agency at least seven days before the actual endorsement;

2. give the defaulting credit card holder the name of the agent assigned to the account once they have endorsed the collection to a third-party;

3. change all disclosure documents and marketing materials so that they are printed in plain language and in bold black letters against a white background using the Arial font and a minimum 12 point font size. “

The consumer protection also indicates that a cardholder should also have the option to take advantage of various payment options. If the cardholder cannot pay the debt in full, other repayment plans should be available to them.

Credit card companies who fail to observe the procedures will receive the following sanctions:

“ First offense: Reprimand for the directors/officers responsible for the violation.

Second offense: Disqualification of the bank concerned from the credit facilities of the BSP except as may be allowed under Section 84 of R.A. No. 7653 (“New Central Bank Act”).

Subsequent offenses:

Prohibition on the bank concerned from the extension of additional credit accommodation against personal security; and
Penalties and sanctions under Sections 36 and 37 of RA 7653”

What Every Tenant And Landlord Should Know About Rental Contracts In The Philippines?

Have you ever been told not to sign a contract without taking time to read the terms and conditions? While every contract is created in good faith, there are instances when conditions are not something that every tenant can agree on. Landlords and tenants may have verbal agreements, but these can be reversed in a written contract. Before signing a contract, take time to read the fine print and getting a property lawyer to help you understand the terms and conditions will also be a wise move. A contract is essential for both short-term and long-term rentals. It binds agreements and protects both parties in the event the contract is breached.

Before a tenant can rent a residential property, landlords will require a deposit. This is often referred to as security deposits. In most cases, the rules for security deposits are almost similar in many countries. The tenant is required to pay a fixed amount, which will be used for repairing damages that the tenant incurs. However, the landlord will pay the deposit back if there is no damage to the property.  Unfortunately, there is no way to prove that a tenant has left the property damage-free unless pictures were taken. This is why tenants must make an effort to take pictures when moving in as a way of documenting any damage that is already present prior to occupying the property. You can present the proof once the landlord inspects the rental property.

Aside from deposits, another area of concern for tenants is the security of the rental property. While this can be pretty subjective especially when this is based on the location where the property is situated, a tenant always looks for a property that can ensure their safety. To reduce the chances of being robbed, it is necessary to check the security measures of your prospective rental location. More often than not, condos are equipped with security cameras to closely monitor day-to-day activities.

In the previous years, tenants are protected by Rent Control Act of 2009, but this act has already expired on December 31, 2015.  Reading and understanding the elements of contracts are the tenant's and landlord's line of defense.

Vital Elements Of A Rental Contract

•    Responsible parties. All tenants or lessees must be listed to ensure that all the adult individuals on the contract are jointly liable for breach of contract.

•    Payment and deposit. The contract must also indicate all monetary provisions including the rental amount and the security deposit. The frequency of payment and the acceptable modes of payment must be included.

•    Summary of fees. Other fees must be outlined and the parties responsible for each should also be indicated.

•    Rules, limitations, policies and disclaimers. As a landlord, policies on pets, sub-letting and allowing visitors should be clearly stated. This way, the lessees are not going to feign ignorance in case issues related to rental agreements arise.

What You Need To Know Before Investing In A Condominium Unit?

People belonging to the working class often consider investing in a piece of real estate such as a condominium unit because of its flexible payment schemes that make everyone’s dream of owning a real estate property a reality. As you flip through the pages of the developer’s brochures or magazines, you are left in awe as the units epitomize the kind of modern life you want to live.

The price range of these condo units vary from location to location and while these infrastructures make a great investment, there are condo unit owners who had their own share of not-so-pleasant experiences of buying a condo unit.

What can be worse than condos that do not have parking slots? Some owners have to buy a separate lot that can accommodate their vehicle and this means shelling out vast amounts of money. Developers often overlook this one essential space that makes living in a condo more comfortable and hassle-free. Condo unit owners are not only ranting about the lack of parking slots but lost deposits as well.

Buying a condominium unit can be very tedious as you need to go through all kinds of problems and dealing with the agent is no exception. Finding out about lost deposits can burst one’s bubbles. This is why, buyers make it a point to follow up on the agent or track their purchase. These are just a few issues associated with buying a condo unit let alone living in it.

Republic Act No. 4726 Or The Condominium Act Is One Of The Laws Related To Condominium Ownership:

“Sec. 2. A condominium is an interest in real property consisting of separate interest in a unit in a residential, industrial or commercial building and an undivided interest in common, directly or indirectly, in the land on which it is located and in other common areas of the building. A condominium may include, in addition, a separate interest in other portions of such real property. Title to the common areas, including the land, or the appurtenant interests in such areas, may be held by a corporation specially formed for the purpose (hereinafter known as the "condominium corporation") in which the holders of separate interest shall automatically be members or shareholders, to the exclusion of others, in proportion to the appurtenant interest of their respective units in the common areas.”

APEC: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

This year, the Philippines hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and while it aimed to foster camaraderie and unity among participating nations, it continues to torment Juan Dela Cruz as though a daily dose of traffic woes is not enough to show the worsening traffic situation in the country.  People has taken their litany of complaints to social media with hashtags #APECfail, #APECtado, #APECtraffic and you do not need a regular update of the traffic situation because the status updates you get in rapid succession are enough to describe the horrifying truth that Leaders are so desperate to hide. 

It was a week filled with pretense as the government leaders tried to put their best foot forward. It only takes a week to hide the vicious cycle and the harsh truth,  that is poverty. It continues to plague the country, but in just a matter of weeks, the homeless families were taken off the streets of Metro Manila. They were provided with a dingy shelter to roost in so the city will look “pleasing” to the eyes of foreign visitors. 

This goes to show that everyone in the government office has an active participation in the preparation for APEC meeting from November 17 to 20 and with that said, the government claimed they have not ordered flight cancellations as it was the ‘call of the airlines’. According to Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo, flight cancellations can be detrimental to the economy. Acting Metro Manila Authority head Emerson Carlos said that measures will be put in place to ensure that major roads are passable for APEC delegates. From a bird’s eye view, you can clearly see the huge difference between the roads intended for APEC delegates and the roads for the locals. 

November 18 and 19 has also been declared special non-working days and the following pay rules are observed upon issuing Labor Advisory No. 14 of 2015 by Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz.

“If the employee did not work:

He/she will not be paid, unless there is a favourable company policy, practice, or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) grantingpayment of wages on 17-20 November; and

When the employee has accrued leave credits, he/she may be allowed to utilize such leave so that he/she will have compensation on said days.

If the employee worked:

No additional pay is given to the employee, but only their salary on said day.”

“The following pay rules shall apply for private sector workers in NCR from 18 to 19 November 2015:

If the employee did not work, the “no-work, no-pay” principle shall apply, unless there is a favorable company policy, practice, or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) granting payment on a special day;

If the employee worked, he or she shall be paid an additional 30 percent of his or her daily rate on the first eight hours of work [(daily rate x 130 percent) + COLA];

If the employee worked in excess of 8 hours (overtime work), he or she shall be paid an additional 30 percent of his or her hourly rate on said day (hourly rate of the basic daily wage x 130 percent x 130 percent x number of hours worked);

If the employee worked during a special day that also falls on his or her rest day, he or she shall be paid an additional 50 percent of his or her daily rate on the first 8 hours of work [(daily rate x 150 percent) + COLA];

If the employee worked in excess of 8 hours (overtime work) during a special day that also falls on his or her rest day, he or she shall be paid an additional 30 percent of his or her hourly rate on said day (hourly rate of the basic daily wage x 150 percent x 130 percent x number of hours worked).”

Bureau Of Customs And The Tighter Rules Being Imposed On Balikbayan Boxes

For Pinoys who have family members or relatives abroad, balikbayan boxes make up for the absence of the person working abroad. It takes months before the boxes can be filled with the family member’s favorite things. Without a doubt, the balikbayan boxes are a tangible sign of the Overseas Filipino Workers’ love for the family members. With the most recent announcement on the stricter rules and regulations imposed by Bureau of Customs, OFWs and their families could not help but go ballistic on the revised rules.

The BOC’s rules and regulations subject balikbayan boxes to 100% physical examination. However, not all balikbayan boxes will be placed under alert. The boxes that have been deemed to have violated the law on importing articles will be brought to the authorized area for examination or inspection. 

Under Section 105 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), the following items cannot be brought into the Philippines:

• Coffee

• Used clothing and rags

• Toy guns

• Onions, potatoes, cabbages, garlic

The following commodities are prohibited to be brought into the Philippines:

• Marijuana, opium or any type of synthetic drugs or narcotics;

• Roulette wheels, loaded dice, marked cards, gambling outfits, apparatus, machines or mechanical devices used in gambling;

• Opium pipes;

• Tickets for lottery and sweepstakes except those authorized by the Philippines government, advertisement thereof, and list of drawings therein;

• Dynamite, ammunition, gunpowder and other explosives such as fire-arms and weapons of war, and parts thereof, except when they are authorised by law;

• Articles, drugs, instruments, substances designed, intended or adapted for producing unlawful abortion, or any printed matter which describes or advertises or gives directly or indirectly information regarding where, how or by whom unlawful abortion produced;

• Written or printed articles in any form containing any matter advocating or inciting treason, or rebellion, insurrection, sedition or subversion against the government of the Philippines, or forcible resistance to any law of the Philippines;

• Written or printed articles, negatives or cinematographic film, photographs, engravings, lithographs, paintings, objects, drawings or other representation of an obscene or immoral character;

• All other articles or part thereof, the importation of which is prohibited by law or rules and regulation issued by competent authority.

The physical examination of balikbayan boxes are in accordance with Section 3604 of the TCCP. The revised rules and regulations are also said to put a lid on violations made by individuals who use balikbayan boxes to break the law such as bringing thousands of anti-anxiety drugs, misdeclared as food supplements into the Philippines. 

All boxes are expected to undergo mandatory x-ray and K-9 examination at no cost to the person who sent it. Once there are derogatory findings, the physical inspection of goods will be considered. 



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