Attorneys of the Philippines Legal News

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All You Need To Know About Employee Compensation For Death, Illness And Personal Injuries

Accidents can happen in the workplace. These accidents can cause a personal injury, which may cause an employee to rest for a few days or months until they are capable of nursing themselves back to health. If such employment caused personal injury or illness, is the employer going to pay compensation to the employee? There are many questions that linger in an employee's mind as some workers are not properly compensated. Act. No. 3428 prescribes the compensation, which will be received by employees for illness, personal injuries and even death if these are contracted in the performance of the workers' duties.

Sec. 2. Grounds for Compensation. — When any employee receives a personal injury from any accident due to and in the pursuance of the employment, or contracts any illness directly caused by such employment or the result of the nature of such employment, his employer shall pay compensation in the sums and to the persons hereinafter specified.

Sec. 3. Applicable to Government. — This Act shall also be applicable to the employees and laborers of the Insular Government and of the governments of the provinces, municipalities and all other political subdivisions of the Philippine Islands, employed in the industrial concerns of the Government and in public works.

Sec. 4. Injuries not Covered. — Compensation shall not be allowed for injuries caused (1) by the voluntary intent of the employee to inflict such injury upon himself or another person; (2) by drunkenness on the part of the laborer who had the accident; (3) by notorious negligence of the same.

Sec. 5. Exclusive Right to Compensation. — The right and remedies granted by this Act to an employee by reason of a personal injury entitling him to compensation shall exclude all other rights and remedies accruing to the employee, his personal representatives, dependents or nearest of kin against the employer under the Civil Code and other laws, because of said injury.

Employers contracting laborers in the Philippine Islands for work outside the same may stipulate with such laborers that the remedies prescribed by this Act shall apply exclusively to injuries received outside the Islands through accidents happening in and during the performance of the duties of the employment; and all service contracts made in the manner prescribed in this section shall be presumed to include such agreement.

Sec. 6. Liability of Third Parties. — In case an employee suffers an injury for which compensation is due under this Act by any other person besides his employer, it shall be optional with such injured employee either to claim compensation from his employer, under this Act, or sue such other person for damages, in accordance with law; and in case compensation is claimed and allowed in accordance with this Act, the employer who paid such compensation or was found liable to pay the same, shall succeed the injured employee to the right of recovering from such person what he paid: Provided, That in case the employer recovers from such third person damages in excess of those paid or allowed under this Act, such excess shall be delivered to the injured employee or any other person entitled thereto, after deduction of the expenses of the employer and the cost of the proceedings. The sum paid by the employer for compensation or the amount of compensation to which the employee or his dependents are entitled, shall not be admissible as evidence in any damage suit or action.

Sec. 7. Contract Prohibited. — Any contract, regulation, or device of any sort intended to exempt the employer from all or part of the liability created by this Act shall be null and void.

Sec. 8. Death Benefit. — If the injury received by the employee causes his death within six months from the date of such injury, the employer shall pay the compensation to the persons entitled thereto, and in case there should be none, he shall pay to the person representing the deceased employee the burial expenses, not to exceed one hundred pesos, and shall also pay to or for the following persons, in the order of priority and during the periods hereinafter set forth, a weekly compensation equivalent to the following percentages of the average weekly wages of the employee, as determined in section nineteen of this Act:

(a) To the dependent widow or widower, in case there are no dependent children, forty-five per centum.

(b) To the dependent widow or widower in case there are one or two dependent children, fifty per centum, and if there are three or more dependent children, sixty per centum.

(c) If there is no dependent widow or widower, but a dependent child or children, such child or children shall be paid thirty per centum, with ten per centum additional for each child in excess of two, up to a maximum of fifty per centum, which shall be distributed in equal shares among the children if there be more than one.

(d) If there are no dependent widow, widower, or children, but there is a dependent father or mother, forty per centum to the father or mother if totally dependent, or twenty-five per centum if partly dependent, and if both parents are dependent, each shall be paid one-half of such compensation. If there is no parent, but dependent grandparents, the same compensation shall be paid as to a father or mother.

(e) If there are no dependent widow, widower, child, parents, or grandparent, but there is a dependent grandchild, brother or sister, or two or more such, then twenty-five per centum shall be paid for one dependent and five per centum additional for each additional dependent, up to a maximum of forty per centum, which shall be distributed share and share alike among the dependents if there be more than one.

When several persons are entitled to compensation and there is disagreement concerning the share of the compensation each should receive, the Bureau of Labor shall act as referee and designate the share to be allotted to each dependent; but if the good offices of said Bureau do not meet with the approval of all parties concerned, the courts shall be competent to settle the matter in case an action is brought, and the employer may turn the money over to the court subject to disposal by the same. In case the laborer or employee who had the accident dies and there is no surviving spouse and the dependents or some of them are minors and have no guardian appointed by a court, the employer or concern compelled to pay compensation under this Act shall deposit the money represented by such compensation with the local justice of the peace court if outside the City of Manila, and with the municipal court in said city, and the officers thereof shall order payment to the minors through the municipal treasurer and the city treasurer, as the case may be, without necessity of appointing a guardian. 

Sec. 9. Dependents of the Injured Person. — The following persons, and no others, shall be considered as dependents and entitled to compensation under the provisions of this Act:

A son or daughter, if under eighteen years of age or incapable of supporting him or herself, and unmarried, whether actually dependent on the deceased or not;

The widow, only if she was living with the deceased or was actually dependent upon him, totally or partly;

The widower, only if incapable of supporting himself and actually dependent, totally or partly, upon the deceased on the date of the accident;

A parent of grandparent, only if totally or partly dependent upon the deceased;

A grandchild or brother or sister, only if less than eighteen years of age or incapable of supporting him or herself, and totally dependent upon the deceased. The relation of dependency must exist at the time of the injury.

A foreigner shall not be considered as a dependent within the meaning of this Act if he is not at the time a resident of the Philippine Islands, and any dependent foreigner leaving the Islands shall automatically forfeit all right to any benefit under this Act.

Sec. 10. Periods of Compensation. — The compensation provided for by this Act shall be payable during the following periods:

To a widow, until her death or remarriage; but in no case for more than two hundred and eight weeks;

To a widower, during his incapacity; but in no case for more than two hundred and eight weeks;

To a son or daughter, until he or she has completed eighteen years of age; but in case a son is unable to support himself and is not married, while such incapacity lasts, but in no case for more than two hundred and eight weeks in all;

To a parent or grandparent during the continuance of their actual condition of dependency; but in no case for more than two hundred and eight weeks;

To a grandchild, brother, or sister, during their condition of dependency, as defined in section nine hereof; but in no case for more than two hundred and eight weeks;

Upon the expiration of the compensation under this section to any person, to compensation payable to the remaining persons entitled to compensation because the entire period during which they must be paid compensation has not expired, shall be that which such persons would receive if they alone had been entitled to compensation at the time the deceased died. 

Is A Contractor Necessary For Building A House?

You might have surely heard about horror stories involving house owners and contractors because of expectations that were not met. There are also cases when owners bypass hiring contractors and builders and they end up getting unsatisfactory results. Building a home, without a doubt is no joke because it involves spending your hard-earned money. While you are eager to build your dream home, there are other people who are going to make promises and just break them in the end. You may have already thought about building your dream house on your own. After all, the Internet can guide you in the right direction on the materials you need to buy and the requirements you need to comply. 

However, if you want to gain greater peace of mind, you need to consider hiring a building contractor. The reason is simple: These companies or individuals know the ins and outs of construction including the processes and products that will be used. For first-time customers, the process will always be filled with apprehension. This is why, it pays to do your homework so you can be sure that there is a trusted person responsible for the documentation, design and even day-to-day management of the construction process. 

The Advantage of Hiring a Contractor:

Contractors have substantial experience to ensure that costly mistakes and pitfalls are avoided in every construction project. For sure, just like anybody else, you cannot afford to lose a large chunk of money because the contractor neglected the project. Contractors' license is at stake. This is the reason they need to adhere to building codes and local ordinances. In the event your house catches fire, they are the ones who will face any complaint. Contractors have tried and tested strategies and methodologies so each construction project is delivered at faster time and lower cost. When you choose a reliable contractor, you will no longer have to take care of supervising the project yourself. 

Things to Consider When Hiring a Contractor:

1. Track Record-always check the contractor's track record so you will know whether or not they have successfully completed projects. Contractors will agree to tour you around projects, which have already been completed. These projects will help you decide whether or not the contractor can be trusted. 

2. Service Cost- the cost of service of most contractors will not be too apart from each other and they will usually provide you a price proposal that is lower than their competitors. Keep in mind that if the rate is too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure the price not too low as you might run the risk of getting your project at an unacceptable state or condition.

Serious Illegal Detention, Kidnapping And Hostage-Taking

Hostage-taking and kidnapping are often used interchangeably to describe a crime, which involves illegal detention. However, if you want to know about the appropriate charges that must be filed in court, it is important to know the distinction between the two legal terms. 

Sec. 2.    Article two hundred sixty-seven of the Revised Penal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 267.    Kidnapping and serious illegal detention. — Any private individual who shall kidnap or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death:

"1.    If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than five days.

"2.    If it shall have been committed simulating public authority. 

"3.    If any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained, or if threats to kill him shall have been made.   

"4.    If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, female or a public officer.

"The penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death where the kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person, even if none of the circumstances above mentioned were present in the commission of the offense."

Sec. 3.    Article two hundred and sixty-eight of the Revised Penal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Art. 268.    Slight illegal detention. — The penalty of reclusion temporal shall be imposed upon any private individual who shall commit the crimes described in the next preceding article without the attendance of any of the circumstances enumerated therein.

"The same penalty shall be incurred by anyone who shall furnish the place for the perpetration of the crime.  

"If the offender shall voluntarily release the person so kidnapped or detained within three days from the commencement of the detention, without having attained the purpose intended, and before the institution of criminal proceedings against him, the penalty shall be prision mayor in its minimum and medium periods and a fine not exceeding seven hundred pesos."

Sec. 4.    Article two hundred and seventy of the Revised Penal Code should be amended to read as follows:

"Art. 270.    Kidnapping and failure to return a minor. — The penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon any person who, being entrusted with the custody of a minor person, shall deliberately fail to restore the latter to his parents or guardians."

Sec. 5.    Article two hundred and seventy-one of the Revised Penal Code should be amended to read as follows:

"Art. 271.    Inducing a minor to abandon his home. — The penalty of prision correccional and a fine not exceeding seven hundred pesos shall be imposed upon anyone who shall induce a minor to abandon the home of his parents or guardians or the persons entrusted with his custody.

"If the person committing any of the crimes covered by the two preceding articles shall be the father or the mother of the minor, the penalty shall be arresto mayor or a fine not exceeding three hundred pesos, or both." 

Sec. 6.    Cases 2, 4 and 5 of Article two hundred ninety-four of the Revised Penal Code are hereby amended to read as follows:

"2.    The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua, when the robbery shall have been accompanied by rape or intentional mutilation, or if by reason or on occasion of such robbery, any of the physical injuries penalized in subdivision 1 of article 263 shall have been inflicted. 

"4.    The penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period to reclusion temporal in its medium period, if the violence or intimidation employed in the commission of the robbery shall have been carried to a degree clearly unnecessary for the commission of the crime, or when in the course of its execution, the offender shall have inflicted upon any person not responsible for its commission any of the physical injuries covered by subdivisions 3 and 4 of said article 263.  

"5.    The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its medium period in other cases."

8 New Philippine Laws: Part 8 of 8 Anti-Age Discrimination For Employees

Has an employer ever refused you because of your age? A jobseeker is deterred from landing himself/herself a job because of age. With the new law known as the Republic Act 10911 or "An act prohibiting discrimination against any individual in employment on account of age and providing penalties therefore"does not allow employers to deny opportunities to employees on the basis of age. Employment and recruitment agencies are also prohibited from refusing to provide assistance to individuals regardless of their age from seeking employment. 

Sec. 5. Prohibition of Discrimination in Employment on Account of Age

a) It shall be unlawful for an employer to:

1)Print or publish, or cause to be printed or published, in any form of media, including the internet, any notice of advertisement relating to employment suggesting preferences, limitations, specifications, and discrimination based on age;

2)Require the declaration of age or birth date during the application process;

3)Decline any employment application because of the individual's age;

4)Discriminate against an individual in terms of compensation, terms and conditions or privileges of employment on account of such individual's age;

5)Deny any employee's or worker's promotion or opportunity for training because of age;

6)Forcibly lay off an employee or worker because of old age; or

7)Impose early retirement on the basis of such employee's or worker's age.

b)It shall be unlawful for a labor contractor or subcontractor, if any, to refuse to refer for employment or otherwise discriminate against any individual because of such person's age. 

c) It shall be unlawful for a labor organization to:

1)Deny membership to any individual because of such individual's age;

2)Exclude from its membership any individual because of such individual's age;

3)Cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an individual in violation of this Act. 

d)It shall be unlawful for a publisher to print or publish any notice of advertisement relating to employment suggesting preferences, limitations, specifications, and discrimination based on age.

Sec. 7. Penalty

Any violation of this Act shall be punished with a fine of not less than fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) but not more than five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00, or imprisonment of not less than three (3) months but not more than two (2) years, or both, at the discretion of the court. If the offense is committed by a corporation, trust, firm, partnership or association or other entity, the penalty shall be imposed upon the guilty officer or officers of such corporation, trust, firm, partnership or association or entity. 

Preliminary Investigation: Rules Of Criminal Procedure

Investigation must be conducted to determine if there is sufficient evidence that a crime has been committed. Once preliminary investigation has been conducted, the prosecutor will determine if there is indeed a probable cause, which refers to the existence of circumstances and facts as would excite the belief. 

A preliminary investigation will be required in warrantless arrests cases. A person who is lawfully arrested without a warrant involving an offense which requires a preliminary investigation, the complaint or information may be filed by a prosecutor without need of such investigation provided an inquest has been conducted in accordance with existing rules.  


Section  1.  Preliminary  investigation  defined;  when  required.  – Preliminary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding to determine whether  there  is sufficient  ground  to  engender  a  well-founded belief  that  a  crime  has  been  committed  and  the  respondent  is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial. 

Except  as  provided  in  Section  7  of  this  Rule,  a  preliminary investigation  is  required  to  be  conducted  before  the  filing  of  a compliant   or   information   for   an   offense   where   the   penalty prescribed  by  law  is  at  least  four  (4)  years,  two  (2)  months  and one (1) day without regard to the fine.  

Procedure in Conducting Preliminary Investigation

The   preliminary   investigation   shall   be conducted in the following manner:

(a)  The  complaint  shall  state  the  address  of  the  respondent  and shall be accompanied by the affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses,  as  well  as  other  supporting  documents  to  establish probable cause. They shall be in such number of copies as there are respondents, plus two (2) copies for the official file. The affidavits shall   be   subscribed   and   sworn   to   before   any   prosecutor   or government  official  authorized  to  administer  oath,  or,  in  their absence  or  unavailability,  before  a  notary  public,  each  of  whom must certify that he personally examined the affiants and that he is satisfied  that  they  voluntarily  executed  and  understood  their affidavits. 

(b)  Within  ten  (10)  days  after  the  filing  of  the  complaint,  the investigating officer shall either dismiss it if he finds no ground to continue  with  the  investigation,  or  issue  a  subpoena  to  the respondent  attaching  to   it  a   copy  of   the  complaint  and  its supporting affidavits and documents. 

The  respondent  shall  have  the  right  to  examine  the  evidence submitted  by  the  complainant  which  he  may  not  have  been furnished  and  to copy  them  at  his  expense.  If  the  evidence  is voluminous,  the  complainant  may  be  required  to  specify  those which  he  intends  to  present against  the  respondent,  and  these shall   be   made   available   for   examination  or   copying   by   the respondent at his expense.

Objects  as  evidence  need  not  be  furnished  a  party  but  shall  be made  available  for  examination,  copying,  or  photographing  at  the expense of the requesting party. 

(c)  Within  ten  (10)  days  from  receipt  of  the  subpoena  with  the complaint and supporting affidavits and documents, the respondent shall  submit  his  counter-affidavit  and  that of  his  witnesses  and other  supporting  documents  relied  upon  for  his  defense.  The counter-affidavits shall be subscribed and sworn to and certified as provided  in  paragraph  (a)  of  this  section,  with  copies  thereof furnished by him  to the complainant.  The respondent shall not be allowed to file a motion to dismiss in lieu of a counter-affidavit. 

(d)  If  the  respondent  cannot  be  subpoenaed,  or  if  subpoenaed, does not submit counter-affidavits within the ten (10) day period, the  investigating  office  shall  resolve  the  complaint  based  on  the evidence presented by the complainant. 

(e)  The  investigating  officer  may  set  a  hearing  if  there  are  facts and issues to be clarified from a party or a witness. The parties can be  present  at  the  hearing  but  without  the  right  to  examine  or cross-examine.  They  may,  however,  submit  to  the  investigating officer  questions  which  may  be  asked  to  the  party  or  witness concerned. 

The hearing shall be held within ten (10) days from submission of the counter-affidavits and other documents or from the expiration of the period for their submission. It shall be terminated within five (5) days. 

(f)  Within  ten  (10)  days  after  the  investigation,  the  investigating officer shall determine whether or not there is sufficient ground to hold the respondent for trial. 

8 New Philippine Laws: Part 7 of 8 Mandatory Installation Of Speed Limiter

Road accidents have been happening regularly and one of the reasons for these mishaps is because of being unmindful of the speed limit, not knowing that exceeding beyond the required speed can put someone's life in danger. There is a new law that will consider the installation of speed limiter in public utility mandatory. This law is known as the Republic Act 10916 or an Act Requiring the Mandatory Installation of Speed Limiter in Public Utility and Certain Types of Vehicles. 

SEC. 4. Mandatory Installation of Speed Limiter. 

- No covered vehicle, following the effectivity of this ACt, shall be allowed to run in any road, street or highway in the Philippines without a standard speed limiter in accordance with the standards and specifications approved by the DOTC: Provided, That in case of vehicles which are already registered with any appropriate agency, this requirement shall be complied with not later than eighteen (18) months from the effectivity of this Act. 

SEC. 5. No Speed Limiter, No Registration

-No covered vehicle shall be registered by the LTO or given a franchise by the LTFRB without the standard speed limiter installed and set in the vehicle in compliance with Section 4 and Section 6 hereof. 

SEC. 6. Setting of Standard

-The DOTC shall, in accordance with acceptable international standards, determine the specifications of the speed limiters that may be allowed to be installed in the covered vehicles. The LTO or the LTFRB, shall supervise and inspect the setting of speed limiter corresponding to the maximum allowed in the route plied by a particular covered vehicle. 

SEC. 7. Accreditation

-The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shall accredit persons, establishments or institutions producing, manufacturing or distributing speed limiters in accordance with the specifications and standards as may be determined by the DOTC. For this purpose, the DTI shall issue the necessary certification attesting compliance with such specifications and standards as a prerequisite for registration. 

SEC. 8. Implementing Rules and Regulations

-The DOTC, in coordination with the LTO, LTFRB, DTI and the Department of Science and Technology and in consultation with private stakeholders, shall formulate and promulgate the necessary implementing rules and regulations of this Act within sixty (60) days upon the effectivity of this Act. 

SEC. 9. Fines/Penalties

-a) The driver who operates a motor vehicle covered by this Act or the owner or operator who allows such driver to operate without the speed limiter herein required shall suffer a fine in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00).

b) The same fine shall be imposed upon the driver, owner or operator who operates or allows a person to operate a motor vehicle with a nonfunctioning or tampered speed limiter. 

In addition to the above fines, a suspension of the driver's license for a period of one (1) month or franchise of a motor vehicle for a period of three (3) months, as the case may be, shall be imposed upon the offender who commits the abovementioned violations for the first time. 

For the commission of any of the foregoing prohibited acts for the second time, the driver's license of the offender shall be suspended for a period of three (3) months or the franchise of a motor vehicle shall be suspended for a period of six (6) months, as the case may be, in addition to the fines herein imposed. 

For the subsequent commission of any of the foregoing prohibited acts, the driver's license of the offender shall be revoked or the franchise of a motor vehicle shall be suspended for a period of one (1) years, as the case may be, in addition to the fines herein imposed. 

c) Any person who is found guilty of tampering as defined in this Act shall suffer a penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) months but not more than (3) years and a fine of thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00)

The provision of this section shall be applied without prejudice to criminal prosecution or civil action under existing applicable laws. 

Longer Maternity Leave For Women

Under Republic Act 1161 or the Social Security Act of 1997, women workers are only granted 60-day maternity leave for normal childbirth and 78-day maternity leave for caesarean. Senator Risa Hontiveros seeks to revise this law by expanding maternity leave. She authored Senate Bill 1305 or the Expanded Maternity Leave Act, which aims to grant longer leaves for working women and solo mothers. Instead of 60 days, working women will be given 120 days of maternity leave while solo mothers will be granted 150 days. 

SEC. 14-A. Maternity Leave Benefit.

- A female member who has paid at least three (3) monthly contributions in the twelve-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage shall be paid a daily maternity benefit equivalent to one hundred percent (100%) of her average daily salary credit for sixty (60) days or seventy-eight (78) days in case of caesarian delivery, subject to the following conditions:

"(a) That the employee shall have notified her employer of her pregnancy and the probable date of her childbirth, which notice shall be transmitted to the SSS in accordance with the rules and regulations it may provide;

"(b) The full payment shall be advanced by the employer within thirty (30) days from the filing of the maternity leave application;

"(c) That payment of daily maternity benefits shall be a bar to the recovery of sickness benefits provided by this Act for the same period for which daily maternity benefits have been received;

"(d) That the maternity benefits provided under this section shall be paid only for the first four (4) deliveries or miscarriages;

"(e) That the SSS shall immediately reimburse the employer of one hundred percent (100%) of the amount of maternity benefits advanced to the employee by the employer upon receipt of satisfactory proof of such payment and legality thereof; and

"(f) That if an employee member should give birth or suffer miscarriage without the required contributions having been remitted for her by her employer to the SSS, or without the latter having been previously notified by the employer of the time of the pregnancy, the employer shall pay to the SSS damages equivalent to the benefits which said employee member would otherwise have been entitled to.

The bill is not only intended to working mothers as the father can also benefit from it when 30 days of the leave credits are allocated to them. The co-authors of the bill include Manny Pacquiao, Antonio Trillanes IV, Francis Pangilinan, Loren Legarda, Sonny Angara and Nancy Binay. The Senate approves the bill on its 3rd and final reading with a vote of 22-0.

Basic Discussion On Obstruction Of Justice

There are criminal cases that seem to take ages before a resolution can be made. For influential people who have criminal liability, delaying justice is like a walk in the park because wealth and power dictate how justice will be served. We have witnessed many cases where family members of a prominent political figure are not given the punishment they deserve because they know how to get away with law. However, people who are cradling criminals by delaying or frustrating apprehension and prosecution of offenders are violating Presidential Decree No. 1829 or Obstruction of Justice. 

Presidential Decree No. 1929

SECTION 1. The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period, or a fine ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 pesos, or both, shall be imposed upon any person who knowingly or willfully obstructs, impedes, frustrates or delays the apprehension of suspects and the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases by committing any of the following acts:

(a) Preventing witnesses from testifying in any criminal proceeding or from reporting the commission of any offense or the identity of any offender/s by means of bribery, misrepresentation, deceit, intimidation, force or threats;

(b) Altering, destroying, suppressing or concealing any paper, record, document, or object with intent to impair its verity, authenticity, legibility, availability, or admissibility as evidence in any investigation of or official proceedings in criminal cases, or to be used in the investigation of, or official proceedings in, criminal cases;

(c) Harboring or concealing, or facilitating the escape of, any person he knows, or has reasonable ground to believe or suspect, has committed any offense under existing penal laws in order to prevent his arrest, prosecution and conviction;

(d) Publicly using a fictitious name for the purpose of concealing a crime, evading prosecution or the execution of a judgment, or concealing his true name and other personal circumstances for the same purpose or purposes;

(e) Delaying the prosecution of criminal cases by obstructing the service of process or court orders or disturbing proceedings in the fiscals’ offices, in Tanodbayan, or in the courts;

(f) Making, presenting or using any record, document, paper or object with knowledge of its falsity and with intent to affect the course or outcome of the investigation of, or official proceedings in, criminal cases;

(g) Soliciting, accepting, or agreeing to accept any benefit in consideration of abstaining from, discontinuing, or impeding the prosecution of a criminal offender;

(h) Threatening directly or indirectly another with the infliction of any wrong upon his person, honor or property or that of any immediate member or members of his family in order to prevent a person from appearing in the investigation of, or official proceedings in, criminal cases, or imposing a condition, whether lawful or unlawful, in order to prevent a person from appearing in the investigation of or in official proceedings in criminal cases;

(i) Giving of false or fabricated information to mislead or prevent the law enforcement agencies from apprehending the offender or from protecting the life or property of the victim; or fabricating information from the data gathered in confidence by investigating authorities for purposes of background information and not for publication and publishing or disseminating the same to mislead the investigator or the court.

If any of the acts mentioned herein is penalized by any other law with a higher penalty, the higher penalty shall be imposed.

SEC. 2. If any of the foregoing acts is committed by a public official or employee, he shall, in addition to the penalties provided thereunder, suffer perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

SEC. 3. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 16th day of January, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty-one.

Anti-Photo And Video Voyeurism Act Of 2009

The proliferation of sex videos, sex scandals and nude photos posted on social networking sites such as Facebook is quite alarming considering the fact that most victims are women. Offenders are violating Republic Act No. 9995 or the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009. How does a person violate the provisions of this law?

Section 3. Definition of Terms. - For purposes of this Act, the term:

(a) "Broadcast" means to make public, by any means, a visual image with the intent that it be viewed by a person or persons.

(b) "Capture" with respect to an image, means to videotape, photograph, film, record by any means, or broadcast.

(c) "Female breast" means any portion of the female breast.

(d) "Photo or video voyeurism" means the act of taking photo or video coverage of a person or group of persons performing sexual act or any similar activity or of capturing an image of the private area of a person or persons without the latter's consent, under circumstances in which such person/s has/have a reasonable expectation of privacy, or the act of selling, copying, reproducing, broadcasting, sharing, showing or exhibiting the photo or video coverage or recordings of such sexual act or similar activity through VCD/DVD, internet, cellular phones and similar means or device without the written consent of the person/s involved, notwithstanding that consent to record or take photo or video coverage of same was given by such person's.

(e) "Private area of a person" means the naked or undergarment clad genitals, public area, buttocks or female breast of an individual.

(f) "Under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy" means believe that he/she could disrobe in privacy, without being concerned that an image or a private area of the person was being captured; or circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that a private area of the person would not be visible to the public, regardless of whether that person is in a public or private place.

Section 4. Prohibited Acts. - It is hereby prohibited and declared unlawful for any person:

(a) To take photo or video coverage of a person or group of persons performing sexual act or any similar activity or to capture an image of the private area of a person/s such as the naked or undergarment clad genitals, public area, buttocks or female breast without the consent of the person/s involved and under circumstances in which the person/s has/have a reasonable expectation of privacy;

(b) To copy or reproduce, or to cause to be copied or reproduced, such photo or video or recording of sexual act or any similar activity with or without consideration;

(c) To sell or distribute, or cause to be sold or distributed, such photo or video or recording of sexual act, whether it be the original copy or reproduction thereof; or

(d) To publish or broadcast, or cause to be published or broadcast, whether in print or broadcast media, or show or exhibit the photo or video coverage or recordings of such sexual act or any similar activity through VCD/DVD, internet, cellular phones and other similar means or device.

The prohibition under paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) shall apply notwithstanding that consent to record or take photo or video coverage of the same was given by such person/s. Any person who violates this provision shall be liable for photo or video voyeurism as defined herein.

Section 5. Penalties.

The penalty of imprisonment of not less that three (3) years but not more than seven (7) years and a fine of not less than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) but not more than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00), or both, at the discretion of the court shall be imposed upon any person found guilty of violating Section 4 of this Act.

If the violator is a juridical person, its license or franchise shall be automatically be deemed revoked and the persons liable shall be the officers thereof including the editor and reporter in the case of print media, and the station manager, editor and broadcaster in the case of a broadcast media.

If the offender is a public officer or employee, or a professional, he/she shall be administratively liable.

If the offender is an alien, he/she shall be subject to deportation proceedings after serving his/her sentence and payment of fines.

8 New Philippine Laws: Part 6 of 8 No More Texting While Driving

Texting while driving is a multi-tasking skill many people on the go have learned to acquire. However, a few seconds of distraction can cause road accident. Republic Act No. 10913 or the Act Defining and Penalizing Distracted Driving will put a lid on the injurious and sometimes deadly effects of vehicular accidents due to the unrestrained use of mobile devices. 

Sec. 5. Extent of Coverage

a) The operation of a mobile communications device is not considered to be distracted driving if done using the aid of a hands-free function or similar device such as, but not limited to, a speaker phone, earphones and microphones or other similar devices which allow a person to make and receive calls without having to hold the mobile communication device: Provided, that the place of the mobile communications device or the hands-free device does not interfere with the line of sight of the driver. 

b) Wheeled agricultural machineries such as tractors and construction equipment such as graders, rollers, backhoes, payloaders, cranes, bulldozers, mobile concrete mixers and the like and other forms of conveyances such as bicycles, pedicabs, "habal-habal", trolleys, "kuligligs", wagons carriages, carts, sledges, chariots or the like, whether animal or human-powered, are covered by the provisions of this Act as long as the same are operated or driven in public thoroughfares, highways, or streets or under circumstances where public safety is under consideration. 

c) The provisions of this Act shall not apply to motorists of motor vehicles which are not in motion, except those which are stopped momentarily at a red light, or are pulled over the side of the road in compliance with a traffic regulation.  

Sec. 6. Exemptions

The provisions of this Act shall not apply to the following:

a)A motorist using a mobile phone for emergency purposes, including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services, agency or entity: and

b)A motorist using a mobile phone while operating an emergency vehicle such as an ambulance, a fire truck, and other vehicles providing emergency assistance, in the course and scope of his or her duties. 


Those who are found guilty of violating any provision of this Act will be penalized a fine of five thousand pesos (P5,000.00)for the first offense; ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) for the second offense; fifteen thousand pesos (P15,000.00) and suspension of driver's license for three (3) months for the third offense; and a fine of twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) and revocation of driver's license: Provided that the implementing agency may increase the amount of fine herein imposed once every five (5) years in the amount not exceeding ten percent (10%) of the existing rates sought to be increased which shall take effect only upon publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation. 

Truth in Lending Act

No matter how hard you try to make ends meet, there are times when cashflow becomes limited and if you have no one to turn to, lending firms are going to extend a helping hand by assisting you with your financial needs. Most creditors are considered as a breath of fresh air to people who are in need of instant cash. Once approved, the money becomes available within 24 hours and will be repaid on installment basis. 

Although creditors provide financial assistance, borrowers are often in confusion upon finding out that there are finance charges incurred on top of the amount borrowed. This is why creditors or lenders have to educate debtors or borrowers on the terms and conditions. 

The Republic Act No. 3765 provides detailed information of this policy:

Section 4. Any creditor shall furnish to each person to whom credit is extended, prior to the consummation of the transaction, a clear statement in writing setting forth, to the extent applicable and in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Board, the following information:

(1) the cash price or delivered price of the property or service to be acquired;

(2) the amounts, if any, to be credited as down payment and/or trade-in;

(3) the difference between the amounts set forth under clauses (1) and (2);

(4) the charges, individually itemized, which are paid or to be paid by such person in connection with the transaction but which are not incident to the extension of credit;

(5) the total amount to be financed;

(6) the finance charge expressed in terms of pesos and centavos; and

(7) the percentage that the finance bears to the total amount to be financed expressed as a simple annual rate on the outstanding unpaid balance of the obligation.

Section 5. The Board shall prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary or proper in carrying out the provisions of this Act. Any rule or regulation prescribed hereunder may contain such classifications and differentiations as in the judgment of the Board are necessary or proper to effectuate the purposes of this Act or to prevent circumvention or evasion, or to facilitate the enforcement of this Act, or any rule or regulation issued thereunder.

Section 6. (a) Any creditor who in connection with any credit transaction fails to disclose to any person any information in violation of this Act or any regulation issued thereunder shall be liable to such person in the amount of P100 or in an amount equal to twice the finance charged required by such creditor in connection with such transaction, whichever is the greater, except that such liability shall not exceed P2,000 on any credit transaction. Action to recover such penalty may be brought by such person within one year from the date of the occurrence of the violation, in any court of competent jurisdiction. In any action under this subsection in which any person is entitled to a recovery, the creditor shall be liable for reasonable attorney's fees and court costs as determined by the court.

(b) Except as specified in subsection (a) of this section, nothing contained in this Act or any regulation contained in this Act or any regulation thereunder shall affect the validity or enforceability of any contract or transactions.

(c) Any person who willfully violates any provision of this Act or any regulation issued thereunder shall be fined by not less than P1,00 or more than P5,000 or imprisonment for not less than 6 months, nor more than one year or both.

(d) No punishment or penalty provided by this Act shall apply to the Philippine Government or any agency or any political subdivision thereof.

(e) A final judgment hereafter rendered in any criminal proceeding under this Act to the effect that a defendant has willfully violated this Act shall be prima facie evidence against such defendant in an action or proceeding brought by any other party against such defendant under this Act as to all matters respecting which said judgment would be an estoppel as between the parties thereto. 

Rule On Legal Separation

Filing a petition for legal separation is an option married couples consider in place of annulment. However, there are many misconceptions about legal separation and one of which is that when you are legally separated, you are free to marry another individual. 

Before you decide on filing a petition, be sure you are familiar with the rules of court. A summary of the law on legal separation will give you an idea about the process. 


Section 1. Scope. - This Rule shall govern petitions for legal separation under the Family Code of the Philippines.

The Rules of Court shall apply suppletorily. 

Sec. 2. Petition. - (a) Who may and when to file. - (1) A petition for legal separation may be filed only by the husband or the wife, as the case may be within five years from the time of the occurrence of any of the following causes:

(a) Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner; 

(b) Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religious or political affiliation;

(c) Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner, to engage in prostitution, or connivance in such corruption or inducement;

(d) Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than six years, even if pardoned;

(e) Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent; 

(f) Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent;

(g) Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage, whether in or outside the Philippines;

(h) Sexual infidelity or perversion of the respondent;

(i) Attempt on the life of petitioner by the respondent; or 

(j) Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year.

(b) Contents and form. - The petition for legal separation shall: 

(1) Allege the complete facts constituting the cause of action. 

(2) State the names and ages of the common children of the parties, specify the regime governing their property relations, the properties involved, and creditors, if any. If there is no adequate provision in a written agreement between the parties, the petitioner may apply for a provisional order for spousal support, custody and support of common children, visitation rights, administration of community or conjugal property, and other similar matters requiring urgent action,

(3) Be verified and accompanied by a certification against forum shopping. The verification and certification must be personally signed by the petitioner. No petition may be filed solely by counsel or through an attorney-in-fact. If the petitioner is in a foreign country, the verification and certification against forum shopping shall be authenticated by the duly authorized officer of the Philippine embassy or legation, consul general, consul or vice-consul or consular agent in said country

(4) Be filed in six copies. The petitioner shall, within five days from such filing, furnish a copy of the petition to the City or Provincial Prosecutor and the creditors, if any, and submit to the court proof of such service within the same period.cralaw

Failure to comply with the preceding requirements may be a ground for immediate dismissal of the petition. 

(c) Venue. - The petition shall be filed in the Family Court of the province or city where the petitioner or the respondent has been residing for at least six months prior to the date of filing "or in The case of a non-resident respondent, where he may be found in the Philippines, at the election of the petitioner.cralaw

Sec. 3. Summons. - The service of summons shall be governed by Rule 14 of the Rules of Court and by the following rules: 

(a) Where the respondent cannot be located at his given address or his whereabouts are unknown and cannot be ascertained by diligent inquiry, service of summons may, by leave of court, be effected upon him by publication once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines and in such place as the court may order. In addition, a copy of the summons shall be served on respondent at his last known address by registered mail or by any other means the court may deem sufficient.

(b) The summons to be published shall be contained in an order of the court with the following data; (1) title of the case; (2) docket number; (3) nature of the petition; (4) principal grounds of the petition and the reliefs prayed for, and (5) a directive for respondent to answer within thirty days from the last issue of publication.

Sec. 4. Motion to Dismiss. - No motion to dismiss the petition shall be allowed except on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter or over the parties; provided, however, that any other ground that might warrant a dismissal of the case may be raised as an affirmative defense in an answer. 

Sec. 5. Answer. - (a) The respondent shall file his answer within fifteen days from receipt of summons, or within thirty days from the last issue of publication in case of service of summons by publication. The answer must be verified by respondent himself and not by counsel or attorney-in-fact. chan robles virtual law library

(b) If the respondent fails to file an answer, the court shall not declare him in default.

(c) Where no answer is filed/or if the answer does not tender an issue the court shall order the public prosecutor to investigate whether collusion exists between the parties.

Sec. 6. Investigation Report of Public Prosecutor. - (a) Within one one month after receipt of the court order mentioned in paragraph (c) of the preceding section, the public prosecutor shall submit a report to the court on whether the parties are in collusion and serve copies on the parties and their respective counsels, if any.

(b) If the public prosecutor finds that collusion exists, he shall state the basis thereof in his report. The parties shall file their respective comments on the finding of collusion within ten days from receipt of copy of the report. The court shall set the report for hearing and if convinced that parties are in collusion, it shall dismiss the petition.

(c) If the public prosecutor reports that no collusion exists, the court shall set the case for pre-trial. It shall be the duty of the public prosecutor to appear for the State at the pre-trial.

Sec. 7. Social Worker. - The court may require a social worker to conduct a case study and to submit the corresponding report at least three days before the pre-trial. The court may also require a case study at any stage of the case whenever necessary,

8 New Philippine Laws: Part 5 of 8 Longer Prescriptive Period For Crimes Of Graft And Corruption

Corrupt practices are plaguing the country and it has been a political cancer waiting for a sure-fire antidote. Many people have been caught engaging in graft and corrupt practices, and preventive measures remained futile. There are still people who continue to exploit public funds by leaving a lavish lifestyle. The unexplained wealth convinces law enforcers that something is not right.

We have witnessed a great number of public figures who have been charged of graft and corruption for the past years.  Some ended up in jail while others continue to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle. Crime does pay, but if the evidence is weak, perpetrators will continue to roam the streets unscathed. At present, the violators of the Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act will face fifteen (15) years of imprisonment. 

A new law, which will be in conjunction of this act will aim to provide longer prescription period to those who are found violating the law. From 15 years, the prescription will be extended to 20 years. 

In case you are wondering what the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act covers, here is the summary:

Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:

(a) Persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with the official duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be persuaded, induced, or influenced to commit such violation or offense.

(b) Directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present, share, percentage, or benefit, for himself or for any other person, in connection with any contract or transaction between the Government and any other part, wherein the public officer in his official capacity has to intervene under the law.

(c) Directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present or other pecuniary or material benefit, for himself or for another, from any person for whom the public officer, in any manner or capacity, has secured or obtained, or will secure or obtain, any Government permit or license, in consideration for the help given or to be given, without prejudice to Section thirteen of this Act.

(d) Accepting or having any member of his family accept employment in a private enterprise which has pending official business with him during the pendency thereof or within one year after its termination.

(e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions.

(f) Neglecting or refusing, after due demand or request, without sufficient justification, to act within a reasonable time on any matter pending before him for the purpose of obtaining, directly or indirectly, from any person interested in the matter some pecuniary or material benefit or advantage, or for the purpose of favoring his own interest or giving undue advantage in favor of or discriminating against any other interested party.

(g) Entering, on behalf of the Government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby.

(h) Director or indirectly having financing or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest.

(i) Directly or indirectly becoming interested, for personal gain, or having a material interest in any transaction or act requiring the approval of a board, panel or group of which he is a member, and which exercises discretion in such approval, even if he votes against the same or does not participate in the action of the board, committee, panel or group.

Interest for personal gain shall be presumed against those public officers responsible for the approval of manifestly unlawful, inequitable, or irregular transaction or acts by the board, panel or group to which they belong.

(j) Knowingly approving or granting any license, permit, privilege or benefit in favor of any person not qualified for or not legally entitled to such license, permit, privilege or advantage, or of a mere representative or dummy of one who is not so qualified or entitled.

(k) Divulging valuable information of a confidential character, acquired by his office or by him on account of his official position to unauthorized persons, or releasing such information in advance of its authorized release date.

The person giving the gift, present, share, percentage or benefit referred to in subparagraphs (b) and (c); or offering or giving to the public officer the employment mentioned in subparagraph (d); or urging the divulging or untimely release of the confidential information referred to in subparagraph (k) of this section shall, together with the offending public officer, be punished under Section nine of this Act and shall be permanently or temporarily disqualified in the discretion of the Court, from transacting business in any form with the Government.

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.

Catcalling And Wolf-whistling Can Land You In Jail

A tepid cup of coffee and news just blend well. Whenever there's bad news, the kick I get from caffeine just calms my senses. I was browsing through some interesting online news on a typical Wednesday and one headline caught my eye "Senator files bill penalizing wolf-whistling and catcalling". People who are out on the streets are sometimes infested by fear and paranoia especially the female of the species and the members of the LGBTQ community. Catcalling and wolf-whistling have been a form of entertainment for bystanders. Women have been enveloped by fear because of catcallers on the streets. 

While there is an existing law against sexual harassment, Sen. Risa Hontiveros filed the Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act of 2017 to ensure women and LGBTQ community can walk the streets without feeling unsafe and violated. 

The penalties that will be imposed will depend on the seriousness of the violation.

This bill, if enacted into a law will be in conjunction with Republic Act 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995.

SECTION 3. Work, Education or Training -Related, Sexual Harassment Defined. - Work, education or  training-related sexual harassment is committed by an employer, employee, manager, supervisor, agent of the employer, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainor, or any other  person who, having authority, influence or moral ascendancy  over another in a work or training or education environment, demands, requests or otherwise requires any sexual favor  from the other, regardless of whether the demand, request or  requirement for submission is accepted by the object of said Act.

      (a) In a work-related or employment environment, sexual  harassment is committed when:

                  (1) The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or  in the employment, re-employment or continued employment  of said individual, or in granting said individual favorable compensation, terms of conditions, promotions, or privileges;  or the refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or classifying the employee which in any way  would discriminate, deprive ordiminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employee;         

                  (2) The above acts would impair the employee's rights or  privileges under existing labor laws; or            

                  (3) The above acts would result in an intimidating, hostile,  or offensive environment for the employee.

       (b) In an education or training environment, sexual harassment is committed:      

                (1) Against one who is under the care, custody or supervision of the offender;  

                (2) Against one whose education, training, apprenticeship  or tutorship is entrusted to the offender;    

                (3) When the sexual favor is made a condition to the giving  of a passing grade, or the granting of honors and scholarships,  or the payment of a stipend, allowance or other benefits,  privileges, or consideration; or           

                (4) When the sexual advances result in an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for the student, trainee or  apprentice.

Any person who directs or induces another to commit any  act of sexual harassment as herein defined, or who cooperates  in the commission thereof by another without which it would  not have been committed, shall also be held liable under this  Act.

8 New Philippine Laws: Part 4 of 8 No Shortchanging Act

Whenever you go to a 'sari-sari' store or a business establishment and the owner or cashier is short of change, they will either give you a candy or tell you that they owe you a few cents. Most buyers do not bother to demand for the exact change. After all, the amount is less than a peso. Although this is a common and acceptable act to people running a business in the Philippines, enacting a bill into a law, which requires establishments to provide exact change will render this practice a violation. 

The law ensures that providing exact change to customers becomes a legal responsibility. Business owners should prepare peso coins to complete the buyer's change. Reasoning that you do not have a few cents to complete the change will no longer be an acceptable excuse. 

In fact, it is much better to provide excess change that give customers less than what you owe them. If you used to consider giving candies as an acceptable option for the lack of loose coins or bills, the law will prohibit this act. Customers are also encouraged to demand for exact change.

Republic Act No. 10909

Sec. 3. Definition of Terms. - For the purpose o this Act, the following terms shall mean:

a)Business establishment - any person, natural or juridical, whether single proprietorship, partnership or corporation, including a government-owned and -controlled corporation or a government entity exercising its proprietary functions, engaged in, or doing business in the Philippines, either in selling goods or providing services;

b) Change - the excess in the payment given by a consumer for goods and services purchased or received from a business establishment;

c) Consumer - a natural person who purchases goods or services in cash;

d) Goods - all types of tangible property that could be bought and sold, and the possession of which could be transferred in whole or in part, temporarily or permanently. 

e) Gross sales - the total invoice value of sales, before deducting for customer discount, allowances and returns;

f) Insufficient change - a change that is less than what is due the consumers;

g) Price - tag any device written, printed, affixed or attached to a good, or displayed in a consumer retail or service establishment for the purpose of indicating the retail price per unit or services;

h) Services - all types of commercial activities which enable the supply, access to, consumption or use of goods, intellectual property or other services; and 

i) Shortchange - the act of giving insufficient or no change to a consumer who purchased a product or service. 

Sec. 6. Penalties. - Any violation of this Act as determined by the DTI under Section 5 hereof shall be punished as follows: for the first offense, a violator shall be fined five hundred pesos (P500.00) or three percent (3%) of the gross sales of the business establishment on the day of the violation, whichever is higher; for the second offense, a violator shall be fined five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) or five percent (5%) of the gross sales whichever is higher; for the third offense, a violator shall be fined fifteen thousand pesos (P15,000.00) or seven percent (7%) of the gross sales of the business establishment on the day of the violation, whichever is higher, and the license to operate of the business establishment shall be suspended for three (3) months; and for the fourth offense, a violator shall be fined twenty-five thousand pesos (P25,000) or ten percent (10%) of the gross sales of the business establishment on the day of the violation, whichever is higher, and the license to operate of the business establishment shall be revoked. 

No Return, No Exchange Policy: Why It Should Be Prohibited

Most consumers often experience getting their request denied because of the No Return, No Exchange store policy. Do stores really have the right to implement this policy? Pursuant to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 7394 or also known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines, consumers have the right to return defective goods or demand remedies in the event that the goods are defective. The presence of this policy is considered as deceptive because if a consumer does not know that the items are defective or imperfect, the sellers should honor complaints and provide warranties to consumers. While there is no specific period within which a buyer may return the purchased item, the rules applied depend on the nature of the purchased goods. 

There are even instances when the store only allows the item be exchanged once. This condition is prohibited because a customer can exchange the item as many times as these are defective as long as the customer opts for replacement. If the store violates the prohibition, the customer can file a complaint with the DTI. 

Consumer Product Quality and Safety

ARTICLE 5.             Declaration of Policy. — It shall be the duty of the State:

a)              to develop and provide safety and quality standards for consumer products, including performance or use-oriented standards, codes of practice and methods of tests;

b)              to assist the consumer in evaluating the quality, including safety, performance and comparative utility of consumer products;

c)              to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injury associated with consumer products;

d)              to undertake research on quality improvement of products and investigation into causes and prevention of product related deaths, illness and injuries;

e)              to assure the public of the consistency of standardized products.

ARTICLE 6.             Implementing Agencies. — The provisions of this Article and its implementing rules and regulations shall be enforced by:

a)              the Department of Health with respect to food, drugs, cosmetics, devices and substances;

b)              the Department of Agriculture with respect to products related to agriculture, and;

c)              the Department of Trade and Industry with respect to other consumer products not specified above.

ARTICLE 7.             Promulgation and Adoption of Consumer Product Standards. — The concerned department shall establish consumer product quality and safety standards which shall consist of one or more of the following:

a)              requirements as to performance, composition, contents, design, construction, finish, packaging of a consumer product;

b)              requirements as to kind, class, grade, dimensions, weights, material;

c)              requirements as to the methods of sampling, tests and codes used to check the quality of the product;

d)              requirements as to precautions in storage, transporting and packaging;

e)              requirements that a consumer product be marked with or accompanied by clear and adequate safety warnings or instructions, or requirements respecting the form of warnings or instructions.

For this purpose, the concerned department shall adopt existing government domestic product quality and safety standards: Provided, That in the absence of such standards, the concerned department shall form specialized technical committees composed of equal number of representatives from each of the Government, business and consumer sectors to formulate, develop and purpose consumer product quality and safety standards. The said technical committees shall consult with the private sector, which may, motu proprio, develop its own quality and safety standards that shall be subject to review and approval of the concerned government agency or agencies after public hearings have been conducted for that purpose; and shall likewise consider existing international standards recognized by the Philippine Government.

ARTICLE 8.             Publication of Consumer Product Standards. — The concerned department shall, upon promulgation of the above standards, publish or cause the publication of the same in two (2) newspapers of general circulation at least once a week for a period of not less than one (1) month. It may likewise conduct an information campaign through other means deemed effective to ensure the proper guidance of consumers, businesses, industries and other sectors concerned.

ARTICLE 9.             Effectivity of Rules. — a) Each consumer product standard or safety rule shall specify the date such rule is to take effect, which shall not exceed ninety (90) days from the date promulgated unless the concerned department finds, for good cause shown, that a later effective date is in the public interest and publishes its reasons for such finding. After which, it shall no longer be legal to, or cause to, sell or distribute the consumer product not complying with the standards or rules.

b)              The department may, by regulation, prohibit a manufacturer from stockpiling consumer products so as to prevent such manufacturer from circumventing the purposes of this paragraph. The term “stockpiling” means manufacturing or importing a product between the date of promulgation of its consumer product safety rule and its effective date, at a rate which is significantly greater than the rate at which such product was produced or imported during a base period, as prescribed in the regulation under this paragraph, ending before the date of promulgation of consumer product safety rule.

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. 

8 New Philippine Laws: Part 3 of 8 Anti-Mail Order Spouse Act

Republic Act 10906 or an "An An act providing stronger measures against unlawful practices, businesses, and schemes of matching and offering Filipinos to foreign nationals for purposes of marriage or common law partnership, repealing for the purpose republic act no. 6955, also referred to as the 'anti-mail order bride law'" is one of the new laws under Duterte administration. This law penalizes an individual engaging in business which involves offering Filipino to foreigners for marriage or common law partnership. Anyone who violates this law will be penalized with 15 years of imprisonment. The person will also pay at least P500,000 thousand pesos as fine. 

Sec. 3. Prohibited Acts - It shall be unlawful for any person, whether natural or juridical, to commit, directly or indirectly, any of the following acts:

a) Engage in any business or scheme for money, profit, material, economic or other consideration which has for its purpose the matching or offering of a Filipino to a foreign nationals for marriage or common law partnership on a mail-order basis or through personal introduction, email, or websites on the internet. 

b) Exhibit, advertise, publish, print, or distribute, or cause the exhibition, advertisement, publication, printing, or distribution of brochures, flyers, or propaganda materials which are calculated to promote the prohibited acts in the preceding paragraph, or to post, advertise, or upload such materails through websites on the internet;

c) Solicit, enlist, or in any manner, attract, or induce any Filipino to become a member in any club or association whose objective is to match Filipino nationals to foreign nationals for the purpose of marriage or common law partnership for a fee; and

d) To use the postal service or any website on the internet to promote the prohibited acts under this section. 

The above notwithstanding, legitimate dating websites, which have for their purpose connecting individuals with shared interests in order to cultivate personal and dating relationships, are not covered by this Act. 

Grounds For Termination Of Employment

Being terminated from employment is one of the most unfortunate events that can happen in an employee's life. Termination may be inevitable especially if the company decides to cut labor cost by means of reducing the number of workers. However, termination also becomes a choice when employees neglect their duties, causing them to fall short of the employer's standard and expectations. Here are different grounds for termination: 

Art. 282. Termination by employer. An employer may terminate an employment for any of the following causes:

  1. Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work; 
  2. Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;
  3. Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or duly authorized representative;
  4. Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized representatives; and
  5. Other causes analogous to the foregoing.

Art. 283. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to the installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of termination due to the installation of labor-saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year.

Art. 284. Disease as ground for termination. An employer may terminate the services of an employee who has been found to be suffering from any disease and whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health as well as to the health of his co-employees: Provided, That he is paid separation pay equivalent to at least one (1) month salary or to one-half (1/2) month salary for every year of service, whichever is greater, a fraction of at least six (6) months being considered as one (1) whole year.

Art. 285. Termination by employee.

An employee may terminate without just cause the employee-employer relationship by serving a written notice on the employer at least one (1) month in advance. The employer upon whom no such notice was served may hold the employee liable for damages. 

An employee may put an end to the relationship without serving any notice on the employer for any of the following just causes: 

  1. Serious insult by the employer or his representative on the honor and person of the employee; 
  2. Inhuman and unbearable treatment accorded the employee by the employer or his representative;
  3. Commission of a crime or offense by the employer or his representative against the person of the employee or any of the immediate members of his family; and
  4. Other causes analogous to any of the foregoing.

Art. 286. When employment not deemed terminated. The bona-fide suspension of the operation of a business or undertaking for a period not exceeding six (6) months, or the fulfillment by the employee of a military or civic duty shall not terminate employment. In all such cases, the employer shall reinstate the employee to his former position without loss of seniority rights if he indicates his desire to resume his work not later than one (1) month from the resumption of operations of his employer or from his relief from the military or civic duty.