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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.

Why Do National And Local Candidates Use 4Ps To Gain Supporters?

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is the national government’s human development measure. Its main objective is to provide financial assistance to the poorest of the poor so basic needs such as education, health and nutrition are met. The program works like conditional cash transfer, which originated from Latin American and African countries. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)is the government agency leading 4Ps.

With 17 regions in the Philippines, 79 provinces, 143 cities and 1484 municipalities covered by this program, national and local candidates are using the program as bait to get a sufficient number of supporters they need to win in the 2016 election. In one of the campaign rallies, one supporter attested to the “generosity” of a local candidate for choosing her as one of the beneficiaries of 4Ps. Other 4Ps members were warned of 500 cut if they refuse to join an activity, which is not even part of the activity of 4Ps.

The activity that posed a threat to the monthly assistance that the beneficiaries get is not part of the 4Ps program. While the election is a perfect time for unscrupulous candidates to deceive gullible voters in Class D and E, conditional cash grants should not be used as another instrument to win votes.
According to the explanatory note of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago “The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is more than a welfare program; it addresses structural inequities in society and promotes human capital development of the poor, thus, breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty. The conditions attached to the grants require parents to undergo trainings on responsible parenthood, have their children undergo health check-ups and ensure school attendance. The program ensures that there is sufficient resource for the health, nutrition and education of children aged 0-14 year old. An initial study on the pilot areas of the program shows promising results.”

Has the problem with poverty been properly addressed by this program? As of June 2015, there are 4,436,732 4Ps beneficiaries and 555,861 of which are classified as indigenous households. Unfortunately, the cash granted to the beneficiaries is not enough to put food on their plate on a daily basis. There are reports that poverty is still clutching the poor with its sharp claws. This is why some beneficiaries are left with no choice but to pawn their ATM to make ends meet. While the government has been closely monitoring beneficiaries involved in these prohibited practices, something has to be done. Aside from voter education, beneficiaries must also be aware that their situation should not be used by local and national candidates as an instrument for winning a seat in the 2016 election.

3 Policemen Involved In Kidnap-Slay Case

It is no secret that policemen have been involved in a series of crimes and while there are cops who continue to exude exemplary behaviour, bad still outnumbers the good. Due to the growing number of policemen involved in crimes, their tainted reputation no longer comes as a surprise. Some cops will take these in their stride, but an ordinary citizen will consider these issues a cause for alarm. Another reason for disappointment is the death of Adora Lazatin, found floating in the Pasig River on April 8, 2016, Friday. The perpetrators were nabbed for the victim’s kidnap-slay, and three of them are policemen.

PO1 Mark Jay de los Santos, Inspector Eljie Jacobe and PO1 Edmon Gonzales were arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) over the weekend.  According to NBI, the perpetrators have withdrawn at least P200,000 from the victim’s savings account. Before Lazatin’s disappearance, Ryan, her son informed him that she was going to meet a prospective buyer and the prospect turned out to be PO1 Mark Jay de los Santos. Lazatin and De los Santos agreed to meet at a mall. Ryan reported his mother missing when she failed to answer text messages.  Aside from kidnapping with homicide, the five suspects are also facing charges for violating the access devices regulation law. 

“Sec. 10. Penalties. — Any person committing any of the acts constituting access device fraud enumerated in the immediately preceding Sec. shall be punished with:

(a) a fine of Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) or twice the value obtained by the offense, whichever is greater and imprisonment for not less than six (6) years and not more than ten (10) years, in the case of an offense under Sec. 9 (b)-(e), and (g)-(p) which does not occur after a conviction for another offense under Sec. 9;

(b) a fine of Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) or twice the value obtained by the offense, and imprisonment for not less than ten (10) years and for not more than twelve (12) years, in the case of an offense under Sec. 9 (a), and (f) of the foregoing Sec., which does not occur after a conviction for another offense under Sec. 9; and

(c) a fine of Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) or twice the value obtained by the offense, or imprisonment for not less than twelve (12) years and not more than twenty (20) years, or both, in the case of any offense under Sec. 9, which occurs after a conviction for another offense under said subSec., or an attempt to commit the same. “

Bongbong Marcos Refuses To Apologize For Human Rights Abuses Under His Father’s Regime

The recently concluded Vice Presidential debate on Sunday resurrected issues on human rights violations under martial law. Among the six aspirants, Bongbong Marcos found himself in the hot seat and most of the aspirants grilled him for refusing to apologize for the violations committed under the martial rule of his father. Although decades have passed, vice presidential candidates just cannot bury the hatchet and forget the past.

Bongbong Marcos also said that he could not apologize for anyone else, only for himself and for what he had done. He also emphasized that every administration committed human rights violations, which is not only limited to unscrupulous killings. Based on the website of Human Rights Victims Claims Board, there are almost 80,000 claims and the application for claims ended on May 30, 2015. The monetary reparation can be found in Republic Act No. 10638.

“Section 4. Entitlement to Monetary Reparation. — Any HRVV qualified under this Act shall receive reparation from the State, free of tax, as herein prescribed: Provided, That for a deceased or involuntary disappeared HRVV, the legal heirs as provided for in the Civil Code of the Philippines, or such other person named by the executor or administrator of the deceased or involuntary disappeared HRVV’s estate in that order, shall be entitled to receive such reparation: Provided, further, That no special power of attorney shall be recognized in the actual disbursement of the award, and only the victim or the aforestated successor(s)-in-interest shall be entitled to personally receive said reparation form the Board, unless the victim involved is shown to be incapacitated to the satisfaction of the Board: Provided, furthermore, That the reparation received under this Act shall be without prejudice to the receipt of any other sum by the HRVV from any other person or entity in any case involving violations of human rights as defined in this Act.

Section 5. Nonmonetary Reparation. — The Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Education (DepED), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and such other government agencies shall render the necessary services as nonmonetary reparation for HRVVs and/or their families, as may be determined by the Board pursuant to the provisions of this Act. The amount necessary for this purpose shall be sourced from the budget of the agency concerned in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).

Section 6. Amount of Reparation. — The amount of reparation under this Act shall be in proportion to the gravity of the human rights violation committed on the HRVV and in accordance with the number of points assigned to the individual under Section 19 hereof.

Section 7. Source of Reparation. — The amount of Ten billion pesos (P10,000,000,000.00) plus accrued interest which form part of the funds transferred to the government of the Republic of the Philippines by virtue of the December 10, 1997 Order of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, adjudged by the Supreme Court of the Philippines as final and executory in Republic vs. Sandiganbayan on July 15, 2003 (G.R. No. 152154) as Marcos ill-gotten wealth and forfeited in favor of the Republic of the Philippines, shall be the principal source funds for the implementation of this Act.”

Beware Of Job Scams In Social Media Using A Hotel Company

These days, technology has made it easy for job seekers to search for employment. However, not all jobs spread through job placement sites and social media are legitimate. Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) warns job seekers against social media job scams. The warning was issued by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). The agency advises applicants to be more cautious because this employment scam uses a hotel company’s name. Baldoz added that aside from sending e-mails to jobseekers, these scammers are also using social media to lure people who are searching for employment using social channels such as Facebook.

According to the scammers Facebook post, Marriott Hotel in Canada is in need of new workers. The said hotel company was offering jobs for various positions such as technicians, comedians, models, actors, stewards and other related hotel job categories. Although these scammers use reputable companies to attract potential victims, it is easy to identify red flags once jobseekers are cautious. Scammers often use e-mail and social media to post fake job openings. However, for a company as reputable as Marriott Hotel, it is very unlikely to receive alerts on their job openings through e-mail or social media.

Unsuspecting victims are requested to send resume, application and other essential documents. The scammer will suggest sending these documents to a fraudulent email address, which is usually a free web-based email. Marriott Hotel has its own email address and will not contact applicants using free e-mail service. Once the scammers earn the applicant’s trust, they are going to request for a certain amount of money to be sent via bank or wire transfer. The scammers will trick applicants into believing that the money will be used as payment for visa, immigration and processing fees. If you are dealing with a legitimate company, you will not be required to shell out some cash just to be considered for employment.

Another red flag is when the job openings have grammatical or spelling mistakes. A job opening from a legitimate company such as Marriott Hotel is free of grammatical and spelling errors as they are professionally written. POEA advises jobseekers to follow precautionary measures so illegal recruitment can be avoided. When searching for employment, POEA encourages jobseekers to deal with recruitment agencies licensed by POEA.

Avoid agencies that require you to make a payment for processing your papers. Do not deal with an unauthorized person of a licensed agency. If an agency promises overseas employment without requiring an applicant to undergo proper screening and application process, this is also considered a red flag. For available job orders, applicants may visit POEA website.

DILG Orders Probe On Kidapawan Incident

The devastating effects of El Niño have plagued everyone in the country. While we may whine about the scorching heat that makes us want to stay cooped up in our home, the farmers have bigger issues to face. These issues have urged 6000 Kidapawan farmers to take to the streets to protest due to the alleged failure of government to provide relief to starving families of farmers. These are not just shallow complaints about drought because the farmers’ livelihood has already been affected. When there is no food on your plate, you need to do something to provide food for your family who is already starving to death.

The problem started when the police opened fire on the protesters and when investigation was conducted, police said that one of the dead protesters came out positive for powder burns. The Kidapawan incident will bring forth fact-finding team and the National Police Commission will also conduct its own investigation. The PNP fact finding team will be headed by Police Director Isagani Nerez.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has also noticed some lapses on the dispersal of protesters and they are also going to conduct their own investigation to find out if there is indeed a violation committed during the incident. The investigation will not only look at the rights of protesters but the police as well.  Inspite of the bloody incident, the government has not yet lifted a finger to give in to the farmers’ demands. Whether it is political ideologies or purely a case of following standard operating procedure, the farmers just need food to eat. With the ongoing investigation, will the Kidapawan incident prove that this is a clear violation of human rights?

“Section 2. Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or Under Custodial Investigation; Duties of Public Officers.

(a) Any person arrested detained or under custodial investigation shall at all times be assisted by counsel.

(b) Any public officer or employee, or anyone acting under his order or his place, who arrests, detains or investigates any person for the commission of an offense shall inform the latter, in a language known to and understood by him, of his rights to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel, preferably of his own choice, who shall at all times be allowed to confer privately with the person arrested, detained or under custodial investigation. If such person cannot afford the services of his own counsel, he must be provided with a competent and independent counsel by the investigating officer.

(c) The custodial investigation report shall be reduced to writing by the investigating officer, provided that before such report is signed, or thumbmarked if the person arrested or detained does not know how to read and write, it shall be read and adequately explained to him by his counsel or by the assisting counsel provided by the investigating officer in the language or dialect known to such arrested or detained person, otherwise, such investigation report shall be null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

(d) Any extrajudicial confession made by a person arrested, detained or under custodial investigation shall be in writing and signed by such person in the presence of his counsel or in the latter's absence, upon a valid waiver, and in the presence of any of the parents, elder brothers and sisters, his spouse, the municipal mayor, the municipal judge, district school supervisor, or priest or minister of the gospel as chosen by him; otherwise, such extrajudicial confession shall be inadmissible as evidence in any proceeding.

(e) Any waiver by a person arrested or detained under the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, or under custodial investigation, shall be in writing and signed by such person in the presence of his counsel; otherwise the waiver shall be null and void and of no effect.

(f) Any person arrested or detained or under custodial investigation shall be allowed visits by or conferences with any member of his immediate family, or any medical doctor or priest or religious minister chosen by him or by any member of his immediate family or by his counsel, or by any national non-governmental organization duly accredited by the Commission on Human Rights of by any international non-governmental organization duly accredited by the Office of the President. The person's "immediate family" shall include his or her spouse, fiancé or fiancée, parent or child, brother or sister, grandparent or grandchild, uncle or aunt, nephew or niece, and guardian or ward.

As used in this Act, "custodial investigation" shall include the practice of issuing an "invitation" to a person who is investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed, without prejudice to the liability of the "inviting" officer for any violation of law.”

Job Contracting: Where Do You Exactly Draw The Line?

These days, the employers and employees inclined into job-contracting are significantly increasing. However, job contracting schemes cut both ways: the negative and the positive. The positive aspects of job contracting are outlined in House Bill No. 380, but when you look at the big picture, there are some issues that job contracting needs to address. For one, contractual workers are hired by agencies and with this scheme, some workers are underpaid and not getting the benefits due to them.

Contracting and Subcontracting

As defined by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), contracting or subcontracting is an arrangement where an employer (referred to as the principal) enters an agreement to farm out with a subcontractor or contractor a job’s completion. There is a predetermined or definite period for the completion of a specific job. In most cases, the service or work is completed within outside the principal’s premises.

“1)  Minimum capitalization of at least P3 Million

•  fully paid up capital for corporation, partnership and cooperative;

•  net worth for single proprietorship

2) Proof of ownership or lease agreement on tools, equipment, machineries and work premises

3) Payment of P25,000.00 registration fee

4) Proof of financial capacity to pay the wages and benefits of its workers using the Net Financial Contracting Capacity (NFCC) formula in government procurement

5)  Control over the performance of the work of the employee deployed or assigned to render the contracted work or services

6)  Not engaged in labor-only contracting arrangement as provided in Section 6 Certificate of Bank Deposits

7)  Not engaged in prohibited activities enumerated in Section 7

8)  Observes the rights of the workers as provided in Section 8

9)  Observes the required contracts under Section 9

10) Not delisted from the registry of legitimate contractor/subcontractor”

Contracting or subcontracting will only be legitimate if:

“a. the contractor or subcontractor carries on a distinct and independent business and undertakes to perform the job, work or service on its own account and under its own responsibility, according to its own manner and method, and free from the control and direction of the principal in all matters connected with the performance of the work except as to the results thereof;

b. the contractor or subcontractor has substantial capital or investment;

c. The agreement between the principal and the contractor or subcontractor assures the contractual employees entitlement to all occupational safety and health standards, free exercise of the right to self organization, security of tenure, and social and welfare benefits.”

The contractor’s employees are also entitled of the following:

“(a) safe and healthful working conditions;

(b) labor standards such as service incentive leave, rest days, overtime pay, holiday pay, 13th month pay, and separation pay as may be provided in the Service Agreement or under the Labor Code;

(c) retirement benefits under the SSS or
retirement plans of the contractor, if there are any;

(d) social security and welfare benefits;

(e) self-organization, collective bargaining and peaceful concerted activities; and

(f) security of tenure.”

If a worker feels that the contractor or subcontractor has violated the provisions of DO 18-A,  they can file a complaint so the contractor’s registration will be cancelled. Complaint must be filed before the DOLE Regional Office.

Death Is Certain And So Is Estate Tax

When death comes knocking on your door, there is nothing you can do but embrace it and accept that you have reached the final chapter of your life. For an individual who cares for the future of loved ones left behind, leaving properties upon death is a sound decision. However, these properties can become a liability if estate taxes are not properly settled. The question is: Who pays the estate tax?

Estate Tax

Estate tax refers to the difference between the allowable deductions and the gross estate as defined under Section 85 and 86 of the Tax Code. The rates of estate tax are graduated and depend on the amount of net estate. The property may not be transferred to the decedent’s heirs if filing of the estate tax return has not been executed and payment of the estate tax has not been made. The problem often lies with non-payment of estate tax and this is one of the road blocks in transferring the property to the buyers’ or heirs’ names.

Estate Proceedings

When someone passes away, there are things that need to be done so you can prevent problems with transferring the property. 

1.    Within two months, the family has to file a Notice of Death with the Bureau of Internal Revenue after the date of death. When the value of the estate exceeds P20,000, this procedure will be applied. The Notice of Death should be filed by the administrator of the estate of executor. There is no specific format that should be followed for filing the notice.

2.    A Tax Identification Number (TIN) for the Estate of the deceased individual will also be required. This can be secured by filling out the BIR Form No. 1901. The TIN is essential for filing the Estate Tax Return (BIR Form No. 1801).

3.    Make sure the list of decedent’s assets and liabilities are ready. The faire market values of the properties at the time of the decedent’s death must also be obtained.

4.    Essential documents for the assets and liabilities must be prepared. Some of the supporting documents that must be secured are a certified copy of the Death Certificate, Notice of Death received by the BIR, Affidavit of Self-Adjudication etc.

5.    Once required documents are completed, the net estate and estate tax must be computed.

6.    Estate Tax Return must be filed and estate taxes should be paid.

7.    There will be a procedure for transferring the properties to the heir’s name which should be followed.

8.    The procedure for cancellation of the decedent’s TIN as outlined in Section 12 of Revenue Regulations No. 7-2012 must also be followed.

Unremitted SSS Contributions: Are Employers Liable?

Is there a penalty for employers who fail to remit employees’ SSS contributions? By strengthening Republic Act 8282, there will be stiffer penalties for delinquent employers. Problems with SSS contributions have created a negative effect on SSS pensioners and P1200 per month cannot support the pensioners’ daily needs. According to Neri Colmenares, the uncollected contributions should be used in increasing the pension of most SSS members, which include OFWs. There are thousands of cases where employers do not remit SSS contributions. While it reflects on the employee’s payslip, the anomaly remains unexplained and undiscovered until the employee resigns.

Section 28 of RA 8282 states that non-remittance of worker’s SSS contributions shall be punishable by:

“a fine of not less than Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) nor more than Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00), or imprisonment for not less than six (6) years and one (1) day nor more than twelve (12) years, or both, at the discretion of the court: Provided, That where the violation consists in failure or refusal to register employees or himself, in case of the covered self-employed or to deduct contributions from the employees’ compensation and remit the same to the SSS, the penalty shall be a fine of not less Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) nor more than Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) and imprisonment for not less than six (6) years and one (1) day nor more than twelve (12) years.

"(f) If the act or omission penalized by this Act be committed by an association, partnership, corporation or any other institution, its managing head, directors or partners shall be liable for the penalties provided in this Act for the offense.

"(g) Any employee of the SSS who receives or keeps funds or property belonging, payable or deliverable to the SSS and who shall appropriate the same, or shall take or misappropriate, or shall consent, or through abandonment or negligence, shall permit any other person to take such property or funds, wholly or partially, or shall otherwise be guilty of misappropriation of such funds or property, shall suffer the penalties provided in Article Two hundred seventeen of the Revised Penal Code.

"(h) Any employer who, after deducting the monthly contributions or loan amortizations from his employee’s compensation, fails to remit the said deduction to the SSS within thirty (30) days from the date they became due, shall be presumed to have misappropriated such contributions or loan amortizations and shall suffer the penalties provided in Article Three hundred fifteen of the Revised Penal Code.

"(i) Criminal action arising from a violation of the provisions of this Act may be commenced by the SSS or the employee concerned either under this Act or in appropriate cases under the Revised Penal Code: Provided, That such criminal action may be filed by the SSS in the city or municipality where the SSS office is located, if the violation was committed within its territorial jurisdiction or in Metro Manila, at the option of the SSS.”

How Is Support Awarded To A Child Based On The Family Code Of The Philippines?

The door that provides answers to the lingering questions on child support is often less entered. There are no definite answers as some individuals resign to preconceived notions. While child support is not a taboo topic, the circumstances that have gotten a person into this kind of situation makes it difficult to open up. Due to the intricacies that one cannot easily decipher, a single parent chooses to shoulder the responsibilities no matter the challenges.

Although the law does not specify the exact amount that should be given to the child, there are factors that determine the amount of support. The amount is determined based on the giver’s financial capacity or resources and the recipient’s indispensable needs. Once the recipient is in need of maintenance, the support will be considered demandable based on Article 203 of the Family Code of the Philippines.
There are also factors that can lead to the modification of the amount of support. The amount will be changed or modified if there is an increase or reduction of the recipient’s necessities or the means or resources of the individual obliged to furnish the same. The increase or reduction in support will be implemented by motion based on the same proceeding which granted the support.

The persons obliged to support each other include:

•    Legitimate ascendants and descendants;
•    The spouses;
•    Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;
•    Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;
•    Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of full or half-blood.

The support continues until the child in question reaches 18, which is considered to be the age of majority. However, the support for education will still continue beyond the age of majority. The support for education includes the child’s training, expenses in going to and from school and transportation. There are two options that a person obliged can provide support to the recipient. Support can be given by paying a fixed allowance or maintaining the person entitled to get the support in his dwelling.

In cases where petition for annulment of marriage succeeds, the giver is no longer obliged to support the spouse. Nullity of marital union also discontinues the obligation of the giver to support the spouse. The support is only required to those who are husband and wife. They are the ones who require supporting each other and rendering mutual help.

If the wife is convicted of adultery, the husband will not be obliged to give support to her. This is due to the fact that the wife also loses the right to support. The husband has to prove that adultery has been committed because mere allegation does not bar the wife from her right to support.

Basic Rights Every Employee Should Know

Why does unfair labor practice exist? Is it because of employers who are simply taking advantage of employees’ lack of knowledge of labor laws? When employees are not aware of their rights, it is easy for them to shrug off irregularities. There are some companies that implement open door policy, but good employees resign because the issues are not properly resolved.   While it may not be completely save an employee from being denied of their rights, it still pays off to know basic employee rights.

“ The Bureau of Working Conditions, a staff department of the Department of Labor and Employment, compiled a list of Basic Rights that every worker is entitled to. These rights ensure the safety and health of all workers.

1. Equal work opportunities for all
The State shall protect labor, promote full employment, provide equal work opportunity regardless of gender, race, or creed; and regulate relations between employees and employers.

2. Security of tenure
Every employee shall be assured security of tenure. No employee can be dismissed from work except for a just or authorized cause, and only after due process.

Just cause refers to any wrongdoing committed by an employee; authorized cause refers to economic circumstances that are not the employee’s fault.

3. Work days and work hours
An employee must be paid their wages for all hours worked. If their work hours fall between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., they are entitled to night shift pay in addition to their pay for regular work hours. If they work over eight hours a day, they are entitled to overtime pay.

4. Weekly rest day
A day-off of 24 consecutive hours after six (6) days of work should be scheduled by the employer upon consultation with the workers.

5. Wage and wage-related benefits
Wage is the amount paid to an employee in exchange for to the service that they rendered to their employer. Wage may be fixed for a given period.

6. Payment of wages
Wages should be paid directly to the employee in cash, legal tender, or through a bank.
Wages shall be given not less than once every two weeks or twice within a month at intervals not exceeding 16 days.

7. Female employees
Women are prohibited from engaging in night work unless the work is allowed by the following rules: industrial undertakings from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., commercial/non-industrial undertakings from 12 m.n. to 6 a.m., or agricultural takings at night provided that she has had nine consecutive hours of rest.

Welfare facilities, such as separate dressing rooms and lavatories, must be installed at the workplace.

8. Employment of children      
The minimum employment age is 15 years of age. Any worker below 15 years of age should be directly under the sole responsibility of parents or guardians provided that work does not interfere with the child’s schooling or development.

The minimum age of employment is 18 years for hazardous jobs, and 15 years for non-hazardous jobs.

9. Safe working conditions
Employers must provide workers with every kind of on-the-job protection against injury, sickness or death through safe and healthful working conditions.

10. Rights to self-organization and collective bargaining
Every worker has the right to self-organization, i.e., to form or to join any legitimate workers’ union, free from interference of their employer or the government. All workers may join a union for the purpose of collective bargaining and is eligible for union membership on the first day of their employment.

Collective bargaining is a process between two parties, namely the employer and the union, where the terms and conditions of employment are fixed and agreed upon. In collective bargaining, the two parties also decide upon a method for resolving grievances. Collective bargaining results in a contract called a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).”

Another great source of information about labor codes can be found in the official website of DOLE. This website provides answers to work-related concerns. However, an employee should keep in mind that labor laws can serve as a guide so violations in the workplace are prevented. Employees should also know where to draw the line and should not use these labor laws as an instrument to blackmail an employer because in a country where justice system is sluggish, there is still such a thing as due process.

Is It Time For Freedom Of Information Bill To Be Enacted Into A Law?

Corruption is a political cancer that the country has not yet found a viable solution for. Many anti-corruption advocates are aiming for good governance free of corruption, but some government agencies continue to mar the country with graft and corruption, stashing away millions and getting away with the crimes they committed scot-free. The proposed Freedom of Information Bill aims to mandate public documents’ disclosure and once this bill is enacted into a law, all government agencies are required to make information pertaining to transactions, official acts, or decisions available to the public.

“1.   Official acts of public officers done in the pursuit of their official functions;

2.    Judicial or quasi-judicial decisions or orders as well as records of court cases in whatever stage, and policy decisions of public officers, boards, commissions or tribunals;

3.    Transactions, contracts and agreements, whether the government is a nominal or active contracting or counter-party, including negotiations or definite propositions of the government leading to the consummation of the transactions, contracts and agreements;

4.    Government research data used as basis for policy development, enactment of statutes, rules and regulations, and execution of transactions, contracts and agreements, whether the government is a nominal or active contracting or counter-party, including negotiations or definite propositions of the government leading to the consummation of the transactions, contracts and agreements;

5.    Laws, policies, rules and procedure, work programs, projects and performance targets, performance reports;

6.    Public and private writings coming into the hands of public officers in connection with their official functions;

7.    Books of account, ledgers, and other documents of whatever nature or character used as basis for applications, reports or returns or other documents regardless of nature or character submitted to the government; and

8.    All other information required by law to be accessible to the public.”

Aside from minimizing graft and corruption, the bill gives citizens a chance to participate in matters related to the government. Although the bill has a good purpose especially when it comes to granting access to the public so they too can obtain necessary information, the bill has yet to undergo long process. Is this bill going to die a natural death? Is there still hope for the bill to become a law eventually? While the corrupt and powerful continues to sit on a throne and this bill has not yet win sustainable nods, the country’s fight against corruption will become a useless battle. The dream of a country free of corruption is probably dead and the hopes of openness and transparency may have also died along with it.

What Should You Do When You Get Into Road Accidents?

When panic attacks take precedence over presence of mind, it is hard to gather your thoughts and pull yourself together during road accidents. For sure, the steps to take if you have gotten yourself into road accidents have not crossed your mind unless you are involved. While going to driving school provides you the dos and don’ts of driving, experience is somehow the best teacher. The basic laws of driving are covered under the Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. The Act provides motorists with the information on provisions and traffic laws.

Section 5 of the RA 4136 tackles the processes of registration of motor vehicles. It states that “all motor vehicles and trailer of any type used or operated on or upon any highway of the Philippines must be registered with the Bureau of Land Transportation for the current year in accordance with the provisions of this Act.”

A fee of fifty pesos (P50.00) will be collected by the Bureau of Land Transportation and this fee is intended for the annotation of a mortgage and other encumbrances.

Section 55 outlines the duty of the driver in case of accident:

“SECTION 55. Duty of Driver in Case of Accident. – In the event that any accident should occur as a result of the operation of a motor vehicle upon a highway, the driver present, shall show his driver’s license, give his true name and address and also the true name and address of the owner of the motor vehicle.

No driver of a motor vehicle concerned in a vehicular accident shall leave the scene of the accident without aiding the victim, except under any of the following circumstances:

1. If he is in imminent danger of being seriously harmed by any person or persons by reason of the accident;

2. If he reports the accident to the nearest officer of the law; or

3. If he has to summon a physician or nurse to aid the victim.”

For the driver, it is important to ensure safety of people who are involved in the accident. Taking pictures of the accident is also necessary because this will serve as evidence especially if the other person denies the incident that has taken place. When taking pictures of both vehicles, the license plates and the area where the accident occurred must be included.

If it is possible, your vehicle must be moved off to the side of the road and let the investigator get all the details related to the accident. The information will be reviewed later on. If the accident involves another driver, an exchange of information must be considered. The essential details that you need to gather are name, phone number, address, policy number, insurance company, driver’s license number and license plate number. Do not forget to include the make and model of the vehicle.

After the exchange of information, contact your insurance company so you will be able to find out about the coverage of your insurance. An accident report must also be filed with the police department. A police report can speed up the process of filing for insurance claims. The report can be filed at your local police station.

Human Trafficking, Illegal Recruitment And A Promise Of A Better Life

When victims of illegal recruitment and human trafficking are asked for reasons why they choose to bite the bait instead of waiting for a legal job opportunity to come, there is only one answer that comes to mind: a promise of a better life. Poverty drives a person to make hasty decisions. Someone who is desperate to free himself from poverty’s tight grip will focus on the solution, regardless of its sources. Law becomes non-existent as these unsuspecting victims want to improve their life.

The grass is greener on the other side because those fresh blades of grass are made of plastics. They are facades of the harsh reality that greets desperate job-seekers who just want a better life. They are victims who simply wish to have food on their plate or enjoy pleasures of life. Prostitution, organ sale, sex tourism and other illegal jobs can be in the guise of a decent job to lure people into recruitment.

The ripple effect of illegal recruitment becomes evident in the case of Mary Jane Veloso, an OFW who was put to prison due to being suspected as a drug mule and presently, on Indonesia’s death row. Due aspiring for a better life, illegal recruiters seized the opportunity to take advantage of Veloso. While Veloso was hoping for a better future ahead of her, human traffickers were up to something else.

Veloso’s boat of hope sinks before it reaches the sea. Sad, unfortunate, disheartening. Mary Jane Veloso represents millions of OFWs who continue to fight a difficult battle against poverty and a poor excuse of a system. Human trafficking schemes continue to turn dreams into nightmare. There are government agencies such as POEA that provide information to job-seekers to avoid falling victim to illegal recruitment and human trafficking, but people need more than just a piece of information. When your family is starving to death, wouldn’t you consider  once-in-a-lifetime job offer appealing?

Section 10 of Republic Act No. 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Person Act of 2012 provides details of penalties and sanctions for those who this law.

“SEC. 10. Penalties and Sanctions. – The following penalties and sanctions are hereby established for the offenses enumerated in this Act:

“(a) Any person found guilty of committing any of the acts enumerated in Section 4 shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of twenty (20) years and a fine of not less than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00) but not more than Two million pesos (P2,000,000.00);

“(b) Any person found guilty of committing any of the acts enumerated in Section 4-A of this Act shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of fifteen (15) years and a fine of not less than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) but not more than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00);

“(c) Any person found guilty of Section 4-B of this Act shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of fifteen (15) years and a fine of not less than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) but not more than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00);

“In every case, conviction shall cause and carry the automatic revocation of the license or registration of the recruitment agency involved in trafficking. The license of a recruitment agency which trafficked a child shall be automatically revoked.

“(d) Any person found, guilty of committing any of the acts enumerated in Section 5 shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of fifteen (15) years and a fine of not less than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) but not more than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00);

“(e) Any person found guilty of qualified trafficking under Section 6 shall suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of not less than Two million pesos (P2,000,000.00) but not more than Five million pesos (P5,000,000.00);

“(f) Any person who violates Section 7 hereof shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of six (6) years and a fine of not less than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) but not more than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00);

“(g) If the offender is a corporation, partnership, association, club, establishment or any juridical person, the penalty shall be imposed upon the owner, president, partner, manager, and/or any responsible officer who participated in the commission of the crime or who shall have knowingly permitted or failed to prevent its commission;

“(h) The registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and license to operate of the erring agency, corporation, association, religious group, tour or travel agent, club or establishment, or any place of entertainment shall be cancelled and revoked permanently. The owner, president, partner or manager thereof shall not be allowed to operate similar establishments in a different name;

“(i) If the offender is a foreigner, he or she shall be immediately deported after serving his or her sentence and be barred permanently from entering the country;

“(j) Any employee or official of government agencies who shall issue or approve the issuance of travel exit clearances, passports, registration certificates, counseling certificates, marriage license, and other similar documents to persons, whether juridical or natural, recruitment agencies, establishments or other individuals or groups, who fail to observe the prescribed procedures and the requirement as provided for by laws, rules and regulations, shall be held administratively liable, without prejudice to criminal liability under this Act. The concerned government official or employee shall, upon conviction, be dismissed from the service and be barred permanently to hold public office. His or her retirement and other benefits shall likewise be forfeited; and

“(k) Conviction, by final judgment of the adopter for any offense under this Act shall result in the immediate rescission of the decree of adoption.”

Identity Theft: A Gateway To Another Crime

Crimes come in many forms these days. This is why people take necessary security measures to increase the level of protection and decrease the possibility of crimes. Unfortunately, vigilance may not be enough if culprits have a way of committing a crime without getting caught. A few weeks ago, a robbery-homicide case in Laguna has left fear to many especially to homeowners who are often left alone with their kids. In a country where alarm systems and other security devices are not yet considered a necessity, the only weapon a homeowner can arm himself with is vigilance.

In the Laguna robber-homicide case, the victim has taken some necessary precautions to protect herself and her one-year-old child from harm. An exchange of text messages with her spouse is proof that she followed best practices in letting a stranger inside her house. Unfortunately, the cunning suspects had better plans, and those were something that the victims were unprepared for.

While the information about the supposed suspect was obtained by the spouse, a shocking revelation just turned the spouse’s world upside down. During the earlier investigation, it was revealed, through the victim’s text message, that David Dela Cruz was the primary suspect of the heinous crime. It was all over the news and a hefty reward awaits those who can give leads to the suspect’s whereabouts. A few days later, a senior specialist from a telecom company named Christopher Oliveros said he was the person on the Identification card of the suspect.

Colleagues have attested that the specialist was in a different location when the incident happened. As the story unfolds, the truth becomes more and more alarming because Oliveros himself was a victim of identity theft. The picture shown on the ID card was stolen from his Facebook account.  Although the suspects have documents to show, those were fake documents. The job order taken from the victims’ residence was merely fabricated. The suspects were captured by a nearby CCTV in the area, and further investigations will be conducted to solve the puzzle. With this robbery-homicide case, vigilance may not be enough to stay protected against unscrupulous criminals.

The crimes related to identity theft are covered under the Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and the Republic Act 10175 or Cybercrime Prevention Act. The robbery-homicide suspects are still out in the streets. It may take weeks or months to consider this crime solved, but one thing is for sure, there are still predators, waiting for another victim to fall into their evil schemes. With the craftiness of these identity thieves, one could only hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

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.”

Urban Development And Housing Act Of 1992: A Misunderstood Law?

The Republic Act No. 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act is authored by former senator Jose D. Lina and the law has been in existence for many years but, until now, it is misunderstood. While the law aims to pay serious attention to homeless citizens more often referred to as informal settlers, there are some guidelines and procedures that need to be followed in the event of demolition. One of the misconceptions is that informal settlers have the right to own the land if they have been squatting on it for more than 10 years. Unfortunately, this claim has no basis in the law. Thus, it remains a false belief that informal settlers continue to embrace.

There are also scenarios when private landowners pay informal settlers as a form of compensation. Although, private landowners are not prohibited to provide financial assistance to informal settlers who have agreed to relocate, giving money to squatters should be a voluntary act. Prior to relocation, squatters need to be consulted, but consultation does not necessarily mean that their consent is also needed. The role of the government is to ensure that all available resources are exhausted to ensure that the relocation site is near the settlers’ job sites. Without the settlers’ consent, the government will still push through with searching for a suitable relocation site.

Informal settlers do not own the land and this is why they have limited rights. They can be ejected based on ejection and accion publiciana.  Ejectment refers to unlawful detainer or forcible entry while accion publiciana refers to the plenary action to recover the better possession right.

Section 28 of this Act outlines eviction and demolition procedures:

“Sec.  28. Eviction and Demolition. — Eviction or demolition as a practice shall be discouraged. Eviction or demolition, however, may be allowed under the following situations:

(a) When persons or entities occupy danger areas such as esteros, railroad tracks, garbage dumps, riverbanks, shorelines, waterways, and other public places such as sidewalks, roads, parks, and playgrounds;      
    
(b) When government infrastructure projects with available funding are about to be implemented; or

(c) When there is a court order for eviction and demolition.chanrobles virtual law library

In the execution of eviction or demolition orders involving underprivileged and homeless citizens, the following shall be mandatory:

(1) Notice upon the effected persons or entities at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of eviction or demolition;     
           
(2) Adequate consultations on the matter of settlement with the duly designated representatives of the families to be resettled and the affected communities in the areas where they are to be relocated;

(3) Presence of local government officials or their representatives during eviction or demolition;

(4) Proper identification of all persons taking part in the demolition;

(5) Execution of eviction or demolition only during regular office hours from Mondays to Fridays and during good weather, unless the affected families consent otherwise;

(6) No use of heavy equipment for demolition except for structures that are permanent and of concrete materials;

(7) Proper uniforms for members of the Philippine National Police who shall occupy the first line of law enforcement and observe proper disturbance control procedures; and

(8) Adequate relocation, whether temporary or permanent: Provided, however, That in cases of eviction and demolition pursuant to a court order involving underprivileged and homeless citizens, relocation shall be undertaken by the local government unit concerned and the National Housing Authority with the assistance of other government agencies within forty-five (45) days from service of notice of final judgment by the court, after which period the said order shall be executed: Provided, further, That should relocation not be possible within the said period, financial assistance in the amount equivalent to the prevailing minimum daily wage multiplied by sixty (60) days shall be extended to the affected families by the local government unit concerned.

This Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council shall jointly promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to carry out the above provision.”

Does Long Separation Automatically Nullify Marriage?

Marriage is a sensitive subject matter that requires concrete answers. It is one of the most common topics being discussed in legal forums. If one has already found a new person to love, long separation does not necessarily nullify marriage because laws still get in the way.  Even if you are separated from your spouse for 10 years, it is not a sufficient ground for annulment. However, long separation will greatly depend on the circumstances. The petitioner is allowed to remarry if the court provides a declaration of presumptive death of the absent spouse. The separation between spouses is referred to as de facto separation. Both parties need to undergo proper procedure to nullify marriage. There are different ways marriage can be nullified: annulment, presumptive death, declaration of nullity and recognition of foreign divorce.

Article 83 of the Civil Code states:

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

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

A married individual who is separated from spouse should also note that legal separation does not allow a person to remarry as the spouses are still considered married to each other. Filing for legal separation is not faster than annulment because the petitioner needs to prove the allegations. There is also a mandatory 6-month cooling off period that must be observed as part of the procedure.

Article 55 of the Family Code outlines the grounds for legal separation:

“ (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.”

What Are The Rights Of An Illegitimate Child?

Being a parent is a huge responsibility, but parental responsibilities can be stressful if you are a single parent. You need to fulfil the roles of a mother and a father and make sure that your child’s basic needs are met. Child custody and support may be one of the intense issues for couples who choose to go on separate ways. If fighting for the custody of the child is burdensome to separated couples, just imagine the ordeal of single parents. What exactly are the rights of a child of an unwed mother? As stipulated in Republic Act No. 9225, children conceived or born outside a valid marriage still has the right to establish filiation and their rights as to their inheritance and surname. For the illegitimate children to establish relationship with their biological parent, they need to have the same evidence as the legitimate children.

Proving filiation of legitimate and illegitimate children:

•    Record of birth, which appears in the civil register or a final judgment;

•    Legitimate filiation admission in a public document or any private handwritten instrument, which is signed by the parent concerned.

If the evidence cannot be presented, filiation can be proved by:

•    The continuous and open possession of the status of a legitimate child; or

•    Other means approved by the Rules of Court and special laws.

Laws supporting the right of illegitimate children are also outlined in Republic Act No. 386:

"SECTION 1

Recognition of Natural Children

Article 276. A natural child may be recognized by the father and mother jointly, or by only one of them. (129)

Article 277. In case the recognition is made by only one of the parents, it shall be presumed that the child is natural, if the parent recognizing it had legal capacity to contract marriage at the time of the conception. (130)

Article 278. Recognition shall be made in the record of birth, a will, a statement before a court of record, or in any authentic writing. (131a)

Article 279. A minor who may not contract marriage without parental consent cannot acknowledge a natural child, unless the parent or guardian approves the acknowledgment or unless the recognition is made in a will. (n)

Article 280. When the father or the mother makes the recognition separately, he or she shall not reveal the name of the person with whom he or she had the child; neither shall he or she state any circumstance whereby the other parent may be identified. (132a)

Article 281. A child who is of age cannot be recognized without his consent.
When the recognition of a minor does not take place in a record of birth or in a will, judicial approval shall be necessary.
A minor can in any case impugn the recognition within four years following the attainment of his majority. (133a)

Article 282. A recognized natural child has the right:

(1) To bear the surname of the parent recognizing him;

(2) To receive support from such parent, in conformity with article 291;

(3) To receive, in a proper case, the hereditary portion which is determined in this Code. (134)

Article 283. In any of the following cases, the father is obliged to recognize the child as his natural child:

(1) In cases of rape, abduction or seduction, when the period of the offense coincides more or less with that of the conception;

(2) When the child is in continuous possession of status of a child of the alleged father by the direct acts of the latter or of his family;

(3) When the child was conceived during the time when the mother cohabited with the supposed father;

(4) When the child has in his favor any evidence or proof that the defendant is his father. (n)

Article 284. The mother is obliged to recognize her natural child:

(1) In any of the cases referred to in the preceding article, as between the child and the mother;

(2) When the birth and the identity of the child are clearly proved. (136a)

Article 285. The action for the recognition of natural children may be brought only during the lifetime of the presumed parents, except in the following cases:

(1) If the father or mother died during the minority of the child, in which case the latter may file the action before the expiration of four years from the attainment of his majority;

(2) If after the death of the father or of the mother a document should appear of which nothing had been heard and in which either or both parents recognize the child.

In this case, the action must be commenced within four years from the finding of the document. (137a)

Article 286. The recognition made in favor of a child who does not possess all the conditions stated in article 269, or in which the requirements of the law have not been fulfilled, may be impugned by those who are prejudiced by such recognition. (137)

SECTION 2

Other Illegitimate Children

Article 287. Illegitimate children other than natural in accordance with article 269 and other than natural children by legal fiction are entitled to support and such successional rights as are granted in this Code. (n)

Article 288. Minor children mentioned in the preceding article are under the parental authority of the mother. (n)

Article 289. Investigation of the paternity or maternity of children mentioned in the two preceding articles is permitted under the circumstances specified in articles 283 and 284. (n)"

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.



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