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CHAPTER III, SEC.

5 Divisible and Indivisible Obligations (Articles 1223-1225)

SECTION 5
DIVISIBLE AND INDIVISIBLE OBLIGATIONS
(Arts. 1223-1225)

STUDY GUIDE : (WEEK 5 31 July)


1.

Distinguish between a divisible and an indivisible obligation.

(a) Divisible an obligation the prestation of which is capable of partial


performance. (Example: to deliver 50 kilos of rice)
(b) Indivisible an obligation the prestation of which is not capable of partial
performance. (Example: to deliver a refrigerator)
2. What are the kinds of division? Be able to distinguish and give an example for
each kind.
(a) Qualitative division one based on quality.
(b) Quantitative division one based on quantity.
(c) Ideal or intellectual division one which exists only in the minds of the
parties.
3.

What are the kinds of indivisibility?

(a) Legal when an object or prestation, which is divisible by nature, is declared


indivisible by specific provision of law. (Art. 1225, par. 3)
(Example: The obligation to pay income taxes on or before April 15 every year.)
(b) Conventional when an object or prestation, which is divisible by nature, is
declared indivisible by mutual agreement of the parties. (Art. 1225, par. 3)
(Example: D promised to pay C his P100,000 debt on August 1, 2015.)
(c) Natural or Absolute when an object or prestation, by its very nature, is not
capable of division. (Art. 1225, par. 1)
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CHAPTER III, SEC. 5 Divisible and Indivisible Obligations (Articles 1223-1225)

(Example: D promised to deliver his car to C on August 1, 2015.)


TEST TO DETERMINE INDIVISIBILITY:
From the above categorization, we can then infer that :
(a) When the prestation is indivisible by its very nature, i.e., not physically susceptible of
partial performance, the obligation is always and definitely indivisible. The parties
cannot agree contrariwise.
Example: D obliged himself to deliver a BMW car to C. Since the car is not
physically divisible, even if D and C agree to make the obligation divisible, the same would
result in an absurd situation. Imagine if D would deliver half of the car today, and the
other half a week after. J
(b) Although the prestation is divisible by its nature, the parties may agree on the
obligations indivisibility.
Example: D obliged himself to deliver 100 copies of nursery rhymes books to C. In
this case, the obligation is divisible by its very nature because D may make a staggered
delivery of the books to C, e.g., 25 copies every week for four weeks. D and C, however,
can stipulate and agree that the obligation will become indivisible. Thus, D may be
obliged to deliver the entire 100 copies at one time only on a particular date agreed upon
by the parties.
READ THIS CASE IN ITS ORIGINAL TEXT: Soriano vs. Ubat, G.R. No.
L-11633, January 31, 1961.
4.

Arts.1209 and 1224 on Joint Indivisible Obligations

(a) As previously discussed in Section 4, in a joint indivisible obligation, the object of the
obligation is indivisible, but the liabilities of the debtors are joint. Illustrative
Example: D1 and D2 are jointly liable to deliver to C (owner of a laundromat) a
Whirlpool Dryer with serial no. 44714 valued at P25,000.00. The delivery date is set
on December 5, 2014.
(b) Pursuant to Art. 1209, C has to make a simultaneous demand upon D1 and D2 for
the delivery of the dryer. This is because, while the liability of the debtors are merely
joint, compliance is possible only if all the joint debtors act together. Hence, C cannot
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CHAPTER III, SEC. 5 Divisible and Indivisible Obligations (Articles 1223-1225)

make a demand only on either D1 or D2 for the delivery of his proportionate share of
the obligation that is, one-half of the dryer. J
(c) What is the effect of the debtors non-compliance with their joint indivisible obligation?
Pursuant to Art. 1224, the obligation is converted into a monetary obligation for
damages to be borne by the joint debtors as follows :
(c.1) The innocent debtor will be liable only for his proportionate share in the
obligation.
(c.2.) In addition to his proportionate share in the obligation, the guilty debtor is the
only one liable for the damages sustained by the creditor.
(d) Let us apply the rules in letter (c) to our illustrative example in letter (a). Let us
assume that the dryer which D1 & D2 promised was sent to the Whirlpool service
center because it needed replacement of major parts to become functional again.
The repair cost amounted to P10,000.00. D2 was able to come up with his
proportionate part in the repair cost amounting to P5,000.00. D1, however, lost his
P5,000.00 in a cockfight bet. As a result, the dryer could not be delivered to C on
December 5, 2014. Because of the non-delivery, C lost a lot of orders from his
laundromat customers costing P8,500.00. What are now the liabilities of D1 and D2
to C?
The obligation to deliver the Whirlpool dryer to C is converted into a monetary
obligation to give P25,000 to C.
(d.1) D2 will be liable to C for the amount of P12,500.00, his proportionate share in
the obligation.
(d.2.) D1 will be liable to C for the amount of P12,500.00 (his proportionate share in
the obligation), plus the consequential damages suffered by C in the amount of
P8,500.00, or a total of P21,000.00.
(e) Pursuant to the second sentence of Art. 1209, should D1 become insolvent, D2 will
not be liable for D1s share. Hence, in case of D1s insolvency, D2 is still obliged to
pay only P12,500.00 to C.
(f) Let us assume that in the preceding problem, instead of D1 and D2s obligation being
joint and indivisible, the same is solidary and indivisible. What would be the effect on
the debtors respective liabilities?

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CHAPTER III, SEC. 5 Divisible and Indivisible Obligations (Articles 1223-1225)

Answer: Such being the case, C can demand the Whirlpool dryer, or its price of
P25,000.00, plus the P8,500.00 consequential damages from D2 alone. However,
D2 can later on recover reimbursement from D1 for D1s proportionate share in the
obligation amounting to P12,500.00 plus the P8,500.00 damages a total of
P21,000.00. We apply Art. 1221, par. 2.
5.

Obligations that are deemed indivisible : (Art. 1225, par. 1)

(a) Obligations to give definite things (e.g., to give this car, or a house).
(b) Obligations which are not susceptible of partial performance (e.g., to render a
Tinikling dance presentation, or to host a birthday party).
6.

Obligations that are deemed divisible : (Art. 1225, par. 2)

(a) When the object of the obligation is the execution of a certain number of days of
work.
Example: Ms. D is hired by Mr. C to do some encoding job for 30 days.
(b) When the object of the obligation is the accomplishment of work by metrical units.
Example: D is hired by C to construct a pig pen 3 meters wide and 3 meters long.
(c) When the object of the obligation is the accomplishment of work susceptible of partial
performance.
Example: When the debtor has obliged himself to pay his P10,000.00 debt in ten (10)
equal monthly instalments.

APPLICATION/PROBLEMS :
1. On January 1, 2004, Jun signed a promissory note for P5M in favor of Sylvia. In
the said note, Jun obliged himself to pay Sylvia his debt in two (2) equal installments:
P2.5M to be paid on May 1, 2005, and the balance of P2.5M to be paid on December 1,
2005. Sylvia is given by law a prescriptive period of 10 years to collect on her credit. If
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CHAPTER III, SEC. 5 Divisible and Indivisible Obligations (Articles 1223-1225)

Sylvia files an action for collection against Jun under this obligation on July 20, 2015, how
much can Sylvia collect from Jun?
2. On February 15, 2015, Jay, Joe, and Jess promised to deliver to Jing and Josie a
BMW car, with plate number ABC-123, worth P6M. Two weeks before the delivery date
set in their contract, Joe drove the BMW car and slammed it into a ten-wheeler truck while
overspeeding along a barangay road in Manila. Because of the non-delivery of the car,
Jing and Josie suffered business loses amounting to P300,000.00. On maturity date, if
Jing goes to Jess demanding performance under this obligation, how much can Jess be
compelled to pay?
3. In the preceding problem, assume that the object which the debtors promised to
deliver to the creditors was a 2015 red Toyota Land Cruiser car worth P6M. Assume also
that the same factual circumstances prevailed. Will your answer to the preceding
question still be the same?

*** END ***

FOOD FOR THOUGHT


The expectations of life depend upon
diligence; the mechanic that would perfect
his work must first sharpen his tools.
It does not matter how slowly you go as
long as you do not stop.
The will to win, the desire to succeed, the
urge to reach your full potentialthese
are the keys that will unlock the door to
personal excellence.

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CHAPTER III, SEC. 5 Divisible and Indivisible Obligations (Articles 1223-1225)

Confucius

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