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Alternative Obligations

Chapter 3: Section 3 Alternative Obligations


I.

Definitions
1. Alternative Obligation - one wherein various prestations are due but the performance of
one of them is sufficient as determined by the choice which, as a general rule, belongs to
the debtor.
2. Facultative Obligation - one where only one prestation has been agreed upon but the
obligor may render another in substitution.
3. Conjunctive Obligation - one where there are two or more prestations and all of them
are due.

II.

Discussions
1. What are the limitations on the right of choice of the debtor in alternative obligations?
Illustrate one such limitation.
Answer:
According ART. 11200, the debtor cannot choose those prestations which are impossible,
unlawful, or which could not have been the object of the obligation. As an example, you
cannot kill someone in return for money, or deliver a horse with 10 legs from Mars in
return for something as well.
2. Give the situation when the debtor is given the option either to exercise his right of
choice or to rescind the contract with damages.
Answer:
According to ART. 1203, if through the creditors acts, the debtor cannot make a choice
according to the terms of the obligation, the latter may rescind the contract with
damages.
3. State the legal effects in case:
a) Some of the objects of the obligation are lost through the fault of the debtor who
has the right of choice.
Answer:
As stated in ART. 1204, if some of the objects of the obligation have been lost or have
become impossible even through the fault of the debtor, the latter is not liable since he
has the right of choice and the obligation can still be performed.

The Law on Obligations and Contracts 2003 Ed. Hector S. De


Leon

Alternative Obligations

b) All are lost through his fault.


Answer:
If all them have been lost or have become impossible through his fault, the creditor shall
have the right to indemnity for damages since the obligation can no longer be complied
with.
III.

Problems
1. D (debtor) borrowed P10,000 from C (creditor). It was agreed that D could pay
P10,000 or deliver his piano on August 22. On August 20, D informed C that the
former would deliver his piano. Can D still change his period considering that he was
given the right of choice?
Answer:
Yes, D can as long as he gains consent from C since according to ART. 1201, the choice
shall produce no effect except from the time it has been communicated. Also, as a
general rule stated in ART. 6, all rights may be waived.
2. Under a contract, X (obligor) promised to deliver to Y(obligee) item one, or item two
or item three. Y was given the right of choice. What is the liability of X in case,
through his fault:
a) Item two is lost or destroyed
Answer:
If the loss of one of the things occurs through the fault of the debtor, the creditor may
claim any of those subsisting, or the price of that which, through the fault of the former
has disappeared, with a right to damages.
b) All the item are lost or destroyed
Answer:
If all the things are lost through the fault of the debtor, the choice by the creditor shall
fall upon the price of any one of them, also with indemnity for damages.
3. S (seller) sold his TV set to B (buyer) who gave S the option to deliver instead his
refrigirator. Is S liable to B in case the TV is lost through Ss fault?
Answer:
Yes, S is liable. According to ART. 1206, if the principal thing is lost through the
debtors fault, he/she is liable for damages.
The Law on Obligations and Contracts 2003 Ed. Hector S. De
Leon