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THE CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES
(REPUBLIC ACT NO. 386)
AN ACT TO ORDAIN AND INSTITUTE
THE CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES
PRELIMINARY TITLE
Chapter 1
EFFECT AND APPLICATION OF LAWS
Article 1. This Act shall be known as the “Civil
Code of the Philippines.” (n)
Notes:
1.

Civil Law is that branch of law that generally
treats of personal and family relations of an
individual, his property and successional rights,
and effects of his obligations and contracts.

2.

How would you compare the Civil law system in
its governance and trend with that of the Common
Law system? (1997)

Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days
following the completion of their publication in
the Official Gazette, or in a newspaper of general
circulation in the Philippines, unless it is otherwise
provided. (As amended by E.O. No. 200, June 18,
1987)
Notes:
1.

General Rule: Laws take effect 15 days AFTER
publication.
Exception: Otherwise provided. The 15-day
period may be reduced or extended.
Where a law provides for its own date of
effectivity, such date prevails over E.O. No. 200.
This is the very essence of the phrase “unless it
is otherwise provided.” Section 1, E.O. No. 200
applies only when a statute does not provide for
its own date of effectivity. (La Bugal-B’laan Tribal
Association, Inc. vs. Ramos, G.R. No. 127882,
January 27, 2004.)

2.

General Rule: Presidential decrees, executive
orders and administrative rules and regulations
should be published to be effective.
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Notes:

2

BAR EXAM NOTES: PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS

Exception: Internal regulations, laws that are
internal in nature and letters of instruction.
(Tañada vs. Tuvera, G.R. No. L-63915, December
29, 1986)

Notes:
3.

Requisites for newspaper of general circulation:
(1) within court’s jurisdiction; (2) published at
general intervals; (3) with bona fide subscription
list of paying subscribers; (4) for dissemination
of local news and general information; and (5)
not devoted to the interest, or published for the
entertainment of a particular class.

BAR
A law was passed on July 1, 1990, signed by
the President on July 3, and published in a
newspaper of general circulation on July 7 and in
the Official Gazette on July 10, 1990. Its effectivity
clause provided that it shall take effect upon
approval and after completion of publication in
the Official Gazette and a newspaper of general
circulation. (a) Was there sufficient observance
with the requirements for a valid publication? (b)
When did the law take effect? (1990)

Art. 3. Ignorance of the law excuses no one
from compliance therewith.
Notes:
1.

Ignorance of law does not include ignorance or
mistake of fact and ignorance of foreign laws.

2.

See Art. 526, Family Code where mistake upon a
doubtful or difficult question of law may be the
basis of good faith.

BAR
1.

Is there any difference in the legal effect between
ignorance of the law and ignorance or mistake of
fact? (1996)

2.

Discuss the underlying philosophy behind Art. 3.
(1985)

Art. 4. Laws shall have no retroactive effect,
unless the contrary is provided.
Notes:
General Rule: Laws are prospective.
Exceptions: (1) Law so provides; (2) Procedural
(remedial) in nature; (3) Penal in nature, provided
it is favorable to the accused who is not a
habitual delinquent or recidivist; (4) Curative in
nature; (5) Creates new substantive rights; and
(6) Interpretative in nature.

THE CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES

Art. 5. Acts executed against the provisions of
mandatory or prohibitory laws shall be void, except
when the law itself authorizes their validity.
Art. 6. Rights may be waived, unless the waiver is contrary to law, public order, public policy,
morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third
person with a right recognized by law.
Note:
Requisites of a valid waiver: (1) Person must
have the right to renounce; (2) capacity to
renounce; and (3) renunciation must be clear and
unequivocal.
BAR
Don secured parental consent for the employment
of five minors to play certain roles in two movies.
They worked at odd hours of the day and night,
but always accompanied by their parents or other
adults. A social worker, reported that the children
often missed school, drank wine and are exposed
to drugs. The children were also made to wear
revealing costumes. DON contended that he
received no complaints from the parents and that
waivers were signed. Are the waivers valid and
binding? (2004)

Art. 7. Laws are repealed only by subsequent
ones, and their violation or non-observance shall
not be excused by disuse, or custom or practice to
the contrary.
When the courts declared a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be void
and the latter shall govern.
Administrative or executive acts, orders and
regulations shall be valid only when they are not
contrary to the laws or the Constitution.
Art. 8. Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of
the legal system of the Philippines.
Note:
Doctrine of stare decisis — when the Court has
once laid down a principle of law as applicable
to a certain state of facts, it will adhere to that
principle and apply it to all future cases where the
facts are substantially the same.
BAR
1.

What are the binding effects of an obiter dictum
and a dissenting opinion? (1994)

Notes:

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CONTENTS
CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES
Republic Act No. 386

Preliminary Title

................................................................................................................

1

Chapter 1 – Effect and Application of Laws .........................................................................
Chapter 2 – Human Relations ................................................................................................

1
8

BOOK I –– PERSONS
TITLE I –– CIVIL PERSONALITY
Chapter 1 – General Provisions .............................................................................................
Chapter 2 – Natural Persons .................................................................................................
Chapter 3 – Juridical Persons ................................................................................................

16
17
18

TITLE II — CITIZENSHIP AND DOMICILE ...............................

19

TITLES III-IX — Repealed by E.O. No. 209 or The Family Code
of the Philippines) ...............................................

21

TITLE X – FUNERALS ..........................................

21

TITLE XII — CARE AND EDUCATION OF CHILDREN ...........

22

TITLE XIII — USE OF SURNAMES ..............................

24

TITLE XIV — ABSENCE
Chapter 1 – Provisional Measures in Case of Absence .........................................................
Chapter 2 – Declaration of Absence .....................................................................................
Chapter 3 – Administration of the Property of the Absentee ................................................
Chapter 4 – Presumption of Death ........................................................................................
Chapter 5 – Effect of Absence upon the Contingent Rights of the Absentee .......................

27
27
28
28
29

TITLE XV — Repealed by E.O. No. 209 or The Family Code
of the Philippines ................................................

30

TITLE XVI — CIVIL REGISTER ...................................................

30

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 209
The Family Code of the Philippines
TITLE I — MARRIAGE
Chapter 1 – Requisites of Marriage ......................................................................................
Chapter 2 – Marriages Exempted from License Requirement ..............................................
Chapter 3 – Void and Voidable Marriages ............................................................................
iii

32
43
45

TITLE II — LEGAL SEPARATION ................................

58

TITLE III — RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS
BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE.................................

63

TITLE IV — PROPERTY RELATIONS BETWEEN
HUSBAND AND WIFE
Chapter 1 – General Provisions ............................................................................................
Chapter 2 – Donations by Reason of Marriage .....................................................................
Chapter 3 – System of Absolute Community .......................................................................

64
66
68

Section 1. General Provisions ....................................................................................
Section 2. What Constitutes Community Property ....................................................
Section 3. Charges and Obligations of the Absolute Community ..............................
Section 4. Ownership, Administrative, Enjoyment and Disposition
of the Community Property .............................................................................
Section 5. Dissolution of Absolute Community Regime ...........................................
Section 6. Liquidation of the Absolute Community Assets and Liabilities ...............

68
69
69
71
72
73

Chapter 4 – Conjugal Partnership of Gains ..........................................................................

75

Section 1. General Provisions ....................................................................................
Section 2. Exclusive Property of Each Spouse ..........................................................
Section 3. Conjugal Partnership Property ..................................................................
Section 4. Charges Upon and Obligations of the Conjugal Partnership ....................
Section 5. Administration of the Conjugal Partnership Property ...............................
Section 6. Dissolution of Conjugal Partnership Regime ............................................
Section 7. Liquidation of the Conjugal Partnership Assets and Liabilities ................

75
75
77
79
81
82
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Chapter 5 – Separation of Property of the Spouses and Administration
of Common Property by One Spouse During the Marriage .......................................
Chapter 6 – Regime of Separation of Property .....................................................................
Chapter 7 – Property Regime of Unions Without Marriage .................................................

85
88
88

TITLE V — THE FAMILY
Chapter 1 – The Family as an Institution ..............................................................................
Chapter 2 – The Family Home ..............................................................................................

91
92

TITLE VI — PATERNITY AND FILIATION
Chapter 1 – Legitimate Children ...........................................................................................
Chapter 2 – Proof of Filiation ...............................................................................................
Chapter 3 – Illegitimate Children .........................................................................................
Chapter 4 – Legitimated Children .........................................................................................

94
97
98
99

TITLE VII — ADOPTION .......................................

100

TITLE VIII — SUPPORT ........................................

107

TITLE IX — PARENTAL AUTHORITY
Chapter 1 – General Provisions ............................................................................................
Chapter 2 – Substitute and Special Parental Authority .........................................................
Chapter 3 – Effect of Parental Authority Upon the Persons of the Children ........................
Chapter 4 – Effect of Parental Authority Upon the Property of the Children .......................
Chapter 5 – Suspension or Termination of Parental Authority .............................................

iv

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112
114
115
117

TITLE X — EMANCIPATION AND AGE OF MAJORITY ....................

118

TITLE XI — SUMMARY JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS
IN THE FAMILY LAW
Chapter 1 — Prefatory Provisions ........................................................................................
Chapter 2 — Separation in Fact ............................................................................................
Chapter 3 — Incidents Involving Parental Authority ...........................................................
Chapter 4 — Other Matters Subject to Summary Proceedings ............................................

119
119
121
121

TITLE XII — FINAL PROVISIONS ...............................

121

Notes and Illustrative Questions
Clerical Error Law (RA No. 9048) .......................................................................................

122

Domestic Adoption Act (RA No. 8552) ................................................................................

124

Inter-Country Adoption Act (RA No. 8043) .........................................................................

126

Child Legally Available for Adoption Act (RA No. 9523) ...................................................

127

Child and Youth Welfare Code (PD No. 603) ........................................................................

130

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