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Chapter 1: General Provisions

Article 1156: An obligation is a juridical necessity to give, to do or not to do.

Obligation- Latin word obligatio which means tying or binding
is a tie or bond recognized by law by virtue of which one is bound in favor of another to
render something and this may consist in giving a thing, doing a certain act, or not doing a
certain act.
Juridical necessity- in case of non-compliance, the courts of justice may be called upon by the
aggrieved party to enforce its fulfillment or, in default thereof, the economic value it represents.
Nature of obligations under the Civil Code
1. Civil obligations- obligations which give to the creditor/oblige a right under the law to enforce
their performance in courts of justice.
2. Natural obligations- not being based on positive law but on equity and natural law, do not grant a
right of action to enforce their performance.
4 Requisites of an obligation
1. Active subject- is the creditor/obligee who is entitled to demand the fulfillment of the obligation;
he who has a right.
2. Passive subject- is the debtor/obligor who is bound to fulfillment of the obligation; he who has a
3. Object/Prestation- is the subject matter of the obligation which is consist in giving, doing, or not
4. Juridical/legal tie- is the efficient cause which binds or connects the parties to the obligation.
Forms of obligations
May be oral, or in writing, or partly oral and partly in writing.
1. As a general rule, the law does not require any form in obligations arising from contracts for their
validity or binding force.
2. Obligations arising from the other sources do not have any form at all.
Obligation, Right, and Wrong distinguished
Obligation- is the act/performance which the law will enforce.
Right- is the power which a person has under the law, to demand from another any prestation.
Wrong (cause of action)- is an act/omission of one party in violation of the legal right of another.
Injury- used to refer to the wrongful violation of the legal right of another.
3 Elements of a legal wrong/injury
1. A legal right in favor of a person (creditor/oblige/plaintiff);
2. A correlative legal obligation on the part of another (debtor/obligor/defendant); to respect or not
to violate said right; and
3. An act/omission by the latter in violation of said right with resulting injury/damage to the former.

2 Kinds of obligation according to the subject matter

1. Real obligation (obligation to give) is that in which the subject matter is a thing which the
obligor must deliver to the obligee.
2. Personal obligation (obligation to do or not to do) is that in which the subject matter is an act to
be done or not to be done.
a. Positive personal obligation- obligation to do or to render service.
b. Negative personal obligation- obligation not to do (which naturally includes obligations
not to give).
Article 1157: Obligations arise from: (1) Law; (2) Contracts; (3) Quasi-contracts; (4) Acts/omissions
punished by law; and (5) Quasi-delicts.
5 Sources of obligations
1. Law- when they are imposed by law itself.
2. Contracts- when they arise from the stipulation of the parties.
3. Quasi-contracts- when they arise from lawful, voluntary and unilateral acts which are enforceable
to the end that no one shall be unjustly enriched or benefited at the expense of another.
4. Crimes/acts/omissions punished by law- when they arise from civil liability which is a
consequence of a criminal offense.
5. Quasi-delicts/torts- when they arise from damage caused to another through an act/omission,
there being fault/negligence, but no contractual relation exists between the parties.
2 Classifications of the sources of the obligation
1. Those emanating from law; and
2. Those emanating from private acts which may be further subdivided into:
a. Those arising from licit acts, in the case of contracts and quasi-contracts; and
b. Those arising from illicit acts, which may be either punishable in the case of
delicts/crimes, or not punishable in the cause of quasi-delicts/torts.
*Law and contracts are the only 2 sources because quasi-contracts, delicts, and quasi-delicts are really
imposed by law.
Article 1158: Obligations derived from law are not presumed. Only those expressly determined in this
Code or in special laws are demandable, and shall be regulated by the precepts of the law which
establishes them; and as to what has not been foreseen, by the provisions of this Book.
Special Laws- refer to all other laws not contained in the Civil Code.
a. Corporation Code
b. Negotiable Instruments Law
c. Insurance Code
d. National Internal Revenue Code
e. Revised Penal Code
f. Labor Code, etc.

Article 1159: Obligations arising from contracts have the force of law between the contracting parties
and should be complied with in good faith.
Contract- is a meeting of minds between two persons whereby one binds himself, with respect to
the other, to give something or to render some service.
1. Binding force- contract must be valid and it cannot be valid if it is against the law.
2. Requirement of a valid contract- it is not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order,
and public policy.
Compliance in good faith- means compliance/performance in accordance with the
stipulations/terms of the contract/agreement. (Sincerity and honesty must be observed)
Article 1160: Obligations derived from quasi-contracts shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 1,
Title XVII of this Book.
Quasi-contract- is that juridical relation resulting from lawful, voluntary and unilateral acts by
virtue of which the parties become bound to each other to the end that no one will be unjustly
enriched/benefited at the expense of another.
3 Kinds of Quasi-Contracts
1. Negotiorum Gestio- is the voluntary management of the property/affairs of another without the
knowledge/consent of the latter.
2. Solutio Indebiti- is the juridical relation which is created when something is received when there
is no right to demand it and it was unduly delivered through mistake.
2 Requisites of Solutio Indebiti
1. There is no right to receive the thing delivered; and
2. The thing was delivered through mistake.
3. Other quasi-contracts- Article 2164 to Article 2175 of the Civil Code
Article 1161: Civil obligations arising from criminal offenses shall be governed by the penal laws,
subject to the provisions of article 2177, and of the pertinent provisions of Chapter 2, Preliminary
Title, on Human Relations, and of Title XVIII of this Book, regulating damages.
3 Scopes of Civil liability for damages arising from crimes
1. Restitution
2. Reparation for the damage caused
3. Indemnification for consequential damages
Article 1162: Obligations derived from quasi-delicts shall be governed by the provisions of Chapter 2,
Title XVII of this Book, and by special laws.
Quasi-delict- is an act/omission by a person (tortfeasor) which causes damage to another in his
person, property, or rights giving rise to an obligation to pay for the damage done, there being
fault/negligence but there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties.

5 Requisites of Quasi-delict

There must be an act/omission

There must be fault/negligence
There must be damage caused
There must be a direct relation/connection of cause and effect between the act/omission and the
5. There is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties.
Crime vs. Quasi-delict
1. In crime, there is criminal/malicious intent/criminal negligence, while in quasi-delict, there is
only negligence;
2. In crime, the purpose is punishment, while in quasi-delict, indemnification of the offended party;
3. Crime affects public interest, while quasi-delict concerns private interest;
4. In crime, there are generally two liabilities: criminal and civil, while in quasi-delict, there is only
civil liability;
5. Criminal liability cannot be compromised/settled by the parties themselves, while the liability
for quasi-delict can be compromised as any other civil liability; and
6. In crime, the guilt of the accused must be proved beyond reasonable doubt, while in quasi-delict,
the fault/negligence of the defendant need only be proved by preponderance (superior/greater
weight) of evidence.
Chapter 2: Nature and Effect of Obligations
Article 1163: Every person obliged to give something is also obliged to take care of it with the proper
diligence of a good father of a family, unless the law or the stipulation of the parties requires another
standard of care. (1094a)
Specific/determinate thing- particularly designated/physically segregated others of the same class
and identified by its individuality.
Generic/indeterminate thing- refers only to class/genus to which it pertains and cannot be pointed
out with particularity and identified by its specie.
5 Duties of debtor in obligation to give a determinate thing
1. Preserve the thing- in obligations to give (real obligations), duty of obligor to take care of the
thing due with the diligence of a good father of a family pending delivery
a. Diligence of a good father of a family- equated with ordinary care/that diligence which an
average (a reasonably prudent) exercises over his own property.
b. Another standard of care (slight/extraordinary diligence)- law/stipulation must prevail.
c. Factors to be considered- diligence required depends upon the nature of the obligation
and corresponds with the circumstances of the person, of the time, and of the place.
d. Reason for debtors obligation- obligation illusory to give if without the accessory duty
2. Deliver the fruits of the thing.
3. Deliver the accessions and accessories.
4. Deliver the thing itself.

5. Answer for damages in case of non-fulfillment or breach.

2 Duties of debtor in obligation to deliver a generic thing
1. To deliver a thing which is of the quality intended by the parties taking into consideration the
purpose of the obligation and other circumstances; and
2. To be liable for damages in case of fraud, negligence, or delay, in the performance of his
obligation, or contravention of the tenor thereof.
Article 1164: The creditor has a right to the fruits of the thing from the time the obligation to deliver it
arises. However, he shall acquire no real right over it until the same has been delivered to him. (1095)
3 Different Kinds of Fruits
1. Natural fruits- are the spontaneous products of the soil, and the young and other products of
2. Industrial fruits- are those produced by lands of any kind through cultivation or labor.
3. Civil fruits- are those derived by virtue of a juridical relation.