Tradition of codification
Codification is predominant in countries that adhere to the legal system of civil law. Spain, a civil law country, introduced the practice of codification in the Philippines, which it had colonized beginning in the late 16th century. Among the codes that Spain enforced in the Philippines were the Spanish Civil Code and the Penal Code.
The practice of codification was retained during the period of American colonial period, even though the United States was a common law jurisdiction. However, during that same period, many common law principles found their way into the legal system by way of legislation and by judicial pronouncements. Judicial precedents of the Philippine Supreme Court were accepted as binding, a practice more attuned to common law jurisdictions. Eventually, the Philippine legal system emerged in such a way that while the practice of codification remained popular, the courts were not barred from invoking principles developed under the common law, or from employing methods of statutory construction in order to arrive at an interpretation of the codal provisions that would be binding in itself in Philippine law.[a]
Beginning in the American period, there was an effort to revise the Spanish codes that had remained in force even after the end of Spanish rule. A new Revised Penal Code was enacted in 1930, while a new Civil Code took effect in 1950.
Codes in relation to Republic Acts
Since the formation of local legislative bodies in the Philippines, Philippine legal codes have been enacted by the legislature, in the exercise of its powers of legislation. Since 1946, the laws passed by the Congress, including legal codes, have been titled Republic Acts.[b]
While Philippine legal codes are, strictly speaking, also Republic Acts, they may be differentiated in that the former represents a more comprehensive effort in embodying all aspects of a general area of law into just one legislative act. In contrast, Republic Acts are generally less expansive and more specific in scope. Thus, while the Civil Code seeks to govern all aspects of private law in the Philippines, a Republic Act such as Republic Act No. 9048 would concern itself with a more limited field, as in that case, the correction of entries in the civil registry.
Still, the amendment of Philippine legal codes is accomplished through the passage of Republic Acts. Republic Acts have also been utilized to enact legislation on areas where the legal codes have proven insufficient. For example, while the possession of narcotics had been penalized under the 1930s Revised Penal Code, the wider attention drawn to illegal drugs in the 1960s and the 1970s led to new legislation increasing the penalties for possession and trafficking of narcotics. Instead of enacting amendments to the Revised Penal Code, Congress chose instead to enact a special law, the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.
Philippine legal codes
|Laws||Common name||Date enacted||Notes|
|Executive Order No. 292||Administrative Code of 1987||25 Jul 1987||
The Administrative Code “incorporates in a unified document the major structural, functional and procedural principles and rules of governance.” Its primary function is to prescribe the standards, guidelines and practices within the executive branch of government.
It is the Administrative Code which establishes the various Cabinet departments and offices falling within the executive branch of government, and under the direct control and supervision of the President. The Code also prescribes the administrative procedure undertaken in proceedings before the offices under the executive department.
Originally coming into effect in 1917, the code was revised and amended repeatedly, with the present code being enacted in 1987.
|Presidential Decree No. 603||Child and Youth Welfare Code||10 Dec 1974|
|Republic Act No. 386||Civil Code||18 Jun 1949||The Civil Code governs private law in the Philippines, including obligations and contracts, succession, torts and damages, property. It was enacted in 1950. Book I of the Civil Code, which governed marriage and family law, was supplanted by the Family Code in 1987.|
|Republic Act No. 6657||Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Code||10 Jun 1988|
|Presidential Decree No. 961||Coconut Industry Code||11 Jun 1978|
|Spanish Code of Commerce, Extended by Royal Decree||Code of Commerce||10 Dec 1888|
|Republic Act No. 6713||Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees||20 Feb 1989||An act establishing a code of conduct and ethical standards got public officials and employees, to uphold the time-honored principle of public office being a public trust, granting incentives and rewards for exemplary service, enumerating prohibited acts and transactions and providing penalties for violations thereof and for other purposes.|
|Republic Act No. 9520||Cooperative Code||17 Feb 2009|
|Republic Act 11232||Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines||20 Feb 2019||The Corporation Code provides for the rules and regulations in the establishment and operation of stock and non-stock corporations in the Philippines.|
|Executive Order No. 209||Family Code||6 Jul 1987||Superseded Book I of the Civil Code, which governed marriage and family law.|
|Republic Act No. 9514||Fire Code||19 Dec 2008|
|Republic Act No. 8550||The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998||25 Feb 1998|
|Republic Act No. 8491||Flag and Heraldic Code||12 Feb 1998|
|Republic Act No. 10607||Insurance Code||15 Aug 2013|
|Republic Act No. 8293||Intellectual Property Code||6 Jun 1997||The Intellectual Property Code governs the protection of intellectual property in the Philippines. Initially, the legal protection of intellectual property was contained in a few provisions in the Civil Code. However, the growing concern over intellectual property protection led to the passage of more comprehensive special laws until the final codification of intellectual property law through the Code, enacted in 1997.|
|Presidential Decree No. 442||Labor Code||1 May 1974||The Labor Code, enacted in 1974, governs employment practices and labor relations in the Philippines.|
|Republic Act No. 4136||Land Transportation and Traffic Code||20 Jun 1964|
|Republic Act No. 7160||Local Government Code||10 Oct 1991||The Local Government Code, enacted in 1991, establishes the system and powers of the local government in the Philippines: provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays. The Local Government Code empowers local governments to enact tax measures, including real property taxes, and assures the local governments a share in the national internal revenue through the Internal Revenue Allotment.|
|Republic Act No. 9296||Meat Inspection Code||12 May 2004|
|Presidential Decree No. 1083||Muslim Code of Personal Laws||4 Feb 1977|
|Presidential Decree No. 1096||National Building Code||19 Feb 1977|
|Executive Order No. 51||National Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and Supplements||20 Oct 1986|
|Batas Pambansa Blg. 881||Omnibus Election Code||3 Dec 1985|
|Executive Order No. 226||Omnibus Investment Code of 1987||16 Jul 1987|
|Presidential Decree No. 1152||Philippine Environment Code||6 Jun 1977|
|Republic Act No. 9829||Pre-Need Code of the Philippines||27 Jul 2009|
|Presidential Decree No. 705||Revised Forestry Code||18 May 1975|
|Act No. 3815||Revised Penal Code||8 Dec 1930||The Revised Penal Code contains the general penal laws of the Philippines and is one of the major sources of criminal laws in the Philippines. It was enacted in 1930 and has undergone several amendments.|
|Presidential Decree No. 856||Sanitation Code||23 Dec 1975|
|Republic Act No. 8799||Securities Regulation Code||19 Jul 2000||The regulation of securities and practices in the stock market governed by the 2000 Securities Regulation Code|
|Presidential Decree No. 1445||State Auditing Code||11 Jun 1978|
|Republic Act No. 8424||Tax Code/National Internal Revenue Code||11 Dec 1997||The National Internal Revenue Code is the law establishing the system of national taxation in the Philippines. The most recent extensive revision of the Code occurred in 1997, although the Code was amended in 2005 to expand the coverage and rates of value-added tax.
The taxes imposed by the Code include a graduated income tax on all income earned by natural and juridical persons within the Philippines, a capital gains tax, excise tax on certain products, a donor's tax, an estate tax, and a value-added tax on the sale of most goods and services in the Philippines.
|Republic Act No. 1937||Tariff and Customs Code||22 Jun 1957|
|Presidential Decree No. 1067||Water Code||31 Dec 1976|
- "In Re: Shoop, 21 Phil. 213 (1920)". www.lawphil.net. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
We may summarize our conclusions as follows:
- The Philippine Islands is an unorganized territory of the United States, under a civil government established by the Congress.
- In interpreting and applying the bulk of the written laws of this jurisdiction, and in rendering its decision in cases not covered by the letter of the written law, this court relies upon the theories and precedents of Anglo- American cases, subject to the limited exception of those instances where the remnants of the Spanish written law present well-defined civil law theories and of the few cases where such precedents are inconsistent with local customs and institutions.
- The jurisprudence of this jurisdiction is based upon the English Common Law in its present day form of Anglo-American Common Law to an almost exclusive extent.
- By virtue of the foregoing, the New York rule, given a reasonable interpretation, permits conferring privileges on attorneys admitted to practice in the Philippine Islands similar to those privileges accorded by the rule of this court.
- Family Code of the Philippines, Executive Order No. 209 July 6, 1987.