- Philippine legal codes
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 that country. Among the codes which 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 occupation, even though the United States was a
common lawjurisdiction. However, during the American era, 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 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.
Beginning in the American era, there was an effort to revise the Spanish codes that had remained in force even after the end of Spanish occupation. 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. [Also known as Batas Pambansa during Marcos-era Batasang Pambansa]
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 lawin 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.
Notable Philippine legal codes
The Civil Code governs
private lawin the Philippines, including obligations and contracts, , torts and damages, property. It was enacted in 1950. Book I of the Civil Code, which governed marriageand family law, was supplanted by the Family Code in 1987. [http://www.lawphil.net/executive/execord/eo1987/eo_209_1987.html]
Revised Penal Code
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.
The Labor Code, enacted in 1974, governs
employmentpractices and labor relationsin the Philippines.
National Internal Revenue Code
The "National Internal Revenue Code" is the law establishing the system of national
taxationin 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 taxon all incomeearned by natural and juridical persons within the Philippines, a capital gains tax, excise taxon certain products, a donor's tax, an estate tax, and a value-added taxon the sale of most goods and services in the Philippines.
Local Government Code
The "Local Government Code", enacted in 1991, establishes the system and powers of provincial, city, municipal and
barangaygovernments in the Philippines. It is the governing law on local governments.
The "Local Government Code" also empowers local governments to enact local tax measures, including real property taxes. It further assures the local governments a share in the national internal revenue.
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.
An administrative code was enforced in the Philippines as early as 1917. That code was revised 7 decades later, in 1987, resulting in the present Code.
Intellectual Property Code
The "Intellectual Property Code" governs the protection of
intellectual propertyin 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.
The "Corporation Code" provides for the rules and regulations in the establishment and operation of stock and non-stock
corporations in the Philippines. It was enacted in 1978. The regulation of securities and practices in the stock marketgoverned by the 2000 "Securities Regulation Code".
ome other legal codes
* "Ominubus Election Code" (1978)
* "Forestry Code" (1975)
* "Cooperative Code" (1990)
* "Milk Code" (1987)
* "Flag and Heraldic Code' (1998)
Notes and References
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