Showing posts with label Legal Tidbits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Legal Tidbits. Show all posts

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Correcting Entries in Birth Certificate

Hi, all loyal readers of my blog! Wishing you all a blessed and wonderful day! It has been a while since my last post here coz I was so busy the past few days. I'm pretty sure you can relate to this topic I wanna share with you regarding NEW LAWS that deal with the correction of entries in the Birth Certificate. 
According to Article 412 of the New Civil Code, no entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected, without a judicial order. Thus, a person desiring to amend any wrong entry in his/her certificate of live birth needs to go to court. However, this was the rule before the enactment of  Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9048 or more popularly known as the Clerical Error Law  in 2001. Under this law, no entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order, except for clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname which can be corrected or changed by the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general (Section 1, RA No. 9048).

Clerical or typographical errors is defined by the said law as follows:
“Section 2. Definition of Terms – As used in this Act, the following terms shall mean:

(3) “Clerical or typographical error” refers to a mistake committed in the performance of clerical work in writing, copying, transcribing or typing an entry in the civil register that is harmless and innocuous, such as misspelled name or misspelled place of birth or the like, which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding, and can be corrected or changed only by reference to other existing record or records: Provided, however, That no correction must involve the change of nationality, age, status or sex of the petitioner.

Consequently, errors in the civil register pertaining to the nationality, age, status or sex of a person may be corrected only by filing a petition in court. However, to address the dilemma of some of our fellowmen pertaining to issues other than clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname, R.A. No. 10172 was enacted amending some provisions of R.A. No. 9048 by giving authority to the city or municipal civil registrar or consul general to correct errors in the entry of sex and day and month of birth of a person in the civil register. 

With the advent of these new laws pertinent to the correction of entries in the birth certificate, many of our fellow countrymen would be eased of the burden of going to the court just to correct errors in the entries of our one of the most important documents in life – the Birth Certificate.

I am hoping that you may find useful information in this post, and continuously visit my blog every now and then. Happy reading, sharing and learning!

“A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

Sunday, May 5, 2013

DOTC-DTI Joint Administrative Order No. 1, s. 2012 [Bill of Rights for Air Passengers and Carrier Obligations]

It’s summer once again and everyone is having the time of their lives enjoying this opportunity to travel here, there, and everywhere! This summer, I’m pretty sure many of you will fly to venture to the crystal clear blue waters of Boracay, Phuket Thailand, pristine waters of Sri Lanka and even the Caribbean islands not to mention the US or European tour in order to see the beautiful places of the western side of the world, both monumental, religious and historic ones, reflecting the cultural, political, and social milieu of the amazing scenery with the thought of expecting to shed even for a little while the cobwebs of stress, the hustle and bustle of the city. 

I have here some relevant provisions of the DOTC-DTI Joint Administrative Order No. 1, s. 2012 dated December 10, 2012 entitled “Providing for a Bill of Rights for Air Passengers and Carrier Obligations” which I think may be useful in asserting your rights as a passenger and enforcing the obligations arising therefrom whenever you travel by air. Happy reading!!!


1.   Right to Full, Fair, and Clear Disclosure of the Service Offered and All the Terms and Conditions of the Contract of Carriage.  Every passenger shall, before purchasing any ticket for a contract of carriage by the air carrier or its agents, be entitled to the full, fair, and clear disclosure of all the terms and conditions of the contract of carriage about to be purchased.

a.   An air carrier shall cause the disclosure under this Section to be printed on or attached to the passenger ticket and/or boarding pass, or the incorporation of such terms and conditions of carriage by reference.

b.  Passengers receive an explanation of key terms identified on the ticket from any location where the carrier’s tickets are sold, including travel agencies.

c.  Aside from the printing and/or publication of the above disclosures, the same shall likewise be verbally explained to the passenger by the air carrier and/or its agent/s in English and Filipino, or in a language that is easily understood by the purchaser, placing emphasis on the limitations and/or restrictions attached to the ticket.

d.   The key terms of a contract of carriage if done in print, must be in bold letters,

2.   Right to Clear and Non-Misleading Advertisements of, and Important Reminders Regarding Fares. 

 Advertisements of fares shall be clear and not misleading.

a.   Major restrictions, such as those on rebookability or refundability, shall be disclosed in full and in such a way that the passenger may fully understand the consequences of purchasing such tickets and the effect of non-use thereof.

b.   Every air carrier causing the publication of fare advertisements in any medium, shall likewise disclose the Conditions and restrictions attached to the fare type, Refund and rebooking policies, if any;, Baggage allowance policies;, Government taxes and fuel surcharges, Other mandatory fees and charges, Contact details of the carrier (i.e. phone number, website, e-mail, etc, Other information necessary to apprise the passenger of the conditions and the full/total price of the ticket purchased.

          In case of promotional fares, the additional information shall be included:  Number of seats offered on a per sector basis; The duration of the promo; and The CAB Approval No. of Fares.

c.   Right Against Misleading and Fraudulent Sales Promotion Practices. All sales promotion campaigns and activities of air carriers shall be carried out with honesty, transparency and fairness, and in accordance with the requirements of the Consumer Act of the Philippines, and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.


1.   Right to Transportation and Baggage Conveyance. Every passenger is entitled to transportation, baggage conveyance and ancillary services, in accordance with the terms and conditions of contract of carriage with the air carrier.

2.   Right to be Processed for Check-In. a passenger holding a confirmed ticket, whether promotional or regular, with complete documentary requirements, and who has complied with the check-in procedures, shall be processed accordingly at the check-in counter within the check-in deadline.

3.   Right to Sufficient Processing Time. Passengers shall be given enough time before the published ETD within which to go through the check-in and final security processes. air carriers operating in international airports and in other airports designated by the DOTC shall open their check-in counters in such airports at least two (2) hours before the ETD. In other airports, air carriers shall open their check-in counters at least one (1) hour before the ETD.

4.   An air carrier shall designate at least one (1) check-in counter which will prioritize persons with disabilities (PWDs), senior citizens, and persons requiring special assistance or handling. If this is not practicable, the air carrier shall instead provide for priority handling and processing of such passengers.

Persons accompanying a PWD, a senior citizen, or a person requiring special assistance or handling should also be accommodated at the designated check-in counter mentioned in the preceding paragraph.

5.   Right to Board Aircraft for the Purpose of Flight. No passenger may be denied boarding without his/her consent except for when there is legal or other valid cause, such as, but not limited to, immigration issues, safety and security, health concerns, non-appearance at the boarding gate at the appointed boarding time, or government requisition of space. 

Government agencies and/or officials wanting to acquire aircraft space for official government purposes shall submit a written request justifying the requisition to the CAB, which shall then make the request to the air carrier concerned, detailing:

 (a) The number, identities, and affiliation of the persons requesting for space;

(b) The date and time (if applicable) of the flight; and

(c)   The destination.

Should government requisition result in passengers having to forego their confirmed space, the air carrier shall look for volunteers, who will be given air carrier compensation or amenities or services.


1.   Right to Compensation and Amenities in Case of Cancellation of Flight.

a.   In case of flight cancellation attributable to the carrier, a passenger shall have the right to:

i.  Be notified beforehand via public announcement, written/published notice and flight status update service (text);

ii.    Be provided with sufficient refreshments or meals, hotel accommodation (conveniently accessible from the airport), transportation from the airport to the hotel, v.v. free phone calls, text or e-mails, and first aid, if necessary.

iii.   Reimbursement of the value of the fare, including taxes and surcharges, of the sector cancelled, or both/all sectors, in case the passenger decides not to fly the ticket or all the routes/sectors;

iv.  Be endorsed to another air carrier without paying any fare difference, at the option of the passenger and provided that space and other circumstances permit such re-accommodation.

v.   Rebook the ticket, without additional charge, to the next flight with available space, or, within thirty (30) days, to a future trip within the period of validity of the ticket.

However, in case a carrier cancels a flight at least twenty-four (24) hours before the ETD, it shall not be liable for the foregoing amenities, except, it shall be obliged to notify the passenger, and, in accordance with the preceding provisions, to rebook or reimburse the passenger, at the option of the latter.

b.   In case the air carrier cancels the flight because of force majeure, safety and/or security reasons, as certified by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, a passenger shall have the right to be reimbursed for the full value of the fare.

The above benefits are the minimum entitlement of a passenger in case of cancellation, and shall not prohibit the air carrier from granting more favourable conditions or recourses, as it may deem appropriate.

2.   Right to Compensation for Delayed, Lost, and Damaged Baggage. A passenger shall have the right to have his/her baggage carried on the same flight that such passenger takes, subject to considerations of safety, security, or any other legal and valid cause.

a.   In case a checked-in baggage has been off-loaded for operational, safety, or security reasons, the air carrier shall inform the passenger at the soonest practicable time and in such manner that the passenger will readily know of the off-loading (i.e. that his/her baggage has been off-loaded and the reason therefor). If the passenger’s baggage has been off-loaded, the air carrier should make the appropriate report and give the passenger a copy thereof, even if it had already announced that the baggage would be on the next flight.

b.   The air carrier shall carry the off-loaded baggage in the next flight with available space, and deliver the same to the passenger either personally or at his/her residence. For every twenty-four (24) hours of delay in such delivery, the air carrier shall tender an amount of Two Thousand Pesos (Php2,000.00) to the passenger, as compensation for the inconvenience the latter experienced. A fraction of a day shall be considered as one day for purposes of calculating the compensation.

c.   Should such baggage, be lost or suffer any damage attributable to the air carrier, the passenger shall be compensated in the following manner:

i.        For international flights, the relevant convention shall apply.

ii.       For domestic flights, upon proof, a maximum amount equivalent to half of the amount in the relevant convention (for international flights) in its Peso equivalent.

For compensation purposes, a passenger’s baggage is presumed to have been permanently and totally lost, if within a period of seven (7) days, counted from the time the passenger or consignee should have received the same, the baggage is not delivered to said passenger or consignee.

d.   Right to Compensation In Case of Death or Bodily Injury of a Passenger.

i.     For international flights, in case of death or bodily injury sustained by a passenger, the relevant Convention and inter-carrier agreement shall apply.

ii.   However, for an international carriage performed under the 1966 Montreal Inter-Carrier Agreement, which includes a point in the United States of America as a point of origin, a point of destination or agreed stopping place, the limit of liability for each passenger for death, wounding or other bodily injury shall be the sum of Seventy-Five Thousand United States Dollars (US$75,000.00), inclusive of legal fees and costs. Provided, in the case of a claim brought in a state where a provision is made for a separate award for legal fees and costs, the limit shall be the sum of Fifty-Eight Thousand United States Dollars (US$58,000.00), exclusive of legal fees and costs.

iii.  For domestic flights, the compensation shall be based on the stipulated amount in the relevant convention which governs international flights, the same to be given in Peso denominations.

e.   Right to Immediate Payment of Compensation. The air carrier shall tender a check for the amount specified, or cash, or the document necessary to claim the compensation or benefits mentioned above. 

          There you have it my friends, so next time you embark on a journey you are already aware of your rights and the corresponding obligations of the air carriers. It is really exciting and enjoyable to fly safely to anywhere you want as long as you know the law that governs your respective rights and obligations of air carriers. Thus, it is essential that you have a copy of this joint administrative order of Department of Transportation and Communication and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) [Bill of Rights for Air Passengers and Carrier Obligations]   wherever you go.

Have a safe happy travel!!


“A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Road Towards Agrarian Reform: RA 3844, 6389, 6657, and 9700 and the Unique Role of the Judiciary

 Agrarian reform has been a long standing quest of many peasant farmers and land tillers all over the world to free them from the bondage of soil. During the Greek and Roman period, peasants’ revolutions (Peasant’s Revolt in 1381 and German Peasants' War in 1524 to 1526) and struggles between tenants/land tillers and landowners were staged to clamor for the need of land and/or agrarian reform. In China, Mao Zee Dong gave lands to the landless as part of his program under Cultural Revolution for he believes that a self-reliant individual can sustain agricultural production that generates surplus for industrial development. The end of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989 to 1990 and disintegration of Soviet Union in 1991, as well as the transition of China to market-oriented agricultural system paved the way towards the small intermittent steps of land and agrarian reform in various parts of the world.

In the Philippines, emancipation of man from the bondage of soil has always been more than a century-old issue too since it is traced back from the time of the Spanish colonization. The discovery of the Philippines by Magellan in 1521 in the pristine waters of Mactan, Cebu serves as the impetus for the Spaniards to acquire ownership over the entire islands of the Philippines through discovery and conquest. The Spanish regime “technically” owned all parcels of lands, whether it is agricultural, mineral or forest lands and likewise all things above or beneath the bowels of the earth. Private dominion can only be given by means of royal concession or royal grant. Unlike other systems of bequeathing title, the distribution of land under royal concession or royal grant is in accordance with the rank of a certain grantee in the society. Thus, land distribution during those times may be sometimes, or if not, usually “highly politicized”, for that matter.

The materialist conception of history [of Karl Marx] starts from the proposition that the production of the means to support human life – and, next to production, the exchange of things produced – is the basis of all social structure[1]. Thus, it can be inferred that social changes such as land reform can be achieved by the genuine implementation of agrarian reform agenda in the country. As a predominantly agricultural country, it is believe that a sound and viable agrarian reform policy agenda is essential to implement agrarian reform justice in the Philippines.

The story of agrarian reform law in the Philippines has a long winding road brought about by the prevailing social, economic and political environment of each times. Indeed, land distribution to the landless as social justice program of the government has underwent a gradual process of revolution. The first landmark legislation pertaining to agrarian reform is Republic Act (RA) 3844 otherwise known as the Land Reform Code dated August 8, 1963 which creates the Land Authority that implements land reform in the country. In 1970s, Republic Act 6389 also known as the Code of Agrarian Reform of the Philippines that established the autonomous agency called the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) replacing the former Land Authority was passed. In 1978, however, DAR was re-named as the Ministry of Agrarian Reform when the country was then under the parliamentary form of government. 

 With the restoration of democracy and the birth of the 1987 Constitution, a new chapter in agrarian reform history unfolds. President Corazon Aquino intensified the implementation of land reform by incorporating "social justice in relation to emancipation of man from the bondage of the soil" in the fundamental law of the land taking into account that economic growth and development of a country is often tied with the stability of its land reform and agrarian reform policy. It is, therefore, imperative that the government shall foster land distribution to the landless pursuant to the social justice enshrined under the 1987 Philippine Constitution, to wit:
 The government shall undertake an agrarian reform program founded in the right of farmers and regular farm workers who are landless to own directly or collectively the lands they till, or, in the case of farm workers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof. To this end, the State shall encourage and undertake the just distribution of all agricultural lands, subject to such priorities and reasonable retention limits as the Congress may prescribe, taking into account ecological,  developmental, or equity considerations, and subject to the payment of just compensation (Article XIII, Section 4).
 The issue of agrarian reform was heightened with the passage of RA 6657 otherwise known as the  Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program on June 10, 1988 that provides mechanisms for its implementation. In the light of the foregoing, it is believe that the true essence of these laws can be immortalized if its letter and spirit will both serve the end of the government, that is, the general welfare of the people and promotion of social justice.

 Emancipation of man from the bondage of soil does not, however,  gave the farmer beneficiaries blanket authority. The enjoyment of rights bestowed under these laws carries with it also their compliance with certain conditions and fulfillment of duties and responsibilities.

Section 118 of the Public Land Act pertains to the prohibition of the sale or encumbrance of a land acquired through free patent and homestead provision within a period of 5 years from the date of the issuance of the patent or grant. On the other hand, Section 119 of the said law subjects said land’s alienation, impliedly after the expiration of the prohibitive period, upon a right of repurchase by the homesteader, his widow, or heirs, within a period of five years from the date of its conveyance. 

Indeed, these provisions complement the intent and purpose of the law “to preserve and keep in the family of the homesteader that portion of public land which the state had gratuitously given to him.” However, it is important to stress that the ultimate objective of the law is “to promote public policy, that is, to provide home and decent living for destitute, aimed at providing a class of independent small landholders which is the bulwark of peace and order.” Our prevailing jurisprudence requires that the motive of the patentee, his widow, or legal heirs in the exercise of their right to repurchase a land acquired through patent or grant must be consistent with the noble intent of the Public Land Act. It was held in a number of cases that the right to repurchase of a patentee should fail if his underlying cause is contrary to everything that the Public Land Act stands for [2]

The development of agrarian reform policy in the Philippines proves the realization of Jean-Jacques Rousseau when he said that "what makes the constitution of a state really solid and lasting is the due observance of what is proper so that the natural relations are always in agreement with the laws on every point, and law  only serves, so to speak, to assure, accompany, and rectify them." In August 7, 2009, Republic Act 9700 (An Act strengthening the comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP) extending the acquisition and distribution of all agricultural lands, instituting necessary reforms, and amending certain provisions of RA 6657 was passed embodying the lessons learned from the implementation of RA 6657 and solidifying the rationale   behind the wordings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

The CARPER Law institute reforms by increasing the prohibitory period to sell or alienate the awarded lands from five years under Section 118 of the Public Land Act to ten years under the CARPER Law. 

"Transferability of Awarded Lands. – Lands acquired by beneficiaries under this Act or other agrarian reform laws shall not be sold, transferred or conveyed except through hereditary succession, or to the government, or to the LBP, or to other qualified beneficiaries through the DAR for a period of ten (10) years: Provided, however, That the children or the spouse of the transferor shall have a right to repurchase the land from the government or LBP within a period of two (2) years. Due notice of the availability of the land shall be given by the LBP to the BARC of the barangay where the land is situated. The PARCCOM, as herein provided, shall, in turn, be given due notice thereof by the BARC xxxx (Section 27, RA 9700)"
The implementation of agrarian reform does not end by merely distributing lands to the landless but it is coupled with social responsibility. One must ask himself, "How can one will fully utilize the responsible tilling of land when he or she has no resources to do the same?."  It is essential therefore to improve farm to market road, introduce irrigation projects, credit facilities among farmer beneficiaries, and institutionalize training and unleashing the human resources potential of the people.  Strong agricultural based is essential as a springboard of our economy toward the path of economic growth and development, which can be achieved through the cooperative effort of the executive, legislative, and the judiciary.

 The role of judiciary in implementing social justice can be seen in various landmark cases such as Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) vs. Cuenca,   Estribillo vs. DAR,  Fortich vs. Corona,  and Hacienda Luisita, Incorporated vs. Presidential Agrarian Reform Council.   Although there have been controversial issues with regard to the implementation of land distribution in the past, the judiciary plays its  unique role in nurturing democracy and upholding the rule of law.  It has able to level the playing field between the rich and the poor, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the North and the South, the core and the periphery ... 

[1] Curtis, Michael. The Great Political Theories, Vol 2. 1981
[2] (Capistrano vs. Limcuando, et al, G.R. No. 152413, February 13, 2009)

A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”