What is a contract?

According to the New Civil Code:

Art. 1305. A 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. (1254a)

*A contract is the manifestation of the will of one or more parties which takes a legal form wherein they bind themselves in favour of the other, reciprocally to fulfil an action to give, to do or not to do.

What are the characteristics of contracts?

  1. Relativity
  2. Obligatory Force and Consensuality
  3. Mutuality
  4. Autonomy
  1. A contract is relative wherein it would only be binding to the parties of the contract and to their successors, assignees and heirs in proper cases.
  2. It has an obligatory force and consensual because a contract functions as a law between the parties and needs the consent of both parties so as to be binding to them. Contracts are perfected by mere consent and from that moment the parties are bound not only to the fulfilment of what has been expressly stipulated but also to all consequences, which according to their nature may be in keeping with good faith, usage and law.
  3. A contract is mutual because its validity and performance cannot be left to the will of one of the parties. The contract must bind both parties; its validity or compliance should be agreed thereto by both parties.
  4. A contract is autonomous because the parties are free to stipulate anything they deem convenient provided that they are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order and public policy.

What are the essential elements of a contract?

The essential elements of a contract are cannot be absent or else no contract would exist. These are the following:

  1. Consent (as discussed in this article *insert hyperlink*)
  2. Object (as discussed in this article *insert hyperlink*)
  3. Cause/Consideration (as discussed in this article *insert hyperlink*)


Tolentino, A. (2002). Commentaries and Jurisprudences on the Civil Code of the Philippines. Quezon City: Central Lawbook Publishing Co.., Inc.

Jurado, D. (1999). Civil Law Reviewer. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

The New Civil Code of the Philippines

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