Essential Requisites of a Contract


A consent is manifested by the concurrence of the offer and the acceptance upon the thing and the cause which are to constitute the contract. The very essence of consent is the conformity of the parties in the stipulations laid down in the contract. The moment there is meeting of the minds and their acceptance of the contract is made known to each other makes the contract come to life and binds them accordingly. Consent is best described in this article:

Art. 1319. Consent is manifested by the meeting of the offer and the acceptance upon the thing and the cause which are to constitute the contract. The offer must be certain and the acceptance absolute. A qualified acceptance constitutes a counter-offer.

Acceptance made by letter or telegram does not bind the offerer except from the time it came to his knowledge. The contract, in such a case, is presumed to have been entered into in the place where the offer was made. (1262a)

*Offer is understood as a proposal made by one party to enter into a contract and it must be certain or definite, complete and intentional. However acceptance      is the manifestation by the offeree of his assent to the terms of the offer and it must be absolute, a qualified acceptance constitutes counter-offer.

Who are the persons incapacitated to give consent?

According to this article, the following cannot give their consent to a contract:

Art. 1327. The following cannot give consent to a contract:

  • Unemancipated minors;

*Unemancipated minors cannot enter into a valid contract and those already entered cannot be made binding upon them unless they reach the age of majority and afterwhich, they ratify the same. The contract entered by the unemancipated minor will become voidable.

  • Insane or demented persons, and deaf-mutes who do not know how to write. (1263a)

*The law recognizes that the insanity of the party must be existent at the time of the entering of the contract. However if the contract is entered into during a lucid interval or the period where the proper reasoning, judgement and mental capacity is restored, then the contract is enforceable and binding. As for the case of deaf-mutes, they must be accompanied by their incapacity to write.

What are the vices of consent?

These provisions lay down the vices of consent and its effect to the contract:

Art. 1330. A contract where consent is given through mistake, violence, intimidation, undue influence, or fraud is voidable. (1265a)

*These mentioned by the law are the defects of the will of the party which when proven would make the contract voidable. Consent must be intelligent or with the knowledge of the stipulation in the contract, free and spontaneous. However if the consent is vitiated by these causes then it would render the consent given questionable. It is used with insidious words or machinations of one of the contracting parties, the other is induced to enter into a contract which without them he would have not agreed to.

-Causal fraud- fraud was used to obtain consent and would make the contract voidable

-Incidental fraud- fraud was present in the performance of the obligation and would incur damages

-the failure to disclose facts when there is a duty to reveal them as when the parties are bound by confidential relations also constitutes fraud

-silence when there is a duty to speak may constitute fraud

-a mere expression of an opinion does not signify fraud unless made by an expert and the other party, has relied on the former’s special knowledge

 Art. 1331. In order that mistake may invalidate consent, it should refer to the substance of the thing which is the object of the contract, or to those conditions which have principally moved one or both parties to enter into the contract.

Mistake as to the identity or qualifications of one of the parties will vitiate consent only when such identity or qualifications have been the principal cause of the contract.

A simple mistake of account shall give rise to its correction. (1266a)

*Mistake can be mistake of the object which must refer to the substance of the thing and to render the contract void, it must be proven that without such mistake, the consent would have not been given. Mistake can also be towards the person the consenting party is contracting with. It must not only be on the name of the person but on the considerable character of that party which would concern the confidence or trust of the other. It must be the principal cause of the other party for entering in to the contract.



The Object of a contract pertains to the thing, right or service which is the subject matter of the obligation arising from the contract

Things which cannot be the OBJECT of Contract

  1. Things which are outside the commerce of men
  2. Intransmissible rights
  3. Future inheritance, except in cases expressly authorized by law
  4. Services which are contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, public policy
  5. Impossible things or service
  6. Objects which are not possible of determination as to their kind



The cause or consideration of a contract is the immediate, direct and most proximate reason which explains and justifies the creation of the obligation. It is the cause of the contract; or the reason or the purpose why the parties entered in to the contract. It is the moving basis of the parties resorting in to making a contract. It is also supported by this article:

Art. 1350. In onerous contracts the cause is understood to be, for each contracting party, the prestation or promise of a thing or service by the other; in remuneratory ones, the service or benefit which is remunerated; and in contracts of pure beneficence, the mere liberality of the benefactor. (1274)

What are the requisites of the cause or consideration of the contract?

  1. Cause should be in existence at the time of the celebration of the contract

Art. 1352. Contracts without cause, or with unlawful cause, produce no effect whatever. The cause is unlawful if it is contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy. (1275a)

*Contract must be, at the time of entering, contain a cause or consideration. The parties must have an intrinsic or juridical reason to enter into a contract. Absence of which would want cause and would be render the contract null and void.

  1. Cause should be true

Art. 1353. The statement of a false cause in contracts shall render them void, if it should not be proved that they were founded upon another cause which is true and lawful. (1276)

*The cause should not be fictitious or simulated, such as when the parties agree among themselves to consider a fact true when in reality it is not, because this false consideration would also render the contract null and void.

  1. Cause should be licit or lawful

Art. 1354. Although the cause is not stated in the contract, it is presumed that it exists and is lawful, unless the debtor proves the contrary. (1277)

*The presumption of validity and lawfulness of the contract is in good faith and it is sufficient in the absence of proof to the contrary.


The New Civil Code of the Philippines

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

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