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Forms of Contract

What are the forms of a contract?

Contracts as a general rule, shall be obligatory in whatever form they may have been entered into, provided all the essential requisites which is consent, object and cause, for their validity are present. The law upholds the content or spirit of the contract over form thus giving validity to contracts which may even be oral. As expounded on this article:

Art. 1356. Contracts shall be obligatory, in whatever form they may have been entered into, provided all the essential requisites for their validity are present. However, when the law requires that a contract be in some form in order that it may be valid or enforceable, or that a contract be proved in a certain way, that requirement is absolute and indispensable. In such cases, the right of the parties stated in the following article cannot be exercised. (1278a)

However, there are certain cases when the law or the parties may require a certain form of a contract. As mentioned in this article:

 Art. 1357. If the law requires a document or other special form, as in the acts and contracts enumerated in the following article, the contracting parties may compel each other to observe that form, once the contract has been perfected. This right may be exercised simultaneously with the action upon the contract. (1279a)

 *Some instances include when the law requires that a contract be in some form in order that it may be valid, when the law requires that a contract be in some form in order that it may be enforceable and when the law requires that a contract be in some form for the convenience of the parties or for the purpose of affecting third persons.

What are the forms for validity?

  1. Donation of a real property must be in a public document
  2. Donation of personal property the value of which exceeds Php 5,000 must be at least in writing.
  3. The authority of the agent to sell a piece of land must be in writing
  4. Acts and contracts which have for their object the creation, transmission, modification or extinguishment of real rights over immovable property
  5. The cession, repudiation or renunciation of hereditary rights or those of conjugal partnership of gain
  6. The power to administer property or any other power which has for its object an act appearing or which should appear in a public document or should prejudice a third person
  7. The cession of actions or rights proceeding from an act appearing in a public document

 What are the forms for enforceability and convenience?

Statue of fraud. The writing provides for more reliable proof.

If the form for validity is complied with but the law requires another form then the parties must observe that form.

 What is a contract of adhesion?

Contract of adhesion where one party prepares the stipulations while the other affixes his signature or his adhesion thereto. These are binding as ordinary contracts and the party who adheres is free to reject its entirety.

References:

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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