Presidential Decree No. 957- The Law on Sale of Subdivision Lots and Condominiums

REGULATING THE SALE OF SUBDIVISION LOTS AND CONDOMINIUMS, PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF


July 12, 1976
     WHEREAS, it is the policy of the State to afford its inhabitants the requirements of decent human settlement and to provide them with ample opportunities for improving their quality of life;

     WHEREAS, numerous reports reveal that many real estate subdivision owners, developers, operators, and/or sellers have reneged on their representations and obligations to provide and maintain properly subdivision roads, drainage, sewerage, water systems, lighting systems, and other similar basic requirements, thus endangering the health and safety of home and lot buyers;

     WHEREAS, reports of alarming magnitude also show cases of swindling and fraudulent manipulations perpetrated by unscrupulous subdivision and condominium sellers and operators, such as failure to deliver titles to the buyers or titles free from liens and encumbrances, and to pay real estate taxes, and fraudulent sales of the same subdivision lots to different innocent purchasers for value;

     WHEREAS, these acts not only undermine the land and housing program of the government but also defeat the objectives of the New Society, particularly the promotion of peace and order and the enhancement of the economic, social and moral condition of the Filipino people;

     WHEREAS, this state of affairs has rendered it imperative that the real estate subdivision and condominium businesses be closely supervised and regulated, and that penalties be imposed on fraudulent practices and manipulations committed in connection therewith.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby decree and order:

Title I

TITLE AND DEFINITIONS

     Sec. 1. Title - This Decree shall be known as THE SUBDIVISION AND CONDOMINIUM BUYERS' PROTECTIVE DECREE.

     Sec. 2. Definition of Terms - When used in this Decree, the following terms shall, unless the context otherwise indicates, have the following respective meanings:

     a) Person. - "Person" shall mean a natural or a juridical person. A juridical person refers to a business firm whether a corporation, partnership, cooperative or associations or a single proprietorship.

     b) Sale or sell. - "Sale" or "sell" shall include every disposition, or attempt to dispose, for a valuable consideration, of a subdivision lot, including the building and other improvements thereof, if any, in a subdivision project or a condominium unit in a condominium project. "Sale" and "sell" shall also include a contract to sell, a contract of purchase and sale, an exchange, an attempt to sell, an option of sale or purchase, a solicitation of a sale, or an offer to sell, directly or by an agent, or by a circular, letter, advertisement or otherwise.

     A privilege given to a member of a cooperative, corporation, partnership, or any association and/or the issuance of a certificate or receipt evidencing or giving the right of participation in, or right to, any land in consideration of payment of the membership fee or dues, shall be deemed a sale within the meaning of this definition.

     c) Buy and purchase. - The "buy" and "purchase" shall include any contract to buy, purchase, or otherwise acquire for a valuable consideration a subdivision lot, including the building and other improvements, if any, in a subdivision project or a condominium unit in a condominium project.

     d) Subdivision project. - "Subdivision project" shall mean a tract or a parcel of land registered under Act No. 496 which is partitioned primarily for residential purposes into individual lots with or without improvements thereon, and offered to the public for sale, in cash or in installment terms. It shall include all residential, commercial, industrial and recreational areas as well as open spaces and other community and public areas in the project.

     e) Subdivision lot. - "Subdivision lot" shall mean any of the lots, whether residential, commercial, industrial, or recreational, in a subdivision project.

     f) Complex subdivision plan. - "Complex subdivision plan" shall mean a subdivision plan of a registered land wherein a street, passageway or open space is delineated on the plan.

     g) Condominium project. - "Condominium project" shall mean the entire parcel of real property divided or to be divided primarily for residential purposes into condominium units, including all structures thereon.

     h) Condominium unit. - "Condominium unit" shall mean a part of the condominium project intended for any type of independent use or ownership, including one or more rooms or spaces located in one or more floors (or part of parts of floors) in a building or buildings and such accessories as may be appended thereto.

     i) Owner. - "Owner" shall refer to the registered owner of the land subject of a subdivision or a condominium project.

     j) Developer. - "Developer" shall mean the person who develops or improves the subdivision project or condominium project for and in behalf of the owner thereof.

     k) Dealer. - "Dealer" shall mean any person directly engaged as principal in the business of buying, selling or exchanging real estate whether on a full-time or part-time basis.

     l) Broker. - "Broker" shall mean any person who, for commission or other compensation, undertakes to sell or negotiate the sale of a real estate belonging to another.

     m) Salesman. - "Salesman" shall refer to the person regularly employed by a broker to perform, for and in his behalf, any or all functions of a real estate broker.

     n) Authority. - "Authority" shall mean the National Housing Authority.

Title II

REGISTRATION AND LICENSE TO SELL

     Sec. 3. National Housing Authority - The National Housing Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the real estate trade and business in accordance with the provisions of this Decree.

     Sec. 4. Registration of Projects - The registered owner of a parcel of land who wishes to convert the same into a subdivision project shall submit his subdivision plan to the Authority which shall act upon and approve the same, upon a finding that the plan complies with the Subdivision Standards and Regulations enforceable at the time the plan is submitted. The same procedure shall be followed in the case of a plan for a condominium project except that, in addition, said Authority shall act upon and approve the plan with respect to the building or buildings included in the condominium project in accordance with the National Building Code (R.A. No. 6541).

     The subdivision plan, as so approved, shall then be submitted to the Director of Lands for approval in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Section 44 of the Land Registration Act (Act No. 496, as amended by R.A. No. 440): Provided, that it case of complex subdivision plans, court approval shall no longer be required. The condominium plan as likewise so approved, shall be submitted to the Register of Deeds of the province or city in which the property lies and the same shall be acted upon subject to the conditions and in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Section 4 of the Condominium Act (R.A. No. 4726).

     The owner or the real estate dealer interested in the sale of lots or units, respectively, in such subdivision project or condominium project shall register the project with the Authority by filing therewith a sworn registration statement containing the following information:

a) Name of the owner;
b) The location of the owner's principal business office, and if the owner is a non-resident Filipino, the name and address of his agent or representative in the Philippines is authorized to receive notice;
c) The names and addresses of all the directors and officers of the business firm, if the owner be a corporation, association, trust, or other entity, and of all the partners, if it be a partnership;
d) The general character of the business actually transacted or to be transacted by the owner; and
e) A statement of the capitalization of the owner, including the authorized and outstanding amounts of its capital stock and the proportion thereof which is paid-up.

     The following documents shall be attached to the registration statement:

a) A copy of the subdivision plan or condominium plan as approved in accordance with the first and second paragraphs of this section.
b) A copy of any circular, prospectus, brochure, advertisement, letter, or communication to be used for the public offering of the subdivision lots or condominium units;
c) In case of a business firm, a balance sheet showing the amount and general character of its assets and liabilities and a copy of its articles of incorporation or articles of partnership or association, as the case may be, with all the amendments thereof and existing by-laws or instruments corresponding thereto.
d) A title to the property which is free from all liens and encumbrances: Provided, however, that in case any subdivision lot or condominium unit is mortgaged, it is sufficient if the instrument of mortgage contains a stipulation that the mortgagee shall release the mortgage on any subdivision lot or condominium unit as soon as the full purchase price for the same is paid by the buyer.

     The person filing the registration statement shall pay the registration fees prescribed therefor by the Authority.
Thereupon, the Authority shall immediately cause to be published a notice of the filing of the registration statement at the expense of the applicant-owner or dealer, in two newspapers general circulation, one published in English and another in Pilipino, once a week for two consecutive weeks, reciting that a registration statement for the sale of subdivision lots or condominium units has been filed in the National Housing Authority; that the aforesaid registration statement, as well as the papers attached thereto, are open to inspection during business hours by interested parties, under such regulations as the Authority may impose; and that copies thereof shall be furnished to any party upon payment of the proper fees.

     The subdivision project of the condominium project shall be deemed registered upon completion of the above publication requirement. The fact of such registration shall be evidenced by a registration certificate to be issued to the applicant-owner or dealer.

     Sec. 5. License to sell. - Such owner or dealer to whom has been issued a registration certificate shall not, however, be authorized to sell any subdivision lot or condominium unit in the registered project unless he shall have first obtained a license to sell the project within two weeks from the registration of such project.

The Authority, upon proper application therefor, shall issue to such owner or dealer of a registered project a license to sell the project if, after an examination of the registration statement filed by said owner or dealer and all the pertinent documents attached thereto, he is convinced that the owner or dealer is of good repute, that his business is financially stable, and that the proposed sale of the subdivision lots or condominium units to the public would not be fraudulent.

     Sec. 6. Performance Bond. - No license to sell subdivision lots or condominium units shall be issued by the Authority under Section 5 of this Decree unless the owner or dealer shall have filed an adequate performance bond approved by said Authority to guarantee the construction and maintenance of the roads, gutters, drainage, sewerage, water system, lighting systems, and full development of the subdivision project or the condominium project and the compliance by the owner or dealer with the applicable laws and rules and regulations.

     The performance bond shall be executed in favor of the Republic of the Philippines and shall authorize the Authority to use the proceeds thereof for the purposes of its undertaking in case of forfeiture as provided in this Decree.

     Sec. 7. Exempt transactions. - A license to sell and performance bond shall not be required in any of the following transactions:

a) Sale of a subdivision lot resulting from the partition of land among co-owners and co-heirs.
b) Sale or transfer of a subdivision lot by the original purchaser thereof and any subsequent sale of the same lot.
c) Sale of a subdivision lot or a condominium unit by or for the account of a mortgagee in the ordinary course of business when necessary to liquidate a bona fide debt.

     Sec. 8. Suspension of license to sell. - Upon verified complaint by a buyer of a subdivision lot or a condominium unit in any interested party, the Authority may, in its discretion, immediately suspend the owner's or dealer's license to sell pending investigation and hearing of the case as provided in Section 13 hereof.

     The Authority may motu proprio suspend the license to sell if, in its opinion, any information in the registration statement filed by the owner or dealer is or has become misleading, incorrect, inadequate or incomplete or the sale or offering for a sale of the subdivision or condominium project may work or tend to work a fraud upon prospective buyers.

     The suspension order may be lifted if, after notice and hearing, the Authority is convinced that the registration statement is accurate or that any deficiency therein has been corrected or supplemented or that the sale to the public of the subdivision or condominium project will neither be fraudulent not result in fraud. It shall also be lifted upon dismissal of the complaint for lack of legal basis.

     Until the final entry of an order of suspension, the suspension of the right to sell the project, though binding upon all persons notified thereof, shall be deemed confidential unless it shall appear that the order of suspension has in the meantime been violated.

     Sec. 9. Revocation of registration certificate and license to sell. - The Authority may, motu proprio or upon verified complaint filed by a buyer of a subdivision lot or condominium unit, revoke the registration of any subdivision project or condominium project and the license to sell any subdivision lot or condominium unit in said project by issuing an order to this effect, with his findings in respect thereto, if upon examination into the affairs of the owner or dealer during a hearing as provided for in Section 14 hereof, if shall appear there is satisfactory evidence that the said owner or dealer:

a) Is insolvent; or
b) has violated any of the provisions of this Decree or any applicable rule or regulation of the Authority, or any undertaking of his/its performance bond; or
c) Has been or is engaged or is about to engage in fraudulent transactions; or
d) Has made any misrepresentation in any prospectus, brochure, circular or other literature about the subdivision project or condominium project that has been distributed to prospective buyers; or
e) Is of bad business repute; or
f) Does not conduct his business in accordance with law or sound business principles.
Where the owner or dealer is a partnership or corporation or an unincorporated association, it shall be sufficient cause for cancellation of its registration certificate and its license to sell, if any member of such partnership or any officer or director of such corporation or association has been guilty of any act or omission which would be cause for refusing or revoking the registration of an individual dealer, broker or salesman as provided in Section 11 hereof.

     Sec. 10. Registers of subdivision lots and condominium units. - A record of subdivision lots and condominium units shall be kept in the Authority wherein shall be entered all orders of the Authority affecting the condition or status thereof. The registers of subdivision lots and condominium units shall be open to public inspection subject to such reasonable rules as the Authority may prescribe.

Title III

DEALERS, BROKERS AND SALESMEN

     Sec. 11. Registration of dealers, brokers and salesmen. - No real estate dealer, broker or salesman shall engage in the business of selling subdivision lots or condominium units unless he has registered himself with the Authority in accordance with the provisions of this section.

     If the Authority shall find that the applicant is of good repute and has complied with the applicable rules of the Authority, including the payment of the prescribed fee, he shall register such applicant as a dealer, broker or salesman upon filing a bond, or other security in lieu thereof, in such sum as may be fixed by the Authority conditioned upon his faithful compliance with the provisions of this Decree: Provided, that the registration of a salesman shall cease upon the termination of his employment with a dealer or broker.

     Every registration under this section shall expire on the thirty-first day of December of each year. Renewal of registration for the succeeding year shall be granted upon written application therefor made not less than thirty nor more than sixty days before the first day of the ensuing year and upon payment of the prescribed fee, without the necessity of filing further statements or information, unless specifically required by the Authority. All applications filed beyond said period shall be treated as original applications.

     The names and addresses of all persons registered as dealers, brokers, or salesmen shall be recorded in a Register of Brokers, Dealers and Salesmen kept in the Authority which shall be open to public inspection.

     Sec. 12. Revocation of registration as dealers, brokers or salesmen. - Registration under the preceding section may be refused or any registration granted thereunder, revoked by the Authority if, after reasonable notice and hearing, it shall determine that such applicant or registrant:

1) Has violated any provision of this Decree or any rule or regulation made hereunder; or
2) Has made a material false statement in his application for registration; or
3) Has been guilty of a fraudulent act in connection with any sale of a subdivision lot or condominium unit; or
4) Has demonstrated his unworthiness to transact the business of dealer, broker, or salesman, as the case may be.

     In case of charges against a salesman, notice thereof shall also be given the broker or dealer employing such salesman.
Pending hearing of the case, the Authority shall have the power to order the suspension of the dealer's, broker's, of salesman's registration; provided, that such order shall state the cause for the suspension

     The suspension or revocation of the registration of a dealer or broker shall carry with it all the suspension or revocation of the registrations of all his salesmen.

Title IV

PROCEDURE FOR REVOCATION OF REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE

     Sec. 13. Hearing. - In the hearing for determining the existence of any ground or grounds for the suspension and/or revocation of registration certificate and license to sell as provided in Section 8 and 9 hereof, the following shall be complied with:

a) Notice. - No such hearing shall proceed unless the respondent is furnished with a copy of the complaint against him or is notified in writing of the purpose of such hearing.
b) Venue. - The hearing may be held before the officer or officers designated by the Authority on the date and place specified in the notice.
c) Nature of proceeding. - The proceedings shall be non-litigious and summary in nature without regard to legal technicalities obtaining in courts of law. The Rules of court shall not apply in said hearing except by analogy or in a suppletory character and whenever practicable and convenient.
d) Power incidental to the hearing. - For the purpose of the hearing or other proceeding under this Decree, the officer or officers designated to hear the complaint shall have the power to administer oaths, subpoena witnesses, conduct ocular inspections, take depositions, and require the production of any book, paper, correspondence, memorandum, or other record which are deemed relevant or material to the inquiry.

     Sec. 14. Contempt.

a) Direct contempt. - The officer or officers designated by the Authority to hear the complaint may summarily adjudge in direct contempt any person guilty of misbehavior in the presence of or so near the said hearing officials as to obstruct or interrupt the proceedings before the same or of refusal to be sworn or to answer as a witness or to subscribe an affidavit or deposition when lawfully required to do so. The person found guilty of direct contempt under this section shall be punished by a fine not exceeding Fifty (P50.00) Pesos or imprisonment not exceeding five (5) days, or both. a
b) Indirect contempt. - The officer or officers designated to hear the complaint may also adjudge any person in indirect contempt on grounds and in the manner prescribed in Rule 71 of the Revised Rules of Court.

     Sec. 15. Decision. - The case shall be decided within thirty (30) days from the time the same is submitted for decision. The Decision may order the revocation of the registration of the subdivision or condominium project, the suspension, cancellation, or revocation of the license to sell and/or forfeiture, in whole or in part, of the performance bond mentioned in Section 6 hereof. In case forfeiture of the bond is ordered, the Decision may direct the provincial or city engineer to undertake or cause the construction of roads and of other requirements for the subdivision or condominium as stipulated in the bond, chargeable to the amount forfeited. Such decision shall be immediately executory and shall become final after the lapse of 15 days from the date of receipt of the Decision.

     Sec. 16. Cease and Desist Order. - Whenever it shall appear to the Authority that any person is engaged or about to engage in any act or practice which constitutes or will constitute a violation of the provisions of this Decree, or of any rule or regulation thereunder, it may, upon due notice and hearing as provided in Section 13 hereof, issue a cease and desist order to enjoin such act or practices.

     Sec. 17. Registration. - All contracts to sell, deeds of sale and other similar instruments relative to the sale or conveyance of the subdivision lots and condominium units, whether or not the purchase price is paid in full, shall be registered by the seller in the Office of the Register of Deeds of the province or city where the property is situated.

     Whenever a subdivision plan duly approved in accordance with Section 4 hereof, together with the corresponding owner's duplicate certificate of title, is presented to the Register of Deeds for registration, the Register of Deeds shall register the same in accordance with the provisions of the Land Registration Act, as amended: Provided, however, that it there is a street, passageway or required open space delineated on a complex subdivision plan hereafter approved and as defined in this Decree, the Register of Deeds shall annotate on the new certificate of title covering the street, passageway or open space, a memorandum to the effect that except by way of donation in favor of a city or municipality, no portion of any street, passageway, or open space so delineated on the plan shall be closed or otherwise disposed of by the registered owner without the requisite approval as provided under Section 22 of this Decree.

     Sec. 18. Mortgages. - No mortgage on any unit or lot shall be made by the owner or developer without prior written approval of the Authority. Such approval shall not be granted unless it is shown that the proceeds of the mortgage loan shall be used for the development of the condominium or subdivision project and effective measures have been provided to ensure such utilization. The loan value of each lot or unit covered by the mortgage shall be determined and the buyer thereof, if any, shall be notified before the release of the loan. The buyer may, at his option, pay his installment for the lot or unit directly to the mortgagee who shall apply the payments to the corresponding mortgage indebtedness secured by the particular lot or unit being paid for, with a view to enabling said buyer to obtain title over the lot or unit promptly after full payment thereto;

     Sec. 19. Advertisements. - Advertisements that may be made by the owner or developer through newspaper, radio, television, leaflets, circulars or any other form about the subdivision or the condominium or its operations or activities must reflect the real facts and must be presented in such manner that will not tend to mislead or deceive the public.

     The owner or developer shall answerable and liable for the facilities, improvements, infrastructures or other forms of development represented or promised in brochures, advertisements and other sales propaganda disseminated by the owner or developer or his agents and the same shall form part of the sales warranties enforceable against said owner or developer, jointly and severally. Failure to comply with these warranties shall also be punishable in accordance with the penalties provided for in this Decree.

     Sec. 20. Time of Completion. - Every owner or developer shall construct and provide the facilities, improvements, infrastructures and other forms of development, including water supply and lighting facilities, which are offered and indicated in the approved subdivision or condominium plans, brochures, prospectus, printed matters, letters or in any form of advertisement, within one year from the date of the issuance of the license for the subdivision or condominium project or such other period of time as may be fixed by the Authority.

     Sec. 21. Sales Prior to Decree. - In cases of subdivision lots or condominium units sold or disposed of prior to the effectivity of this Decree, it shall be incumbent upon the owner or developer of the subdivision or condominium project to complete compliance with his or its obligations as provided in the preceding section within two years from the date of this Decree unless otherwise extended by the Authority or unless an adequate performance bond is filed in accordance with Section 6 hereof.

     Failure of the owner or developer to comply with the obligations under this and the preceding provisions shall constitute a violation punishable under Sections 38 and 39 of this Decree.

     Sec. 22. Alteration of Plans. - No owner or developer shall change or alter the roads, open spaces, infrastructures, facilities for public use and/or other form of subdivision development as contained in the approved subdivision plan and/or represented in its advertisements, without the permission of the Authority and the written conformity or consent of the duly organized homeowners association, or in the absence of the latter, by the majority of the lot buyers in the subdivision.

     Sec. 23. Non-Forfeiture of Payments. - No installment payment made by a buyer in a subdivision or condominium project for the lot or unit he contracted to buy shall be forfeited in favor of the owner or developer when the buyer, after due notice to the owner or developer, desists from further payment due to the failure of the owner or developer to develop the subdivision or condominium project according to the approved plans and within the time limit for complying with the same. Such buyer may, at his option, be reimbursed the total amount paid including amortization interests but excluding delinquency interests, with interest thereon at the legal rate.

     Sec. 24. Failure to pay installments. - The rights of the buyer in the event of this failure to pay the installments due for reasons other than the failure of the owner or developer to develop the project shall be governed by Republic Act No. 6552.
Where the transaction or contract was entered into prior to the effectivity of Republic Act No. 6552 on August 26, 1972, the defaulting buyer shall be entitled to the corresponding refund based on the installments paid after the effectivity of the law in the absence of any provision in the contract to the contrary.

     Sec. 25. Issuance of Title. - The owner or developer shall deliver the title of the lot or unit to the buyer upon full payment of the lot or unit. No fee, except those required for the registration of the deed of sale in the Registry of Deeds, shall be collected for the issuance of such title. In the event a mortgage over the lot or unit is outstanding at the time of the issuance of the title to the buyer, the owner or developer shall redeem the mortgage or the corresponding portion thereof within six months from such issuance in order that the title over any fully paid lot or unit may be secured and delivered to the buyer in accordance herewith.

     Sec. 26. Realty Tax. - Real estate tax and assessment on a lot or unit shall de paid by the owner or developer without recourse to the buyer for as long as the title has not passed the buyer; Provided, however, that if the buyer has actually taken possession of and occupied the lot or unit, he shall be liable to the owner or developer for such tax and assessment effective the year following such taking of possession and occupancy.

     Sec. 27. Other Charges. - No owner or developer shall levy upon any lot or buyer a fee for an alleged community benefit. Fees to finance services for common comfort, security and sanitation may be collected only by a properly organized homeowners association and only with the consent of a majority of the lot or unit buyers actually residing in the subdivision or condominium project.

     Sec. 28. Access to Public Offices in the Subdivisions. - No owner or developer shall deny any person free access to any government office or public establishment located within the subdivision or which may be reached only by passing through the subdivision.

     Sec. 29. Right of Way to Public Road. - The owner or developer of a subdivision without access to any existing public road or street must secure a right of way to a public road or street and such right of way must be developed and maintained according to the requirement of the government and authorities concerned.

     Sec. 30. Organization of Homeowners Association. - The owner or developer of a subdivision project or condominium project shall initiate the organization of a homeowners association among the buyers and residents of the projects for the purpose of promoting and protecting their mutual interest and assist in their community development.

     Sec. 31. Donations of roads and open spaces to local government. - The registered owner or developer of the subdivision or condominium project, upon completion of the development of said project may, at his option, convey by way of donation the roads and open spaces found within the project to the city or municipality wherein the project is located. Upon acceptance of the donation by the city or municipality concerned, no portion of the area donated shall thereafter be converted to any other purpose or purposes unless after hearing, the proposed conversion is approved by the Authority.

     Sec. 32. Phases of Subdivision. - For purposes of complying with the provisions of this Decree, the owner or developer may divide the development and sale of the subdivision into phases, each phase to cover not less than ten hectares. The requirement imposed by this Decree on the subdivision as a whole shall be deemed imposed on each phase.

     Sec. 33. Nullity of waivers. - Any condition, stipulation, or provision in contract of sale whereby any person waives compliance with any provision of this Decree or of any rule or regulation issued thereunder shall be void.

     Sec. 34. Visitorial powers. - This Authority, through its duly authorized representative may, at any time, make an examination into the business affairs, administration, and condition of any person, corporation, partnership, cooperative, or association engaged in the business of selling subdivision lots and condominium units. For this purpose, the official authorized so to do shall have the authority to examine under oath the directors, officers, stockholders or members of any corporation, partnership, association, cooperative or other persons associated or connected with the business and to issue subpoena or subpoena duces tecum in relation to any investigation that may arise therefrom.

      The Authority may also authorize the Provincial, City or Municipal Engineer, as the case may be, to conduct an ocular inspection of the project to determine whether the development of said project conforms to the standards and specifications prescribed by the government.

     The books, papers, letters, and other documents belonging to the person or entities herein mentioned shall be open to inspection by the Authority or its duly authorized representative.

      Sec. 35. Take-over Development. - The Authority, may take over or cause the development and completion of the subdivision or condominium project at the expenses of the owner or developer, jointly and severally, in cases where the owner or developer has refused or failed to develop or complete the development of the project as provided for in this Decree.

     The Authority may, after such take-over, demand, collect and receive from the buyers the installment payments due on the lots, which shall be utilized for the development of the subdivision.

     Sec. 36. Rules and Regulations. - The Authority shall issue the necessary standards, rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the provisions of this Decree. Such standards, rules and regulations shall take effect immediately after their publication three times a week for two consecutive weeks in any newspaper of general circulation.

     Sec. 37. Deputization of law enforcement agencies. - The Authority may deputize the Philippine Constabulary or any law enforcement agency in the execution of its final orders, rulings or decisions.

     Sec. 38. Administrative Fines. - The Authority may prescribe and impose fines not exceeding ten thousand pesos for violations of the provisions of this Decree or of any rule or regulation thereunder. Fines shall be payable to the Authority and enforceable through writs of execution in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Court.

     Sec. 39. Penalties. - Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this Decree and/or any rule or regulation that may be issued pursuant to this Decree shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than twenty thousand (P20,000.00) pesos and/or imprisonment of not more than ten years: Provided, That in the case of corporations, partnership, cooperatives, or associations, the President, Manager or Administrator or the person who has charge of the administration of the business shall be criminally responsible for any violation of this Decree and/or the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

     Sec. 40. Liability of controlling persons. - Every person who directly or indirectly controls any person liable under any provision of this Decree or of any rule or regulation issued thereunder shall be liable jointly and severally with and to the same extent as such controlled person unless the controlling person acted in good faith and did not directly or indirectly induce the act or acts constituting the violation or cause of action.

     Sec. 41. Other remedies. - The rights and remedies provided in this Decree shall be in addition to any and all other rights and remedies that may be available under existing laws.

     Sec. 42. Repealing clause. - All laws, executive orders, rules and regulations or part thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Decree are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

     Sec. 43. Effectivity. - This Decree shall take effect upon its approval.

Done in the City of Manila, this 12th day of July, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-six.

AN ACT TO DEFINE CONDOMINIUM, ESTABLISH REQUIREMENTS FOR ITS CREATION, AND GOVERN ITS INCIDENTS.

Sec. 1. The short title of this Act shall be "The Condominium Act".

Sec. 2. A condominium is an interest in real property consisting of separate interest in a unit in a residential, industrial or commercial building and an undivided interest in common, directly or indirectly, in the land on which it is located and in other common areas of the building. A condominium may include, in addition, a separate interest in other portions of such real property. Title to the common areas, including the land, or the appurtenant interests in such areas, may be held by a corporation specially formed for the purpose (hereinafter known as the "condominium corporation") in which the holders of separate interest shall automatically be members or shareholders, to the exclusion of others, in proportion to the appurtenant interest of their respective units in the common areas.

The real right in condominium may be ownership or any other interest in real property recognized by law, on property in the Civil Code and other pertinent laws.

Sec. 3. As used in this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) "Condominium" means a condominium as defined in the next preceding section.

(b) "Unit" means a part of the condominium project intended for any type of independent use or ownership, including one or more rooms or spaces located in one or more floors (or part or parts of floors) in a building or buildings and such accessories as may be appended thereto.

(c) "Project" means the entire parcel of real property divided or to be divided in condominiums, including all structures thereon,

(d) "Common areas" means the entire project excepting all units separately granted or held or reserved.

(e) "To divide" real property means to divide the ownership thereof or other interest therein by conveying one or more condominiums therein but less than the whole thereof.

Sec. 4. The provisions of this Act shall apply to property divided or to be divided into condominiums only if there shall be recorded in the Register of Deeds of the province or city in which the property lies and duly annotated in the corresponding certificate of title of the land, if the latter had been patented or registered under either the Land Registration or Cadastral Acts, an enabling or master deed which shall contain, among others, the following:

(a) Description of the land on which the building or buildings and improvements are or are to be located;

(b) Description of the building or buildings, stating the number of stories and basements, the number of units and their accessories, if any;

(c) Description of the common areas and facilities;

(d) A statement of the exact nature of the interest acquired or to be acquired by the purchaser in the separate units and in the common areas of the condominium project. Where title to or the appurtenant interests in the common areas is or is to be held by a condominium corporation, a statement to this effect shall be included;

(e) Statement of the purposes for which the building or buildings and each of the units are intended or restricted as to use;

(f) A certificate of the registered owner of the property, if he is other than those executing the master deed, as well as of all registered holders of any lien or encumbrance on the property, that they consent to the registration of the deed;

(g) The following plans shall be appended to the deed as integral parts thereof:

(1) A survey plan of the land included in the project, unless a survey plan of the same property had previously bee filed in said office;

(2) A diagrammatic floor plan of the building or buildings in the project, in sufficient detail to identify each unit, its relative location and approximate dimensions;

(h) Any reasonable restriction not contrary to law, morals or public policy regarding the right of any condominium owner to alienate or dispose of his condominium.

The enabling or master deed may be amended or revoked upon registration of an instrument executed by the registered owner or owners of the property and consented to by all registered holders of any lien or encumbrance on the land or building or portion thereof. The term "registered owner" shall include the registered owners of condominiums in the project. Until registration of a revocation, the provisions of this Act shall continue to apply to such property.

Sec. 5. Any transfer or conveyance of a unit or an apartment, office or store or other space therein, shall include the transfer or conveyance of the undivided interests in the common areas or, in a proper case, the membership or shareholdings in the condominium corporation: Provided, however, That where the common areas in the condominium project are owned by the owners of separate units as co-owners thereof, no condominium unit therein shall be conveyed or transferred to persons other than Filipino citizens, or corporations at least sixty percent of the capital stock of which belong to Filipino citizens, except in cases of hereditary succession. Where the common areas in a condominium project are held by a corporation, no transfer or conveyance of a unit shall be valid if the concomitant transfer of the appurtenant membership or stockholding in the corporation will cause the alien interest in such corporation to exceed the limits imposed by existing laws.

Sec. 6. Unless otherwise expressly provided in the enabling or master deed or the declaration of restrictions, the incidents of a condominium grant are as follows:

(a) The boundary of the unit granted are the interior surfaces of the perimeter walls, floors, ceilings, windows and doors thereof. The following are not part of the unit bearing walls, columns, floors, roofs, foundations and other common structural elements of the building; lobbies, stairways, hallways, and other areas of common use, elevator equipment and shafts, central heating, central refrigeration and central air-conditioning equipment, reservoirs, tanks, pumps and other central services and facilities, pipes, ducts, flues, chutes, conduits, wires and other utility installations, wherever located, except the outlets thereof when located within the unit.

(b) There shall pass with the unit, as an appurtenance thereof, an exclusive easement for the use of the air space encompassed by the boundaries of the unit as it exists at any particular time and as the unit may lawfully be altered or reconstructed from time to time. Such easement shall be automatically terminated in any air space upon destruction of the unit as to render it untenantable.

(c) Unless otherwise, provided, the common areas are held in common by the holders of units, in equal shares, one for each unit.

(d) A non-exclusive easement for ingress, egress and support through the common areas is appurtenant to each unit and the common areas are subject to such easements.

(e) Each condominium owner shall have the exclusive right to paint, repaint, tile, wax, paper or otherwise refinish and decorate the inner surfaces of the walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors bounding his own unit.

(f) Each condominium owner shall have the exclusive right to mortgage, pledge or encumber his condominium and to have the same appraised independently of the other condominiums but any obligation incurred by such condominium owner is personal to him.

(g) Each condominium owner has also the absolute right to sell or dispose of his condominium unless the master deed contains a requirement that the property be first offered to the condominium owners within a reasonable period of time before the same is offered to outside parties;

Sec. 7. Except as provided in the following section, the common areas shall remain undivided, and there shall be no judicial partition thereof.

Sec. 8. Where several persons own condominiums in a condominium project, an action may be brought by one or more such persons for partition thereof by sale of the entire project, as if the owners of all of the condominiums in such project were co-owners of the entire project in the same proportion as their interests in the common areas: Provided, however, That a partition shall be made only upon a showing:

(a) That three years after damage or destruction to the project which renders material part thereof unit for its use prior thereto, the project has not been rebuilt or repaired substantially to its state prior to its damage or destruction, or

(b) That damage or destruction to the project has rendered one-half or more of the units therein untenantable and that condominium owners holding in aggregate more than thirty percent interest in the common areas are opposed to repair or restoration of the project; or

(c) That the project has been in existence in excess of fifty years, that it is obsolete and uneconomic, and that condominium owners holding in aggregate more than fifty percent interest in the common areas are opposed to repair or restoration or remodeling or modernizing of the project; or

(d) That the project or a material part thereof has been condemned or expropriated and that the project is no longer viable, or that the condominium owners holding in aggregate more than seventy percent interest in the common areas are opposed to continuation of the condominium regime after expropriation or condemnation of a material portion thereof; or

(e) That the conditions for such partition by sale set forth in the declaration of restrictions, duly registered in accordance with the terms of this Act, have been met.

Sec. 9. The owner of a project shall, prior to the conveyance of any condominium therein, register a declaration of restrictions relating to such project, which restrictions shall constitute a lien upon each condominium in the project, and shall insure to and bind all condominium owners in the project. Such liens, unless otherwise provided, may be enforced by any condominium owner in the project or by the management body of such project. The Register of Deeds shall enter and annotate the declaration of restrictions upon the certificate of title covering the land included within the project, if the land is patented or registered under the Land Registration or Cadastral Acts.

The declaration of restrictions shall provide for the management of the project by anyone of the following management bodies: a condominium corporation, an association of the condominium owners, a board of governors elected by condominium owners, or a management agent elected by the owners or by the board named in the declaration. It shall also provide for voting majorities quorums, notices, meeting date, and other rules governing such body or bodies.

Such declaration of restrictions, among other things, may also provide:

(a) As to any such management body;

(1) For the powers thereof, including power to enforce the provisions of the declarations of restrictions;

(2) For maintenance of insurance policies, insuring condominium owners against loss by fire, casualty, liability, workmen's compensation and other insurable risks, and for bonding of the members of any management body;

(3) Provisions for maintenance, utility, gardening and other services benefiting the common areas, for the employment of personnel necessary for the operation of the building, and legal, accounting and other professional and technical services;

(4) For purchase of materials, supplies and the like needed by the common areas;

(5) For payment of taxes and special assessments which would be a lien upon the entire project or common areas, and for discharge of any lien or encumbrance levied against the entire project or the common areas;

(6) For reconstruction of any portion or portions of any damage to or destruction of the project;

(7) The manner for delegation of its powers;

(8) For entry by its officers and agents into any unit when necessary in connection with the maintenance or construction for which such body is responsible;

(9) For a power of attorney to the management body to sell the entire project for the benefit of all of the owners thereof when partition of the project may be authorized under Section 8 of this Act, which said power shall be binding upon all of the condominium owners regardless of whether they assume the obligations of the restrictions or not.

(b) The manner and procedure for amending such restrictions: Provided, That the vote of not less than a majority in interest of the owners is obtained.

(c) For independent audit of the accounts of the management body;

(d) For reasonable assessments to meet authorized expenditures, each condominium unit to be assessed separately for its share of such expenses in proportion (unless otherwise provided) to its owners fractional interest in any common areas;

(e) For the subordination of the liens securing such assessments to other liens either generally or specifically described;

(f) For conditions, other than those provided for in Sections eight and thirteen of this Act, upon which partition of the project and dissolution of the condominium corporation may be made. Such right to partition or dissolution may be conditioned upon failure of the condominium owners to rebuild within a certain period or upon specified inadequacy of insurance proceeds, or upon specified percentage of damage to the building, or upon a decision of an arbitrator, or upon any other reasonable condition.

Sec. 10. Whenever the common areas in a condominium project are held by a condominium corporation, such corporation shall constitute the management body of the project. The corporate purposes of such a corporation shall be limited to the holding of the common areas, either in ownership or any other interest in real property recognized by law, to the management of the project, and to such other purposes as may be necessary, incidental or convenient to the accomplishment of said purposes. The articles of incorporation or by-laws of the corporation shall not contain any provision contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, the enabling or master deed, or the declaration of restrictions of the project. Membership in a condominium corporation, regardless of whether it is a stock or non-stock corporation, shall not be transferable separately from the condominium unit of which it is an appurtenance. When a member or stockholder ceases to own a unit in the project in which the condominium corporation owns or holds the common areas, he shall automatically cease to be a member or stockholder of the condominium corporation.

Sec. 11. The term of a condominium corporation shall be co-terminus with the duration of the condominium project, the provisions of the Corporation Law to the contrary notwithstanding.

Sec. 12. In case of involuntary dissolution of a condominium corporation for any of the causes provided by law, the common areas owned or held by the corporation shall, by way of liquidation, be transferred pro-indiviso and in proportion to their interest in the corporation to the members or stockholders thereof, subject to the superior rights of the corporation creditors. Such transfer or conveyance shall be deemed to be a full liquidation of the interest of such members or stockholders in the corporation. After such transfer or conveyance, the provisions of this Act governing undivided co-ownership of, or undivided interest in, the common areas in condominium projects shall fully apply.

Sec. 13. Until the enabling or the master deed of the project in which the condominium corporation owns or holds the common area is revoked, the corporation shall not be voluntarily dissolved through an action for dissolution under Rule 104 of the Rules of Court except upon a showing:

(a) That three years after damage or destruction to the project in which the corporation owns or holds the common areas, which damage or destruction renders a material part thereof unfit for its use prior thereto, the project has not been rebuilt or repaired substantially to its state prior to its damage or destruction; or

(b) That damage or destruction to the project has rendered one-half or more of the units therein untenantable and that more than thirty percent of the members of the corporation, if non-stock, or the shareholders representing more than thirty percent of the capital stock entitled to vote, if a stock corporation, are opposed to the repair or reconstruction of the project, or

(c) That the project has been in existence in excess of fifty years, that it is obsolete and uneconomical, and that more than fifty percent of the members of the corporation, if non-stock, or the stockholders representing more than fifty percent of the capital stock entitled to vote, if a stock corporation, are opposed to the repair or restoration or remodeling or modernizing of the project; or

(d) That the project or a material part thereof has been condemned or expropriated and that the project is no longer viable, or that the members holding in aggregate more than seventy percent interest in the corporation, if non-stock, or the stockholders representing more than seventy percent of the capital stock entitled to vote, if a stock corporation, are opposed to the continuation of the condominium regime after expropriation or condemnation of a material portion thereof; or

(e) That the conditions for such a dissolution set forth in the declaration of restrictions of the project in which the corporation owns of holds the common areas, have been met.

Sec. 14. The condominium corporation may also be dissolved by the affirmative vote of all the stockholders or members thereof at a general or special meeting duly called for the purpose: Provided, That all the requirements of Section sixty-two of the Corporation Law are complied with.

Sec. 15. Unless otherwise provided for in the declaration of restrictions upon voluntary dissolution of a condominium corporation in accordance with the provisions of Sections thirteen and fourteen of this Act, the corporation shall be deemed to hold a power of attorney from all the members or stockholders to sell and dispose of their separate interests in the project and liquidation of the corporation shall be effected by a sale of the entire project as if the corporation owned the whole thereof, subject to the rights of the corporate and of individual condominium creditors.

Sec. 16. A condominium corporation shall not, during its existence, sell, exchange, lease or otherwise dispose of the common areas owned or held by it in the condominium project unless authorized by the affirmative vote of all the stockholders or members.

Sec. 17. Any provision of the Corporation Law to the contrary notwithstanding, the by-laws of a condominium corporation shall provide that a stockholder or member shall not be entitled to demand payment of his shares or interest in those cases where such right is granted under the Corporation Law unless he consents to sell his separate interest in the project to the corporation or to any purchaser of the corporation's choice who shall also buy from the corporation the dissenting member or stockholder's interest. In case of disagreement as to price, the procedure set forth in the appropriate provision of the Corporation Law for valuation of shares shall be followed. The corporation shall have two years within which to pay for the shares or furnish a purchaser of its choice from the time of award. All expenses incurred in the liquidation of the interest of the dissenting member or stockholder shall be borne by him.

Sec. 18. Upon registration of an instrument conveying a condominium, the Register of Deeds shall, upon payment of the proper fees, enter and annotate the conveyance on the certificate of title covering the land included within the project and the transferee shall be entitled to the issuance of a "condominium owner's" copy of the pertinent portion of such certificate of title. Said "condominium owner's" copy need not reproduce the ownership status or series of transactions in force or annotated with respect to other condominiums in the project. A copy of the description of the land, a brief description of the condominium conveyed, name and personal circumstances of the condominium owner would be sufficient for purposes of the "condominium owner's" copy of the certificate of title. No conveyance of condominiums or part thereof, subsequent to the original conveyance thereof from the owner of the project, shall be registered unless accompanied by a certificate of the management body of the project that such conveyance is in accordance with the provisions of the declaration of restrictions of such project.

In cases of condominium projects registered under the provisions of the Spanish Mortgage Law or Act 3344, as amended, the registration of the deed of conveyance of a condominium shall be sufficient if the Register of Deeds shall keep the original or signed copy thereof, together with the certificate of the management body of the project, and return a copy of the deed of conveyance to the condominium owner duly acknowledge and stamped by the Register of Deeds in the same manner as in the case of registration of conveyances of real property under said laws.

Sec. 19. Where the enabling or master deed provides that the land included within a condominium project are to be owned in common by the condominium owners therein, the Register of Deeds may, at the request of all the condominium owners and upon surrender of all their "condominium owner's" copies, cancel the certificates of title of the property and issue a new one in the name of said condominium owners as pro-indiviso co-owners thereof.

Sec. 20. An assessment upon any condominium made in accordance with a duly registered declaration of restrictions shall be an obligation of the owner thereof at the time the assessment is made. The amount of any such assessment plus any other charges thereon, such as interest, costs (including attorney's fees) and penalties, as such may be provided for in the declaration of restrictions, shall be and become a lien upon the condominium assessed when the management body causes a notice of assessment to be registered with the Register of Deeds of the city or province where such condominium project is located. The notice shall state the amount of such assessment and such other charges thereon a may be authorized by the declaration of restrictions, a description of the condominium, unit against which same has been assessed, and the name of the registered owner thereof. Such notice shall be signed by an authorized representative of the management body or as otherwise provided in the declaration of restrictions. Upon payment of said assessment and charges or other satisfaction thereof, the management body shall cause to be registered a release of the lien.

Such lien shall be superior to all other liens registered subsequent to the registration of said notice of assessment except real property tax liens and except that the declaration of restrictions may provide for the subordination thereof to any other liens and encumbrances.

Such liens may be enforced in the same manner provided for by law for the judicial or extra-judicial foreclosure of mortgages of real property. Unless otherwise provided for in the declaration of restrictions, the management body shall have power to bid at foreclosure sale. The condominium owner shall have the same right of redemption as in cases of judicial or extra-judicial foreclosure of mortgages.

Sec. 21. No labor performed or services or materials furnished with the consent of or at the request of a condominium owner or his agent or his contractor or subcontractor, shall be the basis of a lien against the condominium of any other condominium owner, unless such other owners have expressly consented to or requested the performance of such labor or furnishing of such materials or services. Such express consent shall be deemed to have been given by the owner of any condominium in the case of emergency repairs of his condominium unit. Labor performed or services or materials furnished for the common areas, if duly authorized by the management body provided for in a declaration of restrictions governing the property, shall be deemed to be performed or furnished with the express consent of each condominium owner. The owner of any condominium may remove his condominium from a lien against two or more condominiums or any part thereof by payment to the holder of the lien of the fraction of the total sum secured by such lien which is attributable to his condominium unit.

Sec. 22. Unless otherwise provided for by the declaration of restrictions, the management body, provided for herein, may acquire and hold, for the benefit of the condominium owners, tangible and intangible personal property and may dispose of the same by sale or otherwise; and the beneficial interest in such personal property shall be owned by the condominium owners in the same proportion as their respective interests in the common areas. A transfer of a condominium shall transfer to the transferee ownership of the transferor's beneficial interest in such personal property.

Sec. 23. Where, in an action for partition of a condominium project or for the dissolution of condominium corporation on the ground that the project or a material part thereof has been condemned or expropriated, the Court finds that the conditions provided for in this Act or in the declaration of restrictions have not been met, the Court may decree a reorganization of the project, declaring which portion or portions of the project shall continue as a condominium project, the owners thereof, and the respective rights of said remaining owners and the just compensation, if any, that a condominium owner may be entitled to due to deprivation of his property. Upon receipt of a copy of the decree, the Register of Deeds shall enter and annotate the same on the pertinent certificate of title.

Sec. 24. Any deed, declaration or plan for a condominium project shall be liberally construed to facilitate the operation of the project, and its provisions shall be presumed to be independent and severable.

Sec. 25. Whenever real property has been divided into condominiums, each condominium separately owned shall be separately assessed, for purposes of real property taxation and other tax purposes to the owners thereof and the tax on each such condominium shall constitute a lien solely thereon.

Sec. 26. All Acts or parts of Acts in conflict or inconsistent with this Act are hereby amended insofar as condominium and its incidents are concerned.

Sec. 27. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved: June 18, 1966

Republic Act 8552-  Domestic Adoption Act of 1998

AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE RULES AND POLICIES ON THE DOMESTIC ADOPTION OF FILIPINO CHILDREN AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

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ARTICLE I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. Short Title. — This Act shall be known as the "Domestic Adoption Act of 1998."

Sec.  2. Declaration of Policies. — (a) It is hereby declared the policy of the State to ensure that every child remains under the care and custody of his/her parent(s) and be provided with love, care, understanding and security towards the full and harmonious development of his/her personality. Only when such efforts prove insufficient and no appropriate placement or adoption within the child's extended family is available shall adoption by an unrelated person be considered.

(b) In all matters relating to the care, custody and adoption of a child, his/her interest shall be the paramount consideration in accordance with the tenets set forth in the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child; UN Declaration on Social and Legal Principles Relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption, Nationally and Internationally; and the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. Toward this end, the State shall provide alternative protection and assistance through foster care or adoption for every child who is neglected, orphaned, or abandoned.

(c) It shall also be a State policy to:

      (i) Safeguard the biological parent(s) from making hurried decisions to relinquish his/her parental authority over his/her child;

      (ii) Prevent the child from unnecessary separation from his/her biological parent(s);

      (iii) Protect adoptive parent(s) from attempts to disturb his/her parental authority and custody over his/her adopted child.

      Any voluntary or involuntary termination of parental authority shall be administratively or judicially declared so as to establish the status of the child as "legally available for adoption" and his/her custody transferred to the Department of Social Welfare and Development or to any duly licensed and accredited child-placing or child-caring agency, which entity shall be authorized to take steps for the permanent placement of the child;

      (iv) Conduct public information and educational campaigns to promote a positive environment for adoption;

      (v) Ensure that sufficient capacity exists within government and private sector agencies to handle adoption inquiries, process domestic adoption applications, and offer adoption-related services including, but not limited to, parent preparation and post-adoption education and counseling; and

      (vi) Encourage domestic adoption so as to preserve the child's identity and culture in his/her native land, and only when this is not available shall intercountry adoption be considered as a last resort.

Sec.  3. Definition of Terms. — For purposes of this Act, the following terms shall be defined as:

      (a) "Child" is a person below eighteen (18) years of age.

      (b) "A child legally available for adoption" refers to a child who has been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to the Department or to a duly licensed and accredited child-placing or child-caring agency, freed of the parental authority of his/her biological parent(s) or guardian or adopter(s) in case of rescission of adoption.

      (c) "Voluntarily committed child" is one whose parent(s) knowingly and willingly relinquishes parental authority to the Department.

      (d) "Involuntarily committed child" is one whose parent(s), known or unknown, has been permanently and judicially deprived of parental authority due to abandonment; substantial, continuous, or repeated neglect; abuse; or incompetence to discharge parental responsibilities.

      (e) "Abandoned child" refers to one who has no proper parental care or guardianship or whose parent(s) has deserted him/her for a period of at least six (6) continuous months and has been judicially declared as such.

      (f) "Supervised trial custody" is a period of time within which a social worker oversees the adjustment and emotional readiness of both adopter(s) and adoptee in stabilizing their filial relationship.

      (g) "Department" refers to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

      (h) "Child-placing agency" is a duly licensed and accredited agency by the Department to provide comprehensive child welfare services including, but not limited to, receiving applications for adoption, evaluating the prospective adoptive parents, and preparing the adoption home study.

      (i) "Child-caring agency" is a duly licensed and accredited agency by the Department that provides twenty four (24)-hour residential care services for abandoned, orphaned, neglected, or voluntarily committed children.

      (j) "Simulation of birth" is the tampering of the civil registry making it appear in the birth records that a certain child was born to a person who is not his/her biological mother, causing such child to lose his/her true identity and status.

ARTICLE II
PRE-ADOPTION SERVICES

Sec.  4. Counseling Service. — The Department shall provide the services of licensed social workers to the following:

      (a) Biological Parent(s) — Counseling shall be provided to the parent(s) before and after the birth of his/her child. No binding commitment to an adoption plan shall be permitted before the birth of his/her child. A period of six (6) months shall be allowed for the biological parent(s) to reconsider any decision to relinquish his/her child for adoption before the decision becomes irrevocable. Counseling and rehabilitation services shall also be offered to the biological parent(s) after he/she has relinquished his/her child for adoption.

      Steps shall be taken by the Department to ensure that no hurried decisions are made and all alternatives for the child's future and the implications of each alternative have been provided.

      (b) Prospective Adoptive Parent(s) — Counseling sessions, adoption fora and seminars, among others, shall be provided to prospective adoptive parent(s) to resolve possible adoption issues and to prepare him/her for effective parenting.

      (c) Prospective Adoptee — Counseling sessions shall be provided to ensure that he/she understands the nature and effects of adoption and is able to express his/her views on adoption in accordance with his/her age and level of maturity.

Sec.  5. Location of Unknown Parent(s). — It shall be the duty of the Department or the child-placing or child-caring agency which has custody of the child to exert all efforts to locate his/her unknown biological parent(s). If such efforts fail, the child shall be registered as a foundling and subsequently be the subject of legal proceedings where he/she shall be declared abandoned.

Sec.  6. Support Services. — The Department shall develop a pre-adoption program which shall include, among others, the above mentioned services.

ARTICLE III
ELIGIBILITY

Sec.  7. Who May Adopt. — The following may adopt:

      (a) Any Filipino citizen of legal age, in possession of full civil capacity and legal rights, of good moral character, has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude, emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children, at least sixteen (16) years older than the adoptee, and who is in a position to support and care for his/her children in keeping with the means of the family. The requirement of sixteen (16) year difference between the age of the adopter and adoptee may be waived when the adopter is the biological parent of the adoptee, or is the spouse of the adoptee's parent;

      (b) Any alien possessing the same qualifications as above stated for Filipino nationals: Provided, That his/her country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines, that he/she has been living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years prior to the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence until the adoption decree is entered, that he/she has been certified by his/her diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate government agency that he/she has the legal capacity to adopt in his/her country, and that his/her government allows the adoptee to enter his/her country as his/her adopted son/daughter: Provided, Further, That the requirements on residency and certification of the alien's qualification to adopt in his/her country may be waived for the following:
       
            (i) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity; or

            (ii) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of his/her Filipino spouse; or

            (iii) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his/her spouse a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse; or
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      (c) The guardian with respect to the ward after the termination of the guardianship and clearance of his/her financial accountabilities.

Husband and wife shall jointly adopt, except in the following cases:

      (i) if one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of the other; or

      (ii) if one spouse seeks to adopt his/her own illegitimate son/daughter: Provided, However, that the other spouse has signified his/her consent thereto; or

      (iii) if the spouses are legally separated from each other.

In case husband and wife jointly adopt, or one spouse adopts the illegitimate son/daughter of the other, joint parental authority shall be exercised by the spouses.

Sec.  8. Who May Be Adopted. — The following may be adopted:

      (a) Any person below eighteen (18) years of age who has been administratively or judicially declared available for adoption;

      (b) The legitimate son/daughter of one spouse by the other spouse;

      (c) An illegitimate son/daughter by a qualified adopter to improve his/her status to that of legitimacy;

      (d) A person of legal age if, prior to the adoption, said person has been consistently considered and treated by the adopter(s) as his/her own child since minority;

      (e) A child whose adoption has been previously rescinded; or

      (f) A child whose biological or adoptive parent(s) has died: Provided, That no proceedings shall be initiated within six (6) months from the time of death of said parent(s).

Sec.  9. Whose Consent is Necessary to the Adoption. — After being properly counseled and informed of his/her right to give or withhold his/her approval of the adoption, the written consent of the following to the adoption is hereby required:

      (a) The adoptee, if ten (10) years of age or over;

      (b) The biological parent(s) of the child, if known, or the legal guardian, or the proper government instrumentality which has legal custody of the child;

      (c) The legitimate and adopted sons/daughters, ten (10) years of age or over, of the adopter(s) and adoptee, if any;

      (d) The illegitimate sons/daughters, ten (10) years of age or over, of the adopter if living with said adopter and the latter's spouse, if any; and

      (e) The spouse, if any, of the person adopting or to be adopted.

ARTICLE IV
PROCEDURE

Sec.  10. Hurried Decisions. — In all proceedings for adoption, the court shall require proof that the biological parent(s) has been properly counseled to prevent him/her from making hurried decisions caused by strain or anxiety to give up the child, and to sustain that all measures to strengthen the family have been exhausted and that any prolonged stay of the child in his/her own home will be inimical to his/her welfare and interest.

Sec.  11. Case Study. — No petition for adoption shall be set for hearing unless a licensed social worker of the Department, the social service office of the local government unit, or any child-placing or child-caring agency has made a case study of the adoptee, his/her biological parent(s), as well as the adopter(s), and has submitted the report and recommendations on the matter to the court hearing such petition.

At the time of preparation of the adoptee's case study, the concerned social worker shall confirm with the Civil Registry the real identity and registered name of the adoptee. If the birth of the adoptee was not registered with the Civil Registry, it shall be the responsibility of the concerned social worker to ensure that the adoptee is registered.

The case study on the adoptee shall establish that he/she is legally available for adoption and that the documents to support this fact are valid and authentic. Further, the case study of the adopter(s) shall ascertain his/her genuine intentions and that the adoption is in the best interest of the child.
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The Department shall intervene on behalf of the adoptee if it finds, after the conduct of the case studies, that the petition should be denied. The case studies and other relevant documents and records pertaining to the adoptee and the adoption shall be preserved by the Department.

Sec.  12. Supervised Trial Custody. — No petition for adoption shall be finally granted until the adopter(s) has been given by the court a supervised trial custody period for at least six (6) months within which the parties are expected to adjust psychologically and emotionally to each other and establish a bonding relationship. During said period, temporary parental authority shall be vested in the adopter(s).

The court may motu proprio or upon motion of any party reduce the trial period if it finds the same to be in the best interest of the adoptee, stating the reasons for the reduction of the period. However, for alien adopter(s), he/she must complete the six (6)-month trial custody except for those enumerated in Sec. 7 (b) (i) (ii) (iii).

If the child is below seven (7) years of age and is placed with the prospective adopter(s) through a pre-adoption placement authority issued by the Department, the prospective adopter(s) shall enjoy all the benefits to which biological parent(s) is entitled from the date the adoptee is placed with the prospective adopter(s).

Sec.  13. Decree of Adoption. — If, after the publication of the order of hearing has been complied with, and no opposition has been interposed to the petition, and after consideration of the case studies, the qualifications of the adopter(s), trial custody report and the evidence submitted, the court is convinced that the petitioners are qualified to adopt, and that the adoption would redound to the best interest of the adoptee, a decree of adoption shall be entered which shall be effective as of the date the original petition was filed. This provision shall also apply in case the petitioner(s) dies before the issuance of the decree of adoption to protect the interest of the adoptee. The decree shall state the name by which the child is to be known.

Sec.  14. Civil Registry Record. — An amended certificate of birth shall be issued by the Civil Registry, as required by the Rules of Court, attesting to the fact that the adoptee is the child of the adopter(s) by being registered with his/her surname. The original certificate of birth shall be stamped "cancelled" with the annotation of the issuance of an amended birth certificate in its place and shall be sealed in the civil registry records. The new birth certificate to be issued to the adoptee shall not bear any notation that it is an amended issue.

Sec.  15. Confidential Nature of Proceedings and Records. — All hearings in adoption cases shall be confidential and shall not be open to the public. All records, books, and papers relating to the adoption cases in the files of the court, the Department, or any other agency or institution participating in the adoption proceedings shall be kept strictly confidential.

If the court finds that the disclosure of the information to a third person is necessary for purposes connected with or arising out of the adoption and will be for the best interest of the adoptee, the court may merit the necessary information to be released, restricting the purposes for which it may be used.

ARTICLE V
EFFECTS OF ADOPTION

Sec.  16. Parental Authority. — Except in cases where the biological parent is the spouse of the adopter, all legal ties between the biological parent(s) and the adoptee shall be severed and the same shall then be vested on the adopter(s).

Sec.  17. Legitimacy. — The adoptee shall be considered the legitimate son/daughter of the adopter(s) for all intents and purposes and as such is entitled to all the rights and obligations provided by law to legitimate sons/daughters born to them without discrimination of any kind. To this end, the adoptee is entitled to love, guidance, and support in keeping with the means of the family.

Sec.  18. Succession. — In legal and intestate succession, the adopter(s) and the adoptee shall have reciprocal rights of succession without distinction from legitimate filiation. However, if the adoptee and his/her biological parent(s) had left a will, the law on testamentary succession shall govern.

ARTICLE VI
RESCISSION OF ADOPTION

Sec.  19. Grounds for Rescission of Adoption. — Upon petition of the adoptee, with the assistance of the Department if a minor or if over eighteen (18) years of age but is incapacitated, as guardian/counsel, the adoption may be rescinded on any of the following grounds committed by the adopter(s): (a) repeated physical and verbal maltreatment by the adopter(s) despite having undergone counseling; (b) attempt on the life of the adoptee; (c) sexual assault or violence; or (d) abandonment and failure to comply with parental obligations.

Adoption, being in the best interest of the child, shall not be subject to rescission by the adopter(s). However, the adopter(s) may disinherit the adoptee for causes provided in Article 919 of the Civil Code.

Sec. 20. Effects of Rescission. — If the petition is granted, the parental authority of the adoptee's biological parent(s), if known, or the legal custody of the Department shall be restored if the adoptee is still a minor or incapacitated. The reciprocal rights and obligations of the adopter(s) and the adoptee to each other shall be extinguished.

The court shall order the Civil Registrar to cancel the amended certificate of birth of the adoptee and restore his/her original birth certificate.

Succession rights shall revert to its status prior to adoption, but only as of the date of judgment of judicial rescission. Vested rights acquired prior to judicial rescission shall be respected.

All the foregoing effects of rescission of adoption shall be without prejudice to the penalties imposable under the Penal Code if the criminal acts are properly proven.

ARTICLE VII
VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES

Sec.  21. Violations and Penalties. — (a) The penalty of imprisonment ranging from six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years and/or a fine not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00), but not more than Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00) at the discretion of the court shall be imposed on any person who shall commit any of the following acts:

      (i) obtaining consent for an adoption through coercion, undue influence, fraud, improper material inducement, or other similar acts;

      (ii) non-compliance with the procedures and safeguards provided by the law for adoption; or

      (iii) subjecting or exposing the child to be adopted to danger, abuse, or exploitation.

(b) Any person who shall cause the fictitious registration of the birth of a child under the name(s) of a person(s) who is not his/her biological parent(s) shall be guilty of simulation of birth, and shall be punished by prision mayor in its medium period and a fine not exceeding Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00).
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Any physician or nurse or hospital personnel who, in violation of his/her oath of office, shall cooperate in the execution of the abovementioned crime shall suffer the penalties herein prescribed and also the penalty of permanent disqualification.

Any person who shall violate established regulations relating to the confidentiality and integrity of records, documents, and communications of adoption applications, cases, and processes shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from one (1) year and one (1) day to two (2) years, and/or a fine of not less than Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) but not more than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00), at the discretion of the court.

A penalty lower by two (2) degrees than that prescribed for the consummated offense under this Article shall be imposed upon the principals of the attempt to commit any of the acts herein enumerated. Acts punishable under this Article, when committed by a syndicate or where it involves two (2) or more children shall be considered as an offense constituting child trafficking and shall merit the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

Acts punishable under this Article are deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring and/or confederating with one another in carrying out any of the unlawful acts defined under this Article. Penalties as are herein provided, shall be in addition to any other penalties which may be imposed for the same acts punishable under other laws, ordinances, executive orders, and proclamations.

When the offender is an alien, he/she shall be deported immediately after service of sentence and perpetually excluded from entry to the country.
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Any government official, employee or functionary who shall be found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this Act, or who shall conspire with private individuals shall, in addition to the above-prescribed penalties, be penalized in accordance with existing civil service laws, rules and regulations: Provided, That upon the filing of a case, either administrative or criminal, said government official, employee, or functionary concerned shall automatically suffer suspension until the resolution of the case.

Sec.  22. Rectification of Simulated Births. — A person who has, prior to the effectivity of this Act, simulated the birth of a child shall not be punished for such act: Provided, That the simulation of birth was made for the best interest of the child and that he/she has been consistently considered and treated by that person as his/her own son/daughter: Provided, further, That the application for correction of the birth registration and petition for adoption shall be filed within five (5) years from the effectivity of this Act and completed thereafter: Provided, finally, That such person complies with the procedure as specified in Article IV of this Act and other requirements as determined by the Department.

ARTICLE VIII
FINAL PROVISIONS

Sec.  23. Adoption Resource and Referral Office. — There shall be established an Adoption Resources and Referral Office under the Department with the following functions: (a) monitor the existence, number, and flow of children legally available for adoption and prospective adopter(s) so as to facilitate their matching; (b) maintain a nationwide information and educational campaign on domestic adoption; (c) keep records of adoption proceedings; (d) generate resources to help child-caring and child-placing agencies and foster homes maintain viability; and (e) do policy research in collaboration with the Intercountry Adoption Board and other concerned agencies. The office shall be manned by adoption experts from the public and private sectors.

Sec.  24. Implementing Rules and Regulations. — Within six (6) months from the promulgation of this Act, the Department, with the Council for the Welfare of Children, the Office of Civil Registry General, the Department of Justice, Office of the Solicitor General, and two (2) private individuals representing child-placing and child-caring agencies shall formulate the necessary guidelines to make the provisions of this Act operative.

Sec.  25. Appropriations. — Such sum as may be necessary for the implementation of the provisions of this Act shall be included in the General Appropriations Act of the year following its enactment into law and thereafter.

Sec.  26. Repealing Clause. — Any law, presidential decree or issuance, executive order, letter of instruction, administrative order, rule, or regulation contrary to, or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act is hereby repealed, modified, or amended accordingly.

Sec.  27. Separability Clause. — If any provision of this Act is held invalid or unconstitutional, the other provisions not affected thereby shall remain valid and subsisting.
Sec. 28. Effectivity Clause. — This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its complete publication in any newspaper of general circulation or in the Official Gazette.
 
 

Approved: February 25, 1998

December 10, 1974

I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order and decree the following:
 
TITLE I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
 
Article 1.  Declaration of Policy. - The Child is one of the most important assets of the nation. Every effort should be exerted to promote his welfare and enhance his opportunities for a useful and happy life.

The child is not a mere creature of the State. Hence, his individual traits and aptitudes should be cultivated to the utmost insofar as they do not conflict with the general welfare.

The molding of the character of the child start at the home. Consequently, every member of the family should strive to make the home a wholesome and harmonious place as its atmosphere and conditions will greatly influence the child's development.

Attachment to the home and strong family ties should be encouraged but not to the extent of making the home isolated and exclusive and unconcerned with the interests of the community and the country.

The natural right and duty of parents in the rearing of the child for civic efficiency should receive the aid and support of the government.

Other institutions, like the school, the church, the guild, and the community in general, should assist the home and the State in the endeavor to prepare the child for the responsibilities of adulthood.

Art. 2. Title and Scope of Code. - The Code shall be known as the "Child and Youth Welfare Code". It shall apply to persons below twenty-one years of age except those emancipated in accordance with law. "Child" or "minor" or "youth" as used in this Code, shall refer to such persons.

Art. 3. Rights of the Child. - All children shall be entitled to the rights herein set forth without distinction as to legitimacy or illegitimacy, sex, social status, religion, political antecedents, and other factors.

      (1) Every child is endowed with the dignity and worth of a human being from the moment of his conception, as generally accepted in medical parlance, and has, therefore, the right to be born well.

      (2) Every child has the right to a wholesome family life that will provide him with love, care and understanding, guidance and counseling, and moral and material security.

      The dependent or abandoned child shall be provided with the nearest substitute for a home.

      (3) Every child has the right to a well-rounded development of his personality to the end that he may become a happy, useful and active member of society.

      The gifted child shall be given opportunity and encouragement to develop his special talents.

      The emotionally disturbed or socially maladjusted child shall be treated with sympathy and understanding, and shall be entitled to treatment and competent care.

      The physically or mentally handicapped child shall be given the treatment, education and care required by his particular condition.

      (4) Every child has the right to a balanced diet, adequate clothing, sufficient shelter, proper medical attention, and all the basic physical requirements of a healthy and vigorous life.

      (5) Every child has the right to be brought up in an atmosphere of morality and rectitude for the enrichment and the strengthening of his character.

      (6) Every child has the right to an education commensurate with his abilities and to the development of his skills for the improvement of his capacity for service to himself and to his fellowmen.

      (7) Every child has the right to full opportunities for safe and wholesome recreation and activities, individual as well as social, for the wholesome use of his leisure hours.

      (8) Every child has the right to protection against exploitation, improper influences, hazards, and other conditions or circumstances prejudicial to his physical, mental, emotional, social and moral development.

      (9) Every child has the right to live in a community and a society that can offer him an environment free from pernicious influences and conducive to the promotion of his health and the cultivation of his desirable traits and attributes.

      (10) Every child has the right to the care, assistance, and protection of the State, particularly when his parents or guardians fail or are unable to provide him with his fundamental needs for growth, development, and improvement.

      (11) Every child has the right to an efficient and honest government that will deepen his faith in democracy and inspire him with the morality of the constituted authorities both in their public and private lives.

      (12) Every child has the right to grow up as a free individual, in an atmosphere of peace, understanding, tolerance, and universal brotherhood, and with the determination to contribute his share in the building of a better world.

Art. 4. Responsibilities of the Child. - Every child, regardless of the circumstances of his birth, sex, religion, social status, political antecedents and other factors shall:

      (1) Strive to lead an upright and virtuous life in accordance with the tenets of his religion, the teachings of his elders and mentors, and the biddings of a clean conscience;

      (2) Love, respect and obey his parents, and cooperate with them in the strengthening of the family;

      (3) Extend to his brothers and sisters his love, thoughtfulness, and helpfulness, and endeavor with them to keep the family harmonious and united;

      (4) Exert his utmost to develop his potentialities for service, particularly by undergoing a formal education suited to his abilities, in order that he may become an asset to himself and to society;

      (5) Respect not only his elders but also the customs and traditions of our people, the memory of our heroes, the duly constituted authorities, the laws of our country, and the principles and institutions of democracy;

      (6) Participate actively in civic affairs and in the promotion of the general welfare, always bearing in mind that it is the youth who will eventually be called upon to discharge the responsibility of leadership in shaping the nation's future; and

      (7) Help in the observance of individual human rights, the strengthening of freedom everywhere, the fostering of cooperation among nations in the pursuit of their common aspirations for programs and prosperity, and the furtherance of world peace.

Art. 5. Commencement of Civil Personality. - The civil personality of the child shall commence from the time of his conception, for all purposes favorable to him, subject to the requirements of Article 41 of the Civil Code.

Art. 6. Abortion. - The abortion of a conceived child, whether such act be intentional or not, shall be governed by the pertinent provisions of the Revised Penal Code.

Art. 7. Non-disclosure of Birth Records. - The records of a person's birth shall be kept strictly confidential and no information relating thereto shall be issued except on the request of any of the following:

      (1) The person himself, or any person authorized by him;

      (2) His spouse, his parent or parents, his direct descendants, or the guardian or institution legally in-charge of him if he is a minor;

      (3) The court or proper public official whenever absolutely necessary in administrative, judicial or other official proceedings to determine the identity of the child's parents or other circumstances surrounding his birth; and

      (4) In case of the person's death, the nearest of kin.

Any person violating the prohibition shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of at least two months or a fine in an amount not exceeding five hundred pesos, or both, in the discretion of the court.

Art. 8. Child's Welfare Paramount. - In all questions regarding the care, custody, education and property of the child, his welfare shall be the paramount consideration.

Art. 9. Levels of Growth. - The child shall be given adequate care, assistance and guidance through his various levels of growth, from infancy to early and later childhood, to puberty and adolescence, and when necessary even after he shall have attained age 21.

Art. 10. Phases of Development. - The child shall enjoy special protection and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to ensure and enable his fullest development physically, mentally, emotionally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity appropriate to the corresponding developmental stage.

Art. 11. Promotion of Health. - The promotion of the Child's health shall begin with adequate pre-natal and post-natal care both for him and his mother. All appropriate measures shall be taken to insure his normal total development.

It shall be the responsibility of the health, welfare, and educational entities to assist the parents in looking after the health of the child.

Art. 12. Education. - The schools and other entities engaged in non-formal education shall assist the parents in providing the best education for the child.

Art. 13. Social and Emotional Growth. - Steps shall be taken to insure the child's healthy social and emotional growth. These shall be undertaken by the home in collaboration with the schools and other agencies engaged in the promotion of child welfare.

Art. 14. Morality. - High moral principles should be instilled in the child, particularly in the home, the school, and the church to which he belongs.

Art. 15. Spiritual Values. - The promotion of the child's spiritual  well-being according to the precepts of his religion should, as much as possible, be encouraged by the State.

Art. 16. Civic Conscience. - The civic conscience of the child shall not be overlooked. He shall be brought up in an atmosphere of universal understanding, tolerance, friendship, and helpfulness and in full consciousness of his responsibilities as a member of society.
 
TITLE II
CHILD AND YOUTH WELFARE AND THE HOME
 
Chapter 1
PARENTAL AUTHORITY
 
Section A. In General
 
Art. 17. Joint Parental Authority. - The father and mother shall exercise jointly just and reasonable parental authority and responsibility over their legitimate or adopted children. In case of disagreement, the father's decision shall prevail unless there is a judicial order to the contrary.

In case of the absence or death of either parent, the present or surviving parent shall continue to exercise parental authority over such children, unless in case of the surviving parent's remarriage, the court, for justifiable reasons, appoints another person as guardian.

In case of separation of his parents, no child under five years of age shall be separated from his mother unless the court finds compelling reasons to do so.

Art. 18. Grandparents. - Grandparents shall be consulted on important family questions but they shall not interfere in the exercise of parental authority by the parents.

Art. 19. Absence or Death of Parents. - Grandparents and in their default, the oldest brother or sister who is at least eighteen years of age, or the relative who has actual custody of the child, shall exercise parental authority in case of absence or death of both parents, unless a guardian has been appointed in accordance with the succeeding provision.

Art. 20. Guardian. - The court may, upon the death of the parents and in the cases mentioned in Arts. 328 to 332 of the Civil Code, appoint a guardian for the person and property of the child, on petition of any relative or friend of the family or the Department of Social Welfare.

Art. 21. Dependent, Abandoned or Neglected Child. - The dependent, abandoned or neglected child shall be under the parental authority of a suitable or accredited person or institution that is caring for him as provided for under the four preceding articles, after the child has been declared abandoned by either the court or the Department of Social Welfare.

Art. 22. Transfer to the Department of Social Welfare. - The dependent, abandoned or neglected child may be transferred to the care of the Department of Social Welfare or a duly licensed child-caring institution or individual in accordance with Articles 142 and 154 of this Code, or upon the request of the person or institution exercising parental authority over him.

From the time of such transfer, the Department of Social Welfare or the duly licensed child-caring institution or individual shall be considered the guardian of the child for all intents and purposes.

Art. 23. Case Study. - It shall be the duty of the Department of Social Welfare to make a case study of every child who is the subject of guardianship or custody proceedings and to submit its report and recommendations on the matter to the court for its guidance.

Art. 24. Intervention of Department of Social Welfare. - The Department of Social Welfare shall intervene on behalf of the child if it finds, after its case study, that the petition for guardianship or custody should be denied.

Art. 25. Hearings Confidential. - The hearing on guardianship and custody proceedings may, at the discretion of the court, be closed to the public and the records thereof shall not be released without its approval.

Art. 26. Repealing Clause. - All provisions of the Civil Code on parental authority which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Chapter shall remain in force: Provided, That Articles 334 up to 348 inclusive on Adoption, are hereby expressly repealed and replaced by Section B of this Chapter.
 
Section. B. Adoption
 
Art. 27. Who May Adopt. - Any person of age and in full possession of his civil rights may adopt: Provided, That he is in a position to support and care for his legitimate, legitimated, acknowledged natural children, or natural children by legal fiction, or other illegitimate children, in keeping with the means, both material and otherwise, of the family.

In all cases of adoption the adopter must be at least fifteen years older than the person to be adopted.

Art. 28. Who May Not Adopt. - The following persons may not adopt:

      (1) A married person without the written consent of the spouse;

      (2) The guardian with respect to the ward prior to final approval of his accounts;

      (3) Any person who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;

      (4) An alien who is disqualified to adopt according to the laws of his own country or one with whose government the Republic of the Philippines has broken diplomatic relations.

Art. 29. Adoption by Husband and Wife. - Husband and Wife may jointly adopt. In such case, parental authority shall be exercised as if the child were their own by nature.

Art. 30. Who May Not Be Adopted. - The following may not be adopted:

      (1) A married person, without the written consent of the spouse;

      (2) An alien with whose government the Republic of the Philippines has broken diplomatic relations;

      (3) A person who has already been adopted unless the adoption has been previously revoked or rescinded in accordance with this Chapter.

Art. 31. Whose Consent is Necessary. - The written consent of the following to the adoption shall be necessary:

      (1) The person to be adopted, if fourteen years of age or over;

      (2) The natural parents of the child or his legal guardian of the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency under whose care the child may be;

      (3) The natural children, fourteen years and above, of the adopting parents.

Art. 32. Hurried Decisions. - In all proceedings for adoption, steps should be taken by the court to prevent the natural parents from making hurried decisions caused by strain or anxiety to give up the child, and to ascertain, that all measures to strengthen the family have been exhausted and that any prolonged stay of the child in his own home will be inimical to his welfare and interest.

Art. 33. Case Study. - No petition for adoption shall be granted unless the Department of Social Welfare, or the Social Work and Counselling Division, in case of Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, has made a case study of the child to be adopted, his natural parents as well as the prospective adopting parents, and has submitted its report and recommendations on the matter to the court hearing such petition. The Department of Social Welfare shall intervene on behalf of the child if it finds, after such case study, that the petition should be denied.

Art. 34. Procedure. - The proceedings for adoption shall be governed by the Rules of Court in so far as they are not in conflict with this Chapter.

Art. 35. Trial Custody. - No petition for adoption shall be finally granted unless and until the adopting parents are given by the court a supervised trial custody period of at least six months to assess their adjustment and emotional readiness for the legal union. During the period of trial custody parental authority shall be vested in the adopting parents.

The court may, upon its own motion or on motion of the petitioner, reduce or dispense with the trial period if it finds that it is to the best interest of the child. In such case, the court shall state its reasons for reducing said period.

Art. 36. Decree of Adoption. - If, after considering the report of the Department of Social Welfare or duly licensed child placement agency and the evidence submitted before it, the court is satisfied that the petitioner is qualified to maintain, care for, and educated the child, that the trial custody period has been completed, and that the best interests of the child will be promoted by the adoption, a decree of adoption shall be entered, which shall be effective as of the date the original petition was filed. The decree shall state the name by which the child is thenceforth to be known.

Art. 37. Civil Registry Record. - The adoption shall be recorded in the local civil register and shall be annotated on the record of birth, and the same shall entitle the adopted person to the issuance of an amended certificate of birth.

Art. 38. Confidential Nature of Proceedings and Records. - All hearings in adoption cases shall be confidential and shall not be open to the public. All records, books and papers relating to the adoption cases in the files of the court, of the Department of Social Welfare, and of any other agency or institution participating in the adoption proceedings, shall be kept strictly confidential.

Subject to the provisions of Article 7, in any case in which information from such records, books and papers is needed, the person or agency requesting the release of the information may file a petition to the court which entered the decree of adoption for its release. If the court finds that the disclosure of the information is necessary for purposes connected with or arising out of the adoption and will be for the best interests of the child, the court may permit the necessary information to be released, restricting the purposes for which it may be used.

Art. 39. Effects of Adoption. - The adoption shall:

      (1) Give to the adopted person the same rights and duties as if he were a legitimate child of the adopter: Provided, That an adopted child cannot acquire Philippine citizenship by virtue of such adoption:

      (2) Dissolve the authority vested in the natural parent or parents, except where the adopter is the spouse of the surviving natural parent;

      (3) Entitle the adopted person to use the adopter's surname; and

      (4) Make the adopted person a legal heir of the adopter: Provided, That if the adopter is survived by legitimate parents or ascendants and by an adopted person, the latter shall not have more successional rights than an acknowledged natural child: Provided, further, That any property received gratuitously by the adopted from the adopter shall revert to the adopter should the former predecease the latter without legitimate issue unless the adopted has, during his lifetime, alienated such property: Provided, finally, That in the last case, should the adopted leave no property other than that received from the adopter, and he is survived by illegitimate issue or a spouse, such illegitimate issue collectively or the spouse shall receive one-fourth of such property; if the adopted is survived by illegitimate issue and a spouse, then the former collectively shall receive one-fourth and the latter also one-fourth, the rest in any case reverting to the adopter, observing in the case of the illegitimate issue the proportion provided for in Article 895 of the Civil Code.

The adopter shall not be a legal heir of the adopted person, whose parents by nature shall inherit from him, except that if the latter are both dead, the adopting parent or parents take the place of the natural parents in the line of succession, whether testate or interstate.

Art. 40. Rescission by Adopted. - The adopted person or the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency if the adopted is still a minor or otherwise incapacitated, may ask for the rescission of the adoption on the same grounds that cause the loss of parental authority under the Civil Code.

Art. 41. Revocation by Adopter. - The adopter may petition the court for the revocation of the adoption in any of these cases:

      (1) If the adopted person has attempted against the life of the adopter and/or his spouse;

      (2) When the adopted minor has abandoned the home of the adopter for more than three years and efforts have been exhausted to locate the minor within the stated period;

      (3) When by other acts the adopted person has definitely repudiated the adoption.

Art. 42. Effects of Rescission or Revocation. - Where the adopted minor has not reached the age of majority at the time of the revocation or rescission referred to in the next preceding articles, the court in the same proceeding shall determine whether he should be returned to the parental authority of his natural parents or remitted to the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency or whether a guardian over his person and property should be appointed.

Where the adopted child has reached the age of majority, the revocation or rescission, if and when granted by the court, shall release him from all obligations to his adopting parents and shall extinguish all his rights against them: Provided, That if the said adopted person is physically or mentally handicapped as to need a guardian over his person or property, or both, the court may appoint a guardian in accordance with the provisions of existing law.

In all cases of revocation or rescission, the adopted shall lose the right to continue using the adopter's surname and the court shall order the amendment of the records in the Civil Register in accordance with its decision.
 
Chapter 2
RIGHTS OF PARENTS
 
Art. 43. Primary Right of Parents. - The parents shall have the right to the company of their children and, in relation to all other persons or institutions dealing with the child's development, the primary right and obligation to provide for their upbringing.

Art. 44. Rights Under the Civil Code. - Parents shall continue to exercise the rights mentioned in Articles 316 to 326 of the Civil Code over the person and property of the child.

Art. 45. Right to Discipline Child. - Parents have the right to discipline the child as may be necessary for the formation of his good character, and may therefore require from him obedience to just and reasonable rules, suggestions and admonitions.
 
Chapter 3
DUTIES OF PARENTS
 
Art. 46. General Duties. - Parents shall have the following general duties toward their children:

      (1) To give him affection, companionship and understanding;

      (2) To extend to him the benefits of moral guidance, self-discipline and religious instruction;

      (3) To supervise his activities, including his recreation;

      (4) To inculcate in him the value of industry, thrift and self-reliance;

      (5) To stimulate his interest in civic affairs, teach him the duties of citizenship, and develop his commitment to his country;

      (6) To advise him properly on any matter affecting his development and

      well-being;

      (7) To always set a good example;

      (8) To provide him with adequate support, as defined in Article 290 of the Civil Code; and

      (9) To administer his property, if any, according to his best interests, subject to the provisions of Article 320 of the Civil Code.

Art. 47. Family Affairs. - Whenever proper, parents shall allow the child to participate in the discussion of family affairs, especially in matters that particularly concern him.

In cases involving his discipline, the child shall be given a chance to present his side.

Art. 48. Winning Child's Confidence. - Parents shall endeavor to win the child's confidence and to encourage him to conduct with them on his activities and problems.

Art. 49. Child Living Away from Home. - If by reason of his studies or for other causes, a child does not live with his parents, the latter shall communicate with him regularly and visit him as often as possible.

The parents shall see to it that the child lives in a safe and wholesome place and under responsible adult care and supervision.

Art. 50. Special Talents. - Parents shall endeavor to discover the child's talents or aptitudes, if any, and to encourage and develop them.

If the child is especially gifted, his parents shall report this fact to the National Center for Gifted Children or to other agencies concerned so that official assistance or recognition may be extended to him.

Art. 51. Reading Habit. - The reading habit should be cultivated in the home. Parents shall, whenever possible, provide the child with good and wholesome reading material, taking into consideration his age and emotional development. They shall guard against the introduction in the home of pornographic and other unwholesome publications.

Art. 52. Association with Other Children. - Parents shall encourage the child to associate with other children of his own age with whom he can develop common interests of useful and salutary nature. It shall be their duty to know the child's friends and their activities and to prevent him from falling into bad company. The child should not be allowed to stay out late at night to the detriment of his health, studies or morals.

Art. 53. Community Activities. - Parents shall give the child every opportunity to form or join social, cultural, educational, recreational, civic or religious organizations or movements and other useful community activities.

Art. 54. Social Gatherings. - When a party or gathering is held, the parents or a responsible person should be present to supervise the same.

Art. 55. Vices. - Parents shall take special care to prevent the child from becoming addicted to intoxicating drinks, narcotic drugs, smoking, gambling, and other vices or harmful practices.

Art. 56. Choice of career. - The child shall have the right to choose his own career. Parents may advise him on this matter but should not impose on him their own choice.

Art. 57. Marriage. - Subject to the provisions of the Civil Code, the child shall have the prerogative of choosing his future spouse. Parents should not force or unduly influence him to marry a person he has not freely choosen.
 
Chapter 4
LIABILITIES OF PARENTS
 
Art. 58. Torts. - Parents and guardians are responsible for the damage caused by the child under their parental authority in accordance with the Civil Code.

Art. 59. Crimes. - Criminal liability shall attach to any parent who:

      (1) Conceals or abandons the child with intent to make such child lose his civil status.

      (2) Abandons the child under such circumstances as to deprive him of the love, care and protection he needs.

      (3) Sells or abandons the child to another person for valuable consideration.

      (4) Neglects the child by not giving him the education which the family's station in life and financial conditions permit.

      (5) Fails or refuses, without justifiable grounds, to enroll the child as required by Article 72.

      (6) Causes, abates, or permits the truancy of the child from the school where he is enrolled. "Truancy" as here used means absence without cause for more than twenty schooldays, not necessarily consecutive.

      It shall be the duty of the teacher in charge to report to the parents the absences of the child the moment these exceed five schooldays.

      (7) Improperly exploits the child by using him, directly or indirectly, such as for purposes of begging and other acts which are inimical to his interest and welfare.

      (8) Inflicts cruel and unusual punishment upon the child or deliberately subjects him to indignitions and other excessive chastisement that embarrass or humiliate him.

      (9) Causes or encourages the child to lead an immoral or dissolute life.

      (10) Permits the child to possess, handle or carry a deadly weapon, regardless of its ownership.

      (11) Allows or requires the child to drive without a license or with a license which the parent knows to have been illegally procured. If the motor vehicle driven by the child belongs to the parent, it shall be presumed that he permitted or ordered the child to drive.

"Parents" as here used shall include the guardian and the head of the institution or foster home which has custody of the child.

Art. 60. Penalty. - The act mentioned in the preceding article shall be punishable with imprisonment from two or six months or a fine not exceeding five hundred pesos, or both, at the discretion of the Court, unless a higher penalty is provided for in the Revised Penal Code or special laws, without prejudice to actions for the involuntary commitment of the child under Title VIII of this Code.
 
Chapter 5
ASSISTANCE TO PARENTS
 
Art. 61. Admonition to Parents. - Whenever a parent or guardian is found to have been unreasonably neglectful in the performance of his duties toward the child, he shall be admonished by the Department of Social Welfare or by the local Council for the Protection of Children referred to in Article 87.

Whenever a child is found delinquent by any court, the father, mother or guardian may be judicially admonished.

Art. 62. Medical and Dental Services. - If the child has special health problems, his parents shall be entitled to such assistance from the government as may be necessary for his care and treatment in addition to other benefits provided for under existing law.

Art. 63. Financial Aid and Social Services to Needy Families. - Special financial or material aid and social services shall be given to any needy family, to help maintain the child or children in the home and prevent their placement elsewhere.

The amount of such aid shall be determined by the Department of Social Welfare, taking into consideration, among other things, the self-employment of any of the family members and shall be paid from any funds available for the purpose.

Art. 64. Assistance to Widowed or Abandoned Parent and Her Minor Dependents. - The State shall give assistance to widowed or abandoned parent or where either spouse is on prolonged absence due to illness, imprisonment, etc. and who is unable to support his/her children. Financial and other essential social services shall be given by the National Government or other duly licensed agencies with similar functions to help such parent acquire the necessary knowledge or skill needed for the proper care and maintenance of the family.

Art. 65. Criterion for Aid. - The criteria to determine eligibility for the aid mentioned in the next two preceding articles shall be (1) the age of the child or children (2) the financial condition of the family, (3) the degree of deprivation of parental care and support, and (4) the inability to exercise parental authority.

Art. 66. Assistance to Unmarried Mothers and Their Children. - Any unmarried mother may, before and after the birth of the child, seek the assistance and advice of the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency. The said agencies shall offer specialized professional services which include confidential help and protection to such mother and her child, including placement of protection to such mother and child, including placement of such mother's rights, if any, against the father of such child.
 
Chapter 6
FOSTER - CARE
 
Art. 67. Foster Homes. - Foster Homes shall be chosen and supervised by the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency when and as the need therefore arises. They shall be run by married couples, to be licensed only after thorough investigation of their character, background, motivation and competence to act as foster parents.

Art. 68. Institutional Care. - Assignment of the child to a foster home shall be preferred to institutional care. Unless absolutely necessary, no child below nine years of age shall be placed in an institution. An older child may be taken into an institution for child care if a thorough social case study indicates that he will derive more benefit therefrom.

Art. 69. Day-care service and other substitute parental arrangement. - Day-care and other substitute parental arrangement shall be provided a child whose parents and relatives are not able to care for him during the day. Such arrangements shall be the subject of accreditation and licensing by the Department of Social Welfare.

Art. 70. Treatment of Child Under Foster Care. - A child under foster care shall be given, as much as possible, the affection and understanding that his own parents, if alive or present, would or should have extended to him. Foster care shall take into consideration the temporary nature of the placement and shall not alienate the child from his parents.
 
TITLE III
CHILD AND YOUTH WELFARE AND EDUCATION
 
Chapter 1
ACCESS TO EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
 
Art. 71. Admission to Schools. - The state shall see to it that no child is refused admission in public schools. All parents are required to enroll their children in schools to complete, at least, an elementary education.

Art. 72. Assistance. - To implement effectively the compulsory education policy, all necessary assistance possible shall be given to parents, specially indigent ones or those who need the services of children at home, to enable the children to acquire at least an elementary education. Such assistance may be in the form of special school programs which may not require continuous attendance in school, or aid in the form of necessary school supplies, school lunch, or whatever constitutes a bar to a child's attendance in school or access to elementary education.

Art. 73. Nursery School. - To further help promote the welfare of children of working mothers and indigent parents, and in keeping with the Constitutional provision on the maintenance of an adequate system of public education, public nursery and kindergarten schools shall be maintained, whenever possible. The operation and maintenance of such schools shall be the responsibility of local governments. Aid from local school board funds, when available, may be provided.

Art. 74. Special Classes. - Where needs warrants, there shall be at least special classes in every province, and, if possible, special schools for the physically handicapped, the mentally retarded, the emotionally disturbed, and the specially gifted. The private sector shall be given all the necessary inducement and encouragement to establish such classes or schools.

Art. 75. School Plants and Facilities. - Local school officials and local government officials shall see to it that school children and students are provided with adequate schoolrooms and facilities including playground, space, and facilities for sports and physical development activities. Such officials should see to it that the school environment is free from hazards to the health and safety of the students and that there are adequate safety measures for any emergencies such as accessible exits, firefighting equipment, and the like. All children shall have the free access to adequate dental and medical services.
 
Chapter II
THE HOME AND THE SCHOOL
 
Art. 76. Role of the Home. - The home shall fully support the school in the implementation of the total school program - curricular and co-curricular - toward the proper physical, social, intellectual and moral development of the child.

Art. 77. Parent-Teacher Associations. - Every elementary and secondary school shall organize a parent-teacher association for the purpose of providing a forum for the discussion of problems and their solutions, relating to the total school program, and for insuring the full cooperation of parents in the efficient implementation of such program. All parents who have children enrolled in a school are encouraged to be active members of its PTA, and to comply with whatever obligations and responsibilities such membership entails.

Parent-Teacher Association all over the country shall aid the municipal and other local authorities and school officials in the enforcement of juvenile delinquency control measures, and in the implementation of programs and activities to promote child welfare.
 
Chapter III
MISCELLANEOUS
 
Art. 78. Contributions. - No school shall receive or collect from students, directly or indirectly, contributions of any kind or form, or for any purpose except those expressly provided by law, and on occasions of national or local disasters in which case the school may accept voluntary contribution or aid from students for distribution to victims of such disasters or calamities.
 
TITLE IV
CHILD AND YOUTH WELFARE AND THE CHURCH
 
Art. 79. Rights of the Church. - The State shall respect the rights of the Church in matters affecting the religious and moral upbringing of the child.

Art. 80. Establishment of Schools. - All churches and religious orders, congregations or groups may, conformably to law, establish schools for the purpose of educating children in accordance with the tenets of their religion.

Art. 81. Religious Instruction. - The religious education of children in all public and private schools is a legitimate concern of the Church to which the students belong. All churches may offer religious instruction in public and private elementary and secondary schools, subject to the requirements of the Constitution and existing laws.

Art. 82. Assistance to Churches. - Insofar as may be allowed by the Constitution, the government shall extend to all churches, without discrimination or preference, every opportunity to exercise their influence and disseminate their teachings.

Art. 83. Parents. - Parents shall admonish their children to heed the teachings of their Church and to perform their religious duties. Whenever possible, parents shall accompany their children to the regular devotions of their Church and other religious ceremonies.
 
TITLE V
CHILD AND YOUTH WELFARE AND THE COMMUNITY
 
Chapter I
DUTIES IN GENERAL OF THE COMMUNITY
 
Art. 84. Community Defined. - As used in this Title, a community shall mean, the local government, together with the society of individuals or institutions, both public and private, in which a child lives.

Art. 85. Duties of the Community. - To insure the full enjoyment of the right of every child to live in a society that offers or guarantee him safety, health, good moral environment and facilities for his wholesome growth and development, it shall be the duty of the community to:

      (1) Bring about a healthy environment necessary to the normal growth of children and the enhancement of their physical, mental and spiritual well-being;

      (2) Help institutions of learning, whether public or private, achieve the fundamental objectives of education;

      (3) Organize or encourage movements and activities, for the furtherance of the interests of children and youth;

      (4) Promote the establishment and maintenance of adequately equipped playgrounds, parks, and other recreational facilities;

      (5) Support parent education programs by encouraging its members to attend and actively participate therein;

      (6) Assist the State in combating and curtailing juvenile delinquency and in rehabilitating wayward children;

      (7) Aid in carrying out special projects for the betterment of children in the remote areas or belonging to cultural minorities or those who are out of school; and

      (8) Cooperate with private and public child welfare agencies in providing care, training and protection to destitute, abandoned, neglected, abused, handicapped and disturbed children.

Chapter 2
COMMUNITY BODIES DEALING WITH CHILD WELFARE
 
Section. A. Barangay Councils
 
Art. 86. Ordinances and Resolutions. - Barangay Councils shall have the authority to enact ordinances and resolutions not inconsistent with law or municipal ordinances, as may be necessary to provide for the proper development and welfare of the children in the community, in consultation with representatives of national agencies concerned with child and youth welfare.

Art. 87. Council for the Protection of Children. - Every barangay council shall encourage the organization of a local Council for the Protection of Children and shall coordinate with the Council for the Welfare of Children and Youth in drawing and implementing plans for the promotion of child and youth welfare. Membership shall be taken from responsible members of the community including a representative of the youth, as well as representatives of government and private agencies concerned with the welfare of children and youth whose area of assignment includes the particular barangay and shall be on a purely voluntary basis.

Said Council shall:

      (1) Foster the education of every child in the barangay;

      (2) Encourage the proper performance of the duties of parents, and provide learning opportunities on the adequate rearing of children and on positive parent-child relationship;

      (3) Protect and assist abandoned or maltreated children and dependents;

      (4) Take steps to prevent juvenile delinquency and assist parents of children with behavioral problems so that they can get expert advise;

      (5) Adopt measures for the health of children;

      (6) Promote the opening and maintenance of playgrounds and day-care centers and other services that are necessary for child and youth welfare;

      (7) Coordinate the activities of organizations devoted to the welfare of children and secure their cooperation;

      (8) Promote wholesome entertainment in the community, especially in movie houses; and

      (9) Assist parents, whenever necessary in securing expert guidance counseling from the proper governmental or private welfare agency.

In addition, it shall hold classes and seminars on the proper rearing of the children. It shall distribute to parents available literature and other information on child guidance. The Council shall assist parents, with behavioral problems whenever necessary, in securing expert guidance counseling from the proper governmental or private welfare agency.

Art. 88. Barangay Scholarships. - Barangay funds may be appropriated to provide annual scholarship for indigent children who, in judgment of the Council for the Protection of Children, deserve public assistance in the development of their potentialities.

Art. 89. Youth Associations in Barangays. - Barangay councils shall encourage membership in civil youth associations and help these organizations attain their objectives.

Art. 90. Aid to Youth Associations. - In proper cases, barangay funds may be used for the payment of the cost of the uniforms and equipment required by these organizations.
 
Section. B. Civic Associations of Adults
 
Art. 91. Civic Associations of Adults. - As used in this Title, a civic association shall refer to any club, organization or association of individuals twenty-one years of age or over, which is directly or indirectly involved in carrying out child welfare programs and activities.

Art. 92. Accounting of Proceeds or Funds. - It shall be the duty of any civic association of adults holding benefits or soliciting contributions pursuant to the provisions of the next preceding article, to render an accounting of the proceeds thereof to the Department of Social Welfare or to the city or municipal treasurer, as the case may be.

Art. 93. Functions. - Civic associations and youth associations shall make arrangements with the appropriate governmental or civic organization for the instruction of youth in useful trades or crafts to enable them to earn a living.

Art. 94. Youth Demonstrations. - Any demonstrations sponsored by any civic associations and youth associations shall be conducted in a peaceful and lawful manner.

Art. 95. Unwholesome Entertainment and advertisements. - It shall be the duty of all civic associations and youth associations to bring to the attention of the proper authorities the exhibition of indecent shows and the publication, sale or circulation of pornographic materials.

The Board of Censors or the Radio Control Board may, upon representation of any civic association, prohibit any movie, television or radio program offensive to the proprieties of language and behavior.

Commercial and advertisements and trailers which are improper for children under eighteen years of age due to their advocating or unduly suggesting violence, vices, crimes and immorality, shall not be shown in any movie theater where the main feature is for general patronage nor shall they be used or shown during or immediately before and after any television or radio program for children.

Art. 96. Complaint Against Child Welfare Agency. - Any civic association and any youth association may complain to the officials of any public or private child-caring agency about any act or omission therein prejudicial to the wards of such agency.

If the complaint is not acted upon, it may be brought to the Council for the Protection of Children or the Department of Social Welfare, which shall promptly investigate the matter and take such steps as may be necessary.

Art. 97. Studies and Researches. - The government shall make available such data and technical assistance as may be needed by civic associations conducting studies and researches on matters relating to child welfare, including the prevention of juvenile delinquency.

Art. 98. Exchange Programs. - Student exchange programs sponsored by civic associations or youth associations shall receive the support and encouragement of the State.
 
Section. C. Youth Associations
 
Art. 99. Youth Associations. - As used in this Title, a youth association shall refer to any club, organization or association of individuals below twenty-one years of age which is directly or indirectly involved in carrying out child or youth welfare programs and activities.

Art. 100. Rights and Responsibilities. - All youth associations shall enjoy the same rights and discharge the same responsibilities as civic associations as may be permitted under existing laws.

Art. 101. Student Organizations. - All student organization in public or private schools shall include in their objectives the cultivation of harmonious relations among their members and with the various segments of the community.
 
Chapter 3
COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE HOME AND THE COMMUNITY
 
Art. 102. Proper Atmosphere for Children. - The home shall aid the community in maintaining an atmosphere conducive to the proper upbringing of children, particularly with respect to their preparation for adult life and the conscientious discharge of their civic duties as a whole.

Art. 103. Unwholesome Influence. - The home and the community shall cooperate with each other in counteracting and eliminating such influences as may be exerted upon children by useless and harmful amusements and activities, obscene exhibitions and programs, and establishments inimical to health and morals.
 
TITLE VI
CHILD AND YOUTH WELFARE AND THE SAMAHAN
 
Chapter 1
DUTIES IN GENERAL OF THE SAMAHAN
 
Art. 104. "Samahan" Defined. - As used in this Code, the term "samahan" shall refer to the aggregate of persons working in commercial, industrial, and agricultural establishments or enterprises, whether belonging to labor or management.

Art. 105. Organization. - The barangay, municipal and city councils, whenever necessary, shall provide by ordinance for the formation and organization of a samahan in their respective communities. Membership in the samahan shall be on voluntary basis from among responsible persons from the various sectors of the community mentioned in the preceding article.

Art. 106. Duties of the Samahan. - The Samahan shall:

      (1) Prevent the employment of children in any kind of occupation or calling which is harmful to their normal growth and development;

      (2) Forestall their exploitation by insuring that their rates of pay, hours of work and other conditions of employment are in accordance not only with law but also with equity;

      (3) Give adequate protection from all hazards to their safety, health, and morals, and secure to them their basic right to an education;

      (4) Help out-of-school youth to learn and earn at the same time by helping them look for opportunities to engage in economic self-sufficient projects;

      (5) To coordinate with vocational and handicraft classes in all schools and agencies in the barangay, municipality or city to arrange for possible marketing of the products or articles made by the students; and

      (6) Provide work experience, training and employment in those areas where the restoration and conservation of our natural resources is deemed necessary.

Chapter 2
WORKING CHILDREN
 
Art. 107. Employment of Children Below Sixteen Years. - Children below sixteen years of age may be employed to perform light work which is not harmful to their safety, health or normal development and which is not prejudicial to their studies.

The provisions of the Labor Code relating to employable age and conditions of employment of children are hereby adopted as part of this Code insofar as not inconsistent herewith.

Art. 108. Duty of Employer to Submit Report. - The employer shall submit to the Department of Labor a report of all children employed by him. A separate report shall be made of all such children who are found to be handicapped after medical examination. The Secretary of Labor shall refer such handicapped children to the proper government or private agencies for vocational guidance, physical and vocational rehabilitation, and placement in employment.

Art. 109. Register of Children. - Every employer in any commercial, industrial or agricultural establishment or enterprise shall keep:

      (1) A register of all children employed by him, indicating the dates of their birth;

      (2) A separate file for the written consent to their employment given by their parents or guardians;

      (3) A separate file for their educational and medical certificates; and

      (4) A separate file for special work permits issued by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with existing laws.

Art. 110. Education of Children Employed as Domestics. - If a domestic is under sixteen years of age, the head of the family shall give him an opportunity to complete at least elementary education as required under Article 71. The cost of such education shall be a part of the domestic's compensation unless there is a stipulation to the contrary.
 
Chapter 3
LABOR-MANAGEMENT PROJECTS
 
Art. 111. Right to Self-Organization. - Working children shall have the same freedoms as adults to join the collective bargaining union of their own choosing in accordance with existing law.

Neither management nor any collective bargaining union shall threaten or coerce working children to join, continue or withdraw as members of such union.

Art. 112. Conditions of Employment. - There shall be close collaboration between labor and management in the observance of the conditions of employment required by law for working children.

Art. 113. Educational Assistance Programs. - The management may allow time off without loss or reduction of wages for working children with special talents to enable them to pursue formal studies in technical schools on scholarships financed by management or by the collective bargaining union or unions.

Art. 114. Welfare Programs. - Labor and management shall, in cooperation with the Women and Minors Bureau of the Department of Labor, undertake projects and in-service training programs for working children which shall improve their conditions of employment, improve their capabilities and physical fitness, increase their efficiency, secure opportunities for their promotion, prepare them for more responsible positions, and provide for their social, educational and cultural advancement.

Art. 115. Research Projects. - Labor and management shall cooperate with any government or private research project on matters affecting the welfare of working children.
 
Chapter 4
COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE HOME AND THE SAMAHAN
 
Art. 116. Collaboration Between the Home and the Samahan. - The home shall assist the Samahan in the promotion of the welfare of working children and for this purpose shall:

      (1) Instill in the hearts and minds of working children the value of dignity of labor;

      (2) Stress the importance of the virtues of honesty; diligence and perseverance in the discharge of their duties;

      (3) Counsel them on the provident use of the fruits of their labor for the enrichment of their lives and the improvement of their economic security; and

      (4) Protect their general well-being against exploitation by management or unions as well as against conditions of their work prejudicial to their health, education, or morals.

TITLE VII
CHILD AND YOUTH WELFARE AND THE STATE
 
Chapter 1
REGULATION OF CHILD AND YOUTH WELFARE SERVICES
 
Art. 117. Classifications of Child and Youth Welfare Agencies. - Public and private child welfare agencies providing encouragement, care, and protection to any category of children and youth whether mentally gifted, dependent, abandoned, neglected, abused, handicapped, disturbed, or youthful offenders, classified and defined as follows, shall be coordinated by the Department of Social Welfare:

      (1) A child-caring institution is one that provides twenty-four resident group care service for the physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being of nine or more mentally gifted, dependent, abandoned, neglected, handicapped or disturbed children, or youthful offenders.

      An institution, whose primary purpose is education, is deemed to be a child-caring institution when nine or more of its pupils or wards in the ordinary course of events do not return annually to the homes of their parents or guardians for at least two months of summer vacation.

      (2) A detention home is a twenty-four hour child-caring institution providing short term resident care for youthful offenders who are awaiting court disposition of their cases or transfer to other agencies or jurisdiction.

      (3) A shelter-care institution is one that provides temporary protection and care to children requiring emergency reception as a result of fortuitous events, abandonment by parents, dangerous conditions of neglect or cruelty in the home, being without adult care because of crisis in the family, or a court order holding them as material witnesses.

      (4) Receiving homes are family-type homes which provides temporary shelter from ten to twenty days for children who shall during this period be under observation and study for eventual placement by the Department of Social Welfare. The number of children in a receiving home shall not at any time exceed nine: Provided, That no more than two of them shall be under three years of age.

      (5) A nursery is a child-caring institution that provides care for six or more children below six years of age for all or part of a twenty-four hour day, except those duly licensed to offer primarily medical and educational services.

      (6) A maternity home is an institution or place of residence whose primary function is to give shelter and care to pregnant women and their infants before, during and after delivery.

      (7) A rehabilitation center is an institution that receives and rehabilitates youthful offenders or other disturbed children.

      (8) A reception and study center is an institution that receives for study, diagnosis, and temporary treatment, children who have behavioral problems for the purpose of determining the appropriate care for them or recommending their permanent treatment or rehabilitation in other child welfare agencies.

      (9) A child-placing agency is an institution or person assuming the care, custody, protection and maintenance of children for placement in any child-caring institution or home or under the care and custody of any person or persons for purposes of adoption, guardianship or foster care. The relatives of such child or children within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity are excluded from this definition.

Art. 118. License Required. - No private person, natural or juridical, shall establish, temporarily or permanently, any child welfare agency without first securing a license from the Department of Social Welfare.

Such license shall not be transferable and shall be used only by the person or institution to which it was issued at the place stated therein.

No license shall be granted unless the purpose of function of the agency is clearly defined and stated in writing. Such definition shall include the geographical area to be served, the children to be accepted for care, and the services to be provided.

If the applicant is a juridical person, it must be registered in accordance with Philippine laws.

Art. 119. Guiding Principles. - The protection and best interests of the child or children therein shall be the first and basic consideration in the granting, suspension or revocation of the license mentioned in the preceding article.

Art. 120. Revocation or Suspension of License. - The Department of Social Welfare may, after notice and hearing , suspend or revoke the license of a child welfare agency on any of the following grounds:

      (1) That the agency is being used for immoral purposes;

      (2) That said agency is insolvent or is not in a financial position to support and maintain the children therein or to perform the functions for which it was granted license;

      (3) That the children therein are being neglected or are undernourished;

      (4) That the place is so unsanitary so as to make it unfit for children;

      (5) That said agency is located in a place or community where children should not be, or is physically dangerous to children or would unduly expose children to crime, vice, immorality, corruption or severe cruelty; or

      (6) That said agency has by any act or omission shown its incompetence or unworthiness to continue acting as a child welfare agency. During the period of suspension, the agency concerned shall not accept or admit any additional children. In any case, the Department of Social Welfare shall make such order as to the custody of the children under the care of such agency as the circumstances may warrant. The suspension may last for as long as the agency has not complied with any order of the Department of Social Welfare to remove or remedy the conditions which have risen to the suspension. The aggrieved agency may appeal the suspension and/or revocation in a proper court action. In such case, the court shall within fifteen days from the filing of the Department of Social Welfare's answer, conduct a hearing and decide the case, either by lifting the suspension, or continuing it for such period of time as it may order, or by revoking the license of the agency where the Department of Social Welfare has proven the revocation to be justified.

Art. 121. Responsible Government Body. - The governing body of a child welfare agency or institution shall be composed of civic leaders or persons of good standing in the community. The administrator must be a competent person qualified by education or experience or both to serve as such.

Art. 122. Child-Caring Institution Serving as Child-Placement Agency. - An association or corporation may be both a child-caring institution and a child-placement agency and it may be licensed to carry out both types of service.

When a license also serves as a child-placement agency, it shall maintain a staff equipped by training to make thorough studies of every prospective family home. Staff arrangements must also be made for continuing supervision of the children staying in family homes so long as the children remain in the legal custody of the agency.

Art. 123. Responsible Staff of Employees. - The licensee shall choose its employees who shall be persons of good health and character, and whenever possible, the higher rank of employees shall in addition have training, preferably in child psychology.

Art. 124. Intake Study and Periodic Investigations. - The licensee shall undertake investigations to determine if the acceptance or continued stay of a child in its institution is necessary. Each licensee shall make provisions for continuing services, including social casework for every child under its care.

Art. 125. Records. - The licensee shall keep confidential records of every child in its study. These records shall be made available only to such persons as may be authorized by the Department of Social Welfare or by the proper court.

Art. 126. Home Atmosphere. - Child welfare agencies shall endeavor to provide the children with a pleasant atmosphere that shall approximate as nearly as possible the conditions of an ideal home. Vocational rehabilitation shall also be provided in accordance with existing law and the particular needs of the children.

Art. 127. Adequate Diet. - The licensee shall provide a varied and balanced diet to satisfy the child's total nutritional requirements.

Art. 128. Clothing. - The licensee shall furnish clean, comfortable, and appropriate clothing for every child under its care.

Art. 129. Physical Surroundings and Outings. - The licensee shall maintain a building adequate both in ventilation and sanitation, and with a safe, clean and spacious playground.

Regular inexpensive periodic outing shall be an important part of its activities in order to make the children aware of their vital role in their community and country.

Art. 130. Medical and Nursing Care. - The licensee shall provide adequate medical and nursing care for sick children who may be confined due to illness.

Art. 131. Religious Training. - The licensee shall provide opportunities for religious training to children under its custody, taking into consideration the religious affiliation or express wishes of the child or his parents. For such purpose, it shall have a defined policy regarding its religious activities for the information of those wishing to place children in its care.

Art. 132. Annual Report. - Every child welfare agency or institution shall submit to the Department of Social Welfare an annual report setting forth a brief summary of its operations during the preceding year, including the funds received during said period, the sources thereof, the purposes for which they were spent and the cash position of the agency or institution as of the date of the report, number of children admitted, and such other information as may be required by the Department of Social Welfare.
 
Chapter 2
COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE HOME AND THE STATE
 
Art. 133. Healthy Growth of Children. - Pursuant to its obligation to assist the parents in the proper upbringing of the child, the State shall, whenever possible, in collaboration and cooperation with local government establish:

      (1) Puericulture and similar centers;

      (2) Juvenile courts;

      (3) Child welfare agencies;

      (4) Orphanages and other similar institutions; and

      (5) Children's recreation centers.

Art. 134. Puericulture or Health Centers. - Puericulture or health centers shall be established in every barangay to perform, among other things, the following functions:

      (1) Disseminate information concerning the health of children and expectant or nursing mothers;

      (2) Provide consultation service and treatment, whenever necessary, for the children and the expectant or nursing mothers;

      (3) Provide guidance and special treatment to children with physical handicaps; and
       
      (4) Advise child welfare institutions on matters relating to nutrition and hygiene.

Art. 135. Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts. - Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts shall, as far as practicable, be established in every province or city to hear and decide cases involving juvenile and domestic problems.

Art. 136. Regional Child Welfare Agencies. - The State shall, whenever practicable, establish regional child welfare agencies, orphanages and other similar institutions to provide care for the children mentioned in Title VIII of this Code.

Art. 137. Children's Reading and Recreation Centers. - The State shall establish in every barangay reading centers and recreation centers where children may meet and play together for their healthy growth and their social and cultural development.

Art. 138. Parent Education Program. - The Department of Social Welfare shall from time to time hold a Parent Education Congress, which shall aim to enable parents to understand child growth and development, parent-child relationship, family life, and family-community relationship, and to improve their ability to discharge their duties.

Art. 139. Curfew Hours for Children. - City or municipal councils may prescribe such curfew hours for children as may be warranted by local conditions. The duty to enforce curfew ordinances shall devolve upon the parents or guardians and the local authorities.

Any parent or guardian found grossly negligent in the performance of the duty imposed by this article shall be admonished by the Department of Social Welfare or the Council for the Protection of Children.

Art. 140. State Aid in Case of Public Calamity. - In case of earthquake, flood, storm, conflagration, epidemic, or other calamity, the State shall give special assistance to children whenever necessary. The Department of Social Welfare shall take immediate custody of dependent children and give temporary shelter to orphaned or displaced children (who are separated from their parents or guardian).
 
TITLE VIII
SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CHILDREN
 
Chapter 1
DEPENDENT, ABANDONED AND NEGLECTED CHILDREN
 
Art. 141. Definition of Terms. - As used in this Chapter:

      (1) A dependent child is one who is without a parent, guardian or custodian; or one whose parents, guardian or other custodian for good cause desires to be relieved of his care and custody; and is dependent upon the public for support.

      (2) An abandoned child is one who has no proper parental care or guardianship, or whose parents or guardians have deserted him for a period of at least six continuous months.

      (3) A neglected child is one whose basic needs have been deliberately unattended or inadequately attended. Neglect may occur in two ways:
       
            a) There is a physical neglect when the child is malnourished, ill clad and without proper shelter.

            A child is unattended when left by himself without provisions for his needs and/or without proper supervision.

            b) Emotional neglect exists: when children are maltreated, raped or seduced; when children are exploited, overworked or made to work under conditions not conducive to good health; or are made to beg in the streets or public places, or when children are in moral danger, or exposed to gambling, prostitution and other vices.
      (4) Commitment or surrender of a child is the legal act of entrusting a child to the care of the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency or individual.

      Commitment may be done in the following manner:
       
            a) Involuntary commitment, in case of a dependent child, or through the termination of parental or guardianship rights by reason of abandonment, substantial and continuous or repeated neglect and/or parental incompetence to discharge parental responsibilities, and in the manner, form and procedure hereinafter prescribed.

            b) Voluntary commitment, through the relinquishment of parental or guardianship rights in the manner and form hereinafter prescribed.

Art. 142. Petition for Involuntary Commitment of a Child: Venue. - The Department of Social Welfare Secretary or his authorized representative or any duly licensed child placement agency having knowledge of a child who appears to be dependent, abandoned or neglected, may file a verified petition for involuntary commitment of said child to the care of any duly licensed child placement agency or individual.

The petition shall be filed with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, if any, or with the Court of First Instance of the province or City Court in which the parents or guardian resides or the child is found.

Art. 143. Contents of Petition: Verification. - The petition for commitment must state so far as known to the petitioner:

      (1) The facts showing that the child is dependent, abandoned, or neglected;

      (2) The names of the parent or parents, if known, and their residence. If the child has no parent or parents living, then the name and residence of the guardian, if any; and

      (3) The name of the duly licensed child placement agency or individual to whose care the commitment of the child is sought.

The petition shall be verified and shall be sufficient if based upon the information and belief of the petitioner.

Art. 144. Court to Set Time for Hearing: Summons. - When a petition or commitment is filed, the court shall fix a date for the hearing thereof. If it appears from the petition that one or both parents of the child, or the guardian, resides in province or city, the clerk of court shall immediately issue summons, together with a copy of the petition, which shall be served on such parent or guardian not less than two days before the time fixed for the hearing. Such summons shall require them to appear before the court on the date mentioned.

Art. 145. When Summons shall Not be Issued. - The summons provided for in the next preceding article shall not be issued and the court shall thereupon proceed with the hearing of the case if it appears from the petition that both parents of the child are dead or that neither parent can be found in the province or city and that the child has no guardian residing therein.

Art. 146. Representation of Child. - If it appears that neither of the parents nor the guardian of the child can be found in the province or city, it shall be the duty of the court to appoint some suitable person to represent him.

Art. 147. Duty of Fiscal. - The provincial or city fiscal shall appear for the State, seeing to it that there has been due notice to all parties concerned and that there is justification for the declaration of dependency, abandonment or neglect.

The legal services section of the Department of Social Welfare, any recognized legal association, or any appointed de officio counsel shall prepare the petition for the Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare, his representative or the head of the duly licensed child placement agency, or the duly licensed individual and represent him in court in all proceedings arising under the provisions of this Chapter.

Art. 148. Hearing. - During the hearing of the petition, the child shall be brought before the court, which shall investigate the facts and ascertain whether he is dependent, abandoned, or neglected, and, if so, the cause and circumstances of such condition. In such hearing, the court shall not be bound by the technical rules of evidence.

Failure to provide for the child's support for a period of six months shall be presumptive evidence of the intent to abandon.

Art. 149. Commitment of Child. - If, after the hearing, the child is found to be dependent, abandoned, or neglected, an order shall be entered committing him to the care and custody of the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency or individual.

Art. 150. When Child May Stay In His Own Home. - If in the court's opinion the cases of the abandonment or neglect of any child may be remedied, it may permit the child to stay in his own home and under the care and control of his own parents or guardian, subject to the supervision and direction of the Department of Social Welfare.

When it appears to the court that it is no longer for the best interests of such child to remain with his parents or guardian, it may commit the child in accordance with the next preceding article.

Art. 151. Termination of Rights of Parents. - When a child shall have been committed to the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency or individual pursuant to an order of the court, his parents or guardian shall thereafter exercise no authority over him except upon such conditions as the court may impose.

Art. 152. Authority of Person, Agency or Institution. - The Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency or individual receiving a child pursuant to an order of the court shall be the legal guardian and entitled to his legal custody and control, be responsible for his support as defined by law, and when proper, shall have authority to give consent to his placement, guardianship and/or adoption.

Art. 153. Change of Custody. - The Department of Social Welfare shall have the authority to change the custody of a child committed to and duly licensed child placement agency or individual if it appears that such change is for the best interests of the child. However, when conflicting interests arise among child placement agencies the court shall order the change of commitment of the child.

Art. 154. Voluntary Commitment of a Child to an Institution. - The parent or guardian of a dependent, abandoned or neglected child may voluntarily commit him to the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency or individual subject to the provisions of the next succeeding articles.

Art. 155. Commitment Must Be in Writing. - No child shall be committed pursuant to the preceding article unless he is surrendered in writing by his parents or guardian to the care and custody of the Department of Social Welfare or duly licensed child placement agency. In case of the death or legal incapacity of either parent or abandonment of the child for a period of at least one year, the other parent alone shall have the authority to make the commitment. The Department of Social Welfare, or any proper and duly licensed child placement agency or individual shall have the authority to receive, train, educate, care for or arrange appropriate placement of such child.

Art. 156. Legal Custody. - When any child shall have been committed in accordance with the preceding article and such child shall have been accepted by the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency or individual, the rights of his natural parents, guardian, or other custodian to exercise parental authority over him shall cease.

Such agency or individual shall be entitled to the custody and control of such child during his minority, and shall have authority to care for, educate, train and place him out temporarily or for custody and care in a duly licensed child placement agency. Such agency or individual may intervene in adoption proceedings in such manner as shall best inure to the child's welfare.

Art. 157. Visitation or Inspection. - Any duly licensed child placement agency or individual receiving a judicial order or by voluntary commitment by his parents or guardian shall be subject to visitation or inspection by a representative of the court or of the Department of Social Welfare or both, as the case may be.

Art. 158. Report of Person or Institution. - Any duly licensed child placement agency or individual receiving a child for commitment may at any time be required by the Department of Social Welfare to submit a report, copy furnished the court, containing all necessary information for determining whether the welfare of the child is being served.

Art. 159. Temporary Custody of Child. - Subject to regulation by the Department of Social Welfare and with the permission of the court in case of judicial commitment, the competent authorities of any duly licensed child placement agency or individual to which a child has been committed may place him in the care of any suitable person, at the latter's request, for a period not exceeding one month at a time.

The temporary custody of the child shall be discontinued if it appears that he is not being given proper care, or at his own request, or at the instance of the agency or person receiving him.

Art. 160. Prohibited Acts. - It shall be unlawful for any child to leave the person or institution to which he has been judicially or voluntarily committed or the person under whose custody he has been placed in accordance with the next preceding article, or for any person to induce him to leave such person or institution, except in case of grave physical or moral danger, actual or imminent, to the child.

Any violation of this article shall be punishable by an imprisonment of not more than one year or by a fine of not more than two thousand pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court: Provided, That if the violation is committed by a foreigner, he shall also be subject to deportation.

If the violation is committed by a parent or legal guardian of the child, such fact shall aggravate or mitigate the offense as circumstances shall warrant.

Art. 161. Duty to Report Abandonment. - When the parents or persons entitled to act as guardian of a child are dead or, if living, have abandoned him, for no valid reason, for at least six months in a duly licensed child placement agency or hospital, or left him with any other person for the same period without providing for his care and support, such fact shall be reported immediately to the Department of Social Welfare. In case of a child left in a hospital immediate transfer of the child to the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed child placement agency must be arranged. The Department of Social Welfare shall make provisions for the adequate care and support of the child and shall take such action as it may deem proper for his best interests.

Art. 162. Adoption of Dependent or Abandoned or Neglected Child. - Upon the filing of an application by any person to adopt a dependent, abandoned or neglected child in the custody of any institution or individual mentioned in Article 156, it shall be the duty of the provincial or city fiscal, any recognized legal association, or any appointed de officio counsel upon being informed of such fact, to represent the Department of Social Welfare in the proceedings. The costs of such proceedings shall be de officio.

Art. 163. Restoration of Child After Involuntary Commitment. - The parents or guardian of a child committed to the care of a person, agency or institution by judicial order may petition the proper court for the restoration of his rights over the child: Provided, That the child in the meantime, has not been priorily given away in adoption nor has left the country with the adopting parents or the guardian. The petition shall be verified and shall state that the petitioner is now able to take proper care and custody of said child.

Upon receiving the petition, the court shall fix the time for hearing the questions raised thereby and cause reasonable notice thereof to be sent to the petitioner and to the person, agency or institution to which the child has been committed. At the trial, any person may be allowed, at the discretion of the court, to contest the right to the relief demanded, and witnesses may be called and examined by the parties or by the court motu proprio. If it is found that the cause for the commitment of the child no longer exists and that the petitioner is already able to take proper care and custody of the child, the court, after taking into consideration the best interests and the welfare of the child, shall render judgment restoring parental authority to the petitioner.

Art. 164. Restoration After Voluntary Commitment. Upon petition filed with the Department of Social Welfare the parent or parents or guardian who voluntarily committed a child may recover legal custody and parental authority over him from the agency, individual or institution to which such child was voluntarily committed when it is shown to the satisfaction of the Department of Social Welfare that the parent, parents or guardian is in a position to adequately provide for the needs of the child: Provided, That, the petition for restoration is filed within six months after the surrender.

In all cases, the person, agency or institution having legal custody of the child shall be furnished with a copy of the petition and shall be given the opportunity to be heard.

Art. 165. Removal of Custody. - A petition to transfer custody of a child may be filed against a person or child welfare agency to whose custody a child has been committed by the court based on neglect of such child as defined in Article 141(3). If the court, after notice and hearing, is satisfied that the allegations of the petition are true and that it is for the best interest and welfare of the child the court shall issue an order taking him from the custody of the person or agency, as the case may be, and committing him to the custody of another duly licensed child placement agency or individual.

The license of the agency or individual found guilty of such neglect may be suspended or revoked, as the court may deem proper, in the same proceeding.

Art. 166. Report of Maltreated or Abused Child. - All hospitals, clinics and other institutions as well as private physicians providing treatment shall, within forty-eight hours from knowledge of the case, report in writing to the city or provincial fiscal or to the Local Council for the Protection of Children or to the nearest unit of the Department of Social Welfare, any case of a maltreated or abused child, or exploitation of an employed child contrary to the provisions of labor laws. It shall be the duty of the Council for the Protection of Children or the unit of the Department of Social Welfare to whom such a report is made to forward the same to the provincial or city fiscal.

Violation of this provision shall subject the hospital, clinic, institution, or physician who fails to make such report to a fine of not more than two thousand pesos.

In cases of sexual abuse, the records pertaining to the case shall be kept strictly confidential and no information relating thereto shall be disclosed except in connection with any court or official proceeding based on such report. Any person disclosing confidential information in violation of this provision shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred pesos nor more than five thousand pesos, or by imprisonment for not less than thirty days nor more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.

Art. 167. Freedom from Liability of Reporting Person or Institution. - Persons, organizations, physicians, nurses, hospitals, clinics and other entities which shall in good faith report cases of child abuse, neglect, maltreatment or abandonment or exposure to moral danger be free from any civil or criminal liability arising therefrom.
 
Chapter 2
MENTALLY RETARDED, PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED,
EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED AND MENTALLY ILL CHILDREN
 
Art. 168. Mentally Retarded Children. - Mentally retarded children are (1) socially incompetent, that is, socially inadequate and occupationally incompetent and unable to manage their own affairs; (2) mentally subnormal; (3) retarded intellectually from birth or early age; (4) retarded at maturity; (5) mentally deficient as a result of constitutional origin, through hereditary or disease, and (6) essentially incurable.

Art. 169. Classification of Mental Retardation. - Mental Retardation is divided into four classifications:

      (1) Custodial Group. The members of this classification are severely or profoundly retarded, hence, the least capable group. This includes those with I.Q.s to 25.

      (2) Trainable Group. The members of this group consist of those with I.Q.s from about 25 to about 50; one who belongs to this group shows a mental level and rate of development which is 1/4 to 1/2 that of the average child, is unable to acquire higher academic skills, but can usually acquire the basic skills for living to a reasonable degree. He can likewise attain a primary grade level of education if he receives effective instruction.

      (3) Educable Group. This group's I.Q. ranges from about 50 to about 75, and the intellectual development is approximately 1/2 to 3/4 of that expected of a normal child of the same chronological age. The degree of success or accomplishment that they will reach in life depends very much on the quality and type of education they receive, as well as on the treatment at home and in the community. Many of the educable retardates may reach 5th or 6th grade educational level and can develop occupational skills which may result in partial or complete economic independence in adulthood.

      (4) Borderline or Low Normal Group. This is the highest group of mentally retarded, with I.Q.s from about 75 to about 89. The members of this classification are only slightly retarded and they can usually get by in regular classes if they receive some extra help, guidance and consideration. They have to spend much more time with their studies than do most children in order to pass. Those who cannot make it are usually handicapped by one or more other conditions aside from that of intelligence.

Art. 170. Physically Handicapped Children. - Physically handicapped children are those who are crippled, deaf-mute, blind, or otherwise defective which restricts their means of action on communication with others.

Art. 171. Emotionally Disturbed Children. - Emotionally disturbed children are those who, although not afflicted with insanity or mental defect, are unable to maintain normal social relations with others and the community in general due to emotional problems or complexes.

Art. 172. Mentally Ill Children. - Mentally ill children are those with any behavioral disorder, whether functional or organic, which is of such a degree of severity as to require professional help or hospitalization.

Art. 173. Admission of Disabled Children. - The Department of Social Welfare, upon the application of the parents or guardians and the recommendation of any reputable diagnostic center or clinic, shall refer and/or admit disabled children to any public or private institution providing the proper care, training and rehabilitation.

"Disabled children" as used in this Chapter shall include mentally retarded, physically handicapped, emotionally disturbed, and severe mentally ill children.

Art. 174. Training and Opportunities for Disabled Children. - Specialized educational services shall be expanded and improved to provide appropriate opportunities for disabled children. Vocational rehabilitation and manpower conservation agencies shall train disabled children for specialized types of jobs, services and business which could be learned only by them and shall help provide opportunities for their future occupational placement: That the agencies and organizations engaged in programs and services for the disabled need not be limited to minors. Persons of legal age may be admitted whenever facilities are available for them.

Art. 175. Planning of Programs and Services. - Selected pilot demonstration projects needed by the disabled children shall be developed and shall be the basis for planning expanded programs and services throughout the nation. There shall be established area centers designed to bring together an aggregate of services to serve all ages of the disabled within a specified geographical area.

Art. 176. Donations. - Donations to agencies and organizations engaged in programs and services for disabled children shall be deductible in accordance with the provision of Presidential Decree No. 507.

Art. 177. Petition for Commitment. - Where a child appears to be mentally retarded, physically handicapped, emotionally disturbed, or mentally ill, and needs institutional care but his parents or guardians are opposed thereto, the Department of Social Welfare, or any duly licensed child placement agency or individual shall have the authority to file a petition for commitment of the said child to any reputable institution providing care, training and rehabilitation for disabled children.

The parents or guardian of the child may file a similar petition in case no immediate placement can be arranged for the disabled child when the welfare and interest of the child is at stake.

Art. 178. Venue. - The petition for commitment of a disabled child shall be filed with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, if any, or with the Court of First Instance of the province or City Court where the parent or guardian resides or where the child is found.

Art. 179. Contents of Petition. - The petition for commitment must state so far as known to the petitioner:

      (1) The facts showing that the child appears to be mentally retarded, physically handicapped, emotionally disturbed or mentally ill and needs institutional care;

      (2) The Fact that the parents or guardians or any duly licensed disabled child placement agency, as the case may be, has opposed the commitment of such child;

      (3) The name of the parents and their residence, if known or if the child has no parents or parent living, the names and residence of the guardian, if any; and

      (4) The name of the institution where the child is to be committed.

The petition shall be verified and shall be sufficient if based upon the information and belief of the petitioner.

Art. 180. Order of Hearing. - If the petition filed is sufficient in form and substance, the court, by an order reciting the purpose of the petition, shall fix the date for the hearing thereof, and a copy of such order shall be served on the child alleged to be mentally retarded, or physically handicapped, or emotionally disturbed, or mentally ill, and on the person having charge of him or any of his relatives residing in the province or city as the judge may deem proper. The court shall furthermore order the sheriff to produce, if possible, the alleged disabled child on the date of the hearing.

Art. 181. Hearing and Judgment. - Upon satisfactory proof that the institutional care of the child is for him or the public welfare and that his parents, or guardian or relatives are unable for any reason to take proper care of him, the Court shall order his commitment to the proper institution for disabled children.

Art. 182. Disposition of Property or Money. - The Court, in its order of commitment, shall make proper provisions for the custody of property or money belonging to the committed child.

Art. 183. Findings and Other Data. - The Court shall furnish the institution to which the child has been committed with a copy of its judgment, together with all the social and other data pertinent to the case.

Art. 184. Expenses. - The expense of maintaining a disabled child in the institution to which he has been committed shall be borne primarily by the parents or guardian and secondarily, by such disabled child, if he has property of his own.

In all cases where the expenses for the maintenance of the disabled child cannot be paid in accordance with the next preceding paragraph, the same, or such part thereof as may remain unpaid, shall be borne by the Department of Social Welfare.

Art. 185. Children With Cerebral Palsy. - Children afflicted with cerebral palsy shall be committed to the institution which under the circumstances of the particular child concerned is best equipped to treat and care for him.

Art. 186. Discharge of Child Judicially Committed. - The Court shall order the discharge of any child judicially committed to an institution for disabled children if it is certified by the Department of Social Welfare that:

      (1) He has been certified by the duly licensed disabled child placement agency to be no longer a hazard to himself or to the community;

      (2) He has been sufficiently rehabilitated from his physical handicap or, if of work age, is already fit to engage in a gainful occupation; or

      (3) He has been relieved of his emotional problems and complexes and is ready to assume normal social relations.

Art. 187. Discharge of Child Voluntarily Committed. - Any child voluntarily committed to an institution for disabled children may be discharged by the Department of Social Welfare motu proprio or upon the request of his parents or guardian on any of the grounds specified in the preceding article. In the latter case, the Department of Social Welfare may refuse to discharge the child if, in its opinion, his release would be prejudicial to him or to the community.

Art. 188. Assistance of Fiscal. - The provincial or city fiscal shall represent the Department of Social Welfare or any recognized legal association in all judicial matters arising under the provisions of this Chapter.
 
Chapter 3
YOUTHFUL OFFENDERS
 
Art. 189. Youthful Offender Defined. - A youthful offender is one who is over nine years but under twenty-one years of age at the time of the commission of the offense.

A child nine years of age or under at the time of the offense shall be exempt from criminal liability and shall be committed to the care of his or her father or mother, or nearest relative or family friend in the discretion of the court and subject to its supervision. The same shall be done for a child over nine years and under fifteen years of age at the time of the commission of the offense, unless he acted with discernment, in which case he shall be proceeded against in accordance with Article 192.

The provisions of Article 80 of the Revised Penal Code shall be deemed modified by the provisions of this Chapter.

Art. 190. Physical and Mental Examination. - It shall be the duty of the law-enforcement agency concerned to take the youthful offender, immediately after his apprehension, to the proper medical or health officer for a thorough physical and mental examination. Whenever treatment for any physical or mental defect is indicated, steps shall be immediately undertaken to provide the same.

The examination and treatment papers shall form part of the record of the case of the youthful offender.

Art. 191. Care of Youthful Offender Held for Examination or Trial. - A youthful offender held for physical and mental examination or trial or pending appeal, if unable to furnish bail, shall from the time of his arrest be committed to the care of the Department of Social Welfare or the local rehabilitation center or a detention home in the province or city which shall be responsible for his appearance in court whenever required: Provided, That in the absence of any such center or agency within a reasonable distance from the venue of the trial, the provincial, city and municipal jail shall provide quarters for youthful offenders separate from other detainees. The court may, in its discretion, upon recommendation of the Department of Social Welfare or other agency or agencies authorized by the Court, release a youthful offender on recognizance, to the custody of his parents or other suitable person who shall be responsible for his appearance whenever required.

Art. 192. Suspension of Sentence and Commitment of Youthful Offender. - If after hearing the evidence in the proper proceedings, the court should find that the youthful offender has committed the acts charged against him the court shall determine the imposable penalty, including any civil liability chargeable against him. However, instead of pronouncing judgment of conviction, the court shall suspend all further proceedings and shall commit such minor to the custody or care of the Department of Social Welfare, or to any training institution operated by the government, or duly licensed agencies or any other responsible person, until he shall have reached twenty-one years of age or, for a shorter period as the court may deem proper, after considering the reports and recommendations of the Department of Social Welfare or the agency or responsible individual under whose care he has been committed.

The youthful offender shall be subject to visitation and supervision by a representative of the Department of Social Welfare or any duly licensed agency or such other officer as the Court may designate subject to such conditions as it may prescribe.

Art. 193. Appeal. - The youthful offender whose sentence is suspended can appeal from the order of the court in the same manner as appeals in criminal cases.

Art. 194. Care and Maintenance of Youthful Offender. - The expenses for the care and maintenance of the youthful offender whose sentence has been suspended shall be borne by his parents or those persons liable to support him: Provided, That in case his parents or those persons liable to support him can not pay all or part of said expenses, the municipality in which the offense was committed shall pay one-third of said expenses or part thereof; the province to which the municipality belongs shall pay one-third; and the remaining one-third shall be borne by the National Government. Chartered cities shall pay two-thirds of said expenses; and in case a chartered city cannot pay said expenses, part of the internal revenue allotments applicable to the unpaid portion shall be withheld and applied to the settlement of said indebtedness.

All city and provincial governments must exert efforts for the immediate establishment of local detention homes for youthful offenders.

Art. 195. Report on Conduct of Child. - The Department of Social Welfare or its representative or duly licensed agency or individual under whose care the youthful offender has been committed shall submit to the court every four months or oftener as may be required in special cases, a written report on the conduct of said youthful offender as well as the intellectual, physical, moral, social and emotional progress made by him.

Art. 196. Dismissal of the Case. - If it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that the youthful offender whose sentence has been suspended, has behaved properly and has shown his capability to be a useful member of the community, even before reaching the age of majority, upon recommendation of the Department of Social Welfare, it shall dismiss the case and order his final discharge.

Art. 197. Return of the Youth Offender to Court. - Whenever the youthful offender has been found incorrigible or has willfully failed to comply with the conditions of his rehabilitation programs, or should his continued stay in the training institution be inadvisable, he shall be returned to the committing court for the pronouncement of judgment.

When the youthful offender has reached the age of twenty-one while in commitment, the court shall determine whether to dismiss the case in accordance with the next preceding article or to pronounce the judgment of conviction.

In any case covered by this article, the youthful offender shall be credited in the service of his sentence with the full time spent in actual commitment and detention effected under the provisions of this Chapter.

Art. 198. Effect of Release of Child Based on Good Conduct. - The final release of a child pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter shall not obliterate his civil liability for damages. Such release shall be without prejudice to the right for a writ of execution for the recovery of civil damages.

Art. 199. Living Quarters for Youthful Offenders Sentence. - When a judgment of conviction is pronounced in accordance with the provisions of Article 197, and at the time of said pronouncement the youthful offender is still under twenty-one, he shall be committed to the proper penal institution to serve the remaining period of his sentence: Provided, That penal institutions shall provide youthful offenders with separate quarters and, as far as practicable, group them according to appropriate age levels or other criteria as will insure their speedy rehabilitation: Provided, further, That the Bureau of Prisons shall maintain agricultural and forestry camps where youthful offenders may serve their sentence in lieu of confinement in regular penitentiaries.

Art. 200. Records of Proceedings. - Where a youthful offender has been charged before any city or provincial fiscal or before any municipal judge and the charges have been ordered dropped, all the records of the case shall be destroyed immediately thereafter.

Where a youthful offender has been charged and the court acquits him, or dismisses the case or commits him to an institution and subsequently releases him pursuant to this Chapter, all the records of his case shall be destroyed immediately after such acquittal, dismissal or release, unless civil liability has also been imposed in the criminal action, in which case such records shall be destroyed after satisfaction of such civil liability. The youthful offender concerned shall not be held under any provision of law, to be guilty of perjury or of concealment or misrepresentation by reason of his failure to acknowledge the case or recite any fact related thereto in response to any inquiry made of him for any purpose.

"Records" within the meaning of this article shall include those which may be in the files of the National Bureau of Investigation and with any police department, or any other government agency which may have been involved in the case.

Art. 201. Civil Liability of Youthful Offenders. - The civil liability for acts committed by a youthful offender shall devolve upon the offender's father and, in case of his death or incapacity, upon the mother, or in case of her death or incapacity, upon the guardian. Civil liability may also be voluntarily assumed by a relative or family friend of the youthful offender.

Art. 202. Rehabilitation Centers. - The Department of Social Welfare shall establish regional rehabilitation centers for youthful offenders. The local government and other non-governmental entities shall collaborate and contribute their support for the establishment and maintenance of these facilities.

Art. 203. Detention Homes. - The Department of Local Government and Community Development shall establish detention homes in cities and provinces distinct and separate from jails pending the disposition of cases of juvenile offenders.

Art. 204. Liability of Parents or Guardian or Any Person in the Commission of Delinquent Acts by Their Children or Wards. - A person whether the parent or guardian of the child or not, who knowingly or willfully,

      (1) Aids, causes, abets or connives with the commission by a child of a delinquency, or

      (2) Does any act producing, promoting, or contributing to a child's being or becoming a juvenile delinquent, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred pesos or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.

TITLE IX
COUNCIL FOR THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH
 
Chapter 1
CREATION AND COMPOSITION
 
Art. 205. Creation of the Council for the Welfare of Children. - A Council for the Welfare of Children is hereby established under the Office of President. The Council shall be composed of the Secretary of Social Welfare as Chairman, and seven members, namely: The Secretary of Justice, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Education and Culture, the Secretary of Health, the Presiding Judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, City of Manila, and two representatives of voluntary welfare associations to be appointed by the President of the Philippines, each of whom shall hold office for a term two years.

There shall be a permanent Secretariat for the Council headed by an Executive Director, to be appointed by the Chairman and approved by a majority of the members of the Council.

For actual attendance at regular meetings, the Chairman and each member of the Council shall receive a per diem of one hundred pesos for every meeting actually attended, but the total amount of per diem that the Chairman and a member may receive in a month shall in no case exceed five hundred pesos.

Art. 206. Appropriation. - The sum of five million pesos is hereby appropriated, out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the operation and maintenance of the Council for the Welfare of Children and Youth during the fiscal year. Thereafter, such sums as may be necessary for its operation and maintenance shall be included in the General Appropriations Decree.
 
Chapter 2
POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
 
Art. 207. Powers and Functions. - The Council for the Welfare of Children and Youth shall have the following powers and functions:

      (1) To coordinate the implementation and enforcement of all laws relative to the promotion of child and youth welfare;

      (2) To prepare, submit to the President and circulate copies of long-range programs and goals for the physical, intellectual , emotional, moral, spiritual, and social development of children and youth, and to submit to him an annual report of the progress thereof;

      (3) To formulate policies and devise, introduce, develop and evaluate programs and services for the general welfare of children and youth;

      (4) To call upon and utilize any department, bureau, office, agency, or instrumentality, public, private or voluntary, for such assistance as it may require in the performance of its functions;

      (5) Perform such other functions as provided by law.

Art. 208. Offices to Coordinate with the Council for Welfare of Children. - The following offices and agencies shall coordinate with the Council for the Welfare of Children and Youth in the implementation of laws and programs on child and youth welfare:

      (1) Department of Justice

      (2) Department of Social Welfare

      (3) Department of Education and Culture

      (4) Department of Labor

      (5) Department of Health

      (6) Department of Agriculture

      (7) Department of Local Government and Community Development;

      (8) Local Councils for the Protection of Children; and such other government and private agencies which have programs on child and youth welfare.

Existing as well as proposed programs of the above-named agencies as well as other government and private child and youth welfare agencies as may be hereafter created shall be implemented by such agencies: Provided, That, with the exception of those proposed by the Local Councils for the Protection of Children, all long-range child and youth welfare programs shall, before implementation, be indorsed by the agencies concerned to their respective departments, which shall in turn indorse the same to the Council for the Welfare on Children and Youth, for evaluation, cooperation and coordination.
 
Chapter 3
IMPLEMENTATION OF CODE AND RULE-MAKING AUTHORITY
 
Art. 209. Implementation of this Code and Rule-Making Authority. - The enforcement and implementation of this Code shall be the primary responsibility of the Council for the Welfare of Children. Said Council shall have authority to promulgate the necessary rules and regulations for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this Code.
 
FINAL PROVISIONS
 
Art. 210. General Penalty. - Violations of any provisions of this Code for which no penalty is specifically provided shall be punished by imprisonment not exceeding one month or a fine not exceeding two hundred pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court, unless a higher penalty is provided for in the Revised Penal Code or special laws.

Art. 211. Repealing Clause. - All laws or parts of any laws inconsistent with the provisions of this Code are hereby repealed or modified accordingly: Provided, That the provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 and amendments thereto shall continue to be in force and shall not be deemed modified or repealed by any provision of this Code.

Art. 212. Separability Clause. - If any provision of this Code is held invalid, the other provisions not affected thereby shall continue in operation.

Art. 213. Effectivity Clause. - This Code shall take effect six months after its approval.
Done in the City of Manila, this 10th day of December, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-four.

Republic Act No. 8043 Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995

AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE RULES TO GOVERN INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION OF FILIPINO CHILDREN, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

 

ARTICLE I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. Short Title. — This Act shall be known as the "Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995."

Sec. 2. Declaration of Policy. — It is hereby declared the policy of the State to provide every neglected and abandoned child with a family that will provide such child with love and care as well as opportunities for growth and development. Towards this end, efforts shall be exerted to place the child with an adoptive family in the Philippines. However, recognizing that inter-country adoption may be considered as allowing aliens not presently allowed by law to adopt Filipino children if such children cannot be adopted by qualified Filipino citizens or aliens, the State shall take measures to ensure that inter-country adoptions are allowed when the same shall prove beneficial to the child's best interests, and shall serve and protect his/her fundamental rights.

Sec. 3. Definition of Terms. — As used in this Act. the term:

    (a) Inter-country adoption refers to the socio-legal process of adopting a Filipino child by a foreigner or a Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad where the petition is filed, the supervised trial custody is undertaken, and the decree of adoption is issued outside the Philippines.
   

    (b) Child means a person below fifteen (15) years of age unless sooner emancipated by law.

    (c) Department refers to the Department of Social Welfare and Development of the Republic of the Philippines.

    (d) Secretary refers to the Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

    (e) Authorized and accredited agency refers to the State welfare agency or a licensed adoption agency in the country of the adopting parents which provide comprehensive social services and which is duly recognized by the Department.

    (f) Legally-free child means a child who has been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to the Department, in accordance with the Child and Youth Welfare Code.

    (g) Matching refers to the judicious pairing of the adoptive child and the applicant to promote a mutually satisfying parent-child relationship.

    (h) Board refers to the Inter-country Adoption Board.

ARTICLE II
THE INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTION BOARD

Sec. 4. The Inter-Country Adoption Board. — There is hereby created the Inter-Country Adoption Board, hereinafter referred to as the Board to act as the central authority in matters relating to inter-country adoption. It shall act as the policy-making body for purposes of carrying out the provisions of this Act, in consultation and coordination with the Department, the different child-care and placement agencies, adoptive agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations engaged in child-care and placement activities. As such, it shall:

    (a) Protect the Filipino child from abuse, exploitation, trafficking and/or sale or any other practice in connection with adoption which is harmful, detrimental, or prejudicial to the child;  

    (b) Collect, maintain, and preserve confidential information about the child and the adoptive parents;

    (c) Monitor, follow up, and facilitate completion of adoption of the child through authorized and accredited agency;

    (d) Prevent improper financial or other gain in connection with an adoption and deter improper practices contrary to this Act;

    (e) Promote the development of adoption services including post-legal adoption;

    (f) License and accredit child-caring/placement agencies and collaborate with them in the placement of Filipino children;

    (g) Accredit and authorize foreign adoption agency in the placement of Filipino children in their own country; and

    (h) Cancel the license to operate and blacklist the child-caring and placement agency or adoptive agency involved from the accreditation list of the Board upon a finding of violation of any provision under this Act.

Sec. 5. Composition of the Board. — The Board shall be composed of the Secretary of the Department as ex officio Chairman, and six (6) other members to be appointed by the President for a nonrenewable term of six (6) years: Provided, That there shall be appointed one (1) psychiatrist or psychologist, two (2) lawyers who shall have at least the qualifications of a regional trial court judge, one (1) registered social worker and two (2) representatives from non-governmental organizations engaged in child-caring and placement activities. The members of the Board shall receive a per diem allowance of One thousand five hundred pesos (P1,500) for each meeting attended by them: Provided, further, That no compensation shall be paid for more than four (4) meetings a month.

Sec. 6. Powers and Functions of the Board. — The Board shall have the following powers and functions:

    (a) to prescribe rules and regulations as it may deem reasonably necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act, after consultation and upon favorable recommendation of the different agencies concerned with the child-caring, placement, and adoption;  

    (b) to set the guidelines for the convening of an Inter-country Adoption Placement Committee which shall be under the direct supervision of the Board;

    (c) to set the guidelines for the manner by which selection/matching of prospective adoptive parents and adoptive child can be made;

    (d) to determine a reasonable schedule of fees and charges to be exacted in connection with the application for adoption;

    (e) to determine the form and contents of the application for inter-country adoption;

    (g) to institute systems and procedures to prevent improper financial gain in connection with adoption and deter improper practices which are contrary to this Act;

    (h) to promote the development of adoption services, including post-legal adoption services,

    (i) to accredit and authorize foreign private adoption agencies which have demonstrated professionalism, competence and have consistently pursued non-profit objectives to engage in the placement of Filipino children in their own country: Provided, That such foreign private agencies are duly authorized and accredited by their own government to conduct inter-country adoption: Provided, however, That the total number of authorized and accredited foreign private adoption agencies shall not exceed one hundred (100) a year;

    (j) to take appropriate measures to ensure confidentiality of the records of the child, the natural parents and the adoptive parents at all times;

    (k) to prepare, review or modify, and thereafter, recommend to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Memoranda of Agreement respecting inter-country adoption consistent with the implementation of this Act and its stated goals, entered into, between and among foreign governments, international organizations and recognized international non-governmental organizations;

    (l) to assist other concerned agencies and the courts in the implementation of this Act, particularly as regards coordination with foreign persons, agencies and other entities involved in the process of adoption and the physical transfer of the child; and

    (m) to perform such other functions on matters relating to inter-country adoption as may be determined by the President.

ARTICLE III
PROCEDURE

Sec. 7. Inter-Country Adoption as the Last Resort. — The Board shall ensure that all possibilities for adoption of the child under the Family Code have been exhausted and that inter-country adoption is in the best interest of the child. Towards this end, the Board shall set up the guidelines to ensure that steps will be taken to place the child in the Philippines before the child is placed for inter-country adoption: Provided, however, That the maximum number that may be allowed for foreign adoption shall not exceed six hundred (600) a year for the first five (5) years.

Sec. 8. Who May be Adopted. — Only a legally free child may be the subject of inter-country adoption. In order that such child may be considered for placement, the following documents must be submitted to the Board:

    (a)Child study;

    (b)Birth certificate/foundling certificate;

    (c)Deed of voluntary commitment/decree of abandonment/death certificate of parents;

    (d)Medical evaluation /history;

    (e)Psychological evaluation, as necessary; and

    (f)Recent photo of the child.

Sec. 9. Who May Adopt. — An alien or a Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad may file an application for inter-country adoption of a Filipino child if he/she:

    (a) is at least twenty-seven (27) years of age and at least sixteen (16) years older than the child to be adopted, at the time of application unless the adopter is the parent by nature of the child to be adopted or the spouse of such parent:

    (b) if married, his/her spouse must jointly file for the adoption;

    (c) has the capacity to act and assume all rights and responsibilities of parental authority under his national laws, and has undergone the appropriate counseling from an accredited counselor in his/her country;

    (d) has not been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;

    (e) is eligible to adopt under his/her national law;

    (f) is in a position to provide the proper care and support and to give the necessary moral values and example to all his children, including the child to be adopted;

    (g) agrees to uphold the basic rights of the child as embodied under Philippine laws, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to abide by the rules and regulations issued to implement the provisions of this Act;

    (h) comes from a country with whom the Philippines has diplomatic relations and whose government maintains a similarly authorized and accredited agency and that adoption is allowed under his/her national laws; and

    (i) possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications provided herein and in other applicable Philippine laws.

Sec. 10. Where to File Application. — An application to adopt a Filipino child shall be filed either with the Philippine Regional Trial Court having jurisdiction over the child, or with the Board, through an intermediate agency, whether governmental or an authorized and accredited agency, in the country of the prospective adoptive parents, which application shall be in accordance with the requirements as set forth in the implementing rules and regulations to be promulgated by the Board.
The application shall be supported by the following documents written and officially translated in English.

    (a) Birth certificate of applicant(s);

    (b) Marriage contract, if married, and divorce decree, if applicable;

    (c) Written consent of their biological or adoptive children above ten (10) years of age, in the form of sworn statement;

    (d) Physical, medical and psychological evaluation by a duly licensed physician and psychologist;

    (e) Income tax returns or any document showing the financial capability of the applicant(s);

    (f) Police clearance of applicant(s);

    (g) Character reference from the local church/minister, the applicant's employer and a member of the immediate community who have known the applicant(s) for at least five (5) years; and

    (h) Recent postcard-size pictures of the applicant(s) and his immediate family;

The Rules of Court shall apply in case of adoption by judicial proceedings.

Sec. 11. Family Selection/Matching. — No child shall be matched to a foreign adoptive family unless it is satisfactorily shown that the child cannot be adopted locally. The clearance, as issued by the Board, with the copy of the minutes of the meetings, shall form part of the records of the child to be adopted. When the Board is ready to transmit the Placement Authority to the authorized and accredited inter-country adoption agency and all the travel documents of the child are ready, the adoptive parents, or any one of them, shall personally fetch the child in the Philippines.
Sec. 12. Pre-adoptive Placement Costs. — The applicant(s) shall bear the following costs incidental to the placement of the child;

    (a) The cost of bringing the child from the Philippines to the residence of the applicant(s) abroad, including all travel expenses within the Philippines and abroad; and

    (b) The cost of passport, visa, medical examination and psychological evaluation required, and other related expenses.

Sec. 13. Fees, Charges and Assessments. — Fees, charges, and assessments collected by the Board in the exercise of its functions shall be used solely to process applications for inter-country adoption and to support the activities of the Board.

Sec. 14. Supervision of Trial Custody. — The governmental agency or the authorized and accredited agency in the country of the adoptive parents which filed the application for inter-country adoption shall be responsible for the trial custody and the care of the child. It shall also provide family counseling and other related services. The trial custody shall be for a period of six (6) months from the time of placement. Only after the lapse of the period of trial custody shall a decree of adoption be issued in the said country a copy of which shall be sent to the Board to form part of the records of the child. During the trial custody, the adopting parent(s) shall submit to the governmental agency or the authorized and accredited agency, which shall in turn transmit a copy to the Board, a progress report of the child's adjustment. The progress report shall be taken into consideration in deciding whether or not to issue the decree of adoption.

The Department of Foreign Affairs shall set up a system by which Filipino children sent abroad for trial custody are monitored and checked as reported by the authorized and accredited inter-country adoption agency as well as the repatriation to the Philippines of a Filipino child whose adoption has not been approved.

Sec. 15. Executive Agreements. — The Department of Foreign Affairs, upon representation of the Board, shall cause the preparation of Executive Agreements with countries of the foreign adoption agencies to ensure the legitimate concurrence of said countries in upholding the safeguards provided by this Act.

ARTICLE IV
PENALTIES

Sec. 16. Penalties. — (a) Any person who shall knowingly participate in the conduct or carrying out of an illegal adoption, in violation of the provisions of this Act, shall be punished with a penalty of imprisonment ranging from six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years and/or a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000), but not more than Two hundred thousand pesos (P200.000), at the discretion of the court. For purposes of this Act, an adoption is illegal if it is effected in any manner contrary to the provisions of this Act or established State policies, its implementing rules and regulations, executive agreements, and other laws pertaining to adoption. Illegality may be presumed from the following acts:

    (1)consent for an adoption was acquired through, or attended by coercion, fraud, improper material inducement;

    (2)there is no authority from the Board to effect adoption;

    (3)the procedures and safeguards placed under the law for adoption were not complied with; and

    (4)the child to be adopted is subjected to, or exposed to danger, abuse and exploitation.

(b)Any person who shall violate established regulations relating to the confidentiality and integrity of records, documents and communications of adoption applications, cases and processes shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from one (1) year and one (1) day to two (2) years, and/or a fine of not less than Five thousand pesos (P5,000), but not more than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000), at the discretion of the court.

A penalty lower by two (2) degrees than that prescribed for the consummated felony under this Article shall be imposed upon the principals of the attempt to commit any of the acts herein enumerated.

Acts punishable under this Article, when committed by a syndicate or where it involves two or more children shall be considered as an offense constituting child trafficking and shall merit the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

Acts punishable under this Article are deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring and/or confederating with one another in carrying out any of the unlawful acts defined under this Article.Penalties as are herein provided shall be in addition to any other penalties which may be imposed for the same acts punishable under other laws, ordinances, executive orders, and proclamations.

Sec. 17. Public Officers as Offenders. — Any government official, employee or functionary who shall be found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this Act, or who shall conspire with private individuals shall, in addition to the above-prescribed penalties, be penalized in accordance with existing civil service laws, rules and regulations: Provided, That upon the filing of a case, either administrative or criminal, said government official, employee or functionary concerned shall automatically suffer suspension until the resolution of the case.

ARTICLE V
FINAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 18. Implementing Rules and Regulations. — The Inter-country Adoption Board, in coordination with the Council for the Welfare of Children, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Department of Justice, after due consultation with agencies involved in child-care and placement, shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Act within six (6) months after its effectivity.

Sec. 19. Appropriations. — The amount of Five million pesos (P5,000,000) is hereby appropriated from the proceeds of the Lotto for the initial operations of the Board and subsequently the appropriations of the same shall be included in the General Appropriations Act for the year following its enactment.

Sec. 20. Separability Clause. — If any provision, or part hereof is held invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder of the law or the provision not otherwise affected, shall remain valid and subsisting.

Sec. 21. Repealing Clause. — Any law, decree, executive order, administrative order or rules and regulations contrary to, or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, modified or amended accordingly.

Sec. 22. Effectivity Clause. — This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.
 
 
Approved: June 7, 1995