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Factors to Consider when Choosing Surname of Illegitimate Child

Illegitimate children can now use their father’s surnames under certain conditions, particularly when the father acknowledges paternity either at the back of the child’s birth certificate (upon birth) or in a separate public document (after registration of the birth certificate). The decision to use the father’s surname, however, initially rests with the child’s parents and this choice can have legal consequences that can be helpful or disadvantageous, depending on the situation of the child’s parents. Thus, mothers are strongly advised to determine their goals in using the father’s surname and to anticipate their future needs before naming their child’s father in the birth certificate.

Some advantages in using the father’s surname

  • Support:  Filiation or being the alleged father’s child is an important requirement for claiming support. Acknowledgment in the birth certificate is the best way to prove filiation or paternity in court. While there are other ways of proving paternity in court, the father’s paternity acknowledgment or Affidavit allowing the illegitimate child to use his surname will save you additional time and expenses for proving their relationship through other means.
  • Future inheritance:  Also known as legitime in legal language, the right to inherit from the illegitimate father depends on the child’s relationship, as established through the paternity acknowledgment in the birth certificate or other means.
  • Stigma of illegitimacy:  Under the old rules before RA 9255, the illegitimate child automatically bears the mother’s surname but will not use a middle name. This immediately exposes the child’s illegitimate status in a society where illegitimate children are generally viewed as evidence of an extra marital indiscretion or pre-marital “accidents” (Fil: “disgrasya“).  Please note that allowing the illegitimate child to use the father’s surname DOES NOT make the child legitimate; however, it does reduce the stigma attached to illegitimate children who no longer have to explain why their last names are not consistent with their father’s.

Some challenges that can arise from letting an illegitimate child use the father’s surname:

  • Personal choice of the child:  The parents of an illegitimate child may end their relationship on a sour note and go their separate ways with so much ill feelings that can lead to the child’s desire not to bear the father’s surname.  Please note that while letting the child use the father’s surname is a simple administrative procedure at the civil registry where the birth certificate was recorded, changing the surname after using RA 9255 is not as quick and easy and requires a petition to be filed and heard in court.  The mother who files the petition for change of her child’s surname back to her own surname may not be assured of a favorable decision as the Supreme Court has a previous ruling that considers such a petition for change of surname to be premature if filed by the child’s mother.  In a petition for change of surname while the child is a minor, the court may let the child make that choice later when they are at least 18 years old.   So, in the meantime, the illegitimate child will have to bear the father’s surname whether he likes it or not.
  • Absentee father:  Some fathers manage to physically disappear from the lives of their illegitimate children and fail to provide child support, leaving their mothers with no choice but to find ways and means to make ends meet such as working abroad.  To avoid being separated, the mother may wish to have her illegitimate child migrate abroad and live with her. This move will require the child to apply for the appropriate visa and submit certain documents in support of the visa application. If the child’s birth certificate contains the illegitimate father’s name, immigration officers may require a court order as proof of the mother’s right of custody.   On the other hand, if the child’s birth certificate does not bear the father’s name (i.e. “unknown”), then it may be possible to refer the immigration officer’s attention to Article 176 of the Family Code which readily provides that the mother of an illegitimate child shall exercise sole parental authority.   The father’s consent is also necessary in adoption, a possible solution for mothers who are able to move on and marry men who are not the biological fathers of their children. This consent may not be necessary if the child’s birth certificate states “unknown” in the space provided for the father’s name.
  • Parental kidnapping: Bitter custody battles can lead to the extreme situation of parental kidnapping where the father who is likely unable to gain custody (as the mother is the preferred parent for children under 7 years old and for illegitimate children regardless of age) manages to take the child to another country without the mother’s consent.  It won’t be as easy for the father to do this if the child’s passport bears a different surname from the father’s.  The child may not be allowed to leave the country unless the father can show a DSWD travel clearance (which requires the written consent of the mother).  Of course, the best protection against the child’s unauthorized travel abroad is to secure the passport of the child under lock and key.
  • Proof of illicit (extra marital) relations: Paternity acknowledgment in the illegitimate child’s birth certificate may expose their parents to legal complications as the birth certificate may later be used as evidence of adulterous relationships, if one or both are still married to other persons at the time the child was conceived.
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Traveling with Minors

Semestral or summer school breaks are great opportunities for children to travel abroad.

When traveling with minors, the key to a stress-free journey is advanced preparation. Here are some things to remember:

1.  For travels abroad, as a rule of thumb, a child will need a valid passport with at least 6 months left in its expiry period.

2.  Always check passports for expiry dates and apply for a renewal passport at the soonest time.  The Department of Foreign Affairs is reportedly experiencing some delays in the release of passports with RUSH applications reaching several weeks!

3.  A minor (below 18 years old) Filipino who is not traveling with any of his/her parents must have a travel clearance obtained from the DSWD.  Click on this link to learn more about the Travel Clearance and who needs it. 

4.  Parents with pending child custody cases should first obtain a favorable order from the court regarding any foreign travel to avoid being stopped at the airport (port of exit). Some immigration officers don’t bother to check the authority of parents to bring their children out of the country, but others still do.

5.  It can be especially stressful to lose a passport when one is abroad. Always keep photocopies of all the pages of a child’s passport to facilitate applications for new ones in case of loss or renewal.

6.  Teach children not to accept packages from anyone (friends and relatives included) to be carried or packed in any of their belongings.  Prohibited or illegal objects found in their possession during routine airport checks may subject them to penalties simply by having them in their luggage, bags or pockets.

7.  Make sure that your child carries a maximum of Php 10,000 (pesos).  If more, then you may have to secure prior approval to do so from the Bangko Sentral.  I suggest giving your child travelers checks which are typically denominated in US dollars or wherever possible, letting your child carry a supplement credit card that is internationally acceptable to finance his or her needs abroad.

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Letting Illegitimate Child Use Father’s Surname- RA 9255

Children born out of wedlock, also known as illegitimate children, may use the surname of the father under Republic Act No. 9255.

All you need is to file the necessary application with the civil registry of the place where your child was born along with the following documents:

  1. Certified true copy of child’s birth certificate (most require NSO certificates)
  2. Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father (see attached form)
  3. Valid IDs of parents or the registrant if 18 years or older.
  4. For certificates of live birth with unknown fathers, submit additional documents such as the affidavit of acknowledgment/paternity and documents showing father’s signature like SSS, GSIS Policy Contract, ITR, PhilHealth and other proof of filiation.
  5. Note: In some cities/municipalities, the local civil registrar may require the personal appearance of the mother and father to confirm their identities.

Processing time can vary but will usually take a week.  Estimated cost Php1,000.00.

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Can Father of Illegitimate Child Obtain Custody when Mother is Abroad?

An illegitimate child is one who is born of parents who were not legally married to one another at the time of the child’s birth, and who remain unmarried to one another.

By law and jurisprudence, the mother of an illegitimate child has sole parental authority and is entitled to keep the child in her company.  This rule continues to apply even when the father of the child acknowledges filiation (paternity), although the court may order the father to provide support as a result of the acknowledgment, but not custody.

In one case (Briones vs. Miguel, GR 156343, Oct. 18, 2004), the Supreme Court upheld the illegitimate child’s mother’s custody even when the mother was working in Japan and eventually brought the child out of the country to live with her there.

True, there are exceptions to this rule but only when there are compelling reasons to deprive the mother of custody.  Examples are neglect or abandonment, unemployment, immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity, and affliction with a communicable disease.

Merely working abroad while entrusting the child to the care of the maternal grandparents or other immediate family member does not seem to be one of the grounds for taking away custody from the mother.  It cannot be considered as abandonment or neglect as well.

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About 13th Month Pay

When the last quarter or ‘-ber’ months of the year come in, thoughts of 13th month pay enter the minds of both employers and employees.  This mandatory payment under a specific law (PD851) generally covers all rank and file employees who have worked for at least one (1) month during the calendar year.  (A calendar year is the period starting from January to December).

Who are not covered

The following employers are not covered by PD 851:

  1. The government and any of its political subdivisions, including government-owned and controlled corporations, except those corporations operating essentially as private subsidiaries of the government.
  2. Employers already paying their employees a 13th month pay or more in a calendar year or its equivalent at the time of the issuance of PD 851.
  3. Employers of household helpers and persons in the personal service of another in relation to such workers    Note: Under the new Kasambahay Law, household helpers are now entitled to 13th-month pay.
  4. Employers of those who are paid on purely commission, boundary, or task basis, and those who are paid a fixed amount for performing specific work, regardless of the time spent performing such work.  BUT workers paid on piece rate basis are entitled to 13th-month pay.

Workers paid on piece-rate are those who are paid a standard or fixed amount for every piece or unit of work performed or produced that is more or less regularly replicated, regardless of the amount of time spent by the worker in producing the same.  Some factory workers and those employed in cottage industries often fall under this type of work.  Under PD 851, these workers must be given 13th month pay.

Time of payment:  The deadline for the release of the 13th month pay is on December 24 each year.  Employers have the option of giving out one half (1/2) of the 13th month pay before the opening of the regular school year and the other half on or before December 24.

Note: The DOLE Call Center at Hotline 2917 from your Globe or TM mobile phones, 908-2917 from your fixed-line phones for free, or text (SMS) 2910. Concerns may also be addressed to the Bureau of Working Conditions at tel. no. 527-3000 local 301 and 307; email bureauofworkingconditions@gmail.com; bwcdole@gmail.com.

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Legal Labor Options for Distressed Companies

Balancing financial survival and the rights of employees during economic downtimes can be tricky for companies whose primary concern is to keep the business afloat for the benefit of everyone– shareholders, employees and clients.

Philippine labor laws are typically favorable to the employee with more rights and labor standards deemed by many foreigners doing business in the Philippines as obstacles to business growth.

Small and medium sized companies that struggle with dwindling revenues and lack of financing sources often wonder what their legal options are.  The following suggestions are not magic bullets that offer quick cures for your business problems, but these may help manage brewing labor issues before they escalate into expensive litigation. Continue reading

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Proof of Relationship In Cases of Illegitimate Child Support

Generally, an illegitimate child is entitled to support but the law requires proof of filiation or relationship between the child and the supposed father.

The Supreme Court, in a line of cases, considered the following as acceptable proof of filiation:

  • voluntary recognition by the father in the birth certificate, will, or a statement before a court of record
  • an admission of filiation in a public instrument or a private handwritten instrument(document) AND signed by the parent concerned
  • a notarized agreement to support a child in which the father admitted his relationship to the child
  • letters to the mother vowing to be a good father to the child AND pictures of the father cuddling the child on various occasions, TOGETHER with the certificate of live birth.

So far, it seems that in the Philippines, only the University of the Philippines National Science Research Institute (UP-NSRI) DNA Analysis Laboratory has the capability to conduct DNA typing using short tandem repeat (STR) analysis.

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Computation of Termination Pay

A requirement for valid dismissal of employment is the payment of the correct value of termination pay. The Labor Code prescribes minimum standards for the computation of termination pay.

The minimum amount of a terminated or dismissed employee’s termination pay depends on the reason or ground for his dismissal, either a half month’s pay or one month’s pay for every year of service, but in no case will an employee get the equivalent of less than one month’s pay.

Cases where employee is entitled to a half month’s pay for every year of service:

  1. Retrenchment to prevent losses, i.e. reduction of personnel affected by management to prevent losses
  2. Closure or cessation of operation of an establishment not due to serious losses or financial reverses; and
  3. When the employee is suffering from a disease not curable within a period of six (6) months and his continued employment is prejudicial to his health or to the health of his co-employees.

Situations when an employee is entitled to one month’s pay for every year of service:

  1. Installation of labor-saving device, such as replacement of employees by machineries or computerization;
  2. Redundancy, as when the position of the employee has been found to be surplusage or unnecessary in the operation of the enterprise;
  3. Impossible reinstatement of the employee to his former position or to a substantially equivalent position for reasons not attributable to the fault of the employer, as when the reinstatement ordered by a competent authority cannot be implemented due to closure or cessation of operations of the establishment or employer, or when the position to which he is to be reinstated no longer exists and there is not substantially equivalent position in the establishment to which he can be assigned.

Read more about the proper computation of termination pay and other legal requirements for dismissing employees from Guide to Valid Dismissal of Employees by Atty. Elvin Villanueva.

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Do I Have to Get a Travel Clearance to Bring my Illegitimate Child Abroad?

Reader I*** sent in this question:

What if the child is illegitimate but she bears the father’s family name. The father no longer sees her and does not give support as well or even tried to communicate. Are there any necessary documentation that the mother needs to file in order to bring the Child abroad? What possible grounds can a father file for the illegitimate child not to be brought abroad by the mother? And what can a mother do in order to make sure that the father will not try and stop her from bringing her child?

CFlorido says:

Hi, I***.
Illegitimate children are under the custody of the mother and for as long as the child is traveling with one of the parents, he or she need not have a travel clearance. In the situation cited, you said that the child bears the surname of the father, in which case, the mother should be prepared to show proof of her relationship to the child, usually a birth certificate (bring along an Affidavit of Illegitimacy as well). If the father has an existing visitation or custody arrangement approved in court then he may take steps to prevent the child from leaving the country including alerting the Bureau of Immigration. There is no specific guarantee against this move because the father has a right to have access to his minor child. I hope this helps.

You may also want to read:

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Query: Can Children Travel Abroad without Father’s Consent?

MDO wrote:

Hi, I have a friend who is separated with his wife, and has 2 kids. Is it possible for the mother to take the kids out of the country away from their father?  The kids follow their dad’s last name.  The mother needs to seek consent from the biological father in order to do that right? Thank you and hoping for your quick response.

Legal Advice:

Generally, the rule is minor children (below the age of 18) cannot leave the country unaccompanied by a parent (father or mother).  See also DSWD rules on Travel Clearance for Minors.   Click here to get the DSWD Travel Consent Form if your child needs it to leave the country.

Assuming that the father has a custody agreement or court order that prohibits the mother from taking the children out of the country without his consent, she can still succeed in bringing the children out of the country unless a hold departure order is issued and brought to the attention of immigration officers at the port of departure.  It is the father’s duty to inform the Bureau of Immigration of such hold order so that Immigration can put the children’s names on a watch list.
From experience,  Immigration officers usually question situations when the minor children are accompanied by an adult who does not appear to be the parent, such as, when the mom’s passport does not bear the same surname of the children; otherwise, she is usually granted passage with the children.
What is the father’s recourse? If he fears that the mother plans to alienate him from the children and has no intention to let them return to the Philippines, then he must consult a lawyer who can recommend and take the appropriate legal action in court. I hope this helps.
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Valid Dismissal of Employees: Recommended reading for HR practitioners

Every business owner, employer and HR officer in the Philippines should know the rules on valid dismissal of employees. In the world of Human Resources, hiring and firing can make or break the company.

Most of the problems Human Resources personnel face involve discipline and dismissal of errant employees.  Human resources specialists typically come from behavioral sciences courses and are unfamiliar with legal procedures that have to be observed in meting out suspension and termination

Illegal dismissal cases are easily filed in the labor courts.  They are a source of headaches for the employer who has to go through the hassle of attending time-consuming hearings and be sanctioned for not following correct procedures in firing. 

An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure.

Don’t make the mistake of firing someone on the spot just because you’ve had enough of your employee’s behavior.  While you may have every right to terminate your employee, lack of compliance with legal requirements for dismissal may cost you money in the form of damages and backwages. If you follow the rules of valid dismissal of employees, your employee won’t even think of running to the labor arbiter. Be prepared and show your employees that you mean business by observing the proper procedures of valid dismissal.

You need not be a lawyer or hire one just to fire people the legal way.  If you can read and follow simple rules, you’ll do just fine.

What every practitioner must have

 The author, Atty. Elvin Villanueva,  is a legal professional and HR practitioner. He combines legal knowledge and valuable experience in this book which can greatly help unsure HR specialists. An e-book is also in the works with suggested forms for notices of dismissal and other important documents to guide the HR specialist.  Available NOW at Php697.00. Buy your copy here.

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The Essentials of a Parenting Agreement

The parenting agreement is the basic foundation of most custody arrangements. In some cases, major support issues are tackled in the same parenting agreement. A parenting agreement applies to co-parents, whether they were formerly married to one another or not.

Once a parenting agreement is signed by the parties and affirmed by the court in a judicial order, it becomes the law between the parties. As such, the parenting agreement determines the rights and duties of the parties with respect to their children.

A carefully worded parenting agreement is very important. Violations of the agreement can give rise to a legal action for breach of contract or to a motion for contempt against the breaching party. Thus, whether you are drafting the agreement on your own or with the help of an attorney, remember that a good agreement is Clear, Brief and Concise. Some of the best parenting agreements contain the following provisions:

Definition of the visitation schedule or time share.

Avoid general language such as “reasonable visitation”. Times and days should be specified in the clearest terms possible to avoid doubt in the interpretation or an otherwise unfavorable interpretation by your ex. A detailed plan can operate on its own without further need for constant contact with the other party. This is particularly helpful when communications between ex spouses are strained. Example: The Second Party shall fetch the children from the residence of the First Party every Friday at 5 p.m. and shall return the children to the residence of the First Party by 5 p.m. on the Sunday immediately following.

Comprehensive and detailed time sharing plans.

Devote a single paragraph each to weekly schedule, monthly vacations, holidays, birthdays of the children and parents, grandparents’ time, family gatherings and other important dates. Specify starting and ending times to avoid confusion and doubt.

Transportation responsibilities.

Specify whose duty it is to provide transportation to and from each parent’s home.

Communication issues.

Specify phone guidelines, procedure for relaying school notices and information, cancellation notices of parenting schedule and other matters deemed important by the family.

Money matters.

Specify support obligations, amounts, dates when they are due as well as provisions for increases if over and above legal standards. Include matters like health insurance premium, educational tuition fees, college expenses, dental fees, emergency needs and miscellaneous expenses.

Mediation provision.

In case of conflict in the interpretation of provisions of the parenting agreement, or in cases of modification of the agreement, it is best to specify mediation as the primary solution for ironing out differences or changing the agreement’s terms. You may also specify the name of the agency from where the mediator will be chosen. This paragraph should also specify how the mediator’s fees will be paid, and by whom.

Moveaways or relocation provision.

If you are the non-custodial parent, you may also include a clause prohibiting the custodial parent from moving away to a place outside a certain radius from you without prior notification to you and the court, and without your prior approval.

Tax matters.

If you are the non-custodial parent, you may want to negotiate with your ex for a waiver of the tax exemptions applicable for each child. If you have two or more children between you and your ex, you may decide to split the tax exemptions by having her waive the exemption for one child in your favor. If she agrees to the exemption, ensure the execution of the specific waiver by stating that she shall turn over a completed and signed tax exemption waiver form.

Simplified accounting of child support.

This provision not only helps you see where the child support payment is being spent, but it will also help you determine whether the children’s needs are being met by the amount of child support.

Parental decisions.

Some find it necessary to include a statement requiring the custodial parent to discuss and consult first with the non-custodial parent, matters such as the choice of school, medical care or child care before a final decision is reached.

Period of the agreement.

The parties may agree to an effective period of two years and agree to renew the agreement or enter into a new round of discussions for a modified agreement after the initial period has expired.

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Surnames of Illegitimate Children

A child born out of wedlock is, by law, an illegitimate child of both parents. If both parents marry in the future, the child may become legitimated; provided, that the parents of the child were not suffering from any legal impediment to marry each other at the time of the child’s birth. In other words, both parents should have been legally single and free to marry one another, if they wanted to, at the time their lovechild was born. The consequence of the subsequent marriage of such persons is the legitimation of their lovechild.

Legitimation is not automatic. One has to apply for the new status to be reflected in the birth certificate of the child. Legitimation changes the status of the child from illegitimate to legitimate, thereby granting to the child additional rights such as the right to use the father’s surname and to inherit as a legitimate child from both parents. Some seek legitimation for their child for purely social reasons.

An interesting case came up involving two friends who had a lovechild before getting married to one another. The father of the illegitimate child was still legally married to his spouse at the time of the child’s birth, while the child’s mother was single. The subsequent marriage, however, could not result in the legitimation of the illegitimate child because of the legal impediment that existed at the time of her birth.

But what can one do to lessen the stigma that normally attaches to children born out of wedlock,when it is through no fault of their own? Though legitimation is not possible, I advised both parents to file a petition for the child to be allowed to use the surname of the father by virtue of Republic Act No. 9255. Under this law, illegitimate children may be allowed to carry the father’s surname.

One may not be able to wipe out entirely mistakes in one’s past, but one can at least make it less visible to society for the sake of the child.

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Clerical Error Law

Don’t you just hate it when you discover a typo error in your son’s or daughter’s birth certificate especially when an urgent requirement comes up? Previously, one had to go through court proceedings in order to correct one misspelled word or even just one letter. But with the passage of the Clerical Error Law (RA 9048), changes involving spellings in the first name of a person can be done directly by the Civil Registry where the birth, marriage or death certificate is recorded. The law, however, does not cover changes in sex, age, nationality and status of a person.

Can the Father Compel An Illegitimate Child to Use His Surname?

Republic Act 9255 allowing illegitimate children to use their father’s surnames opened the door to illegitimate mothers and fathers eager to let their children bear the father’s surname just like legitimate children. While many saw this as a positive development for illegitimate children long stigmatized for bearing their mother’s surnames and not having middle names, some mothers soon realized the disadvantages of this law.

The problem started when the implementing rules of RA 9255 made it mandatory for illegitimate children to use their father’s surnames upon the execution and registration of the Affidavit Allowing Children to Use the Surname of their Fathers (AUSF)  and the paternity acknowledgment appearing on the back portion of the birth certificate. Mothers and children complained that it was a simple and inexpensive procedure for the fathers, many who disappeared later in the lives of their children, to execute the paternity acknowledgment and voila! the father’s surname becomes the child’s surname. The civil registrars nationwide maintained that it was their duty to register the father’s surname upon seeing the paternity acknowledgment because RA 9255’s implementing rules used the word ‘shall’ instead of ‘may’ in giving effect to the law allowing children to use their father’s surnames.

Today, that conflict has been resolved with the high court’s pronouncement that it was voiding that particular provision in RA 9255’s implementing rules insofar as it provides for the mandatory use of the illegitimate father’s surname. The Supreme Court reiterates that the illegitimate child has the choice of surname by which they wish to be known. (Grande vs. Antonio, GR No. 206248, February 18, 2014)

About the Kasambahay Law

“Kasambahay” or household employee refers to persons who render services at home and are compensated for their services. They are your:

  • yaya
  • cook
  • gardener
  • houseboy
  • laundry person or labandera
  • general househelp

or any other person who regularly performs domestic work in your home. “Family drivers” and other persons who perform work occasionally and not on a regular basis at home are NOT considered “kasambahay” for purposes of the Kasambahay Law.

Employment contract: This law seeks to standardize employment terms of employment by requiring the employer to issue an employment contract to the Kasambahay and to provide the office of the punong barangay a copy of the contract– employers are required to make 3 copies.  The terms and conditions must follow the form of the Employment Contract that the Department of Labor prescribed. You can find the standard format at the DOLE site or click HERE for a free copy.

Payment of certain benefits: In addition to the kasambahay’s monthly salary, the employer is also required to pay the kasambahay’s contribution in SSS, Pag-ibig fund and PhilHealth (if the kasambahay’s monthly salary does not exceed Php 5,000.) The kasambahay is also entitled to 13th month pay and service incentive leave of 5 days.

Other features of the kasambahay law include:

The law (RA 10361) and its implementing rules contain other important provisions that every household employer must know in order to avoid legal labor problems.    If you’re interested in knowing more about the Kasambahay Law and what your rights and obligations are as an employer, you may want to check out the latest book “Batas Kasambahay” written by lawyer, author and Philippine labor law speaker Atty. Elvin Villanueva.  Available at National Book Store outlets and Fully Booked Stores.Batas Kasambahay_Villanueva Final

Infidelity is not always Psychological Incapacity

The current trend in cases decided by the Supreme Court seems to uphold the validity of rocky (even dead) marriages as a recent case decided by the High Court prevented the dissolution of a marriage on the most common ground– psychological incapacity.

In this case, a married couple went their separate ways for more than 5 years, and the husband even lived with a third party and bore 3 children with her.   After the long separation, the husband decided to legally end his first marriage and filed a petition for declaration of nullity (“annulment” to laymen) in court.

The petitioner (husband) went through the usual procedures of proving his wife’s psychological incapacity by:

  • presenting a psychologist and an expert (priest) in canon law
  • alleging that he caught his wife in a hotel room with another man
  • alleging that she played mahjhong all the time and neglected her children
  • went out at night frequently and dated other men
The wife refuted all these allegations saying that she played mahjhong only 3 times a week and always with the husband’s consent, that she was never caught in plain view half naked in a hotel room with another man, and that she took care of all her children. After battling it out in the lower court and Court of Appeals, the parties presented their case to the Supreme Court which upheld the validity of the marriage.  It viewed the acrimony and infidelity of the spouses as circumstances which may have prevented them from keeping their marriage– possible grounds for legal separation, but not necessarily constitutive of psychological incapacity to nullify the marriage.   (The case of Valerio Kalaw vs. Ma. Elena Fernandez, G.R. No. 166357, Sept. 19. 2011)
Personal note:  After having been separated from her husband for so many years, and with full knowledge that he already lives with another woman and 3 children, what could possibly be the reason for the wife’s opposition to the declaration of nullity on ground of psychological incapacity? Pride can be self-defeating.

Instructional Video on How to File A Small Claim in the Philippines

Anyone who has a claim against another  in a total amount not exceeding Php100,000 can file a claim easily and inexpensively in the Small Claims Court in the Philippines.

You won’t need a lawyer to represent you in the hearing and the filing fee is minimal.   The Clerk of Court will guide you in filling up the small claims form and hearing lasts only a day.Watch this video and learn how to do this. You must have people or friends owing you sums of money as friendly loans and who may conveniently just forgot about them.

Times are hard and every single centavo counts when you are talking about surviving day-to-day costs of living.    Consider filing a small claim against the person who has not paid you back.

Don’t lose hope!      Watch this video  and learn.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

New Book and Ebook on Employee Transfer and Demotion (Philippines)

Now available! A Guide book on How to Demote Employees Legally in the Philippines. This book is now available at your favorite bookstores and online at ManilaBookSales.com as an ebook, perfect for your IPAD, tablet, Kindle and other handheld ebook reader. Contact inquiries@demotionsphilippines.com for electronic and hard copies.

Ebooks on Night Shift and Overtime Pay and Leave Benefits

Title:    All you need to know about… Employee Leave Benefits Leave Benefits Ebook

 Synopsis:     “Leave Benefits” refer to absences an employee is allowed to take for various reasons, authorized by law.  It is called a benefit because ordinarily, an employee who avails of a leave benefit is entitled to go on leave and still get paid while on a time off.  Otherwise, all other absences may not be paid by the employer under the “No Work, No Pay” policy of labor laws.

The new book on leave benefits by Atty. Elvin B. Villanueva is a compact yet complete guide on Leave Benefits and is available in ebook form, which makes it even easier to read. 

With an ebook, you save time when looking for what you need and get the exact legal provisions because everything that you need to know has been sifted, lifted and packaged in this electronic pocket guide. This book is also ideal for people on the go. 

 Author Atty. Elvin Villanueva discusses the topic complete with the latest laws and rules and cites actual cases decided by the Supreme Court,  in a language easily understood by the ordinary reader.   

Ebook Topics:  

  • Service Incentive Leave,
  • Maternity,
  • Paternal,
  • Gynecological leave,
  • VAWC leave and other employee leave benefits required by law. 

 Price:  Php397.00 per eBook, ordered and  delivered online. Click here to order your copy.

Author:  Atty. Elvin Villanueva, LVS Publishing

Also available, Ebook on Night Shift and Overtime Pay. Click here to order your copy.