Some questions and answers

Question (from Diana on Child Custody)

“I am a mother of two(15 and 16 years old)and currently working abroad. My ex who is living in Phils. has filed for an annullment and we are still waiting for the court’s decision. My 2 kids are in the custody of my mother but I send them monthly financial support. My questions are: can my ex husband file for a case to get a legal custody of my kids because I am abroad? If yes what are the things I need to do? Thank you. ~ Diana

CFlorido says:

“Yes, Diana, the father of your children can ask for the custody of your children in the same pending case for nullity.
If that happens and you want to oppose his move, you can return to the Philippines and file your opposition stating your reasons which may include any or some of the following:

  • any existing agreement on the custody of the children signed by the father outside court
  • your continuous desire to allow your children to maintain an open and loving relationship with their father
  • the health, safety and welfare of your children
  • any history of child or spousal abuse by their father
  • habitual use of alcohol, dangerous drugs or regulated substances of the other parent
  • marital misconduct
  • where the children are now is the most suitable physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological and educational environment for their development and growth
  • the preference of your childrenI hope that this helps. ~ Atty CFlorido

Question (from H. on Child Support pending Annulment)

“Good day to you,I am so glad to bump into your site.

My husband has been wanting to have our marriage be annuled. I told him that I cannot file the annulment yet because I pay for my daugther’s tuition fee.

He have my son in which he uses to force me in filing the annulment by not allowing to see my boy evrytime her gf pressures him to separate me legally.

I left our home alone more than a year ago and when summer came last year my eldest stayed with me and did not return to his father because she felt that she is being used as a shock absorber of her father’s agony along with my inlaws meddling and badmouthing against me.

My husband said that he can no longer wait of when am I filing the annulment because he is too scared that her gf would leave him again. He told me last night that he made a sworn statement regarding his complaint against me and that will lead to annulment.

We both want to be annuled but there are two reason that I couldn’t do it. First,I am not financially and emotionally prepared. Second if ever I will have the child custody he might not support them adequately and might intentionally forget his duty if he is not in the mood.
He is a school bus operator and earns around P40thou but I know that he only declared a VERY SMALL amount of income comparing to how much he really earns.

He said that he is a changed man and should give him a chance in believing that he will not run away from his obligation but I told him it should be in writing or I should take it into court. My problem is, what if the mediator or the court calculate of what is declared in his ITR,where I know that is not the real and actual amount?

He actually agreed that I could file a civil case for support before the annulment and he will be giving more than what is being stated. I told him if he do not give sufficient amount I will put him in trouble(like reporting him for tax evasion). He promised that he will never neglect his children but he had a plan of having 2 more children to his “would be wife”, I believe one day he will complain and would not give what is right for MY children because of having too much obligation.

Yes,I know he is galant when he have money and when he is in the right mood. I’d like to add that he is very temperamental,a habitual liar and inconsistent person. Somehow,he brings the kids to the mall and buys them whatever they want in which I cannot afford to do so. I want us to be civil with each other but I don’t want to end up begging for his help. What shall i do?

Can I file annulment then ask for temporary support(but he have my son)OR take my son first and ask for child support then file an annulment?

I am tired of crying evrytime he uses my son to pressure me. My son is even jealous of his sister asking why did I leave him and why can’t I take him too.  I couldn’t explain him that his father will not support them ifever I take him with me.  There are time my husband would say I could both have the kids and support them and there are time that he will not support them and just hide from his obligation.   I am so emotionally battered with this problem.I am so glad to leave that psycho but there are children involve.

Please Ma’am tell me what to do.
Thank you for your time and God bless you for sharing us your wisdom.”

LegalCounseling says:

Hello, H*****.
Due to the lengthy nature of your inquiry, I would like to reply directly
to your mail instead of posting it on the website although I may decide to
publish relevant portions of this reply to the site later.

1.  On who should file: your husband can file the petition for nullity
(annulment) if he is the one who wishes for it.  He can cite his own
psychological incapacity (assuming that this is his ground for filing) or his own failure to comply with the essential marital
obligations and hire a specialist (psychologist or psychiatrist) to attest
to this in court. You may also file the petition yourself and cite his
psychological incapacity but you will bear most of the expenses of litigation.

2.  On child custody:  the general rule is that children below the age of
7 are best cared for by the mother unless your husband cites specific and
compelling reasons to take them away from you.  And if your children have
been living with you since the separation, maintaining the status quo (or keeping the existing arrangement) may be best for their emotional health and often increases your chances of obtaining full or joint custody later.

3.  On child support:  Even without the annulment petition, you can ask the court to issue an order directing your husband to support your children because the obligation to provide support for minor children exists regardless of the status of your
marriage.

4.    The decision to have custody of your son is a personal one and should
not be used as a support strategy.  If your son is better off staying with
his father, then maybe agreeing on a set visitation schedule for you to
have access to your son is the best arrangement. Otherwise, do insist on
having your son live with you if it is for his own benefit. The support
issue will follow whatever decision you make on this matter. I hope that this helps.

This site’s legal disclaimer applies and the author’s comments are not intended to substitute the advice of your own counsel.  Nothing in this reply also constitutes an attorney-client relationship between you and the author.

If you have a legal question on any of the topics discussed in this blog, write to us using the contact form on this page. Please don’t forget to include your email address for faster reply.

1,055 thoughts on “Some questions and answers

  1. A***** M******

    Dear Madam,

    My daughter was raped and molested by my relatives from the father side long ago.I only learnt about this just recently as I am working abroad. My concern was the psychological effect to my daughter. What kind of doctor (psychologist or psychiatrist?)and where can I get help? My daughter is now staying with my mother and sisters in Palawan.

    Another question, Can this be a ground for annulment for my husband was involved too? If yes,please tell me what to do first.

    I’ll be waiting for your immediate response.

    Thank you,

    Mike

    Please help me.

    1. CFlorido Post author

      You can seek the help of a psychiatrist that specializes in traumatic situations such as rape.
      Dr. Cecilia C. Villegas, a renowned psychiatrist, works with children from such situations. You may look her up at St. Patrick’s Polyclinic in Mandaluyong City. If your daughter is in Palawan right now, you may have to bring her to Manila in order to get professional treatment.

      On your husband’s participation in the alleged acts against your daughter: It does not fall under any of the grounds of annulment. Depending on his actual role in the act/s you just mentioned, it may constitute a serious violation of the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Law (RA9262) for which he may be criminally liable. I recommend that you consult a lawyer for your best possible action on this matter. I hope this helps.

  2. Jobs

    Hi Atty.C nice to know that there’s someone around that can help us. Thanks!
    I would like to consult about my brother’s case. He has 2 children ages 3 and 4 but not married with their mother. He had been supporting his children ever since they got separated, but the mother always fail to lend the children as per agreement. I feel that the mother is just using the children to get money to my brother, though I know it’s very hard to prove that.
    The mother has no work and just marely relaying through my brothers support, her excuse is that the children are very young to be left behind. But there was this instance when the children was with us. One of the child told my brother that “Papa, mama told me that you’re already dead”, we we’re all suddend and surprised by what we heard! But ofcouse we cannot tell the child to say it in the court room just in case!

    My brother is working abroad as a seaman. This situation had been torturing him ever since because he feels that he’s just a fenancial provider and not having quality time with his children. We now wanted to file a child custody in the court just to have it fair and square. Since she’s not following the settled agreement. I just wanted to know, what would be my brothers custody rights in such situation? is it possible that he can claim the children’s custody, if not more or less how is it gonna be for in favor of my brother.
    Thank you in advance for your help!

    1. CFlorido Post author

      You mentioned that your brother and the mother of his children are not married. The Family Code provides that the mother of an illegitimate child has sole parental authority (custody) over her illegitimate child. What your brother does have are visitation rights, or the right to spend some quality time with his children.

      You mentioned that the mother of the children is not “following the settled agreement”. If this means that there is an existing visitation agreement between the parents of the children, then your brother can enforce his right of visitation under that agreement. If not, then I suggest that he ask a lawyer to draft one to formalize the agreement between them.

      If your brother asks the court to grant him custody, he has three factors going against him:

    2. 1. The rule giving the mother of an illegitimate child sole custody
    3. 2.The maternal preference rule which presumes that the mother of minor children is their best caretaker, and
    4. 3. His work abroad which may prevent him from personally taking care of the children
    5. A visitation agreement will allow him to spend quality time with his children. It can also be the basis of a court action if the mother refuses to comply with any of its terms.

      I hope this helps. ~ CFlorido

  3. Jobs

    Thank you so much for such enlightment!!! you’re a big help, especially in giving us the PROS & CONS of our case.I am so following your advice!
    Can you be so kind to suggest a good lawyer for this case, we are residing in Novaliche Q.C. or much better if we can ask you to be our lawyer for this case.

    Based from by brothers story, he told me that there was this incident from “barangay” ( where the written agreement was made) where in his x-partner threatened him that she will file a case against my brother for my brother told her that since she’s not following the settled agreement then he will be force to stop giving monetary support.but this is just a word from him, he never stop sending money through her account. I just like to know, since my brothers work is abroad and constantly travel from time to time. How will this case affect his work? If incase subpoena was sent but my brother is not around. how’s it gonna be? and will they be serving hold departure order for this even his travelling is his bread and butter to support his kids? What are the basics when it comes to situation like this just incase my brother cannot attend the sessions or going to travel prior the session? what are the possible senarios thats gonna happen to my brother in case he gets back to the phil.
    Thank you so much. you’re such a blessing!
    More power!

    1. CFlorido Post author

      CFlorido: Not sure about a referral in Novaliches,Q.C. But just in case, any info will be sent through your private email.

      On the question of hold departure order for a visitation issue– there doesn’t seem to be any ground for it appearing in your brother’s situation unless he leaves the country with the children and there is a pending custody issue. Your brother’s presence is, of course, necessary if he wants to pursue his visitation rights. If he is abroad most of the time, his visitation is practically limited to the time that he is in the Philippines.

      If the mother of the children refuses to allow him visitation when he is here and her refusal is already a violation of their agreement, then your brother can have a lawyer send a letter demanding that she follow the visitation schedule under the agreement. If she still refuses to heed the demand, then a case for the violation of the agreement may be filed. I hope this helps.

  4. Pam *****

    Hi Atty C! I found your website online and was very much delighted after exploring it. I started working for a BPO in September. I’ve been working for different BPOs over the past 5 years and was surprised to see that my current employer doesn’t provide night shift differential to many of its employees. They justified that the night shift differential and OT pay are not benefits given to us because our position is categorized as in the officer level. I searched your notes on the employees not covered by these benefits and your notes indicate employees in the managerial level. I’m definitely not in the managerial level. I work as a credit analyst with 10 or more other team members and I have a supervisor, who reports to a credit manager. Is my employer violating the Philippine Labor Code? Or are they getting away with paying their employees these benefits by calling our job position “officer level”?

    Your feedback and advise will be greatly appreciated. Thanks and have a wonderful week ahead!

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Hi, Pam.

      Officers or members of a managerial staff are exceptions to the payment of night shift differential pay only if they perform the following duties and responsibilities:
      1) primarily perform work directly related to management policies of their employer
      2) customarily and regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment
      3) (a) regularly and directly assist a proprietor or managerial employee in the management of the establishment or subdivision thereof in which he he or she is employed; or
      (b) execute, under general supervision, work along specialized or technical lines requiring special training, experience, or knowledge; or
      (c) execute, under general supervision, special assignments and tasks and

      4) Do not devote more than 20% of their hours worked in a workweek to activities which are not directly and closely related to the performance of the work described in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3.

      In the situation you mentioned, in addition to the designation of “officer” given to your position, I would like to ask you to take a closer look at the nature of your responsibilities and if these fall under the conditions mentioned above.

      I hope this helps.

  5. Marielle

    Dear Atty,
    Hi!
    I hope you can help me.
    My husband is working abroad & not giving perpetual support to his 3 children, I am calling him overseas to ask for his obligation but he refuses to give monthly support. My kids are in already in school & my income alone is not enough to support their needs.
    Thank you,
    Marielle

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Marielle: If you know his mailing address, have a lawyer send him a demand letter with a warning that you will file a case for support if he refuses to comply with his obligation. But since he is abroad (out of jurisdiction of Philippine courts), if he still fails to provide support after receiving the demand letter, you will have to wait for him to return before he can be made to appear in court to answer your petition for support. If his absence in the country is prolonged (years before he is expected to return), your other recourse is to consider sending a demand letter to the parents of your husband, who under the Family Code may be obliged to give support if your husband cannot do so.

      I hope this helps.

  6. Archimedes

    Good Day,
    I am 22 male with one daughter. My gf and I had a daughter early but cannot be married yet because I’m currently on an application for residence in Canada. I would have to stay their at least 3 years before I become citizen and be able to marry her and take them with me. Now, we have had fights and disagreements and it looks like we cannot fix this anymore. I’m still a student and will be graduating in April and intend to leave for Canada right away. I still want to support my child within the 3 years I’ll be gone but when I’ll be back I plan to file for child custody. What is my stand on this? Our daughter is long from being 7 years old even by the time I get back. I feel that my only argument is that I feel that she is incapable of providing for our daughter’s welfare, education, etc. She has no stable job and she also helps with finances in their house in which her mother and brothers live. What are my chances?

    1. Archimedes

      In addition, with the current situation. We’ll not be getting married and if I do get custody, I plan to take my daughter with me to Canada.

    2. Christine Florido Post author

      Archimedes:
      The status of your daughter is illegitimate. Legally, the mother of an illegitimate child is entitled to exercise sole parental authority over her child. The mother’s financial situation may not be sufficient to deprive her of custody. If you pursue a petition for custody in court, her lawyer will ordinarily raise the maternal preference rule and the legal provision entitling her to sole custody and even ask the court to order you to pay regular support for the child. So if lack of financial capacity is your only ground, that may not work to your favor.

      Moreover, if your daughter is living with her mother and continues to do so in the next few years, it is unlikely as well that the court will do anything to disturb the status quo (current situation) because stability in a child’s environment is a recognized factor in determining what’s best for the child.

  7. cristina

    Atty.,good day! I want to inquire po sana if I can be able to charge the defendant all my expenses including the filing fee, gas,etc? this is regarding the small money claims. thank you and more power!

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Cristina:
      You are allowed to list down all your claims against the defendant, including costs of filing the case. If you win your case, the judge will look at the amounts and grant what is reasonable. But in some cases, transportation expenses to and from the hearing are not granted. Just list everything that you think is due to you because the judge cannot grant any relief that is not listed.

  8. Len

    Hi, just want to consult about the problem we have right now, 2009 i received a letter from a law firm about my husband unpaid loan, he’s not in the country and no where to be found that time and we have marital issues as well. I called the law firm and asked help to sort it out, I was advised that they’ll give me a call. When I call them back they advised me that I will need to pay the bank 6 thousand plus monthly. I advised them that I cannot pay that much monthly because I am the only one providing for my 2 kids, they told me that’s my only option, I also received some negative comment about it, after which i told them that I wont be able to settle it. After a years, i received a message on my facebook account about the demand letter. Now my husband and I have communication, he also advised me that he received the same. He then try to sort it out. Based on the exchanged messages that my husband and the law firm have, he was asked to pay an initial amount of 50 thousand pesos and he will need to pay 10 thousand every month after, he was also asked to attend a hearing which he wont be able to because he’s not here. I just would like to ask on what we can do about it? We really want to sort it out though what their asking is beyond what we can provide. The amount of the unpaid loan is 80 thousand, after 2 years it became 223 thousand pesos. I really am hoping you can advise me about this. Thank you so much

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Len:
      1. Is this a credit card debt?
      2. Did you or your husband receive a written demand letter? Or was the message sent only through Facebook?
      3. Did you or your husband receive a Summons or any court order asking your husband to appear in court?
      4. On the settlement of a debt, if it is not yet in court, you can still write the bank (not the law firm) offering to settle your husband’s account in installments. State the monthly installment that you are really able to pay and ask for a waiver of the penalties and part of the interest as well. Assume that the total amount due is reduced to say 100K and present a breakdown of monthly installments that you are willing and able to pay. Send this letter through registered mail and be sure to fill out the registry return card so that you have proof that it was received by the bank.

      Keep a copy of the letter and take note when it was sent. Then wait for the bank’s response.

      The bank, however, may ask for postdated checks to cover the monthly installments. This is where you have to be cautious because any default in the check payments you issue can give rise to a criminal case for issuing bouncing checks.

      I hope that this helps.

      1. Len

        Hi…
        This is a salary loan that was left unpaid. We haven’t received any summons from the court, the only thing that we received was a letter advising us to get in touch with a law firm to settle the payment. After that we haven’t received anything, except for the message that we received on our facebook acoount.
        Anyway thanks for the advise, we’ll surely get in touch with the bank for this to sorted out completely.
        Thanks so much once again… GOD BLESS !!!

  9. P

    good day Atty., my question is on surname change for illegitimate children

    i read your article about it but my case is the opposite: my 3 y/o daughter uses her dad’s surname. me (mother) and her dad never got married, and i have sole custody of the child. he was the one who filed the Birth Cert. hence he decided that my daughter use his name.

    I want to change my child’s surname to my surname. i lawyer from pinoyexchange said this is possible and easy. i am aware that i have to go to trial and everything as was said by a couple of lawyers, BUT is it true that the chances of getting the surname changed to mine, is very slim?

    how slim if:
    1) i have the written consent of the father
    2) i do not have consent of the father

    if i have consent of the dad (now he wont give but im negotiating with his mom who is very mabait to us) to use my surname instead of his , will it make the process easier?

    how much is the average cost of this?

    Thanks
    P

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      P:
      Yes, the current trend in the Supreme Court seems NOT to favor changes of surnames of minor children. Opposition of the father may also make it more difficult, but even assuming that the father will allow the petition for change of surname to proceed, you may have a hard time convincing the court that it’s the BEST thing for your child right now. Allowing a child to carry the father’s surname is actually a right that has its perceived advantages like claiming inheritance from the father’s estate (in the future) and avoiding social embarassment because an unrecognized illegitimate child normally does not have a middle name (often noticeable in school).

      Another factor to consider is that the Supreme Court seems to favor surname changes when it is the person himself that asks for it. The court would rather defer or postpone the name change until the child is no longer a minor and can weigh for himself or herself all the consequences that change of surname can bring.

      Costs of the entire process vary, most of which will depend on the lawyer’s fees. Typically, a lawyer may ask for an acceptance fee, a deposit for incidental expenses, and a per appearance fee. You will also have to shoulder costs of filing fees and publication of the court order in a newspaper. I’d rather not mention a ballpark figure here to avoid conflict among fellow lawyers and those with existing cases. But there is nothing wrong with asking your lawyer ahead of time about fees. Most lawyers appreciate being clear about this matter before proceeding with filing. I hope this helps.

  10. shiela

    hi atty.

    I am a single mother.. me and my partner just got seperated WE ARE NOT MARRIED we have 2yrs old daughter.. my prtner is malaysian so my question is is there any possibilities he can file for custody?? my daughter does not carry his surname she using mine and she is a filipino citizen.. so are the chances if he filed for custody?

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Shiela:
      I assume your daughter is in the Philippines with you now because custody rules may change depending where the case is filed. Anyway, under Philippine law, an illegitimate child is under the sole parental authority of the mother. Even assuming that you are married to the father of your daughter, the law favors the mother when deciding the custody issue of a minor child. If your ex partner will file a petition for custody, he will have to show ‘compelling’ reasons to win the fight for custody. What is considered ‘compelling’ will depend on the facts of your case but the usual grounds for taking the child away from the mother include neglect or abandonment, unemployment, immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity, and affliction with a communicable disease.

      I hope this helps.

  11. Carla

    Dear Atty.,
    Good Day!
    My husband and I are already married for almost 5 years, blessed with 2 kids. Even before we got married, he had an affair that and had a child on that girl. Since then, he refused to accept the responsibility. The child is now 6 years old, and all of a sudden, the mother is asking for a child support. Now, my questions goes like these:
    > Is my husband legally responsible to give child support even if he refused to acknowledge the child?
    > If so, how much is he bound to give as a support monthly?
    Hope you could help us enlighten regarding this matter.
    Thank you.
    God Bless!

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Carla:
      1. Illegitimate children are entitled to support from the father. If he refused to acknowledge the child, it is still possible for the mother of his illegitimate child to obtain support by filing an action in court. Usually, the back portion of the Certificate of Live Birth will contain a signed acknowledgment of paternity made at the time of birth. You may have to ask your husband if he signed the birth certificate.

      2. The amount of monthly support will depend on the resources your husband and the needs of the illegitimate child.

      Carla: if your husband knows that it’s his child, it’s best to deal with the situation and discuss details of support before it turns ugly in court. Refusing to acknowledge the child as his may lead to paternity tests which are costly— such a waste if the test will simply confirm that he is the father of that child. Attending court hearings is also a hassle and expensive. If his issue is with respect to the amount that the mother of the child is asking, negotiating for a reasonable share is the best solution than fighting it out in court. Once you are able to iron out a compromise for the support, have a lawyer draft a simple agreement showing the details in clear terms, get both to sign it and keep records of all payments as proof of compliance with his duty.

      Dealing with an issue like this is a thorny one between spouses even if the child was born out of wedlock before your marriage. Address this issue while it is still out of court and do your best to shield your marriage from this kind of problem.

      I hope this helps.

      Atty. C.

  12. john sulouff

    my wife and i have seperated 1 year ago , we have 2 kids 1 is 18 and 1 is 14, she has refused to give me the address to there apartment , they live 52 miles from me ,they live in a gated apartment complex, the seperation was not done thru the law it was our choise, the seperation was caused when it was found out that she was having a in deaph affair, my question is ,,is there a law that both parents must have the address of the kids, and 1 or the other , refuse to let it be known the address of his or her kids,,,

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      John:
      I see that you are from Georgia, USA. You may have to consult with a lawyer in your area to get accurate advice. At any rate, from my study of general US law on child custody, both parents are entitled to access and communication, including knowledge of the children’s whereabouts. In fact, custody agreements approved in court generally carry a prohibition against changing residences without the prior knowledge and consent of the non custodial parent (NCP). So, in answer to your question, yes, you should be informed of the children’s new address but to enforce your right, you may have to find them first and file the appropriate petition in the court where the children now reside.

  13. Francis Fuentes

    Hi Atty.,

    I am writing to you on behalf of a friend who has been working an Executive Assistant for a company for over 4 years. Recently she was given a “Notice to Explain” for “Gross Negligence” (for Dismissal) since she was not able to coordinate and update the car insurance of her boss (an Expat) who totally wrecked a company issued vehicle.

    The notice to explain stated that she needs to reply within 48 hours upon receipt of the notice.

    1.) In my experience as a supervisor; we require a written response within 5 days upon receipt of the “Show Cause Memo”. Would this mean that the her current employer is in violation of the labor code for timeline for the notice to explain?

    2.) My friend was never furnished a copy of her SOW as an Executive Assistant so at this time she is not really sure if it is part of her duties. In case she gets a copy of her SOW should the document “specifically” indicate that it is part of her duties or will other duties be sufficient?

    3.) Since this is not “habitual negligence” and is a single occurrence; should the sanction be Dismissal?

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      1) While the Omnibus Rules implementing the Labor Code are silent on the amount of time that constitutes “reasonable period” within which to submit the written explanation, the Supreme Court determined what is reasonable according to the circumstances of each case. In one case, 48 hours to explain about 30 infractions were considered insufficient. In another, 5 days were considered reasonable. If your friend needs additional time to prepare her written explanation and consult with her lawyer, she should ask for additional time to do so. There is technically no violation yet of the labor code unless she has been terminated without considering her written explanation.

      2) An executive assistant’s job is necessarily attached to the office of her boss, which may include performing legitimate instructions such as the renewal of the company car insurance policy.

      3) For gross and habitual negligence to be a ground for dismissal, the Supreme Court in a number of cases has stated that the negligence should not merely be gross, but should also be habitual.

  14. daiz

    hello atty.,
    thanks for whatever reply to this. i used to work as a sch coordinator since 2005 in a private sch in las pinas. i resigned this June 2010 because we moved to Malaysia for my husband’s employment. my previous employer didn’t give me my 13th month since as far as i know i am still entitled to get it since I still worked from Jan- June 15 2010. Before I left the school and when i received my salary for June , i asked the owner’s admin . staff regarding my 13th month. she answered that the sch owner will not give anymore. I will be going home next wk for Christmas , and my husband told me that i must get that 13th pay from my employer. can you advise me of the best thing to do about it? what if he will not give it to me? it’s not maybe a big amt but it’s doing the right thing to do.. it is still my rights, am I correct? i wanted to fight for that principle..hope to hear from you soon. thanks again.

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Dais:
      Write your former employer about your 13th month pay. Legally, an employee who has resigned or whose services are terminated at any time before the payment of the 13th month pay is entitled to this benefit in proportion to the length of time worked during the year (counted from the time you started working in 2010 or January 2010 up to the time of your resignation or June 2010).

      You may file a money claim to collect the unpaid 13th month pay at the nearest Department of Labor office or NLRC. The claim form is easy to fill out.

      I hope this helps.

  15. Joel ****

    dear aty.,
    Good day to you. I have a question regarding my situation. I am currently married but had a child with my previous girlfriend. she left her child with me when she had to work abroad. She now wants to take her child with her. I have no objections to this but she wants me to prepare an affidavit relinquishing my rights over the child.I know the child is of illegitimate status and by law is really under her sole parental responsibility already.My question is what kind of affidavit do I need to give her. As added information, in the child’s birth certificate I was the one who made the registration and aclso akcnowledged him as being my son and also indicated that I was not married to his mother. Thank you for your prompt response.

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Joel:
      It’s hard to tell what kind of affidavit your ex gf needs because as you have observed, your rights are limited due to the illegitimate status of your child. She is probably referring to the travel clearance for bringing your child out of the country, which of course, is not necessary again because your child is illegitimate. Ask her instead to show you a draft of the document that she wants you to sign and get back to me with the details.

  16. theCat

    Gandang araw po, Simple tanong lang,im a regular employee on our company, ask ko lang kung legal ba na lagi kami undertime sa trabaho, kasi nalulugi ako sa pamasahe at food expenses ko. sometimes po eh 4hrs pa lang ay uwian na namin kasi konti lang ang trabaho for the day. thanks po in advance.

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      “the Cat”:
      The Department of Labor allows the employer and employee to enter into flexible work arrangements such as reducing the workweek, rotation of work schedule, flexible working hours and other alternative schemes especially when the company is experiencing financial hardship. It is a better approach than termination by retrenchment. But there are legal requirements for it: (a) the flexible agreement must be voluntarily entered into by the employees and (b) the employer must submit a report of the details of the flexible arrangement at the Dept of Labor prior to its implementation. If these conditions exist, then the arrangement may be legally feasible. You may view the guidelines issued by the Dept of Labor on this matter here. I hope this helps.

  17. Jerome

    I am a father of an 11 yr old illigitimate son. The child lives with me and spends few nights with his grandma (biological mother side). The biological mother is based in abroad and visits every 2 months. I have been the participating parent paying all the the needs and tuition of the child. My petition on my US residency will soon be approve, and I have included my son’s petition. If in any circumstances the mother would object me to bring my son with me? would I have a chance to fight for my right on the child?

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Jerome:
      Your chances of winning custody over an illegitimate child will depend on whether you can show compelling reasons why the mother is unfit to raise him. Providing full support and taking responsibility while the mom is away is commendable but these may not be enough reasons for the court to grant custody in your favor. The law is clear on the custody of illegitimate children: the mother has sole parental authority. There are options like adoption and joint custody agreement (where the child will spend specific months with the mother if he lives abroad) but you will need the biological mom’s consent. I hope this helps.

      P.S. You’re doing a great job in taking over full responsibility for your child while the mother is away. That’s rare in the Philippines.

  18. RiaBell

    I am applying for a visa for my 3 yrs old son, illigitimate but carrying his father’s name, to join me here in France, and they asked me to get a FULL CUSTODY. So, I asked my mother who is taking care of my son, to take this document at a reginal trial court. And this is what happened, the father,who abandoned and never gave any support disposed an AFFIDAVIT OF FULL CUSTODY which is signed infront of a lawyer and was afterward, certified by a judge. It comes in 2 pages, the AFFIDAVIT OF FULL CUSTODY sign by the father and a lawyer and the second page, CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY FOR A NOTARIAL ACT which states that, the judge certified “that the attorney who signed the AFFIDAVIT OF FULL CUSTODY entered his notarial regsiter as doc …….”

    But the reeve that is incharge of the papers rejected the document. He said he needs a Real full custody, the one that the judge himself gave the full custody of my child to me.

    How can I obtain this? Don’t know else what to do. Pls I need someone to help me. What exactly is a FULL CUSTODY? I have a feeling that the judge and the lawyer gave me a wrong document at very high price.

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      RiaBell:

      Try this:
      (1) Execute an Affidavit of Illegitimacy;(Click on the link to see a sample form)
      (2) Show birth certificate which should indicate that you are not married to the father of your child;
      (3) Attach copy of the Family Code, highlighting Art. 176 which states that; “Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the authority of their mother.”
      (4) Was there ever a case for custody or visitation in court before you left the country? If so, how was the case decided? If in your favor, then obtain a certified copy of the judgment from the court itself. If you did not have any custody case over your child, then you can’t show any court order but revert to number (3)–which is the Family Code provision which says that you are entitled to have sole parental authority.

      I hope this helps.

  19. Melanie P

    Hi Atty!
    I am an overseas worker with a 4 year old child in the Philippines. My relationship with my husband is not doing wel ( I had an elicit affair and he too had one while Im away ) so we decided to part ways but not yet legally arranged, so still we are married. But, I left my child with him because I know that my child will be facing difficulties and problems with the changes in our relationship and in that I know that I cant be also with my daughter because I am working abroad. So i thought it is best that she is with him. But, because lately, he is not also with our child, coz he found a job in another city. So, the tendency is that, our child is left with the care of my in laws.Though I know that hes doing hes best to be a great father for her, I want to have the sole custody of our child. Do you think the court will favor me? I want to leave my daughter with my parents because I know she will be better off with them.Please help me..Thank you!

  20. Marie (last name withheld)

    Dear Atty,

    My niece (my cousin’s daughter) grew up with us. Her mom left her to her father’s care at the age of 3( the parents were never married) . She has since moved to London and is already married with 2 kids. My cousin raised his daughter on his own with the help of his family. He single-handedly shouldered all her expenses including that for school. Despite their differences, he still allows her ex gf’s family to visit and go out with his daughter. Lately, we found out that the ex-gf’s family has managed to obtain a passport for my nice using her mother’s last name last year. She’s now 13. She says she has no plans of going with her mom in case she asks but what can we do about her passport? Also, since her dad works abroad, we planning to bring her to visit her father, is that possible? I really would appreciate your response as I am practically this child’s mother.
    Thanks .

  21. RiaBell

    Can we consider as a proof of sole full custody if:

    -I’ll submit a certification of the family code that says “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), signed by a judge (or is it possible to have this certification?)

    -with Affidavit of Illegitimacy

    Thanks

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      RiaBell:
      In my opinion, no court will issue such an opinion or statement if it does not relate to any case in their sala. Perhaps a lawyer’s signed statement confirming the rule on sole parental authority over an illegitimate child will do along with your affidavit of Illegitimacy and a copy of the Family Code.

      I hope this helps.

  22. RiaBell

    How long does a process of sole an dfull custody before I can get a sole and full custody? (if the father will not contest)

    I am scared they will deny my request of visa if they can’t see that a judge sign himself signed this certification of family code

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      RiaBell:
      First, you need not file a petition for custody because the child already stays with you. I’m not sure the court will entertain it considering that there is no issue to settle unless the father is asking for custody as well. But if you still want to know how long it will take, it could be from a few months to a year, depending on your lawyer’s strategy.
      Second, every country has its own rules for processing visas and weighing evidence such as the proof of sole custody that you are looking for. Do they know that your child is illegitimate? Because in most jurisdictions, illegitimate children are legally under the custody of the mother. If they still insist, it will not hurt to ask them directly, what sort of document are they looking for considering that the child is illegitimate and already presumed to be under your care by Philippine law. For all you know, they may only require a sworn certification from the father agreeing to your sole custody.

  23. RiaBell

    Sorry, i mean *court order that i am have all the custody of my child

  24. RiaBell

    Thank you Atty … This site helps me a lot

  25. rica

    i just want to ask. where and what do I need if I will file for R.A 9255? And if my father was dead what should I do?Hope you can help me. I really dont know what is the first step.

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Rica:
      Look at your birth certificate.
      See where it was registered. If in Makati City, for example, then you will have to go to the Civil Registrar in Makati City Hall.
      Next, examine the back portion of your birth certificate. Was it signed by your father? If yes, then you can immediately go to the Civil Registrar, submit an Affidavit to Use Surname of your father (AUSF), the template is somewhere here in my blog, or ask the Civil Registrar for a blank form you can fill out. Attach a copy of the Certificate of Live Birth (they usually require a copy recently issued on NSO paper).

      If your father did not acknowledge paternity at the back of the birth certificate, then you’ll have to produce the following documents:
      1) a signed document executed by your father acknowledging your relationship.
      2) Any 2 of the following documents showing clearly paternity:
      a) employment records mentioning your name as his child
      b) SSS/GSIS records mentioning you
      c) Insurance policy listing you as his child
      d) certification of membership in any organization listing you as his child
      e) statement of assets and liabilities (usually for persons employed in government)
      f) Income Tax Return listing you as dependent child

      I assume that you are over 18 years old, so you will be the best person to accomplish the Affidavit to Use Surname of Father (AUSF).

      I hope this helps.

  26. Rica

    I just want to ask about RA 9255 what is the first step to do if I will file for this?

  27. Susy

    Hi,
    I have a 7 year old daughter. My ex-husband and I have shared custody (80/20). My brother will be getting married in Mexico soon and he refuses to give me permission to take her. He does not pay any child support and I am taking her only for the weeekend (which is my weekend). My question is, if I take her (already have her passport) without his consent, would I face serious consequences? I am in California. Thank you.

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Susie:
      The rules applicable in your case are those of California or where your daughter is currently residing. Your custody agreement should contain a provision on travels and will guide you on this matter. However, if it is silent and your ex husband refuses to grant permission for a temporary visit to Mexico, you may have to seek court approval of your plan before you can leave the country with your daughter. Violations of custody agreement provisions and laws prohibiting movement of the child without court approval may trigger an accusation of parental kidnapping.

      I hope this helps.

  28. jo

    hi good day atty. i just want to ask about the support of my son. he is 5 y.o his father and i was seperated 3 yrs ago but still my in laws want to get my son even they are not supporting it.. they enjoy taking out my son but no support. my x-husband have a daugthers and live-in with a girl in their own house. he is working . the problem is if im demanding for support ,he says that he many debt to pay and cant able to gve me support . he always tell that.. and im really disappointed with that coz he is living with a girl and have daughter while me the legal wife dont have any support for my son. i want to ask how much i can demand for support for him? hope u’ll help me..
    thanks a lot ..=)

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Jo:
      The amount of support you can demand will depend on the NEEDS of your child and the FINANCIAL CAPACITY of your husband. I suggest that you list down all the living expenses of your child, e.g. food, transportation, clothing, medicines, doctor’s fees, tuition, yaya’s salary. Get an attorney to write the father of your child a demand letter for him to pay a monthly allowance corresponding to the monthly needs of your child.

      Expect the father to negotiate for a smaller amount. Be prepared to compromise after considering his finances and the needs of his own household. Remember as well that you have an obligation to provide support for your child. Once you agree on a fixed amount, ask your attorney to prepare a simple support agreement for the father of your child to sign.
      I hope this helps.

  29. Conrad Villanueva

    Dear Atty Villanueva,
    Who knows we might have been long lost relative. Joke, Joke, Joke
    Anyway, here is my question.
    What is the minimum wage in the Calabarson Area, particularly in Kawit, Cavite? I just recently learned that it is P293.oo but I paid my employees P320.00 since my accountant made a mistake in telling about the min wage in Kawit. Can I revert back to P293 starting next year if it is true that the Min Wage in Kawit is P293.oo?
    Our company is just a small one with no more than 15 employees. Do we need to pay all the benefits under the labor code? What if our workers agreed to let go of some of the labor law like payment of premium for over time rendered so that our company will survive, are we still liable to anything under the labor law? We sometimes accept P.O. even with a very minimal mark up just to have work for our employees so we talk to them that we will accept the order but in case we will require to work OT, we will not pay the additional premium of 25% and they agreed.
    Thanks

    1. Atty. Elvin Villanueva Post author

      Hi Conrad,

      There is a big possibility that we are related. As to how close, I will trace the family tree. Hehe. My grandma also told me that we have a very wealthy relative who owns a business in Cavite and might want to adopt us. So, I am very interested to know more about you.🙂

      Your inquiry lacks a bit of details which are crucial in determining the specific benefits for your employees. Kawit, Cavite is still governed by Wage Order (WO) 13 issued in 2008 and became effective June 1, 2008. In any event, here is the table of the minimum wage in your area:

      The above rate is the same as that published by NWPC as of December 14, 2010. So, you are correct about the P293.00 rate. The P320.00 is for Bacoor and Imus only.

      You have overpaid your worker by mistake. You can take it back as long as you can show that it was given by mistake inadvertently. Better if you can convince your employees that you erred in giving the amount, that way you eliminate potential complainants. After which, you can go back to P293.00.

      A lower min. wage rate is mandated for those employing not more than 10 workers. Unfortunately, you seem to have less than 15 but more than 10.

      As to whether or not you need to pay your employees all the benefits under the Labor Code, it really depends on your operation. Exemption from certain benefits depends whether your employees are paid on piece-rate, if they are field personnel, managerial, paid per task, paid on takay or pakyaw basis. Normally, unsupervised field personnel and piece-workers are not entitled to Night-shift, Holiday pay and Service Incentive. While the rule on hours of work may not apply if the piece-rate workers are within the output rates approved by DOLE. Also, there may be exemption from 13th-month pay law or P.D. 851 and its implementing rules. (I cannot explain in detail these things here so check my books on Employee Compensation and Benefits where I discussed the subject comprehensively).

      As to overtime, once the employee renders work beyond eight (8) hours, he is entitled to overtime pay. Benefits under the Labor Code cannot be waived. When your employees agreed not to be paid for their overtime work, they in effect waived such right. But as explained, said benefits cannot be waived. Any waiver is void.

      Other remedies that you may explore to reduce manpower costs are:

      1. Application for exemption under the minimum wage law (but check first because normally the 75-day rule on application for exemption is observed);

      2. BMBE (Barangay Micro Business Enterprise). Check my book on Wage Order and Minimum Wage. I discussed this topic thoroughly. Check if your establishment can avail of this. There are MW exemption and tax breaks under BMBE.

      3. Classify workers into field personnel, piece-rate, task, pakyaw, etc. depending on the needs of your business. These classifications can have favorable impact on your labor costs under Articles 82-95 of the Labor Code. I explained the coverage and exemption from Articles 82-95 of the Labor Code in my books;

      4. Establish good rapport with your employees, make them have a sense of ownership so you can bargain to give a lower pay in case your business encounters challenges. In theory, once they understand you, they will not file any labor complaint;

      5. Avail of the benefits of prescription of money claims which is three (3) years;

      6. If really shaken bad financially, check the benefits under suspension of operation.

      My advice to you is limited by how I picture your operation and how your employees perform their duties.

      May your business flourish so you can give more employment and help our economy! More power to you!

      Atty. Elvin

  30. rose

    Dear Atty C,

    Before anything else i wanted to commend you for doing a wonderful job assisting people like us who are alway’s seeking for answers when it comes to legal terms =).

    My questions is do we have law in regards with” Coercive persuasion”? my son is 11 yrs old and most of my relatives thinks that he was brainwashed by his father side since he really changes? I thought it was only me? Btw his dad and I have been separated ever since he was a baby and unfortunately he did not grow up with either one of us, the grandmother of my ex took care of him but i never neglected him,abandoned him for we see each other almost every weekend since that separation.We are wit each other most of the time if time permits and even live together for 1 year with my new partner in life that he had known since he turned 5 yrs old. But last year he was allowed to live with his step mom for year alone, since his father will be home soon from abroad, they went home last Dec 20 for his sem break but that is where my dilemma was confirmed . I wanna sue the step mother and the grandmother. My son even defend his NANAY or step mom and is okay if I am hurt, he accused me of things that happened long long time ago, blamed me for all the bad things that happened in our life, his pain and accused me that I only love his little brother btw the age gap is 9 yrs and when i gave birth he is very excited and even cried when he leaves manila last May for he will mis his one and only siblings.

    Can I also sue them for kidnapping? if ever they will leave Manila without my written permit of allowing the step mo as her legal guardian??
    I hope you can help me Atty. It pains me so much that the reasons for what I am right now, what I have become don’t wanna be with me anymore..
    He is already 11 I don’t know what are the clauses of my rights for his age, he told me he will get mad at me if i will continue the process and will hate me and will not come with me…

    thank you and god bless..

  31. rose

    Atty C,

    Thank you so much for answering my questions =) already made some clarifications on inconsistency of my questions with you. I do hope that you can answer me again if your time permits.

    God Bless you and more power=)

  32. rica

    Thank you very much for the info. I was born in Fabella, manila, and I only have one evidence as of now that my father declared me as his child. I saw it on their marriage contract. And, in the back of my birth certificate I saw the name of my Father my I havn’t seen any signature of my father.

    Thank you very much again to your help.

  33. Leah Austria

    Dear Atty,
    I have my fiancee who has a 2 year old kid. They were not married with the mother. In their case, yung fiancee ko lang yung my work at hindi naman pinapabayaan ung financial support sa anak nila. Paano po yung custody ng bata? Can my fiancee file for a case to get a legal custody of his kid since he was the only one supporting the child?If yes what are the things he need to do? Thank you.

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Leah:
      Generally, custody of an illegitimate child is with the mother. Your fiancee may want to consider adopting his illegitimate child and file a petition for adoption which will include custody, if granted. He will need to get the biological mother’s consent though. Considering that her finances are not sufficient to support her child, she may want to consent to the adoption and be given visitation rights instead.

      I hope this helps.

  34. Ruben Berberena

    sportdaughthers mother made plans to send my daughter to colombia after i told her that i was not going to consent for her to travel. she went got tickets pasport and notary papers of consent

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Ruben: If you have a custody/visitation agreement approved in court, you should contact your lawyer immediately about these moves.

  35. abby

    Dear Atty,
    I am currently a manager at a private company. Due to my pregnancy I have inquired on the benefits I will be receiving. As stipulated in the labor code, I should be getting at least 6 weeks leave with full pay. (pay that is based on my basic salary)
    However I was informed that I am entitled to 2 months leave with SSS allowance which is P500 x 60 days. And the 13th month pay will also be deducted based on my 2 months leave. I am disappointed that the pay is not commensurate or does not even match my basic salary.
    Do maternity benefits vary per company? Can I complain to DOLE about this?

    Thank you and grateful for your feedback

    1. Christine Florido Post author

      Abby:
      The Department of Labor’s handbook states that the maternity benefit is “equivalent to one hundred percent (100%) of the average daily salary credit of the employee as defined under the Social Security Law.” This does not automatically translate to 100% of your usual take-home pay. There is a specific formula applied by the SSS. From experience, I did not receive the full amount of my take-home pay as maternity benefits due to the application of the SSS formula.
      Please inquire from SSS about their computation.

      On the issue of the 13th month pay, the same handbook also mentions that the maternity benefit is granted in lieu of wages, and therefore, “may not be included in computing the employee’s 13th month pay for the calendar year.” Following this statement, the strict interpretation would be to add the total annual basic salary (not including what was received as maternity pay) and multiply it by 1/12. This is the current interpretation. It may change depending on the latest decisions of the Supreme Court.

      I hope this helps.

  36. Jobs

    Hi atty! =)
    The X-wife of my brother want’s to file for VAW-C, she has a medico-legal papers with her way back early 2009. Some people told me that the usual span for this medicolegal document will just be 1 year. Will it be the same for VAW-C law?
    Thanks so much!
    Belated Merry Christmas =)

  37. Jobs

    ooops.. not X-wife actually, X-partner I mean, they are not married.

  38. Amany

    good day!

    I am an OFW presently working in KSA. I am married to a Muslim guy, who is now divorced (based on Muslim marriage rites). My husband has a kid from previous marriage. Financially speaking, my husband now is unstable as he is paying a loan that his ex-wife obtained while she was still here in KSA. Actually, she was sent back to Philippines for the reason that she was given a warrant here for not paying her loans. Also, my husband at that time when his ex-wife was sent back to Philippines (the woman is not getting salary anymore as she has too much loans from her colleagues) made a loan to finance their needs (his son that time was left with him)and partly to pay for his ex- wife’s debts.However,he as well, was given a warrant because he was not able to pay the monthly payment on time which made the loan amount double. When the warrant was given, my husband was “napilitang magkayod” until he was able to pay the 3 months which he was not able to pay promptly. Then his ex-wife sent him a message that she wanted a divorce and to give their son to her (in Philippines). So based on Muslim marriage rite, divorced was granted and the kid was sent to Philippines. For the past months, thanks be to God, my husband somehow is able to pay his debt plus the penalty of almost 50% of the loaned amount. Unfortunately, the lender told him to pay his wife’s full loan too, apart from his own debts.

    Now, the ex wife is asking for a support for the kid. For 2 months now, we were able to send 10% of my husband’s salary, while the rest of his income goes to paying the loan (which is like 60% )and the remaining to finance our daily needs. The ex wife is threatening to file a case for child support. She is even telling nonsense stories to their son and was sending abusive mails. But we have been sending some amount for the kid. I would like to ask if in situations like these, is there any percentage of how much the father can support the child if he is financially unable? Does the ex wife has the right to demand more of what the father can provide? Is there any regulation to how much or to what percent the law ask from the father as support for the child? please help us. We have pure intentions of helping the kid but i think the Ex wife left so much problems to my husband.

    Thank you very much. May God bless you.

    1. Attorney Post author

      Amany:
      Both father and mother have the obligation to support their child. The amount of support due from each will depend on the financial capacity of the giver and the needs of the child. There is no strict rule fixing the amount or percentage that may be obtained from the father or mother. I suggest that you document all remittances made for the support of the child. Establish a bank account in the child’s name where you can send all money to as proof of your husband’s support. For the mother to obtain more than what your husband is willing to give, she will have to go to court and file a petition for support. It is in this venue that your husband is entitled to raise his defenses and show his past compliance through proof of remittance, deposit, checks etc.

      My point is this: your husband is correct in providing whatever is within his means right now to give. If his means improves, he should also be ready to increase the amount of support to answer for the child’s growing needs, without being asked or ordered to do so. Even with the negative attitude of the child’s mother, find it in your heart to just look past the ugly behavior and continue to provide for the welfare of the child. The best way to deal with difficult people is to ignore the words and do what’s best for the child.
      I hope this helps.

      1. Amany

        God bless you always..More power..Thank you so much..

  39. Natasha

    Hi Atty,

    I married my ex in 2004, months before my son was born. We lived together at his fathers’ house for two years before I left. My ex had temper tantrums that were violent – often locking me up in rooms not letting me eat or go to school. When he was mad, he would resort to pornography. In 2007, we were separated and I took my son to live with my parents and he has been living there since then.

    In 2008, he filed a habeas corpus case, and in his statement accused me of “leaving the child with neighbors, starving him, and hiding him”, all of which I never did. My ex has been granted by the court visitation every weekend. I have spoken to him about child support, but this was his reply: “if you cannot support the child, give him to me.”

    My son turns 7 this June, and I fear they will now start a battle for custody, since I have been hearing from my child that the father would constantly “train him” on what to tell the judge, who to choose, and would threaten him that they would get mad if he doesn’t tell the judge he would choose his dad. I have a few concerns which I think will dampen my chances:

    1) I have been living away from my son, seeing him several times a week but not everyday. I rented a place in Makati, and my son lives with my parents in another city. We talk everyday when I am not able to come home. My son is growing well and is healthy, goes to school, and generally lives comfortably. Will the court consider me as an unfit mother in this setup?

    2) I am now in a relationship. My bf often stays at my place, but I have never allowed my son to see that I am with anyone. But for some reason, my ex seems to know even though we have kept the relationship very private. Will I lose my chances to keep my son where he is because of my relationship?

    3) It’s been a tough year for me, and I have had a few irregular stints in 2010 but am looking for get hired for a more regular and stable job. Even so, I have never failed to support him despite challenges in finding a stable job, as I have some contractual projects. How closely will the court look into finances when it comes to deciding with whom the child will stay? Is money really a big concern?

    When I think about it, i have no worries about my son living with his father, but he has a life with my family, and Im worried that my ex’s old habits might influence the child. Plus the fact that my ex seems to NOT want me to see the child if he does win the custody. He has expressed that he did not want visitation rights on my end to be written on paper, and insisted that if he wins the child’s custody, we can “discuss” my visitation, but never in court. Help me please, because of my ex’s schemes and devious plots, I have become very paranoid, and it’s affecting my judgment.

    1. Attorney Post author

      Natasha:
      A private reply will be sent via email. Kindly check in a bit.

  40. Ana

    Dear Atty,
    Hello. I am currently working as an online english teacher for japanese students. I was hired last Feb 2010 and my boss (the one who interviewed me) said that I will receive 10T as starting salary and after 3months it will be 12T. Since it was hard to find work, I grabbed it just to survive the hard times. The said office became operational on April 2010. At first we started as 9 teachers. Our boss is filipino but an immigrant in japan. The company he set up here is tied up with the japanese school he is employed at. He is the vice president in japan. He then let us sign a contract on May 6, 2010 but unfortunately he DIDNT SIGN it and never gave us the copy and it was stipulated there that our starting salary during the training period is 12T and after 3months it will become 15T. That was even a more good news for us.
    As the months progressed, 4 teachers quit because the company isnt improving. We dont have much online students and the promised salary increase was NEVER MET UNTIL NOW. Promises promises
    What’s more frustrating is that we don’t have benefits. The contract we signed has been forgotten and now we feel all of this is a SCAM.
    How can we make this all legal? He seems to be evading all our inquiries about the contract and more so the benefits. We are being paid 500php/day and its a no work no pay basis also. We can’t even get a loan incase of emergency.
    I don’t want to quit because I’ve already invested my time and effort for this job. I just wanted to be paid right or else I wanted to be financially compensated by my boss and go find a better job.
    Are there legal moves me and my co-workers can do?

  41. Rizza

    Good day Attorney!

    May I seek your advice on my employment situation?

    I am a Registered Nurse and was employed last July 2010 (as a volunteer nurse) till present at a private tertiary hospital in Pangasinan. My dilemma is I was only given a one-month contract as volunteer. I was constant in my efforts to remind the management of my working contract as I have rendered six months service receiving a volunteer allowance with only a month’s volunteer contract.

    What should I expect after this? Is it legally wrong to expect a promotion of some sort or at least a contract stating that I be a probationary employee..? I was told by the HR department that they are considering to give me a six-months volunteer contract (again).

    And what legal options do I have if I do not intend to sign another volunteer contract?

    Thank you!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Rizza:
      I missed the last question here because I thought it was merely a duplicate comment.
      Anyway, contracts are voluntary agreements– if you no longer intend to renew your contract, you will have to inform your employer and check the rules on resignation for the minimum period within which to send your resignation letter.

  42. Ianne

    Hi! Atty. I was so happy to see that somebody like you is very much willing to help those people who badly needs some legal advice. And I thank you for that.

  43. Ianne B**********

    Hi Atty. I’m so happy to discover this web site and thank you for your effort and willingness to give legal advices.
    I got married but never that we live together because he is still living with a previous relationship at taht time. He told me that they were married but the marriage was not registered. Until the time comes that I lost my hope that we will be together, i decided to totally end the relationship. For almost 12 years now that we dont have any communication, I dont even know where he is. I’m here right now in Canada and my Canadian boyfriend is willing to sponsor our permanent residency here under the Common-law sponsorship ( I rather do it that way coz I know if I will file for annulment will take time and it can be very expensive. Now, what documents that I should be needing to support my status? Somebody told me that an Affidavit of Abandonment is okay? And if ever is this document can be accepted for me to re-marry here in CAnada given that we never live in together and not in communication for almost 12 years? Thank you for your time and hope you can enlighten me with this one.

  44. barbie

    hi. greetings Atty. thanks for this wonderful website. i hope you could help me with my problem.
    i have an outstanding loan from a bank which i borrowed to use for medication of my father last year. since then i wan only able to pay 4 months of that loan which i was suppose to pay for 3 years. after my father’s medication, i continued to be under financial problems due to a lot of other financial responsibilities. i decided to seek work abroad to finance my responsibilities and to pay my debt from the bank and now i am employed in an IT company here in Malaysia. recently the collections agent of that bank has been calling my previous company to ask information about me. prior to knowing they have been calling my previous company, i already emailed the bank’s collection and helpdesk to assist me because i am planning to update the loan and pay the unpaid months. i just don’t know because it seems that they have contacted a different agency already to do the persistent asking and demanding people in debt that they are not aware of my request to help me update my account. i am willing to settle the amount but i just cant pay it in whole because i still have to support my family back there in manila while trying to settle my debts alongside. question is, how can i handle this situation because i feel i am being harassed already by all this calls to my previous company. do i have the right to tell them to stop bugging my office mates because they do not have anything to do with my problems? what should i tell the people who’s been doing all this things?

    hoping to hear from you soon Atty.

    Thanks.

    barbie

    1. Atty. Post author

      Barbie: You may directly file a complaint with the bank if you are a victim of collection harassment practices.

      If you find that the bank’s reply or action is unsatisfactory, you may also file a complaint with the Financial Consumer Affairs Group (FCAG), Supervision and Examination Sector, BSP. The address is: 5/F Multi-Storey Bldg., BSP Complex, A. Mabini St., Malate, 1004 Manila. Email: consumeraffairs@bsp.gov.ph.

      I hope this helps.

      1. barbie

        thanks for your reply Atty. really appreciate it. another question, what if i wont be able to comply with their terms for updating my account? like they want me to pay the whole lapse amount in a schedule which is impossible for me to really follow. i know that the time spent for the loan to remain unpaid is accumulating interest, but i have planned to pay it into two payments within two months. if they insist that i pay in the schedule they provided (which is one time payment) and i wont be able to comply, is there a legal case that could be charged of me? and in such a situation, what could be my options? coz the thing here is, i really cannot update the amount in one payment.

        pls help. thanks.

        barbie

      2. Atty. Post author

        Barbie:
        I suggest that you contact the bank and renegotiate the terms of your repayment agreement and to update your account as well. If they insist in collecting what was previously agreed upon in the repayment agreement you signed and you are unable to pay, then they may file a collection suit against you in court. Oftentimes, banks are willing to compromise by extending terms of payment or even condoning some parts of the debt but you will have to present to them a realistic payment plan and stick to it.

        I hope this helps.

  45. barbie

    hi Atty, salamat sa advice. another thing, one of the things that’s bothering me is they (the collection agency they hired) keep telling they will put me in Hold Departure List. they even have someone claiming he’s from BID. how do i check if im really under the Hold Departure List? despite my effort to settle this, the collections agent still continue to call my friend and relaying information that i am in the Hold Departure List. how do i verify this if im here in Malaysia. BTW, i am planning to come to Phils this April.

    thanks,
    barbie

    1. Atty. Post author

      Barbie:
      Existing rules allow the issuance of a Hold Departure Order only when in connection with a criminal case. The Regional Trial Court that issued the Hold Departure Order is required to submit a copy of this order to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Bureau of Immigration. I’m not sure though if these agencies are authorized to give out information relating to Hold Departure Orders. The key is to find out if there is a pending criminal case. If there is, then you can send someone to verify the issuance of a Hold Departure Order with the Clerk of Court.

  46. barbie

    “The key is to find out if there is a pending criminal case”

    how do i verify this Atty? Where do i ask about this?

    1. Atty Post author

      Barbie: You would have received a complaint or subpoena if you do have a pending case.

      1. barbie

        Hi Atty,

        It’s Barbie again.
        I’d like to update you with the current status of my problem. Last week, I communicated with the collection people (who are directly connected with the bank I have loaned from, not those of the third party collection agency) and ask them to give me a copy of duly certified SOA of my account. And yes they did send it but it only contained the total amount of my loan, and the details of the payments I have made. And then, they are asking me to pay PHP 60,040.00, amount which I am asking them to give me detailed breakdown of, since it was not shown on the SOA they initially sent me. But the problem is the person I am talking to keep telling me that they cannot send me the breakdown anymore since it’s already under their legal division. He also keep mentioning of the cases I am to face if I don’t proceed with paying. I don’t understand why they keep giving me such excuse when I am only asking them to give me details of the amount they are asking me to pay. I am terrified If I don’t settle this because I have issued them checks before which have all bounced because of the problems I had financially. I am planning to send my brother to their office this Wednesday to pay PHP 60,040.00 but I am having doubts because they cannot give me what I am asking them. How do I deal with this Atty? I feel I have all the right to give me the details I am asking them especially that this is quite a big amount. What can I tell them to make them give me the details I am asking for?

        Can you send me private message about this?

        Please help me. I am looking forward to hearing from you.

        Thanks a lot,
        Barbie

  47. Mr. Callcenter agent

    Mam good evening! I just would like to raise an inquiry about my status from my previous company.

    From the call center I worked with I have been terminated for a cause they were accusing me. There was a customer from our account reported an issue that he lost his service after speaking with a call center agent and he mentioned these things to one of the site that our account has in Australia. The Australian call center agent forwarded this issue the next day to the call center here in the Philippines. This Australian agent raised the issue that if this was not explained to the customer properly then it might have been taken by the customer further. The manager in my previous company investigated and found records that it was my log in access was used to terminate that customer’s phone service and another record showed I was the one who handled the call that it took about few minutes though they don’t have the voice recording of the said call. As of November 22, 2010 they issued me show cause memo and at the same time a preventive suspension that started November 23, 2010 until December 7, 2010 and they asked me to give a reply as soon as possible to clear out the case. November 25, 2010 I have submitted my response to the memo then November 26, 2010 there was a hearing between HR and the managers and with me. I told them about rampant system errors that could have been the cause of the said issue. They asked me to wait for their notice as they have committed November 29, 2010. Until December 7, 2010 I never got any response, that I even tried to reach through texting our acting supervisor (since our Supervisor was on maternity leave and HR advised me to get in touch thru this person) but even my calls were not even answered. On that last day of my preventive suspension i tried sending sms to my immediate supervisor after I’ve learned that she is already reporting back to work. She agreed to me that I should come back to work on December 8, 2010 12:00pm. When I arrive in the office I even attended the team meeting about team plans. After that meeting, my supervisor advised me not to take in calls anymore then she asked me to go to the room to meet the managers and HR. That was the time they gave me the termination letter and they said that I am responsible with the use of my assigned system log ins since this was used to terminate the mobile service of the customer. I even told that that even the customer did not file any legal complaints against the company.
    Please enlighten me whether there was justice on what they did and what could I possible do about this incident? Thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mr. Call Center Agent: reply sent already via email.

  48. ronan

    Greetings Atty!

    it`s like a heaven`s answer to have found your site! just got a lot of questions in mind and i think you are one of the persons i must go to.
    which part of the Philippine law that states that private companies/institutions/organizations can charge (money) penalty to employees for any violation or incompliance ( as trivial as failure to attend a meeting, activities,etc) and deduct the fines from the worker`s wage?

    your expert response will solve a lot!

    maraming salamat po!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ronan: A reply will be sent a little later directly at your email address.

  49. ronan

    Hi Atty!

    I hope I was able to phrase my question right;-)

    maraming salamat po!

  50. Bella

    Hi,
    could an illegitimate child (filipino citizen) before marriage be entitled to a house property (Loc Phils) of the father that was acquired before marriage (marriage happened in US)?
    If the husband will transfer the title of the property to the child, would permission from the wife be needed?
    thanks

    1. Atty. Post author

      Bella: Transfers of property by a married person require the consent of the spouse which should appear on the face of the Deed or Agreement, regardless of when the property was acquired and to whom it is transferred. I hope this helps.

  51. ronan

    Maraming Salamat Po!

    I got your reply to my query and it does help a lot and one more thing very important Attorney- is it okay to just let employees sign an employment contract WITHOUT the seal of notary public? Just paper photocopies? And how about NOT providing employees a black and white and clear employees handbook for specific job descriptions?

    Should an employee sign (upon receipt) a memorandum on minor offenses or failure to complete an assignment even the memo content DOES NOT have any statement of reference to a policy to explain the violation/offense. It only states the sanction/punishment BUT no company policy stated used as referrence. Can the company still use the memo as ground for suspension/termination?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ronan: Signing a receipt of an inter office memo is alright even if you don’t quite agree with what it says because your signature does not mean you agree or consent to its wordings– by signing, you are merely acknowledging that you have received a communication from your employer. If as you say, the termination notice does not contain any specific details leading to the conclusion of a violation of a company offense or policy that is punishable by termination, then it is possible to question the decision to suspend or terminate on the basis of lack of substantive due process.

  52. Lou

    It’s nice to know that there are still person like you who wants to share their expertise with the less knowledgeable with regards to Laws of this Land
    Hello and thanks in advance . i am a non teaching employee of private school and i just want to inquire regarding Regulars Working Hours, Iam a regular employee for more than 7 yrs with regular working schedules 8: to 5:00 my question is, is it legal for my superior to change my regular time to avoid paying overtime as in changing it from 2 pm to 11 pm . these happens twice usually when theres an event after 5 pm that needs my expertise. actually i dont really charge overtime on my own. its just that i feel these practice is wrong. most specially to some of my co employee. and it must be corrected.

    Thank you

    1. Atty. Post author

      Lou : The employer may determine or change hours of work depending on the needs of the business or establishment. But by moving it a little later, an employer may still have to pay extra particularly for work performed after 10 p.m. as night differential pay. I hope this helps.

  53. RiaBell

    Hi Atty. C

    I have one complicated issue and I don’t know if I should sue this person or not. Or have I the right to do so..

    I am an illegitimate child , technically. My parent’s marriage contract was never been legalized. I have 2 elder brothers. My father had an affaire with someone and had 2 other kids with her, and somehow, can show us that she has a marriage contract and claiming was married to my father. Which , makes them the legal family. But they never live in the same roof, just an affaire.

    When my mother and father separated, my father took me and my 2 brothers went under the care of my mother. In short, I was the only one who grew up under his care. But my father never neglect all his responsibilities, even to the “2 legitimate children”. We all went to good school and were well-supported, financially.

    Here is the issue. When my parents separated, my father got a new girlfriend. And together, they built a construction company, bought houses and all. After more than 10 years, my father had a stroke and became bed ridden. The girlfriend sent my father and I to a small, dirty house for care-takers in a property they owned. I took care of my father until I graduated high-school and was obligated to buy all his needs, medications for example. And One day , the girlfriend and some relatives of my father decided that I ca not stay with him any longer. They throw me away. After about 3 months, I found out that my father is dead. I heard it was a mercy killing. And my brothers and I never receive a cent from all the properties that my father has. Even SSS, nothing. Is it normal??

    1. Atty. Post author

      Riabell: It is possible for you not to receive anything from your father’s SSS benefits if you and your brother were not listed as beneficiaries. But even as an illegitimate child, you are entitled to a portion of what your father left behind. Of course, it may not be that simple to go after your father’s remaining properties if long before he died, he already transferred the titles to someone else. You may have to investigate the titles covering the properties before asking whoever is holding it now for your share. I hope this helps.

  54. RiaBell

    The girlfriend said, that all the properties were at her name and the share of my father were all spent for his hospitalisations. The girl is beginning to sell some properties already. Is it legal?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Riabell: yes, she could legally sell properties that are under her name. That is how the land title system works. But if you feel you and your brother have a rightful share in any of those, then you can try tracing the title of the properties back to your father and get a lawyer to ask for your rightful share in these. There are no guarantees about recovering inheritance but there’s no harm in trying.

  55. Mary Grace *****

    Dear Atty,

    I would like to ask if the 30 minutes excess on the regular day duty can be considered as overtime? if not what is the minimum time to be considered as overtime.

    Thank you.

    Grace

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mary Grace: I assume that your regular work schedule is 8 hours. In which case, even 30 minutes of work performed beyond 8 hours in a single day is entitled to overtime pay.

  56. RiaBell

    Dear Atty. C

    Pasensya kana ang dami ko hinihingi ko favor sayo sa mga problema ko..I hope naalala mo ung inihingi ko ng advice about my 4 years old son na kelangan ko magproduce ng justification that I have all the full custody to him. Sinubukan ko na yata lahat ng affidavit , refuse pa rin ang request of visa ko para sa kanya. Ano ba dapat ang kelangan para maipakita ko na ako ang mag full custody sa anak ko?

    My son is
    – turning 4 years olds
    -illegitimate but was acknowledge by the father by birth certificate
    -was under the custody of my family and I since birth
    -the father disposed and signed
    -a. Affidavit of Illegitimacy with a copy of Family code art 176 and civil code art 288
    -b. Affidavit of full custody
    -c. Affidavit of consent to travel
    -all in red ribbon by the DFA

    and still rejected. Sabi ng Embassy kelangan nila ng magpapatunay na ako ang may full custody sa bata at wala na kahit anu sa ama.

    I was thinking, wala ba tayong simplified procedure to get a ful custody? Kung ako mismo at ung ama ang pupunta ng korte to.. NAsa france pa ako ngayon, kung talagang walang choice kundi kumuha ng court order, gusto ko sana malaman kung meron man tayong simplified procedure at magtutulungan kami , gano katagal ang aabutin???

    Thank you very sa laging pagtulong…

  57. sophie

    hi, I am a single mother, unmarried, of a 2-year old kid, before my kid turned 1, the father left us with no financial support. after 10 months of no financial support he tried to communicate with me, and sent total of 12k for 2 months then stopped providing financial support again because i failed to respond to his text message that i’ve received the payment he sent, then on my child’s 2nd bday he showed up and wanted to provide financial support only if he will see his daughter once per week. I don’t really need financial support but since he can’t be stopped vistining my daughter, practicality’s sake, i accepted the offer. but he is only offering 6k per month. He is currently earning more or less 35k/month, single, how much financial support can i get from the father of my kid? and can i limit is # of visits per month? is it ok not to allow to borrow my kid and they can just spend time here in my place?

      1. ariana

        Hi Atty.
        I have the same predicament. I have an illegitimate child with my ex bf. My child is using the surname of his father. I know that he has visitation rights under the law.
        here are my questions:
        1. what are considered “reasonable visitation”
        2 is there a way to limit visitation?
        3. can visitation be done under supervision? I fear that the father may kidnap my child, and I would not get to see my child again.
        4. If we have a notarized agreement and then my child and I migrated will I be held liable?
        thank you.

      2. Atty. Post author

        Ariana: 1) What is reasonable when it comes to visitation will depend on every child’s circumstances. No two visitation agreements are the same. 2) Visitation rights may be limited by a visitation agreement approved in court. 3) Visitation may be under supervision or certain limitations provided in a visitation agreement. If approved in court, any violation of the terms (which includes the timely return of the child to your home) may be subject to court proceedings for contempt of court. 4) I suggest that you include provisions for migration in the visitation agreement and ask a lawyer to help you draft and negotiate its terms with the father of your child. I hope this helps.

  58. Susan

    Dear Atty,
    I am a single mother of an 8 year old boy. His father is in Saudi Arabia working as an engineer.. He supported me from the time i got pregnant but stopped his financial support when my child was 2 years old. Ang sabi nya, gipit siya kasi madami daw siyang utang. Nagkaroon kami ng mga away dahil don at sa inis ko, nasabi ko sa kanya na kalimutan na lang niya kami at hindi ko kailangan ang pera niya… Hindi na nga siya nagpapadala ng pera pero minsan may kamustahan kami through email, nangungumusta siya sa bata.. 2010 feb, birthday ng anak ko, bigla siyang nagpadala ng 5,000 pesos para daw sa birthday ng anak ko, tinanggap ko naman kasi para sa anak ko yon… Yon lang ang pinadala niya for that year then this year nagpadala siya ng 7,707 pesos para sa birthday pero ewan ko lang kung maalala niya birthday ng anak ko kung hindi ko sa kanya pinaalala. This march, humingi ako ng pang-tuition 3,700 pesos…ang reply niya, sa 25th of march na lang siya magpapadala kasi wala na siyang pera sa 25th pa ang sweldo at kung makakanakaw siya sa sweldo niya, makakapagpapadala siya.. May pamilya na kasi siya sa saudi, isang nurse ang asawa niya at may isang anak sila. Nainis na naman ako kasi sinabi niya na ” kung makakanakaw sya sa sweldo then makakapagpadala”… Tinanong ko siya kung alam ba ng asawa niya na may anak siya sa akin, pero hindi niya sinagot. Tinanong ko rin siya kung may balak pa ba siyang magbigay ng financial support sa anak niya, pero wala ring sagot… Through email lang kami nag-communicate kasi ayaw niya sa phone or even magtext ako ayaw niya.. Never pa niya nakita ang anak ko sa personal kasi takot sya sa mga parents ko kahit na wala naman siyang dapat ikatakot kasi tanggap naman na ng family ko ang nangyari. Mas ikakatuwa pa sana nila kung bibisita siya at sumoporta sa anak ko. Gusto ko sana mag-file ng kaso para magkaroon ng financial supprot para sa anak ko…pero ang problema nasa saudi siya ano ba dapat gawin ko atty. ang parents naman niya ay hindi na rin nagtatrabaho, umaasa na rin lang sa kanya… please atty, i need ur help…
    Hindi nga pala nya na-acknowledge sa birth certificate ang anak ko kasi wala naman siya nong ipinanganak ko ang anak ko.. what i have are the receipts of what he has sent me and his love letters and emails before, yon lang….

  59. mia ***

    Good day Atty.!
    I’m currently 17 years old. I am an illegitimate child. I am using my mother’s surname. In my birth certificate, the word UNKNOWN is written for the father’s name, BUT I was acknowledged by my father, and a note saying that I was acknowledged by him is written on my birth certificate.

    I do NOT want to use his surname. Would his acknowledgment make me automatically have his surname whether I like it or not? Or do I have a choice as to not use his surname?

    Thank you so much, Atty.!

    1. Atty Post author

      Hi, Mia. Since you were born before the law allowing illegitimate children to use the father’s surname became effective, you still have the option not to use his surname. Just make sure that your mom does not file an application in the civil registrar before you reach 18. I hope this helps.

  60. Genaline ***

    Hi, I would like to know how can I terminate my husbands rights to his illegitimate child? Since he kept this from me eversince we got married. How can I protect my family from his illegitimate child? What can I do to keep my husband away from his illegitimate child?.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Genaline: A reply was sent through email. Please check.

  61. Leny

    Dear Attorney,
    My ex husband is in Australia and he has stopped giving financial support for my six-year old daughter when I refused to give him my daughter passport for visa application as his dependent. His new family is also applying for a resident visa in Au and he supposedly want to include my daughter in their application. (he’s been working there for 2years already). I do not have his exact address abroad but I want to formally demand for child support. What are my remedies? Can I write Australian Embassy in our country since they(ex husband and family) have a pending application? I also have the email and address of his local agency? Is there a weight that my daughter is the legitimate one, and his kid is illegitimate? I am not also sure if he and her partner already got married but from what I heard, all of them are currently in Au, maybe for an initial visit.
    It pains me that I am struggling to raise my child alone while his father forgets his responsibility. Need your legal advise.
    Your help will be very much appreciated.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Leny: I understand your situation. It is difficult to raise a child alone especially with the present economic situation. I suggest that you exert all efforts to locate the father of your child and obtain the exact address abroad before having a lawyer send him a demand letter for support. If his parents are here in the Philippines, you may also send them a copy of your demand letter but it should still be addressed to him as though he were here. Wait for his response and let your lawyer decide on the next steps.

      Children, whether legitimate or illegitimate, are on equal footing when it comes to support. Their status only matters when their legitime (inheritance) is the issue.

      I hope this helps.

  62. Eden

    Dear Atty,
    What if my Atty. refuses to help with my petition for child support when it is supposed to be included in my payment for the annulment?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Eden: Lawyers generally do what is best for their clients under the circumstances. I suggest that you ask if it’s still possible for him / her to file a motion for support pendente lite (meaning, support pending litigation) in the same annulment proceeding. They usually allow it. It will entail additional costs, perhaps in the preparation of the necessary documents and the attendance at the hearing. That is a usual cost as the lawyer will spend time drafting, filing and having the motion approved in court.

  63. mia ***

    hello Atty.!!🙂 Thank you so much for the reply. More power and God bless!!

  64. Maureen *********

    Dear Atty,
    I was told last Jan abt my basic pay there is an increase of 5K, this is retroactive from June 2010. After 2 months, i was notified that the 5K should not be part of my basic but instead as an honorarium (which is temporary).
    I asked my boss to a dialogue three times but got no response. Pls advise. thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Maureen: You are right, a dialogue is necessary to understand the changes in the treatment of the amount granted to you. Assuming that it is going to be treated as an honorarium, this type of monetary benefit, if paid regularly for a long period, may be considered a benefit that the employer cannot later withdraw or reduce. What is considered “long” enought to constitute a company practice, however, has not been defined by law. But Supreme Court cases have considered 2, 3 and 7 years as enough time for a benefit to be protected against elimination or reduction. So, my suggestion is to still exert effort to clarify the matter. But not to worry too much if it has been paid and the employer continues to pay it in the meantime. I hope this helps.

  65. maureen

    dear atty,
    in effect my salary is being reduced which i believed is not allowed. yes i deseved an explanation but my boss is ignoring my request to have a dialogue, another issue i want to raise is demotion last may 2009 I am a finance director i became a controller in july 2010 and now i was referred as acting controller, without due process thank you

    1. Atty. Post author

      Maureen: The additional circumstances you just disclosed makes it seem that there is an attempt to mask a demotion (by increasing your salary in the meantime).

  66. aien ****

    Hi attorney, i just want to ask if it is legal for a company to have this kind of “attendance policy” as per our new HR officer. 10 minutes graceperiod,First Offense: if you are late of 1-30 minutes, you will be deducted of 1 hour salary, second offense: if you are late 30 minutes-1hour you will be deducted 1 whole day. Is this possible? thank you so much!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Aien Buen: That policy sounds unfair. Under the “no work, no pay” principle of labor laws, the appropriate deduction for undertime should be proportionate to the actual time not worked. Otherwise, employees are better off just taking the day off instead of coming in late.

  67. Maureen

    Do i have a legal case Atty? I have documents as proof of decreasing my salary and demotion without due process. My boss refused to talk to me, I wrote our HR and he just said he will try to contact my boss. It seems no one wants to settle my concerns. What is the best time to go to NLRC? before or after resignation. TY

    1. :-) Post author

      Maureen: Will send a reply via email.

  68. mary

    hi atty, im working in madrid spain for 4 yrs and my husband also working here for 5 months.we live in the house of my boss.we’re planning to get my 5 yr old son.is it possible to bring my son here without visa or what are the possible ways to bring my son here….

    1. Atty Post author

      Mary: Any Filipino child will need a valid visa to enter Spain. Please go to the nearest embassy and inquire about the various visa options and their respective requirements. Every country has different requirements.

  69. JOSE

    can a widowed employee who remarry wife file paternity leave even if he already have four (4) children with his first wife?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jose:
      Yes, it is my opinion that you are entitled to paternity leave for as long as it is for the first 4 deliveries of your lawful wife. The law does not distinguish between a first and second wife. I hope this helps.

  70. Kevin

    I am 17 yrs old turning 18 this friday. My mother is a Filipina and my father is Australian. My Father already has his family (wife and kids) when he met my mom so according to my mom, when she got pregnant, my father told her that he’ll take care of us but we’ll have to be out of the public’s eye. My father is a well known business man of his field, so he has his attorney who takes care of our finances, in short, yung financial support namin dumadaan sa attorney nya at habang lumalaki ako, si attorney lang ang nakakausap namin ng mother ko. Nawalan na rin ng gana ang mother ko na i-seek ang dad ko dahil nasaktan sya sa ginawa nito sa kanya, although she loved him dearly until she passed away last 2007. before my mother died, we used to come over the attorney’s office, mahabang mahabang paghihintay sa lobby ng office bago nya ibigay ang pang tution fee ko and allowances. After my mother died, attorney arranged to have my allowances withdrawn from the ATM so i dont have to come over to his office personally. until recently, pinahihirapan na po ako ng husto ni attorney na makuha ang allowance ko, ask ko lang po kung anung dapat gawin sa lawyer ng daddy ko po or sa daddy ko. I never had any kind of conversation with my father, no phone calls no written and no personal meetings. All was through atty. school allowance request, school tuition and all school related stuffs are only considered by my dad’s lawyer hindi sya ng bibigay kapag ang needs ko ay di related to school . At first i am receiving 4,000 a month that was during my elementary and high school days . when i turn to college my allowance increased from 4,000php to 8,000 php that 8,000 pesos i enjoyed it for a year after my 1st year of college after that i shifted my course. upon shifting my course he made a written contract that say’s that when i did not reach a 90% grade in any subject, my school support will be stopped. I signed it because I am afraid of him and of losing my allowance, my sole means of living since my mother’s family are not well off. He is always irate and upset, he terrifies me with his voice, lagi nagtataas ng boses kahit nasa public place, he does not care kahit ma-humiliate ako sa harap ng maraming tao. Galit ang boses nya habang kinakausap nya ako madaming tao, he forced me to write and sign a contract-like paperwork indicating that my educational assistance will be stopped if i cant have an above 90% grade across all my subjects.. hindi naman po ako genius, kahit magsunog ako ng kilay, hindi ko mapromise ang 90% across all subjects, pero I signed it even if i knew inside me that i shouldn’t have signed. Pinirmahan ko lang naman po iyon baka po kasi hindi niya po ako iproceed sa enrollment. nasa school po kami nung pinagawa nya sa akin yun…

    I did not attend my classes dahil alam kong hindi ko naman po kaya i reach ang 90% . I explained it to atty. that i cannot reach that pero ayaw niya makinig lagi niyang sinasabe “pag hindi ka nakakuha ng 90% at any subject tigil lahat ng allowance mo last chance mo na to!”

    ang tanong ko po, ano po ba ang dapat kong gawin? gusto ko na lang pong makausap ang daddy ko with regard to my situation.. pano po kung ayaw nya ako kausapin? ano po ba ang mga karapatan ko sa daddy ko? what are the steps i need to undertake, im turning 18 in 3 days time, do i lose my rights to claim him as my father after my 18th birthday? i’ve nowhere to go, please help me. your legal answers will be highly appreciated.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Kevin: Children, legitimate or illegitimate, are entitled to support, which includes everything from food, housing, education, health or medical care and travels to and from school. This right continues until the child reaches the age of majority (18) or until the child finishes his education.

      And the right to be supported does not depend on the child’s grades. To impose a condition that the tuition be paid only if you attain a certain average, which is high by anyone’s standards, is unreasonable, and not permitted by law.

      I suggest that you write your father directly regarding this matter and state the things you just told me and ask nicely that you be allowed to speak to him or be allowed to finish school without the burden imposed by that lawyer. I am disappointed to hear that a member of my profession can act that way. Things like that give lawyers a general bad image.

      If your father refuses to deal with you, then your next step is to get a lawyer to send your father a demand letter for the payment of your tuition and other amounts of support (if not yet paid).

      I understand that you are still a student; you may go to the nearest city hall where you are a resident and look for the Public Attorney’s Office for free legal assistance.

      I assume you have a birth certificate showing the ackowledgment of your father. This will be the basis of your claim for support.

      I do hope this helps.

      P.S. Happy Birthday!

  71. Rhea

    Dear Atty.,

    I have a 3-year old son. He is illegitimate but carries the surname of his father. I now want to separate from my partner and take custody of our child. I am afraid, though that he will not let me have our son. Plus, he has my son’s passport containing his US visa. My fear is that he might take him away. What should be my next step if he doesn’t allow me to leave with my son? Also, can he take our son out of the country without my written consent?
    I really need your advice as I cannot afford a lawyer with my current financial status. Your reply will be very much appreciated.

    1. Atty Post author

      Rhea: advice earlier sent via email. Kindly check.

  72. blaster

    hi atty, separated na po kami ng wife ko nung nakabili ako ng property pero hati-hati kami ng mga kapatid ko sa pagbabayad
    kaso sa titulo name ko lang pala un nailagay. may nakapag-advice sa akin about Express Trust? pwede po ba paki-explain further?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Hi, Blaster. A deed of trust simply states that you are holding a property for and in behalf of the people who helped paid for the property that now appears under your name.

      1. blaster

        Hi again Atty, since di lang ako un nagbabayad nung property pwede ba ako magpagawa ng ‘Express Trust’? ang worries ko since married ako magiging part un ng conjual property. Ano po ba un maisusuggest ninyo paraan since sigurado ano man manyari di papayag un pamilya ko pagnagkataon.

      2. Atty. Post author

        Blaster: I suggest that you approach a lawyer to draft the necessary agreement using specific details of the property in question. Due to ethical reasons, I refrain from giving more specific advice in this particular situation.

  73. Rose

    Hi atty, Is it possible I can have my last name erase in my letter, my case is complicated and I dont want to expose my identity

    1. Atty. Post author

      Yes, Rose. I always hide the last names and email addresses of my readers. Your story is safe with me. Anyway, yours seems to be a complex one judging by the word count of your query. Allow me to address it within 24 hours in a separate email. Have a blessed Sunday.

  74. kazylnyn

    Hello. I have a 12 mos old daughter from my ex who happened to be my brother in law. He and my sister got separated and we hooked up. They got back together after his accident and while i’m still on my 6 mos pregnancy. His name is in the birth certificate and my daughter carries his last name too. My daughter lives with me since birth.I filed a child support and he countered by filing a visitation right which is still pending. He wants overnights in weekdays and weekends overnights too. He have a good day job from Mon to Fri and earning very well. My sister-a stay home wife and mom of a 9 yr old son- seems to welcome my daughter in her home. I don’t want to spend money in the court for his visitati0n rights, which i think he is entitled, but he demand so much time . I work 12 hrs for 3 days/wk as a nurse and off other weekend. Can you pls advice me what you think should be the fair visitations time. I want him to have visitation but reasonably limited. Right now, he have a temporary visitation every Tues 7am-9pm and every saturday from 10am-6pm,no overnights. I dont want to go to court, just want to have an out of court agreement but he wants more time and overnights too. Please advice me. Thanks.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Kazylnyn: I’ll be sending you my advice directly through email within 24 hours. Have a blessed Sunday!

  75. Ricardo ******

    Dearest Atty. Christine Florido,

    Im married and separated for 22 years already ( not annuled ) and right now, me and my partner are expecting our baby by July this year. The father of my partner is not agree to use my surname and they wanted to use my partner surname instead. I do agree that our child will be illegitimate because, she will be born out of wedlock. Atty., im afraid that the father of my partner will use his “connection” to forcely use their surname on my child’s birth certificate. Can he do that? even without my consent as the child’s father? Are the bill RA 9255 can prevent him from using their surname instead of mine?
    Appreciating your reply on this matter Attorney Florido.
    Best regards,
    Ricardo *********

    1. Atty Post author

      Ricardo: An illegitimate child is under the sole parental authority of the mother. In my opinion, at the time of birth, it is the mother’s decision to choose what surname the child will bear. If the mother allows you to acknowledge paternity on the back portion of the certificate of live birth, then the child’s birth certificate will be registered bearing your surname. The future grandfather may convince the mother of your child to use her surname, just as you may also discuss the matter of the child’s surname with your partner. Ultimately, I believe that the surname that will best serve the interest of the child should be the primary consideration in the decision.

  76. Ricardo

    Thank you so much Atty. for your quick response.
    Best regards & more power.
    Thank you,
    Ricardo

  77. mary

    may katanungan lng po ako about sa anak ko po sa pag kadalaga at sa birth certificate nia ay father’s unknown ngayn po ay kasal po ako sa isang aleman at gusto po ng asawa ko ngayn n gamitin ng anak ko ang surname nia ano po ba ang dapat kong gawin. maraming salamat po at God bless & more power..

    1. Atty Post author

      Mary: You and your new husband can file a petition for adoption jointly so that your child can carry your husband’s surname and be elevated to the status of a legitimate child. I hope this helps.

  78. Marirose

    My daughter is 7 years old now. On her birth certificate i was married to her father in Dubai UAE but the fact is i was never married to him. I don’t have any contact or communication to her father since she was born. Her father is an Indian National and I’m from Philippines. I am legally married now (not to her birth father) but before i got married I’ve provided a NON marriage certifate authenticated by DFA and i am carrying my husband’s surname now We are processing our visa to Australia including my daugther as my husband got a job offer there. we are currently living in the UK and my daughter lives in the Philippines with my mother. What’s the best thing for me to prove that I was a single mother when I gave to birth to my daughter. We just gave that aforesaid statemet in order to save myself and my family from shame,humilation, and embarrassment that I gave birth without the benefit of marriage. And now that’s my biggest PROBLEM.

    1. Atty Post author

      Marirose: Yours is not an unusual situation. Many women have done the same in order to allow the child to use their father’s surname back when it was not yet allowed or to save the mother’s family from embarassment. Anyway, I suggest that you let a lawyer file a petition for correction of entry in your daughter’s birth certificate. That way, you can correct the legal status of your daughter and set the record straight. I hope this helps.

  79. Mae

    Dear Atty.

    I’m so thankful an attorney like you have time to give free legal advice to confused people like me…

    I would like to have your advice on how to go about a change of last name for my 4 year old son? His father and I are not married, but we stated a false date of marriage on our son’s birth certificate….Now, I am a single mother. My son’s father left us a long time for another woman and I would like to have my son’s last name reverted to mine so he can avoid the stigma of his father’s name when he goes to school this June.

    I am in desperate need of advice…thanks…

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mae: This is why I am hoping to get the attention of single mothers who are about to give birth and are planning to let their children use the fathers’ surnames. Not all relationships end well and in some instances where the father ends up marrying someone else and leaving the illegitimate child and mother behind, the child or the mother would like to change the child’s surname. Unfortunately, the process of changing last names is longer than letting the child use the father’s surname. You will have to file a petition for change of name in court and convince the court of your reasons for wanting the change. The procedure takes months to complete and I’m afraid it won’t be in time for your son’s enrollment in June. But if you are really serious about this process then you’ll have to start soonest. I hope this helps.

  80. Tiger

    Hi Atty! Me and my wife had a son who is 11 years old. I left my wife and my son after he was born because we always have fights and I just had it so i left and went back home. She begun to hate me and would not let me see my son or accept anything I provide for my son so if I want to give something for my son, I just give it to my mother in law since my wife don’t mind if her mom was involved. I don’t provide regularly since I was just a student at that time but I always give when they asked. I didn’t exercise my right for visitation since I don’t want to argue with my wife because I don’t want our son to grow up witnessing our fights so I just visit everytime my mother in law calls me to see my son. By the way, my wife is a drug addict and she used shabu several times while our son was inside the womb and also abandoned our son when our son is 2 months old. I could have brought my son home back then but my father in law begged me to live my son with them. I have a lot of trust and respect for my father in law that’s why I agreed since I can visit everytime I want to as long as my son is with them.

    Now our son is 11 years old and is living with his mother and grandparents.
    I’m in the USA right now and a US citizen. We have an agreement with my wife that I provide my son’s schooling while she takes care of the rest of his needs. So I regularly send money for my son’s schooling.

    I want to file custody of my son and bring him here to the US since his mom is still on drugs and unemployed while I have a stable job and a house and no vices. My son also lives with his mom, 2 grandmothers, all of them smokers and his uncle who is also a drug addict and a smoker. They take good care of my son and they don’t hurt him but I don’t want him growing up in a house of drug addicts and smokers.

    DO I STAND A CHANCE IN CASE I FILE FOR CUSTODY EVEN IF MY SON WILL CHOOSE TO STAY WITH THEM?

    1. Atty Post author

      Tiger: The outcome of every case will depend on the strength of the arguments and evidence presented by your own counsel. My opinion here is based on my appreciation of the circumstances you presented. It may differ with those of other professionals due to differences in appreciation of facts and case law. But theoretically, yes, you can argue that it is for the best interests of your son to live with you rather than with his mother if you are able to show her unfitness and prove drug addiction. But let me forewarn you that knowing something is different from being able to prove it. I have had the sad experience of seeing someone come forward with personal knowledge of drug use in the presence of minor children but due to inaccurate drug testing results and the difficulty in obtaining conclusive evidence, the judge refused to believe the witness and the drug-free parent. To this day, the drug-user/parent still has access to the children and continues to use drugs in the presence of the children. Sad but true. Only because the law requires clear and convincing evidence of this before one parent can be deprived of his or her right to custody. If you really want to win your case, you will have to spend time, energy, and money to prove your point in court. I hope this helps.

  81. :-) Post author

    Rose: Due to the huge load of queries I receive from my websites, I’d appreciate it if you could send me an email regarding your issue and the pending questions at atty@christineflorido.com.

  82. Sher

    Thanks a lot Attorney, I will wait for your email! you are such a big help to everyone!

  83. Lourdes

    04 May 2011
    hi Atty, i received my salary yesterday with my payslip. It reflected 6absences while i only incurred 2days (April 15 and April 25). In confusion i have requested a breakdown of my deductions from the management. This is the reply:

    April 15-absent, April 21-regular holiday(maundy thurs), April 22-regular holiday(good friday), April 23-holiday per declaration of the company and April 25-absent. Holiday can be paid if employee is present before and after the holiday so sa case mo absent ka ng 25April kaya walang bayad ang mga holiday na yan.

    Question:
    Legal Holidays are thursday and friday whille Saturday are company declaration. I was absent on the 25th April(monday). Is it right that they will not pay me on these legal holidays because i was absent on 25th April(monday)?

    1. Atty Post author

      Lourdes: Replied to this query via email. Please check.

  84. NELLIE

    I have a three year old son, the father has never paid support. I had a DNA test done when he was six weeks old. The results show he is the father. He has had every excuse why he has no realtionship with hi.=m. My question is if something was to happen to me, would my family get the child? Or would the father. He never signed the birth certificate .

    1. Atty. Post author

      Nellie: An illegitimate child is under the sole parental authority of the mother. While the law is silent as to who will exercise parental authority if the mother of an illegitimate child is deceased or absent, it is the opinion of some lawyers that the maternal grandparents will be entitled to exercise substitute parental authority. The biological father may ask for custody but he may have to go through long legal proceedings if contested by the maternal grandparents.

  85. Rose

    Hi atty, nag e-mail ako sayo sa e-mail address na binigay mo (atty@christineflorido.com) tungkol sa letter ko sayo na nag pop-up ulit ng mag inquire ako sayo na waiting pa rin ako sa response mo sa letter ko. Baka pwede mo munang sagutin bago burahin ulit kasi nandoon yung last name ko sa letter eh complicated nga yung issue ko coz of the people involve. Hope to hear from u, thanks!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Rose: I must confess that I tried looking for your previous email and am unable to find it. I apologize for this. The number of queries is overwhelming. Please see if you can resend me your previous query through my email address.

  86. kira

    Good day!
    I have an urgent situation concerning child support. My husband has been infidel for several years and had fathered 5 children (2 which is mine, 2 outside of wedlock during our marriage and 1 before the marriage) He has mental disorder which you might call a sociopath and has no moral compass and no guilt or whatsoever, leaving several women’s lives broken on his trail even with my warning. I asked for child support for our two kids because my job alone is not enough to make end meets but he’s refusing to coordinate with me and virtually avoiding me. he’s now with another woman in the province with his new kid and last year he fathered another one and left the woman right after she gave birth to his kid. i have all the evidence of his infidelities and i have a picture of his and my babies. i want to know how much should i ask for child support and alimony. thank u so much. your help is greatly appreciated.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Kira: There is no fixed or standard amount for child support and it will depend on two things:
      (1) the needs of the child or children and (2) the capacity of the parents
      Take note, however, that the obligation to support rests on BOTH parents, not just the father, so you may have to consider your share in it when computing how much your children need.

      The Philippines does not have any legal provision requiring alimony although spouses who are legally married are entitled to support one another. Considering your husband’s other children, I don’t think it practical to ask for spousal support if you are able to provide for yourself in the meantime. Asking for child support is a different matter because that is your children’s right. Their father will have to find ways to provide for them and not let the presence of other children (which is not the children’s fault) affect their daily sustenance.

      I normally recommend listing down the usual expenses for food, clothing, medicine, vitamins, yaya, transportation to and from school, and other monthly recurring expenses, adding them up and computing a small percentage as allowance for unexpected miscellaneous expenses (say 5 to 10% of the total). Expect the other side to negotiate a lower amount. Once you both agree to a regular monthly allowance, I suggest that you let a lawyer write the agreed terms in a support agreement and have the father sign it.

      I hope this helps.

  87. Mr.M

    Dear Atty. Florido,

    Good Day po.

    We are married for 6 yrs now and we have a son. My problem is that the other woman is pregnant and her family wants me to support her. My wife knows about the incident. I am living alone and my son is with her parents. I am really bothered right now and these are my questions:

    Pertaining to my wife:
    1. Can she file a case against me? If yes what case will this be?
    2. Can she file a case against the other woman?
    3. What should be the proper percentage of distribution of my pay? 50-50 or 60% for me and 40% for them?

    Pertaining to the other woman:
    1. They say they will file for a petition for support, what is this?
    2. What will I do if I am not sure if the baby is not mine?

    Please Atty. am so bothered right now.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mr. M: About your wife: It will really depend on the actual circumstances of your case but possible legal actions she can file may include a criminal one for concubinage, civil cases for legal separation or nullity of marriage, support and sole custody. There is no standard formula for determining support but you will have to discuss a monthly allowance as spousal and child support. On the other woman: A petition for support is a court action asking the judge to order a parent to provide a monthly amount as support to a child. If the child is not yet born, then I am not sure if a petition for support will prosper because the other woman is not your wife. She may be entitled, however, to an amount sufficient to cover prenatal and delivery expenses. If you are uncertain about the baby’s paternity, I suggest that you avoid signing or executing the Acknowledgment that appears at the back of the child’s certificate when the child is born and ask for a paternity test as a condition for providing support. Ordinarily, when one fails to provide support, a demand letter is first sent to the father. Use that as an opportunity to state that you are uncertain about the child’s paternity and request for a paternity test as a condition for your financial assistance. I hope this helps.

      1. Mr.M

        Maraming Salamat po Atty. Florido.

  88. shirlyn

    dear atty,
    gud day po gusto ko lng po itanung yung problema ng kaibigan kung lalaki kc po hiwalay napo sila ng asawa niya ang problema po gusto niya pong kunin sana yung isang anak niya.bali 2 po yung anak nila.gusto niya po kunin sana yung isa dahil alam niya po na hindi kayang buhayin ng nanay yung mga bata dahil walang trabaho yung nanay kaso ayaw po ibigay ng nanay ang palagi niya pong sinasabi ilalayo niya dw po yung mga bata.pati po mga magulang ng babae hindi rin kayang buhayin silang mag iina.minsan po nag sisideline yung babae sa club yun po ang pansamantalang pinangtutustus niya sa mga bata.tapos iniiwan nya yun mga bata sa kapatid minsan sa mga barkada niyang gro din.ano po ba ang magandang gawin ng kaibigan long lalaki may posibilidad po ba na makuha nya yung anak nya.pls po pakisagot po yung tanong ko maraming salamat po.

    justine,

    1. Atty. Post author

      Justine: I always suggest that both parents try to talk things over before resorting to any court action. If the mother is unable to provide and care for her children, then I’m almost certain that she may be convinced to let one of her kids live with their father, if only to give her child a better life.

  89. mary

    hi atty, i had a 5yr old son he was an illegitimate…his father and i decided to get married last 2009 from the very start im d one who supporting their needs until know.im working abroad for 4 yrs and half and i petitioned my husband last 2010 to help me in our need but i didnt happen.he also a violent person sometime.can i get s sole custody of our son even if im here in spain….my son lives with my mother…i really appriciate ur response.Thank you and more power….

    1. Atty Post author

      Mary: Yes, you may file a petition for sole custody but you must be present in the Philippines to attend the hearings.

  90. mary

    some info regarding my situation is…when i gave birth to my son, the father acknowledge him and with that my son using his father surname…

  91. Bert

    Dear Atty Florido:

    Its really nice to have someone like you with an on-line legal consultation.

    My inquiry is about early retirement program. Is there a law that requires private corporations to have an Early Retirement Program (ERP)? In case the CBA does not mention any ERP and the company does not have any policy on it, is there a law that can compel the company to implement ERP?

    Thanks a lot Atty Florido. More power.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Bert: In the absence of a CBA provision, agreement, contract or company policy on early retirement, the applicable law would be RA 7641 (Retirement Pay Law). Sec. 4 of the implementing rules reads:

      In the absence of a retirement plan or other applicable agreement providing for retirement benefits of employees in an establishment, an employee may retire upon reaching the age of 60 years or more if he has served for at least 5 years in said establishment.

      You may refer to the actual provisions by clicking on this link.

  92. Chelsey

    I want to know if because my ex decided to leave town and tell no one after we had a small fight, if that is abandonment towards his child.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Chelsey: A parent’s mere absence does not constitute abandonment; there must be a negligent and careless failure to perform parental duties, and often has a time element or minimum period, depending on your cause of action. In a case, it is considered abandonment when the parent left the child permanently or indefinitely in the care of others, given the child to another or surrendered the child entirely.

  93. Sherwee

    Dear Attorney C,

    Hope things are doing well. I am an OFW since 2006 here in Qatar. I have met a guy and we decided to live together (which we know it is forbidden here in Middle East). I had discovered he is married for 9 years without a child and our relationship was against all odds. I got pregnant (we kept it secret, though closed friends knew it because we would be in jail) And everything turned okay. I went back to the Philippines to give birth (Jan.2010)after return here to continue my work. I left my son in the custody of my parents. He ( the father of my son) is supporting our son. It was November 2010, when he asked if his mom could borrow our son. And now, we broke up. I would like to take back my son. They (his family) would want. And telling me I am the only one who could take it from them. He also told me that they already asked advise from the DSWD, and informed them that the custody will be in their side. I am not sure if I could go for an emergency leave just to finish this issue. By the way, he is still here. I don’t know what to do. Thank you very much in advance. More power and God bless!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Sherwee: Replies were sent to this query already. I hope it helped.

  94. cherryl ********

    Good morning attorney! I am a single parent and I would like to seek your advice regarding child support law. I have a daughter who is turning 7 y/o this year. Her surname was under his dad’s name because of the law implemented last 2004, also his dad signed the paternity acknowledgement on her birth certificate. We are not married and I know he has a new family now. My problem is that he is not providing consistent financial support with our child. He says that we are not married and the child is in my custody that is why it is my responsibility to provide for my daughter. He keeps on saying that he should have the custody so that he won’t ask anything from me and I will not have any problems financially. I just want the best for my daughter and I want her to get what is supposed to be hers. 2 straight years, his father paid for my daughter’s schooling but right now he says that he does not have money which is not true. He got a new car etc. He is a disc jockey and I fear that he does not have ITR or proof of income. The only obligation that I am asking him is my daughter’s schooling and medications. My question are:

    1. How can I get support from him that will cover my child’s expenses monthly?
    2. Do we have laws wherein the financial support would be automatically deducted from his Monthly salary? This is to make sure the child gets it every month..
    3. Can I seek for his financial support without having to go to a lawyer? I am not really sure how much will it cost if I am going to file a case. I have a net income of 16,000 per month, I am working at BPO and I am paying for everything like meralco, water bills etc. What is the estimate expenses for all the fees I need to pay? What case should I file?
    4. Am I qualified for the help of PAO in our city?

    Attorney, do you think my daughter will have a monthly financial support or just even school obligations be shouldered by his father?

    I really need your help. I am in such financial difficulty right now and I am hoping that your answer can somehow spring some hope in me. Thank you very much for your time..

    1. Atty Post author

      Cherryl: A reply was sent to your email address. Please check.

  95. KIM C.

    Hi,
    I was married in Vegas and had a catholic ceremony (beach) in the philippines, but for some reasons the philiipine marriage contract got lost and was never submitted parish. Now I am got divorce here in the states. Was my marriage in the Philippines registered?
    KIM

    1. Atty. Post author

      Kim: The best way is to request for a Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) from the NSO.

  96. saelynne

    hello. I am a trainee in an online English teaching company managed by Koreans. I signed a contract on April 18 as a part-time trainee and I was told I was going to work full time on May 2nd–which I did, and then the manager just told me that they are changing my position from full time to part -time. I then signed another contract with them (as a part time teacher) on May 9th. I have just received news from the HR head that they are terminating my contract effective May 18th. They are still referring to the first contract I signed with them on April 18th–is this legal? also, they have not given me any copies of the contract I signed. What should I do? can i still file a case in the NLRC without these documents? Thanks for your help!

    1. :-) Post author

      Saelynne: It really depends on the terms found in your contract. When you say they are “referring to the first contract” you signed on April 18, in what way?

  97. noel

    Hi!
    I own a small business. I sent my niece thru high school and vocational school. I spent for all her finances including free board and lodging at home when she was still studying and until she worked in my company as an accounting clerk. When she got married she moved out. I even paid for her wedding!

    Recently she resigned for personal reasons. I was surprised to receive a complaint from NLRC for non-payment of minimum wage. I only pay her 343 per day.

    Is she entitled to the difference in the minimum daily wage? In fact I paid more for her studies and I even gave her work! now She claims underpayment. Is the minimum wage law applicable to me?

    Please give me an advice attorney.

    Thanks,
    Noel

    1. Atty. Post author

      Noel: Considering that your situation is already pending in the NLRC, I suggest that you await the decision of the labor arbiter and engage the services of a lawyer already to advice and defend you. There are only a few exceptions to the minimum wage law and paying for an employee’s studies is not one of them. But your lawyer who will view the circumstances of your case in detail may provide a different angle or defense to your case. I hope this helps.

  98. Susan ***********

    I am a Filipino who had a daughter (now 9 years old) in Phil with my Filipino husband.
    In December 2009 l left Phil to study in the UK, leaving my daughter with her father (who, as far as I am aware, is unemployed) and my daughter’s paternal grand-parents. It was always my intention to bring my daughter to the UK as soon as I was financially secure.
    In the UK I met a new partner (I was unhappy with the unreasonable behaviour of my Filipino husband whilst I lived with him in Phil) and have obtained a divorce under UK law. I realise that this does not mean I am divorced under Phil law but it does mean the UK will allow me to marry my new partner (a UK citizen) here.
    My UK partner (soon to be my husband) is very financially secure and we are able to look after my daughter and give her a superior education and access to the UK National Health Service, both great advantages to her future.
    I read on this site that my daughter may have a choice of who she wants to be with (as she is aged over 7) BUT I think it unlikely she would go against her father whilst she is living with him.
    It is possible my daughter’s father may agree to let her come to the UK, but he varies in his attitude a lot (often it seems he wants money to agree to anything).
    What do you think my chances are of getting custody of my daughter and bringing her to the UK?
    One other problem is that my new partner is not willing for me to return to Phil at this time and so I cannot go there to fight any court case (also my student Visa for the UK would not allow for a long absence).
    Thank you,
    Susan.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Susan: Given your situation, it would seem that your best option right now is to negotiate an amicable agreement with the father of the child. A custody case will require your attention and presence a couple of times in court. Find the best time to talk to him and use positive language, listening whenever possible to his concerns so you can include those in the custody agreement. Most parents are reluctant to let go of children who have been living with them, so you may have to consider discussing annual or scheduled visits of your daughter to the Philippines. Negotiating custody agreements in or out of court is not always going to be easy. But with positive language and the right mindset of both parties, it is possible to come up with an agreement suitable for both sides. You may also need a lawyer to do this for you in the Philippines. I hope this helps.

  99. Grace

    Dear Atty C,
    My brother is married with the mother of his 11year old son. They just been together of his wife for 2 months and then seperated. Since she was still pregnant, my brother never miss on supporting the mother’s need up to payment of hospital bills during child delivery. And since birth of their son he did not miss any moment to support the child’s need. It’s been also more than 11 yrs that they are separated and his wife has already a 2nd child with another man. His son is leaving with his mother. But now the mother is very demanding on the amount of my brothers support to his son. And this school year only we caught the mother is faking the amount of his son tuition fee just to get extra. aside from the monthly allowance of the son, my brother is also taking care all of the school expenses of the kid. Is there any chance that my brother can get the custody of his son? And since they are still legally married, can he use this as ground for Adultery against his wife and get his son? What are the chances? or what are the possible case he can file?
    Thank you and more power!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Grace: If the amount being demanded for tuition fee is higher than what the school is actually collecting, then I suggest that your brother either issue a check payable to the school or process the child’s enrollment on his own. That way, the mother will not be tempted to demand for more than the actual tuition needs because the money for it will not pass her hands. If your brother has been separated from his wife for 11 years, then the more appropriate decision is whether to file a case for nullity (annulment) already. In the case for annulment, your brother’s lawyer may consider the possibility of asking for sole custody as well. I hope this helps.

      1. grace

        Atty update po dun sa prob ng brother ko. nanakot po kc yon mother ng anak nya na mag padala ng demand letter sa employer nya kung din nya ibigay ang hinihinging amount. nagbgay po sya ng breakdown ng gastos 1,000 – laundry & iron, 1550 – school baon ng bata, 667 – meralco share ng bata, 100 – water share, 967 – house rent share ng bata, 1300 – school service, 1310 – monthly tuition fee, 4000 – food allowance ng bata total of P10,894. pede po ba nya ipa shoulder lahat sa kapatid ko to? although sa abroad nagwo-work ng kapatid ko hindi naman ganun kalaki ang sweldo nya. d po ba dapat mag share din yon nanay since may work din sya. nanakot pa sya na kulang pa daw yan dahil wla pa clothing at pati internet singilin nya. pde ny ba sampahan ng kaso brother ko nagbibgay naman sya but not this amount? sagot nya ang pang enrol ng bata. tnx po in advance

      2. Atty. Post author

        Grace: The mother may file a petition for support but your brother can defend himself by showing proof of support that he has been paying in the meantime. He can also allege that the mother of the child is working and has the means to provide her proportionate share of support. I suggest that he keep all documents, receipts, deposit slips or whatever paper he may have to prove that he has been giving support. For as long as your brother strives to provide whatever he can for the needs of the child, I don’t think he has anything to worry about. Besides, the costs for filing a case for support is no small amount. I normally advise clients to compromise out of court and instead use the equivalent amount of legal fees for the child’s support. I hope this helps.

  100. ces

    i and my ex husband is legaly separated for about 6years and i have a live in partner and have 2 kids.my daughter is 11 yrs old and she is leaving with her grandmother for about 7years now…and my ex husband is married and have 3 kids he live our daughter to her mother.i want to visit and go out with my daugter but her grandmother is not allowing my daugter to go out with me or have a few days to stay with me…what is my right as a mother,what should i do?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ces: The parents have the natural and legal right to the custody of their children, even against the grandparents. Before resorting to legal action in court, I suggest that you write the grandmother a letter asking for regular time to spend with your daughter. Hopefully, she will be open to such an arrangement to avoid going to court. If she refuses, then you may have to consult a family lawyer about the possibility of filing an action to obtain sole custody or visitation (as I understand that you may only wish to have access, not necessarily custody).

  101. lyra

    we are not married by the father of my son. our son now is his fathers parents custody. Im a battered partner before and physically and emotionally hurt by my partner which is father of my son.I want to get my son there but they dont give my son to me. what should i do?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Lyra: Since your son is illegitimate, you can legally ask a court to issue an order granting you sole custody. If this is your goal, then I suggest that you approach a lawyer who can handle your case and who will file the necessary action or court cases for you. Your situation has many angles that can touch several provisions of law and remedies. It is best handled by a lawyer already.

  102. boying

    Atty. Christine Florido, Good Pm! po! kamusta po! ask ko lang what can i do with my son birth certificate? kasi po nakalagay po sa Fathers Name is Unknown? ano po ang gagawin ko! ngayon bati na po kami nang nanay nya! 1 year old na po ang baby namin! Marami pong salamat! gusto ko po na maging apelyido ko na po ang baby namin! payag naman [po ang nanay ng anak ko! ano po ang gagawin!?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Boying: Thank you for your message. You can file an application for your child to use your surname following the procedures I mentioned in a previous post. Click here to view it. For children whose fathers have been listed as “unknown”, you will need to execute and attach an Affidavit of Paternity or Acknowledgment of Paternity.

  103. FLORENDO

    my sister had a husband (live-in) unmarried they have a daughter which is 6years old now in which she carried the surname of her father 4 years ago they separated and had an argument of who will tender the child.. her husband claimed that he has the rights because he accusing the mother of immorality for having another lived in partner or boyfriend after a year ….question is of them has the right to tender the child

    1. Atty. Post author

      Florendo: If the parents of the child are unmarried then the child is illegitimate. In which case, parental authority is exercised by the mother. Living in with another boyfriend, I’m afraid, is not one of the grounds for depriving a mother of custody.

  104. terry

    Hi Atty,
    Good Day Po..
    My kids have birth certificates under their father’s name, but the father was not able to sign both at the back(acknowledgement) since both were born while he was away.is it just fine? cause as what i have told you before, i am working on my kids’ papers for immigration to Canada.Till now I can’t find him to sign the declaration for non-acc0mpanying parent.When we had a legal separation(my eldest was 4 yr old that time),2 weeks after I’ve learned that I was pregnant w/ our second baby,he left for work and communication was gone after that.I’m thinking of filing a petition for sole custody,but my concern is the the procedure of doing it(Im in canada).will it take time,money,and do i have to be there most of the time? please e-mail your reply please and thank you..have a good day,this is such a helpful site.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Terry: Already sent a reply via email. Kindly check.

  105. Mr. chef

    dear atty.good day po.ask ko lang po before may live-in partner ako ,pero married na daw po sya at may isang anak sa province,pero separate sila not in legal means.then during our relation nag-givebirth po siya.na ako ang father at sa birth cert. nag-sign at ina-acknowledge ko po ang baby namin.nag-abroad po ako at habang nasa abroad ako may kinasama ang live-in partner ko at nung malaman ko ay nag-gf at pinakasalan ko po legal sa abroad ibang nationality.ngayon po ang tanong ko 9yrs old na po ang baby namin nung pinay st gusto ng bata gamitin ang surname ko which is nabasa ko naman na pwede,maaari po ba siyang tumutol at sakali sino po ang mas may karapatan sa bata,at sa history niya maari po ba siyang tumutol kung isama ko pagdating ng panahon sa abroad ang anak ko?ngayon po sa kasalukuyan ok naman kami as a friend at yung anak ko nasa ng mother at dinadalaw lang niya.ang masakit bakit pag-naduon yung mother in law niya huwag daw muna dun yung anak ko ,,nasaktan po ako bilang ama…maraming salamat po hintayin ko ang payo nio

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mr. Chef: An illegitimate child is generally under the sole parental authority of the mother. If you wish to migrate abroad with your child, you will have to get the consent of the child’s mother and negotiate a sole custody agreement to be approved in court. I hope this helps.

  106. Mr. chef

    sorry po atty.follow-up lang ung anak namin dito sa mother nakatira,malapit lang kasi ung bahay ng mother niya kaya minsan ung anak ko o yung mother niya ang pumapasyal sa bawat isa.Nagkataon nga po nanduon yung mother- in law ng live-in niya at sabi niya sa anak namin hwag muna mag-stay dun ang sarili niyang anak…..salamat po

  107. joey

    gud day. ask ko lng po kung madadamay ba kami sa bayaran ng kampanya sa mga nagreklamo, nireklamo kasi ng mga katrabaho ko yung kompanya ngayon sa labor na wala sa minimum ang pasahod, walang holiday pa, walang 13th month pay, kinakaltasan kami ng sss pero hindi naman naihuhulog, tanong ko po kung sakli npo na matatalo ang kompanya, pag babayaran ba ung mga nagreklamo sa mga bakpay eh pti kami na hindi nagreklamo eh babayaran din po ba, sana po y mabigyan ng pansin ito dahil marami kami sa kompanya na naloloko. tnx

    1. Atty. Post author

      Joey: Strictly speaking, any judgment for an employer to pay unpaid benefits in a case is between the employer and the employees who filed action. But that case, if it is decided in favor of the employees, may set a precedent or strong basis for applying the same treatment to employees who are similarly situated, if in case you and the rest who were not paid the right amounts decide to file a complaint as well.

  108. Celeste

    Good day atty..i have questions for you please.
    1.) my filipino BF (US citizen and residing and working in the US now as a nurse) has 2 children in the philippines ages 15 and 16. he is not married to his childrens mother legally, they got married thru civil rites but did not pass it to the registry coz he is still waiting for his petition in the US then. both of them signed in the birth certificates of their children as well. then they separated after a few years while he was still in the philippines. but he is still providing financial support and visits his kids back home almost every year when he comes home from US and has constant communication with the kids thru phone and internet. now he wants to petition his children and wants to know if he is considered the legal father since he signed in their birth certificates and has continuing father-son relationship with them..eventhough he is not married to their mother legally? thank you in advance.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Celeste: Your bf may have to request for a Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) from the NSO to be sure that he does not have a marriage record on file. Assuming there is no marriage recorded, then the children are illegitimate by Philippine law. Under US immigration laws, children born out of wedlock may be legitimated for visa purposes. I suggest that you refer to US immgration rules if your bf needs to submit documents in support of his petition at the Us embassy. Click here for futher information. Philippine and US laws are not the same. And when it comes to obtaining visa (or the permission to enter another country), the applicant has to refer and observe the issuing country’s rules and regulations, not Philippine laws. I hope this helps.

  109. Susan B

    I am Filipino and married the Filipino father of my daughter (the daughter, now aged 9, was conceived before marriage but born after we had married) but the marriage is registered only with the local civil registrar, not with the NSO. In fact, I recently obtained a CENOMAR stating I am still single.
    I believe that I am still legally married (and that the failure to be registered at the NSO is only a technical point), but wanted to check because if my daughter is illegitimate then I will have legal custody of her (she is presently living with her father) and so could bring her to the UK where I now live.
    If I am legally married then it appears the UK will not allow me to bring my daughter here as a dependent because she has a parent in the Philippines (from whom I am now divorced under UK law) who has custody rights.
    In that case I assume, with the father’s agreement, I can bring my daughter here for holidays accompanied by her aunt and that there will be no problems obtaining a Travel Clearance.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Susan B.: While I am not in a position to confirm your marital status given the discrepancies you cited, what is important is that you are able to show proof of your right to bring the child out of the country and proof of right of custody. Whether the child is illegitimate or legitimate, most jurisdictions require a custody order or agreement showing that the parent taking the child out of the country has a right to do so. I hope this helps. So, yes, if the father can execute a sole custody agreement in your favor, and this is all that is required to obtain a visa for your child, then your assumption is correct.

  110. mary grace

    good day po atty….just want to ask if theres a possibility n maging null and void ang marriage kung wlang licence number ang marriage certificate…puede ko rin ba malaman kung atty o reverent ang ngkasal s amin, paano poh?wla kcing hiningi n kahit anong requirement ung ngksal s amin at ung tinatawag n cenomar as in wla po khit ano…maliban lang dun s mga personal data…we r both legal age when we got married…thank u in advance and more power atty….

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mary Grace: Try requesting for a CENOMAR from the NSO under your name to see if it comes up with a record of marriage.

  111. me

    dear atty,
    thank you for having such a wonderful website! i was also there asking about the illegitimate child issue and now my concern is about my partner who is not yet legally separated with her wife for 15years?he already filed an annulment before but it wasn’t successful, i am mot aware about legal separation and annulment that is why i would like to ask for your good advice on this and what action should be taken so that we could also get married and since her ex wife also has considered the situation and they are not living together for almost 11years..its just that they cannot process this well since both of them are working abroad, please enlighten me about this atty.? thanks!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Me: Right now, the only way for you to marry your partner is for him to obtain a decree of nullity (annulment of marriage) in court. While the wife of your partner may no longer mind your relationship after so many years have passed, you may not be able to produce a CENOMAR which is a requirement for applications for a marriage license in most cities.

  112. Deogracias U. A

    Dear Atty., pwede ko po ba makuha yung anak ko pagdating ng 7yrs old kahit di po kami kasal ..hope na matulungan nyo po ako

  113. Deogracias U. A.

    Dear Atty., pwede ko po ba makuha yung anak ko pagdating ng 7yrs old kahit di po kami kasal ..hope na matulungan nyo po ako babae po anak namin

    1. Atty. Post author

      Deogracias A: The rule right now is that illegitimate children, regardless of age, are under the sole parental authority of the mother. You may file a petition for custody much later but you will have to cite serious reasons about the child’s mother in order to obtain custody.

  114. anne

    atty,

    good day,

    atty.kasi ang stepson ko ay kailangan niya ng birthcertificate ng mama niya,paano kasi kumuha siya sa NSO at pumunta kasi sa Municipal registrar ay negative.At basi sa address niya sa syudad e,pumunta kami sa simbahan at hanapin if naka baptismal ba,eh! hindi negative,ngayon ang mama niya ay may pera sa bank of china,at gusto niya after 7 yrs.mapa sa kanya itong pera.paano?wala siyang records,at bakit may passport at year 1995,may pag asa pa kayang maka kuha kami ng birthcertificate,at paano?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Anne: Let the child’s mother or father file a DELAYED REGISTRATION of birth certificate at the civil registry office in the place where the child was born (usually found in the city hall). They will provide a list of steps and documents for this purpose. It is possible to get the birth certificate in a few months after the delayed registration.

  115. Luzy

    Hello Atty. I want to apply visa for my 15 yr old son. He is illegitimate and never met his father since birth who is a japanese, but was aknowledge in his birth cert. By the way he carries my family name. I want to know the easiest way to have sole full custody of my child since this is the requierement in embassy. I have read some of your advice about aff. of illegitimacy and attach copy of family code art. 176 and it seems it will not work for me because im in EU the same as riaBell. they dont accept affidavits. They want sole full custody and i dont know where to start. I am running out of time sana makapunta ank ko dito before 18 yrs old. Yhank you so much and more power to you!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Luzy: You may have to file a petition for sole custody here in the Philippines because I understand that EU immigration laws require a court order as proof of right of custody. The procedure may take a couple of months and may be faster if the father cooperates in the proceedings. I hope this helps.

  116. Luzy

    hello again.. if possible how long does it takes?

  117. Henry

    Hei

    I understand that you have knowlegd in the Philipinnen Family Law. My question is this. A unweed phi. woman is planing to imigrate to a Eu country with her kids after she have married to the EU- citzien man(Me). The problem is that the Eu country is demanding a consenus from the father to the kids, or a courth order awarding custody to the mother.The problem is that the father would not sign the consensus. But after Philippinene law she already have Sole costody to the kids-the kids is also under 7 age. So how can we prove that she have already sole costody after Phi. law and i also know that there have been some courth decision on this matter in Philippinenene. Are there some office who can write out paper on this? I have also understood the Phi. law that she can travell to a other country with here kids when they go with her. So after that i can see she dont need any of that the the EU country demand because she already can travvel abroud after Phi. Law. IF this is not enough we have to go to courth.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Henry: If the immigration rules of the EU country require a court order as proof of the mother’s right of custody, then she will have to file a petition for sole custody in the Philippines in order to comply with the EU requirement. While the father’s consent will greatly help in the proceedings for custody, if he is uncooperative, the mother will just have to prove that she is the best person to keep the children under her care so that the court will rule in her favor. I hope this helps.

  118. Jacqueline

    Dear Atty,

    I have a 3 years old daughter. I left my husband two days ago. We had a fight about his drinking habit. Two weeks ago he promised me that he is not going to drink on a week days and will just drink on a weekend since our daughter will be going to school. I am working in a BPO company and I work on a night shift. So we, me and my husband had an agreement that he would stop drinking (not the first time that he promise he would stop drinking) cause we also need to start saving for our daughter’s future. Last Thursday, I was getting ready to go to work, I found him drinking outside with our neighbor. I called him and told him “I thought you not going to drink anymore?” he responded that he’s just drinking a little and he’s not gona get drunk (like he always say but he’s gona end up drunk anyway) . When I went back inside the house, he texted me and asking me if my daughter is already awake because she was sleeping back then. I told him not yet but I will wake her up and will just take her to parents house and will just pick her up when I get off work or I can just stay in the house and just stop working and send my resignation. He got so pissed off, he went home and he was gona slap my face but I was able to turn my back so he missed and then he asked me am I threatening him. And then he said a lot of things call me names, and then told me to leave and just go back to my parents house. I was trying to take my daughter with me but my daughter was so scared of him when he asked her to come with him my daughter immediately run towards him crying and calling me. He asked me to leave, I was so scared that he is gona beat me up so i just left without my daughter. He’s been beating me up even when I was pregnant with our daughter but I stayed quiet because i don’t want my family to get involved and I was so scared so i just keep my mouth shut. I been insulted and discriminated but i didn’t go to the police or ask for legal assistance. For some reasons I just had enough that day so I decided to leave. My husband is African-American. He doesn’t work and the he only gets 10,000 pesos every month from his pension depending how much the dollar conversion sometimes it doesnt even reach to that amount. I tried to settle everything with him, discuss our daughter’s welfare and what’s good for my daughter but i am not getting back with him anymore. I even told him that I would help him out. I’d still pay for the rent, water bill and i will even give him allowance for his food and i would still buy his insulin (his diabetic) but he doesnt want to listen. He wanted me to come back. I know him very well, if I come back he’s just gona beat me up. He doesn’t want to give me my daughter because he wanted me to come back and he knows very well that my daughter is the only reason why i stayed with him for over four years. We both know that he cannot take care of my daughter financially. And with him always drunk im worried that he may neglect my daughter. I need to know what I need to do to get full custody of my daughter and where to go?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jacq: You may want to consider reporting this matter to the police, look for the Women’s Desk where they normally handle complaints for violation of the VAWC law (violence against women and children). From there, they will guide you on your next steps. You may also want to read up on the law to see what your options are to keep him from terrorizing you and your child. Considering that he is African-American, I assume that his stay here is on a limited visa. You can also report his behavior at the Bureau of Immigration as an undesirable alien. I hope this helps.

  119. Jacqueline

    Dear Atty,

    Thank you so much for responding. .. I really don’t have any idea that I can report him to the the Bureau of Immigration because I assume that he can stay permanently since he is married to me. He doesn’t have a visa as well. He only have U.S passport. He really believe that we Filipino cannot do anything with him since he’s american..Would this be enough ground for him to be deported even if he’s married to me?

    Thanks again Atty. I really appreciate your help and I am so thankful I found your site. You’re an angel for helping people out for free!

    1. Atty Post author

      Jacqueline: Marriage to a Filipino does not automatically give him permanent residence status, if as you say he only has a US passport and no visa. I suggest you report the incidents to the police and his overstay at the Bureau of Immigration. I sincerely wish for you to have a better life with your child.

  120. Bernadeth

    Good day to you Atty,

    I was browsing and researching something that related to my situation, and found your post. so i grabbed the opportunity since i am already here, my situation is this: I been wanting to adopt my niece legally-which been with me since she was 3month and she is 2years and 5months old, my brother and his girlfriend gave her to me coz they can’t afford to support her, i been wanting to adopt her before i got married to my american husband last april 18th of this year, i been reading articles about adoption process and rules here in the philippines and i felt hopeless to adopt her legally, coz it says on few articles i’ve read that we need to be 3years married. now my question are:1.) it is possible that we can adopt her trough domestic adoption even if we are not even half of 3years married, 2.) is there a chance that we can do the inter-country adoption? 3.) is it a plus factor that i raised the child for more than 2years. please, i really want to know if there is a chance i can hold on to my hopes. hope to hear from you. God bless and more power to you. -hopefulmom

    1. Atty. Post author

      Bernadeth: It is possible to apply for domestic adoption. The law requires that the adopter must be a resident of the Philippines for at least 3 consecutive years. Inter-country adoption is for foreigners or Filipinos who are not residents of the Philippines. Yes, having raised the child in the meantime may be considered as a favorable circumstance by the social worker who may be assigned to your case. I hope this helps.

  121. april

    hi atty,
    ask ko lang, i filed a resignation last june 17 effective date is july 18 which is a 30 day notice to my employer. It said in my contract 30 calenday days….is 30 calendar days includes holidays? I still have 3 unused compulsory leave, our hr said if i used it i need to extend for 3 days so i need to change my effective date july 20….and also accdg to our hr, holiday is excluded in counting the 30 caledar days…is it correct>

    1. Atty. Post author

      April: “Calendar” days includes holidays and weekends, to distinguish it from “working days” where counting of the period is interrupted by holidays and non-working days. Ordinarily, leave credits may be consumed without any effect on the resignation date. It seems like your company just wants to keep you longer. The 30-day notice is not a mandatory requirement; it can be shortened if the company wants to.

      1. april

        atty, follow up question, about resignation, ive just read that in my contract theres a provision there that says that i am not allowed to take a leave in the 30 day notice period and if i do take a leave of absence (even with pay) i will be tagged as an employee who didnt give 30 days notice and some benefits like the monetized leave will be forfeited and i will not be cleared in the company and will not be given a certificate of employment. Is this right? do i have any remedy regarding this matter? thanks in advance

      2. Atty. Post author

        April: You may have to ask your HR manager for some leeway about filing a vacation leave during your last days with your employer because the approval of the leave is still discretionary. The 30-day notice is also for the employer who needs time to recruit a replacement. I’m sure your employer will not mind granting your leave if they already have a replacement or if the business operations will not be affected by your absence.

  122. Pheebz

    Hello! Good evening!

    I just want to ask if a common law husband can sue her common law wife for violation of RA 9262 (VAWC). Since common law husband works abroad and when he came back here in the Phil. he found out that his common law wife was seeing and actually leaving with another man. He also found out that his wife frequented ill repute place and night clubs and was even suspected that she does the same for a living. Also, every time the common law wife leaves goes to these places, she brings along the child with her, if not, she leaves the child outside the streets and allows the latter to sleep in a chair or on the side of the road.

    I really hope you could help me with this…Also, the common law husband is planning to file an action in court for him to have the custody over the child . What do you think of this step? is there a chance that it will prosper?

    Thank you again atty. and more power!!!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Pheebz: It is my opinion that the VAWC law punishes MEN, not women, from its title “Violence Against Women and Children” and by definition as stated in the implementing rules of this law: “Violence against women and their children” refers to any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is his wife, former wife, or against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or with whom he has a common child, or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate, within or without the family abode, which result in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.”.

      Since the child is illegitimate, the mother is legally entitled to sole parental authority over the child. For the father to obtain custody, he will have to file a petition in court and cite serious reasons for depriving the mother of her custody. I hope this helps.

      1. Pheebz

        thank you so much attorney…one more question, how about if he sues the mother for violation of RA 7610 (child abuse), can he do so even though they are not married? he worries so much for their son kasi… he was diagnosed to be malnourished..
        Thank you so much!!! This blog spot is really helpful…

      2. Atty. Post author

        Pheebz: I refrain from suggesting that criminal cases be filed against a parent because there are untold psychological effects on the child if that happens. If the father is really concerned about their son, then I suggest that he file a petition for sole custody and cite the mother’s neglect of the child (prove malnutrition) in court. I hope this helps.

  123. Owen

    Hi Atty., good day to you. My question is about bank loan, I took a loan in 2005 amounting to 100K which I have to pay 4000 every month for 3 years, unfortunately I was only able to pay for 8 mos. because I tried my luck abroad and then in 2008 I was able to pay 135K but this amount was still not sufficient to cover the interests and penalties. Again I was not able to pay the balance due to financial constraints, this year I have received a final demand letter from a law firm asking me to pay 377K and I was informed that the amount can be reduced to 200K if I can settle it in lump sum on which I have to pay 50k initially before the end of this month. The problem is, though I am working abroad, I am not capable of paying this and also I was surprised on the amount they are asking me to pay, this is too much! Can I ask them to waive the cumulative interests and penalties, for me to settle this in a minimal amount? Do I have rights as a debtor? Help please….. Thank you for your time.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Owen:
      It is possible to negotiate for a settlement of your debt by writing the law firm and sending a copy of your proposal to the bank as well. If the total amount due grew because of the interest and penalties, then waiving those amounts is entirely up to the bank. I suggest that you propose the waiver of those fees, and set the total amount at a reasonable level for you to pay. They may or may not agree but if you propose to pay that amount in a lump sum (one time payment only) then they MAY (no guarantees) consider your proposal or send you a counter proposal with a slightly higher amount (but less than the original one demanded). The bank is allowed to collect interest on the loan if it is stated in the loan agreement that you signed. Interest is the profit that the bank earns from your use of their money. So it is entirely up to them to waive this just to settle your loan. But the best way to end this debt is by dealing with it promptly so as not to incur more penalties and interest. I hope this helps.

  124. jane r.

    Good day atty. my husband had a child before we got married. he haven’t seen the child personally, only in pictures on social sites. also my husband has no communication with the mother only until now. the child is already 6 years old. the truth is that my husband is not sure if he is the real father of the child because he had a very short relationship with the mother, but he is willing to support him as his conscience dictates him to do. the problem is the mother is threatening my husband that he will go directly to the POEA (since my husband is an OFW) if he will not give support to the child. does she have the right to do this and can we demand for a DNA testing. thank you very much for your help.

    1. :-) Post author

      Jane: If your husband is not sure about the child, he may ask for paternity testing as a condition for providing support. But please check first if he signed the back portion of the birth certificate…this is the portion known as the Acknowledgment of Paternity. If he did, then the mother may use the birth certificate as basis for her claim for support. Of course, when a case for support is filed, your husband can always request that the court allow him, the mother and the child to go through some blood test for DNA testing. The POEA unfortunately does not have the kind of coercive power that a court has. I’m not saying that your husband should ignore the threat, but to take positive action by discussing terms of a support agreement peacefully, and hopefully out of court. I hope this helps.

    2. Atty. Post author

      Jane: Did your husband sign the back portion of the child’s certificate of live birth? This is the portion known as Acknowledgment of Paternity. If so, then the mother may claim support on the basis of the child’s birth certificate. But if the case goes to court, it is still possible for your husband to ask the court for an order allowing a DNA or paternity test. The POEA, unfortunately, does not have the same coercive powers that a family court has. But I’m not saying that your husband should ignore her threat, instead, I suggest that he confirm paternity and initiate discussions about the terms of a support agreement peacefully and hopefully out of court. I hope this helps.

  125. Marie

    hi atty.. i have a 10 years old child whose illegitimate and my mother whose the one taking care of her since my husband petition me here in usa, and soon she will come to follow here, but the biological father. nut in fathers name entry is blank..my mom file a case against him coz his refusing to return the child even if we say that he can visit her on weekends. what shall i do? but what if the child choose him coz they tell anykind to child and they totally brainwash her.. pls help me.. thank you and god bless..

    1. Atty. Post author

      Marie: You have priority in the custody of your child due to her illegitimate status. I suggest that you return to the Philippines to fight your case and regain custody of your child. Have you considered having her migrate to live with you? If not, then you may have to consider extending the father’s right of visitation because he is the remaining biological parent who your child can turn to while you are away.

      1. marie

        thank you, yes i am agree bout visitation rights.. what legal steps i need to do? do i file a case like what? if i file i case will i get the custody of her? as of now the child is still with him coz he refuse to return the child on my mother.. pls give me more info on what legal steps i need to do? thank you again and god bless..

      2. Atty. Post author

        Marie: I suggest that you return to the Philippines and look for a lawyer that specialises in child custody cases and who can pursue your case in court. Your lawyer will take care of determining the legal steps for you. I hope this helps.

  126. Marie

    another question is can my mom get her custody.. he text me but what he say is he will never ever bring back my child..pls tell me what legal step we need to do? i really missed my daughter.. a month ago he get the subpena and according to her sister the case is on going.. what he want is to get the child just like that bcoz he knows that i wasnt in philippines.. so when he got the chance he visit our house and he just tell that he will just take my daughter to eat somewhere and till now he dont return it..he hide it from my mom..

  127. Sen Iris

    Dear Atty Christine,

    Good day!
    I wrote a message (questions/inquiries) here yesterday, I was waiting for reply and when I checked this morning my message already gone.
    Anyway, I just would like to ask – Would it be possible for me to change back my name and my status from married to single in the following agencies

    1. SSS
    2. BIR
    3. Philhealth
    4. PagIbig

    I was working for a prestigious company before for 20 years and when I get pregnant, my boyfriend, to save me from shame and disgrace, asked my permission if we could submit a fake marriage certificate to the company where I was employed. We cannot get married legally because he was married but apparently was separated with his wife. When I gave birth I used his surname for my child since I was already using his surname at work.

    Atty, my questions are the following :

    1. Can I change back my surname to my maiden name again? My records in NSO is still my maiden name and my status is single.

    2. Will there be any problem or any legal issues if I change back my name and status recods in the agencies I mentioned above? If so, what are the procedures? Will I be needing legal help doing this?

    3. If I change back my name and status, will my daughter still be able to claim for benefits from SSS just in case something happen to me?

    4. Will there be any issues if just in case I travel abroad taking my daughter with me, my daughter using her father’s surname and I using my maiden name?

    5. And lastly, will the agencies I mentioned above have the right to file a case against me for changing my personal records because of submitting false documents to them? Just in case, what case will they be filing against me?

    Perhaps I still have some questions to consult to you but I guess this is all for now, Atty.
    I hope you can give me answers and enlightenment about these matters.
    Thank you in advance. Light, Peace and Gratitude!

    Respectfully yours,
    Sen Iris

    1. Atty. Post author

      Sen Iris: your problem is complicated. Please provide me with your email address where I can send my reply to directly. Just leave your email address in a comment or reply to this one. Your comment will not appear automatically when you leave it here. I will not publish your email address, I assure you.

  128. June

    Good day atty,

    I want my marriage to be annulled and the grounds are conflicting of personalities and emotionally abuse. I and my husband just got married 4 months ago but we’ve been boyfriend and girlfriend for almost 12years. On those years we have broke ups a lot of time and on the time we broke up he had a relationship with other girl. Even if he had other relationship I’m still loyal to him and never ako nakipagrelation sa iba. When he is mad with her girlfriend cause her girlfriend doesn’t want to make love with him he goes to me and make contact with me. We’ve been like that for how many years and I’ve been very martyr because i really love him. 2005 I got pregnant and he is the father. Noong magbuntis ako 1st 3months lang nang pagbubuntis ko siya nandito. Sumakay siya nang barko after kasi he’s a seaman. I thought everything will be ok with us. But nalaman ko nalang he’s family is destroying or making bad stories against me. They told my boyfriend that he is not the father and my boyfriend believe them. even though he still supported my pregnancy until I gave birth to our son and gives our sons need. Every time he sent his support he will ask for a receipt, even for a fare. Nagkaroon ako nang fear dahil sa mga ginawa nya and insecurity because nakipagbalikan siya sa naging girlfriend nya. Everytime he broke up with his girlfriend saakin siya pupunta. Para akong naging panakip butas and ang fear di na nawawala and more naging insecure ako. 2009 nagbalikan kami and we stayed in one place, naglive-in kami with our son. But i found out that he was very hurt with his exgirlfriend kaya nakipagbalikan siya sa akin. And he promised he will never go back to his girlfriend and he choose me because im inlove and loyal to him. Indeed, promise are made. But he still have communication with his ex. I asked him many times when we will get married and his answer was, was 2010. 2010 i asked him again and he said i have to lose 10lbs 1st before we got married. I did what he asked. I want to slimmers world and i lost morethan 10lbs. 2010 ended but we never get married. I asked him january 2011 if he still wants to marry me or if he really had plan to marry me. He said yes and next month will get married. Because of happiness and excitement and also fear na magbago isip nya, ako ang nagprocess lahat nang papers para makasal kami kaagad. We had a civil wedding pero ok na sa akin as long as nakasal kami. After marrying him i thought everything will be ok with us. I thought the insecurity and fear that built from the past will gone. I’m so wrong. He gave us all the provisions but i never felt i am important to him. I never felt he needs me. And the worst is di kami magkasundo sa mga decision and he said, because he is the head of the family i have to follow him. And again i follow him, i listen to him. I gain wait but not that much. He starts telling me to lose weight. That fat people are ugly. Everyday he will call and ask how much is my weigh or did i exercise or lose weight? Because of that my insecurity is building again. Nagiging emotional na din ako. fear starting to rise and all the pain from the past nagpaflash back sa akin. Naging mainitin ang ulo ko ang napapagalitan ko na palagi ang anak ko kahit sa kunting mali and i started to hate my husband for not accepting me of what i am. honestly im not fat, just chubby and i’m pretty. Kahit mataba ako maraming umaappreciate because of my beauty. But my husband couldn’t see it. He never appreciate me. He always look at my bad side.

    I am now emotionally stress and lagi na kaming nag aaway. Our marriage life is not healthy anymore and our son is affected sa lahat. Di na ako makapagfocus even sa anak ko cause losing weight is always in my mind and nagiging priority ko. halos binili ko na lahat nang pampayat but di pa din ako sexy.

    Bago ito nangyari or bago kami ikinasal i was a very happy person. And lots of plan in life. After, di na ako nakikitang tumatawa nang mga kapatid ko. Kung may nakakatawa man, i just smile. Nawala na din ang mga good and beautiful plans ko sa buhay, sa family ko. And i felt like i’m going to be crazy kapag tatagal kami. Sinabi ko na po lahat sa kanya ang gusto kung sabihin but he always say, if i dont want his way i better look for a lawyer.

    My question po, base po sa mga sinabi ko, my chance po ba na ma annul ang kasal namin? Kung meron po, ano and ano ang gagawin ko.
    My isa pa pong problem. I don’t have money cause i have no job or business because he doesn’t like it. Gusto nya na kapag nandito siya sa pinas aalagaan ko lang siya and ang anak namin. I was a computer programmer and i had a small business before but i stop because ayaw nang husband ko. Wala din akong money naisisave sa padala nya kasi tama lang pambayad and sa daily needs namin. Hindi din po nya ako ginawang allotte nya kaya wala po talaga akong money.

    Please help me, i couldn’t bear it anymore.

    1. Atty. Post author

      June: It’s alright, I understand your story and understand how you feel. A psychologist or psychiatrist is the best person to decide if you or your husband is affected by psychological incapacity, which is a ground for declaring a marriage null and void. You are right, a petition for annulment is costly, even I had to work hard to pay for my own legal fees and expenses when I filed a petition for nullity a few years back. I suggest that you find a lawyer who can take your case given your situation or save up for the legal fees in the meantime by working and setting aside small amounts in the meantime. Just look at the positive side, you are alive, healthy and pretty, and you have a child who needs you. If your husband sucks the life out of you by being negative and uncaring, then avoid thinking about him muna. Anyway, he is out of the country right? Just focus on yourself. Work out, eat healthily and put on a nice colored lipstick whenever you go out!🙂 When you are ready, you can file your case and hopefully end the vicious cycle of breaking up and making up with him. I hope this helps.

  129. Sen Iris

    Dear Atty Christine,

    Good day!
    I wrote a message (questions/inquiries) here yesterday, I was waiting for reply and when I checked this morning my message already gone.
    Anyway, I just would like to ask – Would it be possible for me to change back my name and my status from married to single in the following agencies

    1. SSS
    2. BIR
    3. Philhealth
    4. PagIbig

    I was working for a prestigious company before for 20 years and when I get pregnant, my boyfriend, to save me from shame and disgrace, ask my permission if we could submit a fake marriage certificate to the company where I was employed. We cannot get married legally because he was married but apparently was separated with his wife. When I gave birth I used his surname for my child since I was already using his surname at work.

    Atty, my questions are the following :

    1. Can I change back my surname to my maiden name again? My records in NSO is still my maiden name and my status is single.

    2. Will there be any problem or any legal issues if I change back my name and status recods in the agencies I mentioned above? If so, what are the procedures? Will I be needing legal help doing this?

    3. If I change back my name and status, will my daughter still be able to claim for benefits from SSS just in case something happen to me?

    4. Will there be any issues if just in case I travel abroad taking my daughter with me, my daughter using her father’s surname and I using my maiden name?

    5. And lastly, will the agencies I mentioned above have the right to file a case against me for changing my personal records because of submitting false documents to them? Just in case, what case will they be filing against me?

    Perhaps I still have some questions to consult to you but I guess this is all for now, Atty.
    I hope you can give me answers and enlightenment about these matters.
    Thank you in advance. Peace, Light and Gratitude!

    Respectfully yours,
    Sen Iris

  130. shelliza

    hi atty. good day! i’m an expat living in dubai with a son, i have been separated from my husband who is also living here for more than 2yrs. now but not legally. please kindly advise me on what should i do to demand child support from him,as he is not giving my son’s allowance on a regular basis we are always having a fight regarding that. we already went to owwa but still he refused to make an agreement for child support.Furthermore,i have a copy of his salary certificate, i would just like to know how many percent should be given for child support?since we got married, i am working to support myself he doesn’t give any part of his salary as well can i also demand for spousal support as i am having custody of my son?thanks and more power –shelliza

    1. Atty. Post author

      Shelliza: You may have to go back to the Philippines first to file a petition for support against your husband. There is no standard formula for computing the shares of parents in the support of a common child, but the law requires that it must be according to the needs of the child and the financial capacity of the one obliged to give support. So, percentages of his salary are not really relevant so I suggest that you draw up a list of expenses incurred monthly and use that as your basis for asking monthly child support. You may also ask for spousal support since you are still legally married although I suggest that you confine your issues to child support since you are working and already experiencing difficulty in getting him to pay for your child’s needs. I hope this helps.

  131. butcheredmom

    dear atty.,
    good day. i would like to ask for assistance, we’ve been married for 6 yrs and now we already have 3 children, i want to file an annulment and i wanted to have child custody and child support for every kid. we have 3 kids and my job can’t fully support them. he is abroad and if he decided that he won’t send me money for the kids i don’t know where to get it. he made a treat before that if i decided to leave him he will take my children away from me and that i will not find them. whats the steps that i can take in order for me to process the annulment and while on the process of annulment can i ask for child custody and support?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Butchered mom: First of all, your choice of an online name here is scary!🙂 but with 3 children, yeah, I understand. Anyway, if you’re certain about filing a petition for nullity (or annulment), your lawyer can include a “prayer” (which is legal jargon for request) for support pendente lite (meaning, ‘support while the case is pending’). If not, you can always ask your lawyer to file a motion (again, legal term for asking the judge to rule on your request) for support pendente lite. These are usually granted after a hearing in court. On the matter of custody, you may also ask to be granted sole custody of your children in the same case for nullity or annulment. While the case is pending, the judge usually maintains the status quo– meaning, whoever has custody of the children while the case is pending, gets to keep the children until the custody issue is decided. I hope this helps.

  132. JettP

    Hi Atty – I have a simple question. My wife and I recently got separated. She is asking for monthly support for our daughter which I feel is unfair since I am shouldering about 80% of her expenses. While I do not have any problems with that, in terms of legal stand (we havent moved ahead with legal separation or annulment yet, she wants to but based on my research we do NOT have any of the grounds for either) since we are both working, is it safe to assume a 50/50 split of responsibility?

    1. Atty. Post author

      JettP: The obligation to support is usually shared proportionately according to the means of each parent. The parent earning more MAY have to shoulder a proportionately higher portion of the child’s expenses. But there’s something you must consider apart from putting a price in pesos and centavos on your child’s support– the mother’s effort in raising the child. The parent who raises the child on a day to day basis expends more effort than just raising the amount used to feed and clothe the child. There is no price tag for the pain, patience and constant adjustment that a custodial parent must bear. This is why in court cases, the judge also considers the effort of the custodial parent in determining sufficiency of monthly support. Moreover, splittling everything 50-50 down to the last centavo will just add more strain to an already stressful situation. I hope this helps.

  133. JettP

    As follow-up, can either of us write a legal document, have it notarized to outline this agreement? How much will notarizing that agreement cost?

    1. Atty. Post author

      JettP: I usually recommend negotiating and signing a support agreement out of court. Notarial fees differ but are usually reasonable; the reputable ones often charge a small percentage of the amount stated in the agreement while others charge a fixed rate, Php 100 or less, depending where you go for the service. I suggest that you find a lawyer who can draft the terms for you and who may include notary fees in his/her services.

  134. estrelito

    good morning po atty. tanong ko lang po kung may pananagutan po ba nsa batas ang company na di nag remit sa philhealth. at anong kaso po ang dapat isampa sa kanya. at saan din pong ahensya ng hustisya dapat isampa. labor ba. mtc or rtc. salama po

    1. Atty. Post author

      Estrelito: An employer who deducts Philhealth contributions and fails to remit them within 30 days from the date they became due may be presumed to have misappropriated the contributions for which a criminal case for swindling may be filed in court. The employer may also be liable to pay fines under the law (RA7875 as amended).

  135. mcnaulty

    good evening Atty. Christine,
    I’m a single mom to a 2 year old son,, I’m working fulltime to support my kid, the father of my son wants to send money to support my kid… and i’m not going to accept it. please allow me to give you a brief history of what happened why i dont want the father to have any visitation rights over my son; I broke up with the father of my son the moment i found out that I’m pregnant, but we had a verbal agreement that i am going to allow him to visit my son when he gets older, during my pregnancy i told him that my son will be using my last name and not his and he said i should have had my son aborted if i’m not going to allow him to give his last name to my son. From then on there was an exchange of rude words between us thru sms, considering that I’m pregnant that time I laid low coz i dont want it to affect my pregnancy.. on my son’s birth cert, did not have him signed the Acknowledgment of Paternity…
    How can I prevent the father to have visitation right over my son? I dont want him to have anything to do with my son’s life

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mcnaulty: I understand how you feel but a child has a right to bond with his biological parent unless you have serious reasons for keeping them from seeing each other. If the father is able to prove paternity and asks for reasonable visitation rights, the only way that the court may not grant visitation is if you can prove that giving him access will not be in the best interests of your child. Your son is only 2, and I understand that the pain from the arguments before his birth could still be there. But from experience, this phase is temporary and it is not possible to keep the child away from his father forever. The child may one day want to know his father. The relationship between former partners and co-parents may be over but not necessarily between the father and the child. When making decisions at the height of pain or anger, it helps to focus on what’s best for the child because anger, fear or hate eventually fades in time. I hope this helps.

      1. mcnaulty

        thank you very much,, i’ll keep that in mind… Godbless.

  136. Aleli

    im aleli farr i just want to ask how can i get a support from my husband hes in texas rigth everytime time we talk he told me that hes going to send the money but on the date hes giving hes not showing online anymore and if im trying to call him hes not answering the phone i really dont know what to do the kids are in school and of course they need the allowance your help is muchly appreciated thank u hope to hear from soon

    1. Atty. Post author

      Aleli: A reply was sent through your email address. Kindly check.

  137. Capella

    Hi Attorney
    I have a daughter,and she will be 4years old on December. She is using her Father’s surname. My ex and I were already seperated for 3years and we’re not married. We used my ex’s last name for my child’s last name because his parents demanded to use it. we both signed on my daughter’s birth certicate. He signed on the back of the “Acknowlegment”part. After a year we broke up.From the time we got seperated,he never supported (financially) my child And Last year he got married and already have a baby. I want to change my daughter’s last name to my last name. How will i do that? Do i need his consent? Also,my first name on her BC was mispelled.
    Kindly tell me what should be the best way to solve this. Thanks!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Capella: You may do two things to make the changes on your daughter’s birth certificate. First, is to file an application to correct the typo error which is a faster procedure that need not be done in court. Second, is to file a petition for change of surname in court. For this, you will need to consult and hire a lawyer to do what is necessary. I hope this helps.

  138. cynthia

    Dear Atty.

    My question is concerning my SSS and Philhealth benefits. I am legally married and have used my married name in registering and availing of both benefits. My husband and I have been separated for 9 years now though I continue to use my married name in all legal documents. I have a live-in partner now for almost 6 years and I am presently 8 months pregnant. through the advice you gave me before about the names, I now know that I will input my maiden name and the baby’s father’s name and just declare not married so my baby can use her father’s surname. But now my question is about my Philhealth and SSS maternity benefits. Can I still avail of them if I use my maiden name? example: my full name including married name is Cindy B. Dela Cruz- Bautista ( Bautista- being my married name and the name I use in all legal documents). So when I get confined in the hospital and I use just Cindy B. Dela Cruz, can I still avail of my Philhealth and SSS benefits even with the name discrepancy? All my cards say Bautista not Dela Cruz. I hope I can still avail of them since I am the same person ho made those contributions. Do I need to get a legal statement for this? declaring that Cindy Dela Cruz and Cindy Bautista are one and the same person? Thanks so much Atty and more power to you!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Cynthia: The name you put on the child’s birth certificate can be different from the name you provide when you are admitted into the hospital since you or your partner will be filling out the details of the birth certificate, not the hospital. For purposes of consistency, it may be practical to use your married name in the admission records and offer to execute an affidavit stating that those two different names are actually just one person if the hospital questions it. If you are presently employed, you may also ask your HR manager to confirm this with either PhilHealth or SSS.

      1. cynthia

        Thank you so much Atty.! and more power to you!

  139. JC

    good day atty. florido,

    i’m so relieved that i have found this website.

    meron lang po sana akong itatanong sa inyo. but before that let me just give you the story for my question.

    pina-ride ko po kasi ang pinsan ko sa credit card ko last year… and until now, di pa rin sya tapos magbigay ng bayad sa akin. gusto ko na rin po kasing matapos na ung bills dahil gusto ko rin pong gamitin ung card ko nang pansarili ko… minsan magbibigay sya ng pambayad kulang pa sa finance charge at penalty charge (pag di sya nakakabayad on time)… so lumalaki po ung dapat nyang bayaran dahil sa interests pa… at ako rin po ang nahihirapang sumingil sa kanya…

    ngayon naisip ko po na gumawa na ng contract (acknowledgement of debt) para maipangalan sa kanya ung pagkakautang nya dahil nga po sa akin nakapangalan ung mga statements of account ko… at ilagay din po ang mga pagkakautang nya at kung hanggang kelan nya ako pwedeng bayaran… at least mapapanotaryo ko po iyon at me katibayan na po ako…

    my question is: maaari ko po ba syang kasuhan kung di nya po ako mababayaran ng buo (almost 20,000+) sa buwan o araw na binigay ko?… ano po ba ang dapat kong gawin?…

    many thanks po in advance and more power to you!🙂

    1. Atty. Post author

      JC: A promissory note where the borrower promises to pay the total amount due on the due date of each installment payment signed by her may become the basis of your collection case if she fails to pay her debt. I suggest that you still keep copies of the credit card statements showing her purchases in case you need to prove the consideration (or value received) of the promissory note in the small claims court.

  140. sheyna marie

    Good day, Atty!

    I can’t seem to find an answer to this situation. Supposing there is an illegitimate child (a minor) who has been recognized by the father, said child now uses the surname of the father who fails to give support. Now, the mother of the child is about to get married and she wants her child to take the surname of her husband-to-be. Would the remedy be that after her marriage, her husband adopt the child so that the child could take his last name instead of that of the natural father? Or would there be no remedy?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Sheyna: Yes, adoption is a remedy in that situation although the usual problem is in obtaining the biological father’s consent.

  141. jessey

    hi atty, I’m a single parent with two kids, ages 10(boy) and 5(girl) yrs. old. I am not legally separated with my husband, My first separation with him was when my son is 1 yr. old and after 3 yrs. I decided to go back with him to give our marriage a second chance, that’s when I had my daughter. But after a year we separate again.From that time he never support our kids; I am now working in other country, I just want to ask for his financial support , since it is his obligation and rights of my kids. We are separated for four years now, my question is how can I obliged him to support our kids? He’s working in one of the hotels in Makati as a chef. Is it enough to have a demand letter from the attorney, Whats the process?
    Thank you for your reply. You’re a great help. God bless you more!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jessey: A demand letter written and sent by a lawyer is often enough for a father to start providing support. In the cases that the fathers don’t heed the demand, the next step is usually a petition for child support filed in court. I suggest that you obtain the services of a lawyer to help you determine the amount of support, send the demand letter and negotiate the terms of a support agreement. I hope this helps.

  142. Rikki

    hi atty. i am currently in a situation where i’m unable to locate where my ex, who i have 2 very young children with, is living or working at the moment. my question is how would i be able to send him a notice about the support he is supposed to be providing for our children? so far it has only been a month since he last sent any support for the children but what i’m worried about is that we may not be able to find him again. i do have a job myself but i don’t think i would be able to afford child care services if this continues as i also have bills to pay. although i am working part-time apart from my day job, it only provides for so much.

    i have been trying to get as much information about his whereabouts as i can from his friends but i haven’t been able to talk to him, nor does he respond to emails and texts.

    i would appreciate any advice that you can provide.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Rikki: Sent a reply to your qurey via email. Please check.

  143. abbie

    Hi Atty. Christine,
    I was really nice reading ur site I’ve learned so many things. I already annulled 2 years ago and was separated for already 6 years we already have compromised agreement with regards to his support for my children. Upon reviewing it because im having a real tight time thinking on how his financial support could fit all their expenses. I have 3 kids my eldest is now 1st year studying at Miriam College, 2nd daughter grade 4 at Miriam College also and my youngest son who is now in grade 3 in private school also. I am only receiving 10K as his allowance for my kids, tuition fee and other related expenses with regards to schooling is 50% sharing by both of us. Now my prob. is i want him to add support based on what hi is recieving he is now working in singapore as civil engineer I dont know if i can still do this i dont have now communication with my previous lawyer..Is this possible…Thank you

    1. Atty. Post author

      Abbie: You can still ask for an adjustment of the monthly support by citing the increased actual expenses of the children and the father’s current employment which is more than sufficient to meet the increased needs of the children. I suggest that you contact the lawyer who handled your case, inform him of your intention to ask for an adjustment and initiate the necessary steps for it. Support agreements normally contain provisions for future adjustments; yours may have one as well. If so, read what the agreed procedure is about. If there isn’t any provision on future adjustments or increases, you can still ask for an increase in court because the amount of support may change according to the needs of the child/children.

  144. anne

    hi,..im anne..i have problem about my bc gender,wat should i do about it?wat are the steps i should do to change error gender of mine???…hope u can help me atty.c!!!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Anne: If the gender appearing on your birth certificate is not your true gender, I assume that it is due to a typographical error. You will have to file a petition in court to correct this entry and go through the usual hearings before the judge may decide to change the entry of your birth certificate. I hope this helps.

  145. Jose Marie ********

    My name is Jose Marie O. Trangco, an RN and a licensed teacher. I was contracted as a Part time College of Nursing Faculty and a Clinical Instructor in the University of Perpetual Help System in Calamba City, Laguna, Philippines . I started working there June 14, 2005 as Part time instructor pending Masteral completion as basis for regularization. I was told that my contract will end last March 31, 2011 for reasons that there is a big decline in the number of enrolless and non-completion of my Masteral in Nursing (due to financial reasons in my part). I was presented a quit claim and signed it in exchange of my COE, Certificate of Philhealth contributions, my exit clearance from the company and a meager amount of 15,000 as my tax refund and 13th month share for this current year.I accepted the offer because I believed that it was due to me and badly need my COE to look for a new job.
    My question is do I have the right to raise a complain and demand from my employer and file a case to the NLRC regarding this. I give full time service in the University for more than 5 years,even as a part timer, working 8 hours a day and receiving monthly salary, based on a the number of loads given per semester, ranging from 24 to 48 hours per week.
    My make up duty pay was not given and it was more than 2 years delayed, no concrete reasons was given as to the reason why it is not paid. Can I demand for a separation pay considering that I worked there for more than 5 years. I did not even received an official letter about my end of contract or dismissal from the University. And is there any other damages resulting from this form of dismissal considering that I am a part time employee for that period.
    I’m looking forward to receive a reply from you soon.
    Thanks a lot and more power.

    MR. JOSE MARIE ************

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jose Marie T: If you feel that you were illegally dismissed or terminated and not paid the corresponding separation pay, your best option is to send a demand first to the employer and file your claims with the Department of Labor if the employer fails to heed your demand. A quitclaim is generally valid for as long as it represents a credible and reasonable settlement of any amount due to the employee. I hope this helps.

  146. Ms. Iris

    Good day Atty,

    Thank God for your website.

    I have a child but then since the child’s father and I are not yet married during the time i have delivered the baby, I have decided to have my child carry my surname. After five years, Me and her father have decided to get married and are now planning to change the surname of my child to his surname. Can I ask for the things that we could do for that issue? Can the surname be changed automatically since he really is the father of my child?

    Thank you in advance, atty.

    God bless and more power.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ms. Iris: a) If you and your husband were single at the time your child was born, then your subsequent marriage could result in the legitimation of your child. In which case, I suggest that you go to the Civil Registrar where your child’s birth certificate was registered and inquire about their requirements for registration of legitimation. Usually, the civil registrar will require the following:
      – joint affidavit of legitimation
      – if child has not yet been acknowledged, then the father should execute an Affidavit of Paternity/Acknowledgment
      – NSO copy of Certificate of Live birth
      – NSO copy of Marriage contract
      – NSO certificate of No marriage (CENOMAR)

      If the child was born at the time when one or both parents were married to their respective spouses, then the child may still be allowed to use the father’s surname under RA 9255. Please see the requirements here.

  147. Honey Dale

    Dear Atty,
    I have been issued PPO under RA9262 for about 4years now. Can i use my maiden surname already?
    Thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Honey Dale: To change your surname in official documents such as your passport and SSS ID, as well as bank accounts, you’ll need to show a court order declaring your marriage null and void.

  148. Honey Dale

    thanks, atty. does it mean going through the annulment process officially or there’s somehow an easier and faster way than starting from step 1 of annulment case?
    best rgds

    1. Atty. Post author

      Honey Dale: There are no shortcuts when changing surnames. Whether as a change in status or for some other reason, existing laws require a court case before a last name may be officially changed. In your case, it will have to be a nullity case.

  149. Omesh V******

    Hi Atty.
    I own a Furniture Distribution Company and I had a Call Center client that requested purchase of Office Furnitures last April.
    They had made 2 payments and still owes us a good amount of Money.

    I have been following up trough calling them but they keep on promising us they will pay us in a few weeks but several months has passed.
    Do we have to send a demand letter or can we just file a case against them?

    Further is the case just estafa?

    Also on our Delivery Receipt, we have noted Terms & Conditions of which states:
    The Merchandise delivered listed on this Receipts shall remain property of my company until paid in full and my company reserves the right to pullout the merchandise in case of failure of payment WITHOUT ANY JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS.

    However how would we pull out the goods without causing any violence?

    Please enlighten me on what should I do.

    Thanks,

    1. Atty. Post author

      Omesh: I normally give the other party a chance to settle its obligation outside of court before recommending filing of lawsuit. So, I suggest having a lawyer send the buyer a demand letter giving them a few days to respond or settle the unpaid amount. As regards the kind of action you can file in this situation, the case appears to be a civil one for collection of an unpaid amount. But of course, my opinion is based on the limited details provided and should not be a substitute for actual consultation where you can show your documents to your own counsel. Only then can there be a proper determination of what kind of lawsuit to file in court and other judicial remedies to be availed of. Also, I don’t suggest taking possession without judicial proceedings, regardless of what your delivery receipt says. The remedy of an unpaid seller is either to collect the unpaid amount or cancel the sale in court and demand for the return of the goods. If the buyer does not voluntarily surrender the merchandise, you should not forcibly take it away from the buyer but instead ask your lawyer to file the appropriate action in court.

  150. edong

    madam I am at a private sector company, our work is construction jobs, foundation jobs to b exact, i wish to ask if i can avail an EARLY RETIREMENT, or something like that i don’t want to work at my present employer, its been almost 9 years I’m here, i want to put up my own business but don’t have the financial capability, that’s why i ask if i can do an early retirement, so the company will give me a staring point at my business, your help is mostly appreciated

    1. Atty. Post author

      Edong: Check if your company has an employee retirement program and see if you are qualified or if your company has an existing poilcy of paying a voluntary separation package for resigning employees who have been of service for a long time.

  151. Lovely

    ok my story goes like this,i had a livein partner and we had a child.They been seperated since 2006 the exwife went to japan and got married without getting annulment,they had 2 children and hes supporting the kids but the amount is not enough.When we demand for anulment the exwife is demanding amount of money whisch is so impossible for us to give her.The question is how possible is that she got married in japan and not getting anulment in Philippines? Where can we get proofs that she got married? And how can we file annullment if shes not here in PI we talked to a lawyer and they said it can get annuled without her signing the papers…Is that possible?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Lovely: It’s possible to get married outside of the Philippines even when one is already married here but there are legal consequences when the one who married twice returns to the Philippines or carries on the bigamous marriage here. Proof of marriage may usually be obtained from the civil register which records marriages. You’ll have to go to Japan for that if the 2nd marriage took place in Japan. A petition for nullity may still be filed against a party even if he or she is not in the Philippines. There are additional requirements for the case to proceed, but it’s best to discuss these with your lawyer who is the best person to plan your case strategy. I hope this helps.

  152. Verna M.

    Dear Atty.
    I’m glad to know about you website.My situation is I have an illegitimate child who jut turned one year old last June. The father acknowledged paternity in the birth certificate when I gave birth. Then, he got married with another girl after 2 months ( which I’ve only learned afterwards.),and the girl was already pregnant even before I gave birth.

    Now, I wanted to change the surname of my baby to mine.
    Rather than waiting for the years to pass by and she has to go to school, I want to start now the process.

    Please advise how much is the cost of the process, and how long will it take to change the surname. ( Please email me back in case you do not want to mention here about the amount.) And in case, the father won’t approve to change the surname, what would be the effect? He was supporting the child, but it’s an on and off support.

    I’m planning to work abroad, so at least I’ll have the idea on how much do I have to save for this.

    thanks a lot.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Verna: You may have to file a petition to change your child’s surname in court. Bear in mind that changing a surname or name is not a matter of right and the court may grant the petiion only on compelling grounds. The Supreme Court cites only a few instances which include:
      1) when the name is ridiculous, dishonorable, or extremely difficult to write or pronounce
      2) When the change results, as a legal consequence, as in legitimation
      3) When the change will avoid confusion
      4) when one has continuously used and been known since childhood by a Filipino name and was aware of his alien parentage.
      5) a sincere desire to adopt a Filipino name to erase signs of former alienage, all in good faith and without prejudicing anybody
      6) when the surname causes embarassment and there is no showing that the desired change of name was for a fraudulent purpose or that the desired change of name would prejudice public interest.

      In a case, however, the Supreme Court stated that the decision to change a surname or name belongs to the child when he or she reaches the right age. I hope this helps.

  153. Juan S. S

    Dear Atty Florido,

    I am presently the General Manager of a ship manning company with office in Makati City. The management, in order to reduce operating costs, is planning retrenchment of some employees and I may be the first one to go since I am the highest paid. I will not object if my employment is terminated due to retrenchment. Request your opinion as to what I am legally entitled to as termination pay. I have been continuously employed since July 1, 2004. I will be deeply grateful for your prompt reply.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Juan S.S.: In the absence of an existing company policy or CBA provision granting a higher benefit, the labor code requires the employer to pay separation benefits in the amount equivalent to 1 month pay for every year of service. A fraction of at least 6 months is counted as 1 year.

  154. Abayan, J.

    Hi, Atty. C

    I read your article about child support. I just want to ask you atty. if it’s okay to demand support from my husband even if we’re not legally separated?

    I’m 4 mos. pregnant now and have one son. He told me ” na bahala na ako sa pagbubuntis ko at sa anak ko” and now I really need laboratory exams/medicines for my prenatal check-ups. Please tell me what to do. Am I going to write a demand letter or I must file legal separation first to get child support?

    1. Atty. Post author

      J. Abayan: What is his reason for not providing any support? You may claim child support for your first child but not for the unborn baby– but you may claim spousal support (which includes your prenatal care expenses). I hope this helps.

  155. Dannie

    How do i change a child’s last name? what do i do and what requirements are needed? because i have a child from a previous relationship (NOT Marriage), got married and would like to give my daughter the same last name..

    1. Atty. Post author

      Dannie: You may file an application for an illegitimate chid to use the father’s surname under RA 9255 and submit the requirements mentioned in my previous article— http://wp.me/pHQCz-8f or click here.

  156. val

    Dear Atty.,my son is working in a private company as temporary/casual/contractual employee for almost 4 months (contracted for 6 mos) and this July 24, 2011, his wife delivered their first child. Is he entitled to paternity leave with pay? the HR department argued that RA8187 is only applicable to permanent/regular employee. Need your advice for in my opinion RA8187 is a mandatory leave regardless of employment status. thanks and much appreciated

    1. Atty. Post author

      Val: All married male employees in the private sector regardless of their employment status (probationary, regular, contractual, project basis) are entitled to Paternity Leave. You can get a copy of the law online and use it as reference. I hope this helps.

      1. val g

        Thank you so much for your advice Atty.

  157. Annalie

    Dear Atty,

    What would we be able to do SOLE Custody for my children if we dont even know where the father are now? because I will need it for immigrating to the USA? what is the best way to do it? Thank you so much and I am hoping I can get an answer from you as soon as possible.

    Thanks,
    Annie Leach

    1. Atty. Post author

      Annalie: You may file a petition for legal separation in court using his abandonment as a ground. If the court grants your petition, the order will include your right of custody over the children. The court case will take several months to complete, so I suggest you find a lawyer who can initiate the action soonest. I hope this helps.

  158. Vilena

    Hello! I have a question about employee benefits. Is there anything in the labor code or jurisprudence that I can refer to re: per diem or allowance given during business trips? We were given a certain amount when we were sent abroad, and then our manager, a foreigner, recalculated the allowance based on what we should have spent and ordered us to return a certain amount. There’s no written company policy regarding the matter, and I just want to be informed before I request for a clear policy.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Vilena: Since per diem allowances are not mandatory benefits or amounts granted by law, the employer has a right to lay down the terms for its use including liquidation for unauthorized expenses. I hope this helps.

  159. maricar

    hello atty… im maricar, im a single mom not married to the father of my son… i want to know if i have the rights to demand a support for the father of my son.. he is 6 months old… …i have a contact to him when he still @ taiwan, but when he got home here phlippines, he fails to contact me and visit.. but i dont have any contact to him now… and now i found out that he has other child… what will i do??? thanks

    1. Atty. Post author

      Maricar: Yes, your child is entitled to support from his father. You may send him a letter at his last known address asking him to provide support for your young child. If he fails to provide support after receiving the letter, I suggest that you consult a lawyer who may send one final demand letter to him before filing a petition for support in court. I hope this helps.

  160. Angelina **********

    Dear Atty,
    I am a mother of 4 kids. 21,19,7(downs syndrome baby) and 6. My eldest and only son then only 15 and myself,was forced to asked their dad to leave for abroad due to psychological,emotional,financial,etc abuse he was giving me for 18yrs then. i helped him out to have a work in the uS,bought him plane tix and luggage and was stuck with everyhting. i was always a single mom trapped in a married world. for the last 6 yrs now,he was only able to give support for his kids for the last 2yrs. so i,still need to work to death for everything. he transferred work and illegaly staying in the uS. we are technically separetd and the kids are the ones asking for financial help. but,psychologically and financially he was still abusing me and affecting kids just like before. i was a battered wife in all aspects for 18yrs that i decided to ask him to leave(need to gve him somehting to start) provding he will do something about good things with the kids specially our specail child. but,eevn for 6 yrs now he is still the selfish and narcist guy. he left behind a lot of debts unkonwn to me and he is flaunting his affair to a married ex on fb which causes emotional and psycholigical trauma to his 21 and 19yrs old. he never supported his special child tution and i was begging him,even to pay me back his fair. he told me that he will owrk out out separation coz but,to no avail. what can i do besides reporting him to immigration? i don’t want to get there,coz of our kids..any way possible for us to be compensated treated fairly?

    Thank you and more power!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Angelina: It seems that unless your husband returns to the Philippines, it will be difficult for our courts to reach him and make him face his obligations to you and your children. Also, not all your children may be entitled to support due to their ages. You are a strong woman to have raised your 3 children on your own. Maybe it’s time for you to consider doing something about your marriage. If you file a case for nullity of marriage, the court case may proceed even without his presence. Get a lawyer to take care of filing the case and advising you on the next steps for acquiring jurisdiction over your husband. The petition will normally include custody issues, settlement of properties and the support of the children. Hopefully, the judge will rule in your favor and grant you support as well which you can use against him when he returns to the country or if you can find properties under his name. Just a thought, if he was such an irresponsible husband and father, maybe you and your children are better off without him in your lives at all, even as a mere provider of financial support. Providing support will only serve as his tie or connection to you and your children, which he can use again to verbally or financially abuse you. I know it is the children’s right and supporting three children is not a joke, but weighed against the psychological effects of staying connected to him, maybe it’s not such a good idea to trade peace of mind for his money. But of course, that is ultimately your decision. I hope this helps.

  161. alex

    Hi, I have been reading something about fair labor. I just found out that a Sales Verifier from our office was terminated the other night. She was escalated to written warning a week ago because she submitted a sale which made the client questioned our quality control credibility. That written warning was escalated to termination due to another instance. The HR’s reason was, “overstaffed” which is far from what our manager has told me, “it’s a client escalation.” From my point of view, I don’t think; a client can terminate an employee which is totally separate from their entity. It is still under our company’s control, I guess. Unfortunately, I am a QA Specialist in a call center, and I’m multitasking as a sales verifier, trainer and a TL and sometimes agent – rolled into one. Just last week, I passed a sale which was not supposed to be submitted, I was in between a “life and death” situation that time and I didn’t notice that it shouldn’t be passed as a sale. People in the office including the call center manager was shocked about the news that I submitted the sale, because they know the quality of sales I passed, and I couldn’t explain to them that it was a matter of a “life and death” situation that time, it was an oversight. Last night, the manager asked me to gather all the emails that can defend myself…a threat of losing my job even if I knew it wasn’t habitual. I have always been asking help from the people in our department but to no avail, they just put me in a situation where I am new and find answers on my own. Is my case terminable?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Alex: The appropriate penalty will depend on your company’s table of offenses. Ordinarily, we refer to the penalty attached to an offense. A first offense involving negligence is ordinarily not terminable except when it has led to huge losses for the company.

  162. TianD

    Dear Attorney

    Thank you so much for this website as this helps a LOT of people.

    My question is that the father of my soon to be born baby (Expected due date is December) and I are not married due to some legal hindrances. We want our baby to carry her father’s surname, however, he is based in Singapore and won’t be able to come back once I give birth, hence, he won’t be able to sign the acknowledgement of Paternity at the back of the birth certificate.

    Are there any other legal documents or affidavits he can execute whilst in Singapore so we can register our baby under her father’s surname? If yes, what are those and where can we secure them? We are planning to bring our baby back to Singapore by January that is why we feel time is not on our side as we will still have to process her passport.

    Thank you very much! I am looking forward to your response.

    1. Atty. Post author

      TianD: Ordinarily, the father must be present to sign the acknowledgment in the certificate of live birth. But some hospitals (and you should first confirm with the administration if this is possible with them) allow you to attach a separate acknowledgment signed by the father accompanied by a photo ID bearing his signature for purposes of comparison. If this is not permitted by the hospital, then your other option is to file a delayed registration so that the father can sign the back portion of the certificate when he is available. I hope this helps. Try preparing this document (Acknowledgment of Paternity) and showing it to the hospital administration during birth. I hope this helps. Have a safe delivery.

  163. Angelina

    Thanks,Atty.! I have and always been supporting my 4 kids,but my business is experiencing some down side right now that is why my 2 grown-ups are still asking him,at least a mere financial help. If,only i can tell my 2 elder kids not to communicate anymore,i will! yes,you are right we are better off without him,but my 2 grown-ups are insisting that he should at least be forced to support them..and if and when,i have to do annulment i have to be sure according to my kids that their dad should help me out financially,too! my kids are all great and they respect their dad even if, they know that he is really a big Ahole! my eldest son told me,he should at least take care of his 2 small siblings. Thank you for your advice. God bless you!

  164. Vivencio R** *****

    may i ask a question? Is the unmarried father can avail Paternity leave? If not may you please provide me an option? thanks and God bless..

    1. Atty. Post author

      Vivencio: The Paternity Leave is a benefit available only to married fathers. Before the law on paternity leave was passed, fathers were able to go on leave using available leave credits. Try asking your company HR if there is an existing policy similar to the paternity leave which offers the same benefit to unmarried fathers. I hope this helps.

  165. maricar

    hello Atty. regarding poh dun case ko, na ayaw pong makipag-usap o makipag-ayos nung tatay ng anak ko, hindi ko poh alam ang exact address nya… ngkaroon poh ako ng komunikasyon dun sa kinakasama nya ngaun na un ang inuwian nya pagkauwi nya dito sa pilipinas.. Ang sabi poh nung kinakasama sa akin na sinabi lng daw sa akin ng tatay ng anak ko na pananagutan nya ako para manahimik na daw poh pero hanggang salita lng daw po un, kya wag na daw poh ako umasa na magpapakita siya sa akin. at hindi rin daw poh sya makapagbibigay ng pera kasi daw poh wala syang trabaho… Pano po un, wala na po ba kami magagawa dun… Gusto ko poh sya magbayad sa mga ginawa nya sa akin… Ginamit at niloko nya lng daw ako… thanks

    1. Atty. Post author

      Maricar: Your child is entitled to support according to the financial capacity of the parents and the child’s needs. This means that both you and the father share in the obligation to provide support for your common child. If the father cannot provide support in the meantime, and your child badly needs support, you may ask the parents of the child’s father (paternal grandparents) to provide it in the meantime. Bear in mind that the action for support is not a penalty for whatever personal conflicts he may have with you but is for the sake of the child. I hope this helps.

  166. Gerald

    Good Day Atty. C,

    I would like to seek your opinion on my “Unused Leave is about to forfeit” Ive been employed in this company for almost 7 years and I am not a habitual user of leave I use it only when necessary. Now I accumulate almost 30 days of leave before there is no policy of forfeiture of unused leave instead they carry over it thats why I accumulated 30 days.

    My question is can they do that? A new policy forfeiting unused leave? What remedy I can use?

    Thanks,
    Gerald

    1. Atty. Post author

      Gerald: Yes, they can, but they should be able to give you time to use it this year as any change in policy should have a prospective (future) effect. I suggest that you ask about any possibility of converting it to cash (at the end of the year) and to what extent. I hope this helps.

      1. Gerald

        Thank you Atty. C

        Best regards and More power.

  167. john lloyd

    atty. im john lloyd gusto ko po gamitin surename ng father ko but unfortunately namatay po sya last 2007… pero naka submit po sya ng admission of paternity… ano po ba ang dapat kung gawin??????

    1. Atty. Post author

      John Lloyd: If your father had been able to sign the acknowledgment at the back of your birth certificate, you can submit that together with your application form and other supporting documents at the Civil Registry where your birth was recorded. ( I am assuming that you are over 18 years old).

  168. Laureana T.

    Dear Atty. Christine,

    Greetings!

    My daughter has an 8-month son but not married, the child carry the surname of the father and is already registered at the LCR here in our place, the couple separated months back and my daughter wants to transfer back her son’s surname to her’s. Is this still possible when its already registered? What should she do at this point in time? she wants the child in her surname before her son enters school. Please enlighten us on what to do, would we need a lawyer to file petition for her for the transfer?

    I will wait for your answer and thank you in advance. God bless and more power!

    Sincerely,

    Laurie

    1. Atty. Post author

      Laurie: To change her son’s surname, she needs to file a petition for change of surname in court. But unlike the procedure which allowed her son to use the father’s surname merely by submitting the father’s acknowledgment of paternity, the petition requires the judge’s approval, which is not always guaranteed. There is a Supreme Court decision that effectively makes it the decision of the child (upon reaching the age of majority or 18 yrs. old) whether to change his/her surname. I hope this helps.

  169. rhea

    Dear Atty:
    Goo day!
    My friend is asking if she can file a case for a a married teacher who committed an adultery. The situation goes like this. This teacher is married and while her husband was out of the country she was pregnant with the other man. Now this married teacher find out that her husband have an affair with my friend.This married teacher call my friend to leave her husband and that’s what my friend did. But this married teacher still pestering my friend by sending messages and comments in this called Facebook to the extend that this married teacher are sending private messages to my friend friends. Now, my friend is to much angry and she told this married teacher that if she still pestering her she will report to the Department of Education about what she did before that she become pregnant with the other man. My question is, does my friend have the right to tell the Department of Education about this married teacher for doing such an immoral things even she is not living on that province? because as far as I know schools code of ethics are not allowing any teachers to do some immoral things especially if the evidence is their because the child now is almost three years. Thank you and hoping for a reply from your office.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Rhea: There’s a principle we observe in court that says, “He who comes to court must come with clean hands.” Reporting the adultery of another when she is also guilty of adultery will not solve her problems. It will only create a bigger problem as it will give the other woman (the wife) a chance to air her side which includes your friend’s adulterous situation before. I know how it feels to be harassed in Facebook but there are ways to prevent this without having to create a bigger scandal for everyone, such as blocking that person from viewing her FB page, or making comments and sending messages. Things like these eventually die down if your friend will just ignore the wife. After all, she is still the wife and is legally allowed to defend her marriage against other women. I’m hesitant to suggest any form of retaliation especially since your friend did have an affair with the woman’s husband as well and both spouses now seem to be back in each other’s arms. Any action to remove the wife from her job may only serve to open up old wounds which may destroy her marriage permanently.

  170. Rose

    Hi atty,
    I am in need of legal help..i want to know what my rights are. I have been separated with my husband for almost 2 years now..When we seperated ..I was out of work and depended on him financially. He is earning good money while i did not get a cent from him when i left until now.We have two kids, 4yrs old and 9 yrs old..Our arrangement at first was that the kids stayed with him since i could not really afford to have them at that moment and so i agreed but eventually over the course of our separation I made sure that they stayed with me during school days and with him on weekends. He has been paying for their tuition and other needs but the problem arises when they are with me since i could not really afford their everyday expense..i always asked him for money..which was very hard for me because he sometimes refuses and even asked for receipts to make sure that they are for the kids..its been very hard for me since i dont have a job until now..I am now planning to rent out and open up a business on my own ( money from parents) and was trying to talk to him to atleast help me out with the rent and since i never asked for anything to give me car that will help me with the kids..i thought we could agree or compromise by ourselves without lawyers involved but he refused and told me that he will pay for the tuition and other living expense but i would have to pay whatever expense they will incur when they are with me..and he also refuses to pay the rent…Atty. is this possible? can he choose which expenses he is willing to pay? i want to know what my rights are also when it comes to conjugal property..i never really wanted anything from him except for him to help me out but he just pushed me to take actions..he has been living the life with new car and a townhouse with new furniture..but he keeps on telling me that he has a lot of debt everytime i asked for some help..its stressful to deal with this but i guess i have to know my rights…pls help me..thanks

    1. Atty. Post author

      Rose: Your children are entitled to support from both parents in an amount that is proportionate to the means of the giver. Since your children live with you for the most part of the week, you may demand for support even on those days as support is not dependent on their whereabouts at the time it is spent. Considering his responses to your requirest, you may have to consult a lawyer already who can send a demand letter to him and possibly file the appropriate action in court to enforce your children’s right to be supported. You may also have to consider dealing with your legal status (i.e. legal separation or nullity) in court which may be the proper venue to decide related issues such as support, custody/visitation and separation of property, including your share in the community property. I hope this helps.

  171. rhea

    Dear Atty:
    Thank you for the response and advice.

  172. May

    Can you give legal advice on late payments of credit cards? What is the legal implication if there are late payments or unpaid minimum amount due on time? Thank you…

    1. Atty. Post author

      May: Late payments are still subject to penalties and interest charges. If the amount due is left unpaid, this amount will be charged a penalty and interest and will form the new total amount due. It will continue to incur penalty and interest charges while unpaid which is why credit card debt can end up so huge even when the actual purchases were a lot less to begin with. Anyone who intends to settle their credit card debt may negotiate a compromise directly with the credit card company but my advice is to meet the terms agreed upon and not default again. I hope this helps.

  173. May

    What if the credit card companies would not agree to any compromise or settlement or negotiation? What is my right? thank you

    1. Atty. Post author

      May: A compromise or settlement is an agreement for the settlement of a debt (in this case, a credit card debt). Because agreements and contracts require voluntariness of each party to enter into one, you can’t compel the credit card company to agree to a compromise if it doesn’t want to. Bear in mind that a credit card debt is governed by the credit card agreement a cardholder signs during the application. The rights and obligations of a cardholder are ordinarily stated in that agreement. I hope this helps.

  174. May

    Thank you! Can one be sued or imprison for unpaid credit card debts?

    1. Atty Post author

      May: A person may be sued for non payment of debt, including credit card debt. If the cardholder issued checks in partial payment of the credit card debt and any or some checks bounced, then he or she may be charged criminally for it. The penalty for issuing bounced checks includes imprisonment.

  175. mary ann

    dear atty.,

    when can an employer use a substitute retirement pay plan like PAG-IBIG FUND Retirement benefit?

    1. Atty Post author

      Mary Ann: The employer may treat the PagIbig fund as a substitute retirement fund for as long doing so does not violate or go against any existing CBA or company policy on retirement, and the retirement benefits which an employee may receive from PagIbig are not less than what the employee would have been entitled to under the Retirement Pay Law (RA 7641). Under RA 7641, in the absence of a retirement plan, an employee who has served at least 5 years with his employer is entitled to retirement benefits equivalent to 1/2 half month’s salary for every year of service. The components of this half month salary includes: 15 days salary based on the employee’s latest rate, the equivalent of 5 days service incentive leave, 1/12 of the 13th month pay due to the employee and all other benefits that may have been agreed upon between the employer and employee. Further details may be found in the implementing rules.

  176. May

    thank you again! what if there are no checks issued for payment. and the communication is by phone…and payments are only late…do they have the right to sue? or harrass? or threat imprisonment?

    1. Atty Post author

      May: A card company may still sue for non payment through a civil case filed in court. The threats of imprisonment and harassment are usually collection techniques of aggressive collection agencies. Harassment is not legal. But a demand letter with a warning of legal action is valid.

  177. Christina

    Hi, Atty.C. Is it lawful for employers to charge their employees for the goods stolen/shoplifted in the course of the retail store’s operations?
    thank you!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Christina: Yes, it is possible for an employer to deduct losses arising from theft under the following conditions:

      (a) the employer is engaged in a trade, occupation or business where the practice of making deductions or requiring deposits is recognized to answer for the reimbursement of loss or damage to tools, materials, or equipment supplied by the employer to the employee,

      (b) the employee concerned is clearly shown to be responsible for the loss or damage;

      (c) the employee is given reasonable opportunity to show cause why deduction should not be made;

      (d) the amount of such deduction is fair and reasonable and shall not exceed the actual loss or damage; and

      (e) the deduction from the wages of the employee does not exceed 20 percent of the employee’s wages in a week.

      I hope this helps.

  178. marivic l********

    Atty, I am a single parent. Can I acquire a solo parent counseling? How could I have it? Is it free?

    1. Atty Post author

      Hi,Marivic. What seems to be bothering you? You can email legal questions and I’ll do my best to present possible solutions.

  179. tina

    Dear Attorney,
    Good day!
    I just have a query… I have a daughter and her father is in Canada working as a nurse, and he does not give child support for my daughter. He’s already married, he got married a few months after my child was born. He acknowledged my daughter, he was even the one who filled up the birth certificate details which is why my daughter uses his name. For the past 6years i have kept quiet but now i want him to help me with the finances because my daughter is already studying. What should i do? can i oblige him to give child support even if he’s already in another country?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Tina: Yes, you can ask the biological father for support wherever he may be. But getting him to respond is another matter. If he ignores your messages asking for support, it would be difficult for a petition for support to reach him and make him answerable for his obligation here in the Philippines. I suggest that you first ask him in a mild tone regarding the possibility of sharing in your daughter’s expenses. It is only when he refuses that perhaps a letter coming from a lawyer may help.

      1. tina

        thanks for the reply attorney… i have already done that, at first he gave but now he’s already avoiding the responsibilities. does it mean that i cannot do anything about it anymore? i hope not…

      2. Atty. Post author

        Tina: Try asking a lawyer to send him a demand letter and send a copy of the same demand letter to his parents (if still alive or in the Philippines).

  180. Lorrie Carrillo

    Hello and good day. I’m glad I stumbled into your site with the hope that you can help me. I own a residential lot in las pinas which we enclosed with a cemented fence in 1998. yearly paying its estate tax, lot only, no improvement and also paying for garbage collection. however, just recently, i suddenly wanted to visit the property. and to my surprise, i thought i was lost because there were people occupying the lot and they built dwellings. the people said they built their stone house about 3 years ago. My question is, would this situation fall under Trespassing or Squatting? In any case, how should i go about it? How would i proceed to get them out of there. One of them even implied i will have to pay him to get out because he doesn’t have a job. thanks so much and i will wait for your reply. God bless you!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Lorie: You need to judicially evict the squatters off your property. I suggest that you approach a litigation lawyer (one who is experienced in trial practice for eviction cases) and present your situation right away for proper action. Depending on the details of your situation, there are possible cases you may file including a criminal case for Trespass to property. To get them out, you will need a court order for eviction. Your lawyer may also determine if your case can fall under the coverage of RA 7279. Please refer to its implementing rules here
      I hope this helps.

  181. Mon

    Dear Atty. Florido,

    I have a 5-yr old daughter with my ex-wife. As an OFW, I am able to give child support during the first few years. However, whenever I go back to the Philippines, my ex-wife do not allow me to see my daughter, and even worst don’t answer to my messages and calls. She stopped communicating with me, but whenever the need arises, she can always find a way to email me asking for money. I constantly sending her emails, but I seldom have a reply, most of the time, ignored. I stopped depositing money to her bank account, to force her to communicate with me.

    I have made my part of asking her to reach an agreement of my visitation rights. I am not asking for a monthly-basis, but whenever I am in the Philippines, which is like 1-2 times a year. However, I have been waiting for two-years, and still she is not giving her side. Just recently, I sent money for my daughter’s bday and she replied. I immediately ask for her permission to speak to my daughter but she didn’t reply again.

    I do not know their current residence, since she got married. She changes her mobile number and so I am left with no other means but emails.

    I would like to have your opinion and show me how to get my visitation rights for my daughter.

    Sincerely,
    Ramon

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mon: I suggest that you find out first where your daughter is currently residing and consult a lawyer regarding filing a petition for visitation in court. Ordinarily, I would recommend negotiating on child custody/visitation/support matter out of court to minimize negative feelings and legal costs. If you are able to get a lawyer to write her about this, then this should be your first option. If she persists in not allowing access, then your lawyer may recommend going to court with this matter. On another note, if you have her bank details where you were able to deposit/transfer funds for your child’s birthday expenses, then you may be able to trace where she is at. I hope this helps.

  182. marivic

    Atty, I have no legal question but to find a free counseling for me. I am getting hard disciplining my five kids and seems I need a guidance counselor to give light on my problems before it get worst. I have no capability of paying a counselor, and if possible, does a government have a program for this? Can I avail if it have and how? Thank you for taking an attention on me. God Bless

    1. Atty Post author

      Marivic: Yes, under the Solo Parents Act (RA 8972), qualified and registered solo parents are entitled to a list of benefits which include free counseling. You may try going to your city or municipal hall and asking the Social And Welfare Development Office for assistance. If you haven’t registered or obtained your Solo Parent ID yet, now would be a good time to get one also. I hope this helps. Hang in there.

  183. Nona

    To Atty. Florido:
    I wish to extend my gratitude at your free consultations regarding sensitive issues and I was wondering if you could help me with mine.

    My fiancee has been living with a woman he begot a child with for around 12years. He could not move out because the mother refuses to let him near his son should he do so. They have broken romantic ties over seven years ago but both wished to raise their child in a nuclear family setting and so have settled down together. Recently, my fiancee expressed his desire to leave the mother and she responded with this ultimatum. The son is 8years old currently and the mother is exemplary in her role towards child rearing, barring her refusal to allow my fiancee to leave their home. I would like to stress that the two of them have never been married. Is there a legal sanction that can be done to address this conflict? Please note that my fiancee is content with joint custody as long as he is free to be with his son without harassment from the mother.

    Thank you for sparing time to read over my conundrum and more power to you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Nona: The child’s father in this case is entitled to reasonable visitation rights (not joint custody) unless he is able to negotiate a joint custody arrangement out of court with the child’s mother. I suggest that he start discussing support and visitation with the mother and try his best to come up with a voluntary arrangement to avoid the hassles and antagonistic side of litigation. I also suggest that the child’s father engage the services of a lawyer to help draft the necessary agreement (not necessarily to negotiate with the mother as most are averse to the presence of lawyers). Sending drafts of the agreement by email is a first step. I hope this helps.

  184. Katerina

    Hi Atty. Florido,
    Thank you for establishing this site.
    My question would be if there is an established law regarding time lines on the issuance of back pays and separations pays for employees who have voluntarily separated from private companies. I have been resigned from my previous company ( BPO) for 4 months already. I gave the standard 30-day notice, I was able to complete the clearance form. All of the documents prior to my leaving the company was submitted to HR on the 31st day from the resignation notice that I sent. After the exit interview, I was informed that my back pay ( pro-rated 13th month, unused leave credits, tax refunds) and certificate of clearance will be given after 2 months. However, it has been 4 months already. I have made several follow up with the previous company but they were giving out excuses that the documents were still in India and has not been signed. Given the amount of time that has lapsed, I feel that this is no longer reasonable. The other companies I have worked with were able to issue my separation pay within 2 weeks to 1 month.
    Do we have any law that governs the timeliness of companies to provide all the necessary documents ( COE, ITR) and payments they owe to previous employees? And can I also send the company a demand letter from a lawyer to fast track the processing of whatever it is that they still owe me. ( apart from the back pay, I need the COE and ITR as employment requirements with a new company)
    Your response and advice is greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Katerina: There’s a general prohibition against withholding wages (salaries) in the Labor Code (Art. 116) without the worker’s consent. Unfortunately, there’s no clear provision of law that requires employers to release Certificates of Employment within a specific period although there is a pending bill filed by Senator Pia Cayetano. Yes, you may consult a lawyer who can look into the details of your situation and possibly send a demand letter to your previous employer. I hope this helps.

      1. Katerina

        Hi Atty.,
        I have a follow up question. A colleague of mine is currently rendering her 30 days already. However she is not being permitted to use her remaining vacation leave credits and was even verbally threatened that if she files a leave she will be tagged as No Call No Show and will be terminated. And they will contact her future employer and inform them that my colleague was terminated. The reason why my colleague wants to use her vacation leaves is because as per the company’s HR, only 10 leave credits will be converted to cash and credited along with the back pay. My colleague still has 26 vacation leave credits. As far as I know, using VLs while rendering is subject for approval of the immediate supervisor. I was able to use my excess VLs with no problem. The person that is “harassing” my colleague is not the immediate supervisor but the AVP. Is it time for my colleague to seek a lawyer as well? Will she have a fighting chance ?
        Thanks a lot for your time and patience in answering my questions.

      2. Atty. Post author

        Katerina: The use of vacation leave credits is still subject to company approval, especially considering that the employee is on her way out. Most companies require the final days of an employee to be used for completing pending projects or work, turning over company property, work, papers, etc.

  185. marivic

    Dear Atty,
    I a mother of five kids, a single parent because my husband died. My kids seems to hate me because abandoned them due to my membership in the underground movement. Pero nagbago na po ako ngayon, in fact,may trabaho na po ako. Last night, I scolded my son for he go hoe with black eye. I told him if did not go out (he used to go out at night without asking permission from me) and her ate, (my 20 yr-old eldest daughter) confront me for scolding him. She told me “npa ka, kriminal ka, pokpok ka, dapat sayo sa mental”. Pinalo ko po sya ng walis dahil nasobrahan po ako samga sinasabi nya. And all of a sudden, sinabunutan nya ako at binalibag, and I told her to kill me if you that to me. And she answed, ” talagang papatayin kita”. Atty, I could not bear my child to be in my custody, she is 20 yrs old. can I let her go out of my house na hind ako marereklamo for abandonment ng anak? Wala po kc akong mahanap sa internit na tatawagan na makahing ako ng saklolo dahil ang nasa internit lang ay anak na inaabuso ng magulang. Hindi po dapat merong magulang na sinasaktan ng anak?
    Ano po ang dapat kong gawin? I did all my best to give them a good life now, but still she act that way to me.
    Marivic

    1. Atty. Post author

      Marivic: Much as I don’t agree with children hurting anyone, much less their parents, I’d have to say that it is our obligation to take care of our children until they reach the age of emancipation– which is 21 years of age. I agree with you, that you and your children may need family counseling or family therapy sessions due to the previous situation you were in. I suggest that you give yourselves (you and your children) some space. Avoid any heated arguments by changing the tone of your voice when talking to them. Your daughter is no longer a child–at 20, communicating with her requires more patience. I have a teen-ager at home and although I took care of him since the day he was born and single-handedly raised him and his younger brother for the past 7 years, I still receive harsh words when we encounter some conflicts at home. It is very heart-wrenching, I know. And there are moments when we want to give up being a parent if only to quiet our minds. But, as mothers, we know that the instinct to take care and watch out for our kids will remain no matter how old they are, or how far apart we sometimes grow in time. Legally, the parent is primarily responsible for all of their children’s actions and to support and care for them at home. You may live apart from your daughter if that is going to prevent future physical hurt, but you may be obliged to pay for her needs even if she is living elsewhere. Your situation may not have an immediate legal solution but it may be resolved gradually with patience and time. Here’s a tip= Love begets love. Hug your children more. Compliment them more instead of noticing their faults. At 10 onwards, children no longer respond well to spanking or any other physical form of punishment. If they treat you badly, take some time off in silence instead of clashing head on with them. It’s easier said than done but it helps. If you practice a religion, then consider the age-old solution of prayer ( according to your belief, of course). You may also be under a lot of stress resulting from work and the obligation of caring for 5 kids on your own. Try a stress reducing technique like regular exercise, focused breathing exercises and talking to friends. You can find a number of relaxation tips online for free. I really hope that this helps.

  186. Elmer Loves Oreo

    Question: Is there a case here in the Philippines wherein an employee was fired because of his Facebook comment to a fellow employee?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Elmer Loves Oreo: None yet that has reached the Supreme Court, but it is possible to sanction employees (perhaps, not necessarily through dismissal or termination) for public comments that are derogatory, if these constitute certain offenses in a company or employee handbook.

      1. elmerlovesoreo

        What is considered public comments in Facebook? There is a group option in Facebook right now that says Closed Group and only members of that group can see the group comment. Would that still be considered Public Comment? Also, isn’t that it should happen on company premises, company time and company resources before it can be considered an offense in a company handbook?

      2. Atty. Post author

        Elmerlovesoreo: It depends on what the offense is. It can happen elsewhere– like gross disrespect to a superior, conviction of a crime, malingering, falsification, theft etc. The employer usually has wide latitude in prescribing disciplinary sanctions in keeping with the company image, etc. There is publication if the material is communicated to a third person. It is not required that the person defamed has read or heard about the libelous remark.

      3. elmerlovesoreo

        Would it help if you give a disclaimer that what you’re saying is just your opinion on the matter?

      4. Atty. Post author

        Elmerlovesoreo: Hard to say since I have not viewed it and am not aware of the possible offense involved. But generally, an opinion that is publicly aired may still be taken as an offense.

  187. samuel

    dear atty.
    my wife and i adopted a child from a woman who then was not supported or abandoned during his pregnancy by her latest boyfriend. until such time she gave birth to a child and decided to give the child to us since she has another child from her 1st boyfriend to support. Her 1st boyfriend even also abandoned her. So, My wife and I paid expenses to her labor (midwife, etc.) and even gave her an huge amount of money not for payment of the child but for our help with her. She prepared a letter and signed w/c contained the ff: 1)she gave the baby to us w/ her own will, 2)she attested that her boyfriend left her upon knowing she was pregnant & never gave support ever,3) she promised not to get the baby anymore forever etc. It was blessing to us since my wife cannot bear a child due to medical reasons. well in fact we can afford to raise a child since we are both working with a good salary. We registered the child’s birth certificate and it was stated in there that we are the parents. we very much loved the baby so much as our own provided the utmost care and even bought the expensive milk for the baby and even hired the most famous pediatrician here in our place for the baby.etc. Our question is, what can we do in order to protect us from the future so that either of the biological parent cannot get their child away from us? is the said letter she prepared & signed can prevent them from getting the baby away from us? please advice us attorney. thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Samuel: Parental authority is personal and inalienable, meaning that it cannot be renounced except in cases authorized by law such as adoption. When a parent turns over parental authority to another person, be it a friend or relative, even with a written document, the law will treat it as mere transfer of temporary custody, not a waiver or renunciation of parental authority. The proper approach would have been to file a petition for adoption at the time. I suggest that you consult a lawyer who specializes in child adoption to see what your options are at this point that a certificate of live birth has been obtained (although with false statements). I hope this helps.

  188. Catherine S

    I am working in a small hotel in QC there were times that we only have 7 guest and i was thinking is it legal to implement force leave because of low occupancy?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Catherine: Under the Dept of Labor’s Advisory 2-09, an employer may implement forced leave or a situation where an employee goes on leave for days or even weeks, PROVIDED that the employee still has un-used leave credits. Forced leave are still paid days not worked. Under the same advisory, this flexible arrangement must (1) be entered into voluntarily (preferably through a separate agreement with each employee affected) by the employee (2) be temporary in nature (3) and the employer must notify the nearest DOLE office about this arrangement PRIOR to its implementation. I hope this helps.

      1. Catherine S

        Thank you for quick reply

  189. jmarch2010

    Hello Atty. Christine,
    I’m a single mom and i just found out that the biological dad of my child have a new son who is 15mos younger than my son (he did not marry her either) my son is using his last name and he religiously sends financial support even without a written agreement. my worry now is, with the new baby he might lessen his support and sooner or later might get married. can i demand a written agreement for this matter? and also I’m planning to migrate to New Zealand with my son, do i need to get his consent? thanks so much!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jmarch2010: You can ask that he sign a written agreement regarding support. You may also wish to consider having him execute a document confirming his agreement to leave sole custody to you, including a statement regarding his consent for your child to travel and migrate abroad with you. While an illegitimate child ordinarily does not need the father’s consent to travel abroad as sole parental authority vests in the mother, immigration laws of other countries still require the presentation of proof of right of custody other than our Family Code’s provision on illegitimate children. I hope this helps.

  190. jmarch2010

    Thanks so much Atty!
    I have another question po
    Were currently staying in Baguio and if ill furnish this documents do we need to go down to Manila (dad is staying there) or I could ask an Atty here and just send him a copy to sign?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jmarch2010: Yes, you can have a lawyer draft the documents and you can send those to the father for his signature. I hope all goes well with that. Take care in this bad weather!

      1. jmarch2010

        Thank You so much Atty! ill keep you posted po.

  191. Rain

    Dear Atty,
    I am a mother of a 4 year old princess who is illegitimate and have had no communication with the father since birth. I am in the process of moving overseas and leaving my daughter behind for a year before I finally petition her. I am concerned with my application as the embassy with want me to provide a court order of sole custody. How do I acquire that document? I am the only parent written in my child’s birth certificate. Thank you for your advice.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Rain: The Australian Immigration website provides for the following requirement : “If another parent or any other person can legally determine where the child can live, permission for the child to migrate to Australia must be obtained from that person. This must be in the form of either a completed form 1229 ‘Consent to grant an Australian visa to a child under the age of 18 years’ or a statutory declaration. Alternatively, the parental responsibility (custody) requirement will be satisfied if the sponsoring parent is in possession of a valid court order in relation to the child which permits them to permanently remove the child from the child’s home country; or has a valid Australian child order issued by the Family Court in Australia and the grant of the visa would be consistent with that order.”

      So, your first option is to get the child’s biological father to sign the form 1229 or a separate affidavit giving his consent. If this is not possible, only then will you be required to show a valid court order allowing the child to migrate with you.

      For further information, please see the Australian immigration website by following this link. I hope this helps.

  192. Gaz

    Hi Atty, I am in desperate need of advice as I am on the verge of losing my son, I am married but separated from my wife and we have a son who is almost 3 years old. We recently signed a separation/compromise agreement whereby she received a substantial amount of money and agreed to access to my son as well as certain other conditions, such as notifying me of plans to take our son outside of the city we live in. She has broken many of the conditions and exercised every form of emotional blackmail as well as threats against me, despite the fact I have shown more financial support than necessary, and done all I can to provide both my wife and son with the security they need, and show our son that despite the fact we are no longer together, he still has two parents who love him. She is now planning on leaving the country and cutting all forms of communication with me, as well as my family. I am applying for a hold departure order but would truly appreciate any further advice you can provide. I have consulted numerous lawyers but seem to get a different response from each and am in desperate need of clarification of what steps I can take and how. My only interest is the well being and happiness of my son and ensuring his future and that we can spend the time together that we both need, want and deserve together.
    Kindly reply at your earliest convenience before it is to late.

    Many thanks

    G.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Gaz.: Sent a reply at your email address. Kindly check.

  193. Nicole D*****

    Dear Atty.,
    I have somewhat of an exceptional case here. My niece is 6 years old and since they split up two years ago, my brother has had her in his care. Her mother (never married) was not able to care for her…she had no job, no vehicle, and was lived on her friend’s couch. Her mother has now decided she wants her back. We are very scared that she will be able to take her due to the fact that she is the mother of the illegitimate child. However, my brother lives in a two bedroom apartment so my niece has her own room. Her mother lives in a two bedroom house with her boyfriend and another couple. Her mother is also pregnant with a second child. When my niece visits her mother every other weekend, she sleeps on an air mattress in the same bedroom as her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. I cannot see how these living conditions will be acceptable, especially with another child on the way. She has had two years to get her act together, and she is still unemployed with no vehicle, living in cramped quarters, and now pregnant again. She has not contributed any monetary support over the last two years, yet she has claimed my niece on her taxes as a dependent. My brother has been her sole caregiver other than the occasional weekend trip to see her mother. Is my brother in danger of losing her? We are very worried as that would be a very unstable home environment. Thank you for your help.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Nicole: Replied to your query through email. Please check your inbox.

  194. J.D.P

    Dear Attorney ,
    Good day po. here’s the scenario :: Si Y ay inatasaan na maging isang dammie person sa isang itatayong bagong business, Kay Y ipinangalan ang business name . ngayon upang maprotektahan ang bawat isa. (ang tunay na may ari at ang dammie person) kailangan nila ng isang agreement na nag papatunay na si Y ay isang dammie person lamang at si X ang totoong mei ari ng negosyo.
    Ngayon po attorney ako po ay humihingi ng tulong sa inyo na kung maari po ay mabigyan nio po ako ng isang draft o MOWA para sa ganitong scenario. hihintayin ko po ang inyong response .
    Maraming salamat po

    Lubos na gumagalang :
    J.D.P

    1. Atty. Post author

      Hello, JDP. I’m sorry, but I don’t prepare agreements for dummy transactions. The best protection is to have the business registered under the real owners, right?🙂

  195. samek91

    hi,
    i wanted to know if i could get a passport and visa for my child. i have no idea who the father is and i will not be listing any name on my child’s birth certificate. my child will bare my last name. will the government still require me to find out who the father is, and not issue my child a passport or visa until i do?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Samek91: Sent a reply to your query through email. Please check your inbox.

  196. melissa m*********

    Hello atty! Iam a single mom. I registered my daughter’s middle name and surname under my maiden name.. I am just confused now if i did something wrong regarding the middle initial because i’ve heard that it is not necessary to put middle initial to illegitimate child. Will i have any problem of putting my middle initial under my daughter’s name which is already filed in the local civil registry? Do i need to go to local civil registry to change or remove the middle initial or just leave it as is.. Thank you very much and God bless!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Melissa: Your daughter’s birth certificate should not bear any middle initial. You may approach the civil registrar where your daughter’s birth certificate is registered and file an application to correct the entry (Correction of entry) and simply state as your explanation :”lack of knowledge regarding law of surnames and middle names of illegitimate children.” I suggest that you do this soonest to avoid complications much later. I hope this helps.

  197. Chiita

    Hello!Where should be the child custody if the mother is death? The child right now is on the grand grand parents custody because her immediate grand parents are separated and the the grandmother is on abroad. Now, my fiancee wants to get his right and that is to have his daughter back. He has all the financial support to the child even before her mother died. Though the child id with us every weekend,we find it so hard with that kind of set up. And we observe that the child is happier and better to be with us. The child id now 6 years old. Thanks

    1. Atty. Post author

      Chiita: If the child’s mother is dead, then the child’s father may petition for child custody even against the grandparents. If the child is illegitimate, the father may consider adopting his daughter as well. I hope this helps.

      1. Chiita

        If the child is illegitimate, the father may consider adopting his daughter as well.
        Her daughter is considered illegitimate because her parents are not married although the child is named after his father, am i right?. Does the father has the sole obligation and right for the child’s custody? Because based on my observation, the family of the deceased mother has no intentions to give the custody of the child to her father.

      2. Atty. Post author

        Chiita: The child remains illegitimate if the parents were never married to one another. The Court will have to decide who may exercise parental authority/custody now that the mother is deceased. The father’s right is not automatic. He has to go to court first and get a court order in his favor. If the maternal grandparents object to the father’s petition, they can appear in the case and raise their objections and make their own claim for custody as well.

      3. Chiita

        The deceased mother conceived at the age of 16 very young and my Clark (fiancee) was 22 year old. At first the family wanted to stop their affairs, but they have decided na “magtanan” because the family of the girl wanted to file child abuse to Clark. And since the girl was so in love, she defended Clark. And later on the family accepted Clark and let him stay on their house together with the girl (live-in). But eventually after giving birth, they have discovered that the girl has lupus inherited from her father’s side.
        And to make the story short, the girl died at the age of 19.

        And now that Clark wants to get his child from the girl’s family right after our wedding day. The family told us that they will appeal their case against Clark for Child Abuse.
        My question are:
        1. In that case, is it considered as Child abuse? or rape? although the girl was minor at that time, the girl wanted that to happen. In fact, they let them to live together.
        2. Can they still file an appeal even if the girl is deceased?
        3. Can they use that to wave the custody of Clark to his daughter?
        Than k you.

      4. Atty. Post author

        Chiita: I doubt if the case for child abuse will continue now that the alleged victim is deceased. The maternal grandparents can file their objections to the petition for custody or adoption that the illegitimate father may file but it is up to the court to weigh the circumstances presented (including the child abuse claim) for purposes of granting or denying the petition for custody. The inflexible criterion in deciding child custody cases is always the BEST INTERESTS of the child. It’s really up to the lawyers to craft their respective strategies for their clients.

  198. Zheng

    Dear Atty.,

    I have a 4-year old son who is staying w/ his father. We are not married but my son carries his name since he acknowledged the child when he was born. Currently, I am working here abroad for my son. Before I left, we were still in good terms that’s why the baby was left w/ him to take care of. Last year, I decided to end up my relationship w/ him as he refused to find a good job that would help me raise our son. Now, I found out that he along w/ his kin is disciplining my child in a way not acceptable to him. They pinched him & used wood to spank him over a simple mistake or if my child refused to wash his hands after dinner. Aside from that there is a video showing my son stating that he doesn’t want to stay w/ his father anymore bec. he is spanking him and all.

    please help me what do i need to do and i want to file a petition to remove all his rights from my son. thank you.

    hopeful,

    Zheng

    1. Atty. Post author

      Zheng: You will have to return to the Philippines and file the appropriate petition in court to obtain sole custody of your son. After gaining custody, you can temporarily entrust custody with your parents, if they are still around. I hope this helps.

      1. zheng

        Dear Atty. C,

        thank you so much for your immediate reply. that really helped and somehow relieved me from all these worries. just an additional question, which petition should i file and now that he’s sending threat messages to my father that he would fight for the baby even if it sheds blood?

        he’s become so obsessed in keeping the baby and now he doesn’t want my family to borrow him during weekends or even just to see him.

        will the following make a strong ground in pursuing my intention of getting full custody w/ my son or will the court favor him:

        1. i stopped sending financial allowance last month to give him the chance to prove to me that he can raise our son & that made him so mad;
        2. i plan to return to the philippines by next school year in time for his bday and schooling. that for me is the perfect time to get my child and file for petition and transfer him to another school.
        3. from today until next year, since i stopped sending allowance, will it make my chances of full child custody smaller?

        if i file for petition, change my baby’s last name, how much will it cost and how long would it take since my vacation would run for only a month? i am so worried but i do not have any choice as of this time yet.

        thanking you for your prompt asnwers,

        Zheng

      2. Atty. Post author

        Zheng: 1. Since the child is physically under the care of the illegitimate father, then I suggest that you continue sending financial support for your son and keep all documents showing proof of your remittances. This will help you raise a defense against any allegations of abandonment someday.
        2. The petition for custody may not always bring about your desired results immediately. I suggest that you consult a lawyer who can handle the filing and hearing of the petition you intend to file so that you can discuss finer details such as your timing.
        3. A petition for change of surname (of an illegitimate child) is a separate case from that of custody. The costs will depend on the lawyer’s fees (which can run to a couple of thousands) and the entire process can take months because of hearings and a requirement to publish the order regarding the petition for change of name in a newspaper for a few times (weeks) before the hearing can start.
        You still have time to prepare for the legal processes but you may have to discuss it already with a litigation lawyer for these. Just don’t cut your connection with your baby (including support) in the meantime.

  199. louie

    Can a Father of Illegitimate Child Obtain Custody when Mother dies at childbirth?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Louie: Yes, but this is not automatic– the father of the illegitimate child will have to file a petition for custody or adoption to LEGALLY obtain custody. This legal step is important in case the maternal grandparents intend to assert their rights or when obtaining a passport for the child or traveling abroad with the child someday. I hope this helps.

  200. ingayatugong

    Problem: Some 25 years ago, a Filipino seaman (let’s call him Juan) was stationed in Brazil. He had a girlfriend (let’s call her Rosa) whom he left pregnant when he immigrated to the States (legally). Juan eventually became a naturalized American Citizen. He got married to a Filipina (let’s call her Celia). Juan and Celia remained childless.

    Rosa gave birth to a son (let’s call him Ramon) who was adopted by the man she married. Some two years ago, a friend of the Ramon was able to trace Juan through Facebook. Juan, being childless with Celia, was thrilled to know he has a son. However this discovery caused a fight between Juan and Celia.

    Not wanting to hurt Celia, Juan cut off communication with Ramon.

    Soon Juan and Celia are planning to retire in the Philippines. If Ramon comes to the Philippines, can siblings of Juan help Ramon compel Juan to take a DNA test to settle paternity”. Juan’s siblings, living in the Philippines, wish to have Ramon get together with his father. Juan needs a son. He is has been dreaming of having a child since he got married but he and Celia were never blessed with a child and Celia refused to adopt.

    Although we have not seen Ramon personally, his photo is a spitting image of Juan when Juan was in his 20s. We would very much appreciate a reply

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ingayatugong: Juan should first answer the question whether he FEELS AND KNOWS that Ramon is his son. There’s no need to take a paternity test if the father is certain. If Juan is absolutely sure that Ramon is his son, then all that Juan has to do is execute an Affidavit of Acknowledgment of Paternity. It’s not clear if Ramon is a Filipino citizen, but supposing that Ramon is Filipino, then if Ramon wants, he can go to the Civil Registrar where his birth certificate was registered and apply for a change of surname. I believe that the basic issue here lies with the supposed father, Juan. Perhaps he feels that he cannot acknowledge paternity because of his wife’s anger about the discovery of an illegitimate child. Well, the shock, disappointment and anger will eventually subside but it will never change the fact that Juan has a child somewhere. So, I advise that you let Juan take his time to process these things. I hope this helps.

      1. ingayatugong

        Thank you Atty. Florido. Juan had verbally acknowledged paternity of Ramon but never in writing. Ramon’s mother is Brazilian and so is Ramon. They live in Brazil. If Ramon comes to the Phils, will he have rights to assert his claim of being a son of Juan under Philippine laws even if Juan’s wife will not allow Juan to confirm paternity.? We really want to help Ramon.

      2. Atty. Post author

        Ingayatugong: A verbal acknowledgment is not enough to assert legal rights in the Philippines. Ramon will have to ask his father to execute an affidavit acknowledging paternity or file a case to claim illegitimacy in court. If the case is filed in court, a DNA or other suitable paternity test may be ordered by the court to prove the relationship. The consent of Juan’s wife is not necessary for the case to proceed. It can get ugly though and can ruin the marriage of Juan. I suggest you consider the consequences of these things before proceeding. If the child is just after acknowledgment, the mere recognition should be enough. If the child is after financial support or other material outcome of recognition, then, sadly, it can cause undue strain on a relationship that had nothing to do with Juan’s past. I hope that this issue is resolved peacefully. I am concerned about the wife who is innocent in all these.

  201. Mau

    Dear Atty.,
    I am a single mother of 4-month old son. I want to ask a financial support for my son to his father but his father says that he doesn’t have job so he can’t afford to give any support. We are not married and my son carries my surname. Can I ask his mother for a support? Hope you can help me what to do. Thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mau: Try writing the paternal grandmother about your situation. But avoid making it sound like a demand or her legal obligation so that she will sympathize with your situation. Even if the father does not have a job, he should have some source of income which he uses to sustain himself. Tell him to provide any amount he can give for now rather than not have anything to pay for your young child’s needs. You should still pursue the father for support so that he is compelled to find a job, whatever it takes to provide for his child. I hope this helps.

  202. ed

    Dear Atty ,

    Greetings!!I have two illigitimate daughter from my ex gf who is married that time but separated.My problem now :1.my ex gf used my last name in the BC of my first daughter and that we are married ,which is not true because she is still married that time.2.my second daughter BC is using her mother (single) last name ,but i acknowledge by signing at the back of the live BC.
    Right now im in abroad and want them to use my last name and have a clean BC as early as possible to petition them once i get my citizenship.I cannot find there mom anymore, no communication for more than 6 yrs now.Please help me and advice what to do.

    MAny thanks,
    ed

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ed: Changes in the birth certificate which affect the status (legitimate or illegitimate) of persons may require a court proceeding. You will have to locate the mother’s whereabouts and initiate discussions about making the necessary changes in the two children’s birth certificates. Your 2nd daughter may use your surname after filing the necessary documents with the local civil registrar under RA 9255. Please see this link for details. Just send someone in your behalf, bearing your authorization, to file the application for your daughter to use your surname. The elder child’s birth certificate may have to be corrected through court proceedings and I suggest that you find a lawyer already who can handle your case. I hope this helps.

  203. ingayatugong

    Dear Atty Florido,
    Thank you very much. We shall follow your advice and tread ever so carefully on this issue.

  204. mary ann

    dear atty.

    I got my first freelance consulting work (training and OD), I would want to ask, would there be taxes to be deducted on my part for my kind of services?
    Thanks very much, your site is a great help!!!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mary Ann: That’s great news! Usually, a company taxpayer (your client) is required to deduct and withhold tax of 10% to 12% before releasing your net fees. If it does, be sure to ask for a certificate of tax withheld from them so you can attach that to your annual income tax return (if you’re reporting and filing annually). But, please ask a qualified bookkeeper about these details to ensure that you have all your requirements by year-end for tax purposes. I hope this helps.

  205. Melissa ****

    Dear Atty,
    Im glad to bump into your site🙂
    I have a 9 year old daughter with my ex-bf. She carries my name and her father’s name doesn’t appear in her BC. I have not seen him since the day she was born and have no intention of seeking any support for I am already married and my husband love her as his own. She even believed that he is her father. We want to change her surname so that she won’t feel different when she have a brother/sister. Is adoption the only solution? Is there a more easy way to do this and cost less?
    Thank you very much

    Melissa

    1. Atty. Post author

      Melissa: Sent a reply directly through email.

  206. mary ann

    Dear Atty.

    Thanks very much. you are such a big help.

    Thanks very much.

    best regards

    meann

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mary Ann: Glad to be of help to a self-starter like you! Drop me a line any time– I wish you more success in your consulting career. — Atty. C.

  207. estella

    Hi Atty,

    I applied for a student pass for my son here in an Asian country. They require me to show proof of legal custody. Kindly elaborate more on this.

    My son is 4 years old. I was never married to his father and I did not indicate the father’s name in his birth certificate. His father and I separated during my 2nd month of pregnancy and the father has not shown any interest in my son.

    From what I understand, children under 7 y.o. are automatically under the custody of the mother. What proof or legal declaration can I present to the Immigration office to show this.

    Thank you and more power to you.

    Sincerely,
    Estella

    1. Atty. Post author

      Estella: If your child is illegitimate and Filipino, then you may have to execute an Affidavit of Illegitimacy and submit this together with a copy of Art. 176 of the Family Code to show that sole parental authority is vested in you (the mother), copy of the child’s birth certificate and a certificate of no marriage from the NSO. I hope this helps.

      1. estella

        thank you so much atty! I’m following your advice and hopefully, the Immigration authorities will grant my son’s student visa soon.

        God bless you.

  208. Gary and Logan *************

    Hello:I am a U.S.citizen and permanent resident of the P.I.for 12 years.I am also the proud father of a legally adopted (orphaned)Daughter with me since birth and now 7 years of age.I love her as my own..3 1/2 years ago her adoptive mother and my “wife”sold all our possessions including home and absconded to the U.S.after forging documents including immigration.It was always my intent to go back home to Florida and live with my Daughter but am having problems with USCIS and a visa.Should it not be fairly clear cut in obtaining sole custody even though I am a foreigner?
    Thank You
    Gary and Logan(Daughter)

    1. Atty. Post author

      Gary: Visa requirements vary among countries. Since the United States is a member of the Hague Convention against child abductions, it imposes stricter rules in the transport of minors out of their home countries and into the US (and vice versa). In your case, since the child was legally adopted (by both spouses– you and your “wife”), your wife’s consent must be obtained for the child to migrate or travel abroad. Moreover, in cases of separation of parents, in the Philippines, custody of a minor is generally vested in the mother. It is most likely for the US immigration authorities to require you to produce a court order showing your right of custody. Perhaps, without the mother around, it may be your only solution in order to bring your adopted daughter out of the country. You may also have to obtain a travel clearance from the DSWD. Please consult a family lawyer who can handle your custody case and obtain a clear list of requirements from the USCIS for adopted children for your lawyer to assess what needs to be done. I hope this helps.

  209. Gary and Logan C**********

    Thank You for your reply Atty..Under the Child Citizenship Act does it not waiver some of these requirements?I do have a Affidavit of consent and support given by the estranged adoptive”mother”(my “wife”) and a statement from DSWD Manila stating the Philippine law to travel if legally adopted under the laws here which I comply with according to the adoption decree.
    Thank You
    Gary and Logan.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Gary: since you need the approval of the US immigration authorities, compliance with their specific requirements is important. Immigration laws differ among countries and unless your adopted daughter is a US citizen, then she may have to pass all documentary requirements for her to obtain a visa from the US embassy. It’s more or less the same with other countries’ visa requirements. The decision is up to the foreign country that the applicant seeks to enter.

  210. dandy

    hi there attorney..i have a question….i dont know how to compute night differential…..can u pls elaborate this:
    period: august 15-august 30
    basic pay: 320.61
    night diff: 155
    is it correct? i thought every pay day ill get 320 for night diff….but they divided it into half….

    1. Atty. Post author

      Dandy: I suggest that you ask an accountant or bookkeeper who usually computes salaries and night differential amounts to help you determine if the computation is correct. On your end, you can ask your accounting officer or HR officer to provide you with a breakdown of the amounts and to show you the formula that they used in arriving at the net pay.

  211. Ramon N***

    Dear Atty,
    I married a Muslim with 2 daughters. Now, I would like to bring my wife and my 2 step-daughters to Saudi Arabia. My wife holds a Divorce Certificate and our NSO copy of Marriage Certificate. Now, I would like to have a document saying that I am the legal guardian of my 2 step-daughters. However, the Atty that we consulted is insisting that Legal Guardianship is the same as Adoption. Is this true? As far as I know, legal guardianship is not the same as adoption. Could you please tell me how to have legal guardianship?

    Thank you.
    Ramon

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ramon: To obtain legal guardianship, you will have to file a petition in court, undergo hearings before an order in your favor is issued. Guardianship is usually resorted to when none of the child’s biological parents are around. I’m not sure the appropriate remedy in your situation is a guardianship case. Adoption is different– your stepdaughters become your own daughters by law, and enjoy the same rights of a legitimate child. But both require court proceedings and approval. In many countries, a decree of adoption is often enough to prove a person’s right of custody, which is one of the documentary requirements of many visas.

  212. teresita De ******

    Recently nabarangay ako ng aking hipag sa matagal na utang na 5thousand pesos for several years na walang kasulatan pero aminado ako na me utang ako… na settled na iyun ata bayad na akout before na magkaroon kami ng kasunduan sa barangay sinasabi niya na me utang pa rin daw ako na $2,000.00 at betamax na ninakaw ko raw sa kanya…. hindi po iyun totoo at sinabi ko sa harap ng barangay na hindi tototo iyun….kaya hindi na iyun inilagay sa aming kasunduan at isa pa iyung 5Thousand pesos ang inireklamo niya….So ngayon po binigyan niya ako ng lettert na sinisingil ako sa $2,000.00 at sinasabi na ihahabla niya ako at imemedia , sa office at sa church na hindi ako marunong magbayad ng utang…. yung sinasabi niyang utang na iyun ay 15 years ago…. pede po ba siyang mag file na wala naman siyang proof ? hindi tinanggap ng barangay ang reklamo niya…at sabi sa kanya ay sa small claims siya mag habla…….Salamat po sa reply

    1. Atty. Post author

      Teresita De ****: If your creditor(lender) demanded for payment only after 10 years has lapsed, then his or her claim may already be barred by prescription, meaning, she or he can no longer file a claim against you because the time for filing an action based on a verbal contract is 6 years. Moreover, if you and your creditor are residents of the same city or municipality, his or her claim must first be filed at the barangay level and a certification must be attached to the small claim form showing that the claim went through barangay conciliation proceedings. A money claim filed at the Small Claims Court must be accompanied by proof or evidence of the debt being collected. Acceptable evidence can include not only the promissory note or loan agreement, but letters, receipts or messages acknowledging the debt, and affidavits of people who may have witnessed the loan transaction. I hope this helps.

  213. teresita *******

    Thank you atty.. Is it possible to tell her that I will sue her for harassment and unfounded suit????

    1. Atty. Post author

      Teresita: You can file a counterclaim against her when she will file a small claim against you.

  214. lea

    my parents are separated but on paper they are still legally married (they got married in the philippines). my mom went to the USA and married an american citizen. she is now an american citizen and in her US identification cards, her name no longer carries my father’s surname. she now uses the last name of the man she married in the US. my father does not mind that she is already married to another man. are there any legal issues that my mom (or any of us) should be concerned about? thanks.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Lea: You may have to be concerned about property rights because legally, your mother is still married to your father. Whatever she owns right now may be part of the absolute community or conjugal partnership of her first marriage. It can also get complicated if your mother passes away and leaves heirs from the second marriage. I suggest that your parents file a judicial separation of properties to keep your father’s properties insulated against any claims from third parties.

      1. lea

        thanks. property rights are the least of our worries because there are actually none. what about bigamy? does it apply here in the philippines? can either husband file a bigamy case against my mom? are there other cases that can be filed against my mom that my mom (or any of us) should be concerned about?

      2. Atty. Post author

        Lea: If your mom’s second marriage took place abroad, then she can’t be charged with bigamy because of territoriality (meaning, Philippine criminal laws do not cover acts committed abroad). I hope this helps.

  215. Patrick

    Hi Atty Catherine,

    We have a son who is 4yrs old, (we are not married) my x-partner wants to take him to another country she was asking me to sign an agreement that i am allowing my our child to leave the country with her. Honestly, i dont want to sign the papers because i dont want our child to leave the country. Is there a way they could leave the country w/out my consent? I am so desperate right now. What is the best thing to do? Thank so much!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Patrick: An illegitimate child is, by law, under the parental authority of the mother. Some immigration authorities (of other countries) require proof of the mother’s right to maintain custody over a minor before issuing certain visas. The standard of proof, especially in immigrant visas, is a court order or other agreement showing the mother’s right of custody. But there are instances when the child may still leave the country without need for a court order or custody agreement, such as when traveling to Asean countries for a limited duration. In these cases, the mother only needs to produce the child’s passport, and in some cases, show a birth certificate and affidavit of illegitimacy.

      I understand how you must feel about your child leaving the country to permanently reside abroad. As parents, we always fear alienation when our children are far away. However, the reality is that your child also deserves a chance at a good life, free from legal problems that may arise in case you initiate court action to stop the movement abroad. An illegitimate child is already at a disadvantage for not being born to a complete family and by having less inheritance rights than legitimate children. Moving abroad is often a major step taken by the mother who may have started a new life with a new partner or sought greener pastures, which may ultimately benefit your child. Sometimes, I advise clients to examine their feelings and determine if their objection is based on the best interests of the child or simply their own feelings. Don’t despair just yet. The distance should not destroy your relationship with your child. We are fortunate to have lower air fares, Internet technology, cellular phones and other inexpensive and fast modes of communication which can cushion the impact of a departure. Also, may I suggest that you enter into an agreement with the mother to share vacation times so that your child can visit you in the Philippines? I hope this helps.

  216. terry

    Hi attorney,
    I have 2 kids from my previous husband,we got legally separated last 2002,since then there was no communication at all,no financial support also for my kids,i didnt bothered asking too.i am working in canada and supports my kids financilaly.my kids is w/ my mom as of now s their guardian,and i visit them regularly almost twice a year.I just recently got an idea of why the father of my kids didnt show up for them and never have the iniative of supporting them financially,He insists that “if his kids needs him ,they will find him(look for their father),but he will never be the one knealing to find them” which for me sounds odd?because for me as a parent,whether who’s fault it is for a relationship to fail and ended up being separated, i still ,will consider that it is my responsibility whether im a dad or a mom to look after my kids and their needs.I just wanted to know your opinion regarding this,i dont expect him to financilaly support the kids even though he is able,he works as a seaman abroad,but at least talk to them or phone them.I just want to know your opinion attorney,regarding this.we are good enough w/o him but what i want him to do at least is to communicate w/ my kids.i tried to communicate w/ him thru e-mail just once,but the conversation ended up him talking nonsense .is it my fault as a mom because i dint ask for a support or is it my fault because i didnt take the initaitive of sending my kids to him w/c i wont do(thinking that its his responsibility to let his kids know if he is in town for a vacation from ship,by the way we live in the same town, not too far that he dont know where to find his kids).just want to know your reaction about this attorney.pls respond thru my e-mail ,thanks.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Terry: Sent a reply through email. Please check your inbox.

  217. Gaz

    Hello Atty, I wrote to you several months back, regarding a separation/compromise agreement, I agreed to terms my wife had requested which involved me handing over a substantial amount of money, $50K, this was on top of money she already had in her account, a brand new car I’d purchased and two small businesses. I was happy to oblige as she is the mother of our young son and wouldn’t hesitate to ensure they were both provided for, in return all I wanted in return was agreed access to my son, all of this was set out clearly in the agreement. Just a few weeks after the agreement was signed she stopped abiding by the contract and recently has changed her number, am not sure where they are, and as a foreigner have concerns about going to her house and certainly don’t wish to cause a scene in front of my son, and I only receive the occasional email, all of which are written in anger and very simply the only opinion she ever accepts is her own.

    I have decided to take this to court and am in no doubt that based on my proven financial support, the fact that she has no basis whatsoever to deny me access and the notarized agreement, the court will look at my case favorably. My biggest concern is that she will not abide by the courts decision regardless. If this is the case what are my rights? I am a foreigner and my son is 3 by the way.

    Look forward to your reply.

    Many thanks

    G

    1. Atty. Post author

      G: Your lawyer will take the necessary steps to enforce the agreement or have the court compel her to grant you reasonable access based on the signed agreement’s schedule. If the court issues an order for her to comply and she still fails to follow the court order, then your lawyer may file a motion to cite her in contempt (which may be punished with imprisonment and a stiff fine). Just talk to your lawyer regarding your concerns. I’m sure your lawyer (who handles your case) will know what to do. Hope for the best.

  218. mary

    may problema po ako tungkol sa sss ng aking ama. di beneficiary ag aking ina. ang tunay na asawa ay ang aking ina pero nakalagay ay ang pangalan ng kabit at mga anak miya dto. namatay na tatay ko. may laban pa po ba kame pra sa pension nya?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mary: If your mom was legally married to your father at the time of his death and she never remarried, then she is entitled to your father’s SSS death benefits. Your mother may file a claim at the SSS. Please refer to the checklist of requirements to ensure that she has all the documents for claiming. I hope this helps.

  219. Lec

    I work in the Call Center Industry and I am thinking about resigning. The thing is, I will have an admin hearing due to my absences. Absences that were due to medical issues which i can back up. I’ve been having a lot of issues with this company and their policies for absenteeism. They force employees to go to work even if we employees have medical certificates that states that we rest. I plan on giving a resignation letter with a 30-day notice on the next day I report to work. My question is do they have the right to block (or delay) my resignation because of the admin hearing and the “investigation” of my case? Oh, and they also tell employees that serve the 3o-day period that they can’t be late or absent during that period. I haven’t really asked what will happen if the employees fail to comply.

    One more thing. My employers do not suspend employees who are being investigated. What they do is after they’re done with the investigation and hearing, they’ll just pull out the employee and tell him or her that it will be their last day. No notices. Are they legally able to do that?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Lec: If you resign while an admin case against you is pending, the employer has 2 choices: to accept your resignation and stop the admin process for terminating you or to continue with the investigation and issue its findings. An employee who has tendered a resignation and is serving the last days of his employment is still bound by company rules and may be sanctioned for violations committed before the effective date of resignation.

      As a rule, the employer needs to serve at least 2 notices : 1 informing the employee of the charge against him/her and asking the employee to explain and the second which is a final notice stating the decision of the employer to terminate, including its reasons for doing so. If the termination is due to the fault of the employee, the absence of any of the required notices will not invalidate the termination but may give rise to a case for damages. I hope this helps.

  220. Enz Cunanan

    Atty.Florido:

    Re: DEDUCTIONS AGAINST 13TH MONTH PAY

    Atty, is it legal to deduct any unpaid SSS loans/amortizations against an employees’ 13th month pay? Per my understanding–the company can only make deductions on the final pay[which includes in the computation–the 13th month pay] of the resigned employee.

    Please advise the soonest, as our Company is pressing us to sign the paper that states “deduction of remaining loan to your 13th mo.proceeds”

    1. :-) Post author

      Enz: You don’t have to sign a document authorizing the deduction of the amount of your outstanding loan against the 13th month pay. The law requires the employer to pay no less than the prescribed amount (1/12 of total basic salary during the year ). Please note the specific definition of “basic salary” as used in the 13th month pay law.

  221. samuel

    atty. can i ask a question? my friend’s father died just recently. he has 4 children and a wife. the only property he had with his wife is a house and lot. my question is: who owns the house now? since his father died. Is it automatically owned by her mother? or her youngest brother? . what advice do you give atty? regarding this property? thanks po…

    1. Atty. Post author

      Samuel: The properties left behind by the deceased father are inherited by the wife and children. Theoretically, the surviving spouse is entitled to one-half of the estate, and the remaining half will be divided among the children and the wife in equal shares. If the title to the house is still in the father’s name, then it may not be sold without the consent of the wife and all of the children. I suggest that they consult a lawyer who can file the appropriate proceedings to settle the estate left behind by the deceased parent or to get the heirs to agree among themselves how to divide the properties (if the father does not have unpaid creditors) and execute an extrajudicial settlement (or settlement agreement made out of court). I hope this helps.

      1. samuel

        thank you attorney and more power

  222. joyce n**********

    Good day ATTY. Florido! I would like to consult my case about marriage. I was married 18years old, but without the consent of my parents. The guy I married was at that time 28 years old. I am now 23 years old. Before the marriage was done, I was already pregnant by 3-4 mos. We don’t have any marriage license provided, we just came into the Manila City Hall, and the marriage was done. After 1 yr of being together, I started falling out of love and our marriage was on the rocks, I decided to physically separate from him, from then on I live with my parents. I had a boyfriend for which we lasted for about 8mos and then ended it up. From then on up to now i didnt had any relationship anymore. One day the father of my son, without any notice to us, he abducted my son and provided no information about the whereabouts of the child. The child, up to this time I sent this email was still unknown about where he is (exactly 1 1/2 weeks). I reported it to the Brgy officials and he was invited by the Brgy policemen but he was nowhere to be found. The brother who lives with him in the same apartment also went away after the first invitation of the policemen. The 2nd attempt was both of them as well as the child are nowhere to be fund now.

    ATTY. Florido my questions are: 1. Is there a chance that the marriage can be null and void because of certain circumstances such as lack of requirements (marriage license), I was really pressured at that time of the marriage because of my situation that I was pregnant and that my parents are not supporting and I know for myself that I am not capable to do it on my own. 2. Is there any chance that I can sue him for taking the child without consent from the custodian of the child, which is me the mother? and lastly, Is there any grounds that he can sue me back in regards to me having a relationship with the other guy(hindi po kame naglive in nung naging karelasyon ko, it was just a mere bf-gf relationship)? and lastly, will there be any grounds that my infidelity be a reason that I cant have the full custody of my son? Thank you for your time ATTY. Florido and hoping for your advice on this matter. Godbless!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Joyce: Based on the factors you mentioned, it seems that your marriage may be void due to the lack of marriage license. Your case also does not fall under any of the exceptions to the marriage license requirement. But you will have to file a case for declaration of nullity to confirm this. Regarding child custody, I suggest that you return to the Philippines and get a lawyer to file the necessary petition (custody or habeas corpus, depending on the current situation). At this point, I refrain from making any further suggestions on legal procedures to give way to your own lawyer’s opinion and advice. Don’t wait for the child’s father to file a case against you– start your own legal process to retrieve custody or settle the custody issue in court so that you control the flow of the court proceedings. You will have to be present at specific stages of the hearing– just coordinate schedules with your lawyer. A previous relationship with another man is generally not a ground for depriving a mother of a minor child of custody. He will surely mention it in the case (if filed) but your lawyer should be able to brush that aside and focus on how you maintained support for your child and provided him with a suitable environment for growing up well. I hope this helps.

  223. Bienvenido G*****

    Dear Counselor,
    I owned my sister money P320,547.94 on 01-07-08 to be used in putting up a business. The business failed and I was only able to pay her back P25,000 and is willing to pay by installment the sum indicated above. The delay in my payment was because I suffered slipped-joint on my lower spinal and was treated for more than 2 weeks, then I suffered arthritis on both of my hip joints and cannot walk for a while. Her lawyer sent me a letter last Saturday, October 1, 2011 asking me to confirm with my sister regarding the above and inform him of the dialogue being made between me and my sister. What shall I do? Thank you

    1. Atty. Post author

      Bienvenido: From your narration, it seems that you did not receive a demand letter from your sister’s lawyer but a letter asking you to confirm your unpaid debt? I suggest that you wait for them to send you a real demand letter asking you to pay or settle the unpaid amount before responding to the lawyer or taking further steps. In the meantime, continue paying her in installments so as to reduce your debt and deter your sister and her lawyer from suing you for the remaining balance. Keep all receipts acknowledging the amounts you have already paid, because you may need this to prove full payment or the amount of your remaining debt. I hope this helps.

  224. joyce

    Thank you for your help Atty. Florido. Lastly i would just want to ask if he has any grounds that he can sue me for adultery, because that is what he’s always telling me. He has photos that will support that at some time I had been in a relationship with another man but those photos are not the ones that will show any “sexual acts” between me and that other man. will that be considered as a solid proof of adultery?Thank you so much for your advice. It will help me a lot.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Joyce: While your husband can charge you for adultery, he has to convince the fiscal to file an information in court for adultery and to prove its elements as well. Since adultery is a crime, a conviction can arise only if the prosecution is able to prove it BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. Proof showing the commission of a crime BEYOND a reasonable doubt tends to be difficult without eye witnesses to the actual acts. The photos he may have (if he does have any) may not be the kind of proof the judge needs to see in order to convict you and your ex boyfriend of adultery. Photos of actual sexual acts and testimonies of witnesses of the alleged sexual acts are often necessary to prove this type of crime. Otherwise, you can always say that your relationship was a special one but not necessarily a sexual one. I hope this helps.

  225. zheng

    Hi Atty. C,

    Good day & I hope that all is well with you & your family. I have written you before about my current predicament & you gladly & humbly offered your best advice. I am writing this time as I have failed to mention & ask few more important things that need your professional help.

    I am presently based in Dubai right now since 2009. Before I left the Philippines, I was still in good terms w/ the father of my now-4-y/o son who I was living with at that time (I am not married to the father but my son carries his last name since the father acknowledged the baby).

    Last year, I sent him an sms that I am breaking up our more-than-a-decade relationship & that so many things have changed even before I left the country (btw, I am now currently happy & living with my fiancee here for almost 3 years now). He was so devastated that he quit from his job (he’s working in a factory shop & getting less than the minium wage required) who he has joined for only a couple months or less. I refused to speak w/ him for few months. When I had the chance to talk to him because my son stays w/ him till this date, he threatened to keep the baby away from me forever. Months went on when we’re okay but last month was when I became so fed up. Fo the years that I am here, making my way to earn hard money, he has the custody of our child & he isn’t even working & I guess he doesn’t want to coz he’s not making any action. He’s just basically waiting for the monthly support I send for my son. He brags about his “little business” that’s why he was able to support the little things like water & electricity & the small house he shares w/ our son.

    Last couple of months, we had a heated argument over the phone after I learned that he doesn’t want my family to take my son to spend weekends w/ them. He stated that my family is teaching my son to behave in such manner. Before that incident, my sister took my son from him & that ‘s when they learned that the father is imposing physical discipline to my son w/c is not acceptable to me. There was also this video that shows how my son clearly stated his wish to stay w/ my family rather than be w/ his father saying he spanks him for no apparent reason. I have always believed that a child as young as his age is not capable of telling stories or making lies. So the following week, he refused to allow my family to take him again.

    Now, I am trying as much as I could to hold up fine. I have not seen my son for more than a month now & i have stopped to send the allowance. I intend to send the support directly into my baby’s account. Before I left, i have clearly mentioned & obliged him to always make even at least a small deposit into our baby’s bank acct w/c he never did. In this way, I am sure that me & son will be taken care of by sending the money directly into my son’s account.

    I am flying back home next year in time for my son’s 5th bday celebration. Along w/ this vacation, I have decided to file a petition for full custody of my son which I will leave under the care of my own family once I returned here in Dubai.

    Please let me know how long would this process take since I only have a month vacation. Also, what do I need to file to prevent the father from getting near us since he has threatened me so many times to take the baby & keep him away from us forever. Will the court favor my request to have my son under my custody even if it means he’ll be left under the carre of my own family?

    Forgive my long inquiry but I am obviously worried & wanted my son badly under my wing.

    I shall be waiting for your usual best advice. Thank you so much & may God bless u & your whole family.

    Sincerely,

    Zheng

    1. Atty. Post author

      Zheng: A reply to your inquiry will be sent via email. Please check in a few minutes.

  226. trina

    Hi Atty.,

    I would like to ask if there is any law encompassing non-compliance of submission of pre-employment requirements? In the company I am working at now, we have a lot of employees who aren’t complying with our policy regarding the complete submission of their pre-employment requirements. May I also know what we can place on employment contracts for employees to be binded to it with regards to the submission of the pre-employment requirements?

    Thanks.
    Trina

    1. Atty. Post author

      Trina: Failure to submit pre-employment requirements may constitute insubordination for failure to comply with valid orders of the employer, for as long as the requirements were made clear to the employee and the requisite notices or memos were sent to the employee concerned. The employment contract may refer to company rules or company manual (which may include submission of pre-employment documents and other records) which the employee must observe while employed. I hope this helps.

  227. Cams

    Hi Atty C.,

    Good day! Would like to ask some question regarding Overtime Night Differential, for example, an employee worked from 07:00 am to 06:00 am (the next day), how many hours will be his OT ND??? Also, as far as I know, 8 hours is the maximum Overtime ND (10pm to 6am), but someone told me that it’s only 7 hours because the 1 hour break must not be included in the computation.. Appreciate your kind help…

    Many Thanks,

    Cams

    1. Atty. Post author

      Cams: the 1 hour meal break is considered in the regular hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. To my knowledge (based on the DOLE handbook) Overtime ND between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. is still computed at 8 hours. When in doubt, I always advise management to adopt the more favorable interpretation to the employee to avoid legal problems.

  228. teresita*******

    Plan to buy prime location lot at Quezon City. The problem is the title is still in the name of the LOLO who is dead already The seller is the apo at sabi niya ok na raw lahat sa mga kaanak niya at mga kapatid may SPA na siya.. Is it possible to transfer in my name directly? Ano ang pedeng kong protection ko sa pagbili worth 2.5M…Thanks for the reply…

    1. Atty. Post author

      Teresita: Check the title at the register of deeds for annotations such as an extrajudicial settlement of the grandfather’s estate among the surviving heirs. Your best protection is to let the heirs first transfer the title to their name as HEIRS and to buy it only when the title has been properly recorded in their names. Even if you manage to buy it from them, it is possible for the BIR to consider it as two taxable transactions. The heirs will have to pay the corresponding taxes on the property as estate tax and capital gains tax on the sale from them to you. Otherwise, you may be buying property with tax burdens.

  229. LivygurL

    hello i have a question about child support.. I have a child with my friend. It was just purely a one night stand and yes i got pregnant at the age of 19. Our child is already 9 yrs old now and this guy never really give financial nor emotional support to our child unless being forced by me… He will only give a present once or twice a yr, the childs bday and during xmas. Now, my prob is that on the birth cert of the child, the father is unknown, but he acknowledge our child not only due to the fact that my daughter really looks like him but also Im really certain that he is really the father of the baby even if it was just a one night stand. At first i didnt really obliged him to give financial support to our daughter since he keeps on telling me before that he has no job but ive heard that he has a lechon business and that it has been doing good for quite sometime now. I believe he needs to give at least a portion of his living to our child since i really cant shoulder all the expenses alone. Our child is already in school and I have been the one supporting her ever since. He is married now with 3 kids… what are my chances and how can i demand a child support every month? I dont have any documents to prove that he is the father but i have pictures during her bdays. thank u so much

    1. Atty. Post author

      Livygurl: You can try writing him first about providing regular support. I suggest using a friendly tone by updating him about your child’s latest developments in school and in extra curricular activities, sending copies of your child’s latest photos, etc. Then, slowly mention the expenses your child has been incurring monthly which, I am sure he understands as he has a family of his own now. End the letter with an open invitation to meet or discuss details of your child’s financial support. Use the word “allowance” and “needs” and be prepared to list down the actual expenses your child needs monthly. The issue of paternity may become relevant only when he declines to provide support because of paternity issues. Without any handwritten acknowledgment, signature at the back of the birth certificate or a signed affidavit acknowledging paternity, your other option is the very expensive procedure of DNA testing. In the meantime, I suggest writing a friendly letter first– don’t make threats or hint at going to court at this stage. Your goal is to obtain child support without incurring additional expenses. I hope this helps.

  230. AS

    Dear Atty,
    Hello, I have a predicament that I would like to share with you. I am not sure whether to call it a legal case but appreciate if you could offer me some advice on what steps to take. My father has 2 illegitimate children with a prostitute. One child is already 16 years old and the other is just one. You could say that after my father started his affair, everything went downhill for him rendering him in retirement, sickly and broke. As already grown children, we do help his with his medical needs, my mother (martyr) still provides for their basic necessities through her SSS. Anyway, point of my question is, he is broke and in retirement and is not in any condition to take care of his illegitimate kids. Recently, he informed us that he want to bring home his children to our family home. Take note that the mother is young and just could not support the kids allegedly. We do not want them to bring those kids home to our family home since my mom is still alive and the pain that they caused is too much. How do we stop it? Is there a way that we can do it? Appreciate your advice and more power to you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      AS: Your problem requires some gentle communication with your father. Tell him that while you can no longer change the reality of having half-siblings, your mother is entitled to some respect. I assume that you are older than the illegitimate children and are able to call a family meeting to discuss these things and show your father in peaceful language that his plan to bring in the two illegitimate children will cause unnecessary pain to your mother and disrupt your peaceful family life. I don’t think hearing your opinion will hurt his feelings as much as facing the fruits of his illicit and immoral relationship will hurt your mother. I commend you for being mindful of your mother’s pain. Is your mother aware of his plans? Have you asked her how she feels about it? Sometimes, a wife can handle the illegitimate children for as long as the erring husband has cut off his ties with the mother and promised to change his ways. Another way to prevent them from moving in with you and your mom is to provide for their needs so that your father will no longer have any excuse to take them home. I feel strongly for legal wives and the legitimate children who have to deal with the consequences of the irresponsible men in their lives. These are realities that are painfully accepted by the innocent members of the family and even more difficult to move on from. I really hope this helps.

  231. jen g

    hello, iam a mother of 3 kids. my first born was born when me and my husband is still unmarried. i gave birth to a public hospital in 2003 so they wont allow unmarried couple to use the fathers surname for the child. so my first daughter bear my maiden surname. after a month we got married. we try to settle my childs name in an easier way. so we hired somebody to fix it. but the problem is i just discovered lately that it was a fake one. in NSO she still bears my surname. but me and my husband separated for 5 years now. so i just want her to stay on using my name. but the problem is she is now in grade 3 and using the surname of her father. please give me an advice on how to fix my problem. i want her to use my surname in which in legal term is the right thing to do. how can i fix the school record of her. thanks a lot

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jen G: I assume that you and your husband were both single at the time you gave birth to your first born. This means that she became legitimated after you married her father. Legitimation will result in the change of her surname– that of her father’s. In which case, there is nothing to correct as the school can legally rely on the birth certificate you provided even if the NSO copy does not yet reflect the legitimation. This is because civil registrars handling legitimation annotations and other changes of surnames often delay in transmitting the documents to the central office. But this delay does not mean that the registration did not take effect. It is only a matter of time when the NSO database will reflect the new surname of your child. I hope this helps.

  232. Mr. Kelly

    Good day Atty……this is about benefits, PAG-IBIG Fund in particular. I’m a new employer. Gusto ng staff ko na sa mga benefits nila, e wag na isama ang Pag-Ibig Fund. Gusto ko itanong kung pwede ba naming gawin yun, na wag isama ang Pag-Ibig Fund benefit as requested or opted by the employees?

    Many thanx….

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mr. Kelly L.: You are required to register, deduct and remit contributions to the HDMF (Pag-ibig) by law. Compliance is mandatory and cannot be waived by the employees. Penalties for non compliance include the payment of a fine or imprisonment. I suggest that you explain to your employees that it is the employer’s legal duty to remit the contributions. Moreover, there may be instances when the employees appear to agree to the non deduction and contribution just to maximize their take home pay. Unfortunately, you cannot raise this as a defense later should any of your employees decide later to complain about your non compliance with the Pag-ibig Fund. Don’t be caught in this trap. Best to comply. I hope this helps.

  233. Kelly

    Clearly said atty. Thanks a lot…

  234. Jhoy O****

    Hi Atty,

    I have a 2 years old daughter to a Norwegian citizen, my child was born here and using her fathers name, we had a verbally agreement on child support hes giving 10thou/month but in return he wants to bring my child in Norway twice a year for a month. What shall i do? Iam afraid that he wont return it back. Please help me… thanks

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jhoy: A child that young may not be fit to travel to a foreign country without her mother. I suggest that you gently inform the father that while you are not against him visiting your daughter, that at her tender age, it is best for him to visit her instead in the Philippines. He cannot take away your child even if she bears his surname because you exercise sole parental authority over her. Your consent is needed in order for her to travel abroad and if you have worries about her safety, then don’t turn her over to him or anyone else and keep her passport as well. You may be worried about how this may affect child support. Legally, he is obliged to provide child support and it is not dependent on how much access is granted to him. Support and visitation are separate and distinct issues. You can remind him of your child’s very young age, that at 2, she still needs you for most of her needs and that maybe when she is much older, you may consider foreign travel to visit him. I hope this helps.

  235. mavic

    Hi Ma’am.. if the mother of an illegitimate child has a pending criminal case in court, will she be granted custody of the child?she is also jobless at this point. ..trixie

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mavic: It depends on the nature of the criminal case against her. The mother of an illegitimate child has sole parental authority over her child. And only in limited instances may she be deprived of custody. These include: neglect, abandonment, immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity and affliction with a communicable disease.

  236. Anne

    Dear Atty Christine,
    I got pregnant at 15 and now I have a 7- yr old daughter who is turning 8 in 2 months. His father and I are having heated arguments because he suddenly wants to take care of the child. I am away in Malaysia but will go back after 2 months. I am working there but will be based for good in the Philippines. We are not married and he’s not giving any money for our daughter. If he has money, he takes her to Manila and treat her. My aunt and mother are the ones taking care of our daughter in the province. I went home to the Philippines for work- related purposes for 2- weeks and the father demands a lot. He even asked his mother to go to our province and inform my family that they want my daughter to study in Manila for the next quarter without informing me. I cant talk to him in person because I am working, he’s available and I’m not. He wants me to adjust my schedule and he wont. He finished his studies and I didn’t. I worked right away after high school. I stayed in their house for years but I always worked. It’s just so unfair because I never wanted to fight with him. The only thing is I don’t want to be with him anymore and that I think is making him angry. He demands a lot and I don’t want to give him my daughter. Please help me. I am not earning a lot but I really want to go to court for this. As for my daughter, I don’t want her to see us fighting nor prevent her from seeing her father but the father is really too much. He solely wants to decide for her which of course I can’t allow. He said we just let our daughter choose. I am really sad at what’s happening. When I come back, I want to discuss this legally and go for a trial. I don’t have any idea where to start though. Please help.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Anne: Will send a reply to you via email. Please check in a few minutes.

  237. rina

    good day Atty.Its really helpful to find such a website to help us with legal matters.,My query is with regards to homeowners asso. dues, We acquired a property last 2009 via extra judicial foreclosure.It was auctioned and was given a certificate of sale, it has a 1 yr. redemption pd.which expired oct 2011. Are we to shoulder the dues incurred by the old homeowner? And is the 1% per month penalty for unpaid dues legal? It 12% per annum interest. The dues of the previous owner reached 90k since they really have no source of income due to sickness.thank you very much,,, God bless you!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Rina: Legally, the association dues (if assessed according to the deed of restrictions) is the obligation of the owner at the time they were assessed. However, if the homeowner’s association causes the annotation of the unpaid dues on the title of the property, then it will become a lien on the property. This means, the unpaid obligation now attaches to the property regardless of its owner. They may sue on the lien later, if it continues to be unpaid. I suggest that you initiate discussions with the association, explain your side, offer a compromise which is smaller than the amount due (or ask them to waive the interest and penalties). Often, associations will agree to a lesser amount to extinguish the lien rather than not receive any payment at all.

  238. Gail

    Hi Atty.,
    I have a rare situation. Back in 2006, I married the father of my 2 kids in a civil ceremony. Ever since, he’d never been a good husband, a father and a provider. I’m working for my kids and he never care working at all. Last year, I decided to leave him completely and I found out that our marriage wasn’t registered. I was asking for a copy of our Marriage Certificate in NSO but they found no record of it and asked me to go back to the Local Registry. I went to the Local Registry and same thing happened, they found no record of our marriage. They said it was never forwarded to them by the judge. Does this make the marriage not valid? What is the best thing that I should do? Another thing Atty. our Marriage date is indicated on my kids’ birth certificates. Do I have to change anything on their birth certificates? And will it give me a problem in case I’m going to get passports for my kids? I’d highly appreciate your answer Atty. Thank you so much.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Gail: If you were of legal age when you married, had a valid marriage license and were married by a judge who had the authority to solemnize your marriage, then your marriage is presumed to be valid. Registration of the marriage certificate is not essential to validity for as long as all the other elements are present. I suggest that you go to the sala or court of the judge who celebrated your marriage and ask them to check their records for the transmittal of the certificate. If not, then tell the court staff to have it done so that it may be properly recorded in the civil registry. There is nothing to change in your children’s birth certificates because as far as you are concerned, all the statements there are correct, including the fact that you were married. I don’t think you will experience problems in obtaining your children’s birth certificates for as long as the information you supply in the passport application forms are consistent with the information in their birth certificates. But do attend to the issue with your marriage certificate– it is important to get that properly recorded because you and your children’s rights may one day depend on it. I hope this helps.

  239. Gail

    Hi Atty,
    What if we never completed the requirements such as marriage license etc.. but they still let us do the ceremony for marriage through judge? When we went to the local registry before, when we were still ok, they informed us that we’d be needing to submit the requirements again.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Gail: No marriage license= void marriage. If this is the case, then you may have to file a petition in court for the correction of your children’s birth certificates to reflect the fact that you were not married to their father. It will have to undergo court approval because the change will affect the status of your children, from legitimate to illegitimate.

  240. Sen Iris

    Good day Atty. Christine!

    It’s me again, Sen Iris,🙂 I just would like to ask for some advice about my job situation.

    I am a contractual employee for a multinational company as a Functional Business Analyst in IT Department for almost five (5) years now. My employment contract here is being renewed yearly.My contract always starts by November and expires or ends every 31st of October. Last year, 2010, the management had me signed my contract already in March 2011 for the period of (November 2010 to October 2011) which was five (5) months late already, I signed the contract regardless. This scenario has been happening for four (4) years of my stay in this company, late signing of contract.

    Currently, my contract will end again by 31st of October (this month) and the management still has no direction, whatsoever to me, I have no clue If they’re still renewing my contract or not. They still have projects assigned to me which Im still currently working on right now.

    My question is … If I still come to work by November 2011 which is already next week of next month (which should be the start of my new contract ) without a signed contract … and they let me work without a contract ….

    “Do I have the right to file a case to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)?

    What case should I file?

    If I cant file a case for my supposedly renewed contract now, is it still legal to file a case about the contract last year which was five (5) months delayed when they renewed it?

    If in case, I filed a case and DOLE’s decision favored on me, will that make me as a regular employee?

    I hope you can enlighten me about this and I would really appreciate your help.
    Thank you so much Attorney Christine.
    May God continue to bless you in everything you do.

    Respectfully yours,

    Sen Iris

    1. Atty. Post author

      Sen Iris: sent a reply through email; please check.

  241. MGEE

    Dear Atty.

    Greetings.

    I want to ask your legal advise regarding a child support for my 5 year old son of a married man. They migrated to Canada in 2006, He sent money support one time only and we have on communication until few years just hi and hello’s and how’s the baby until he stop calling me. Now I want to claim a support for our child education but I don’t know where to start. He acknowledged our son verbally but he did not sign the birth certificate due to his distance.

    Here are my few questions:

    1. Does my son have the right to claim child support?
    2. What is the procedure needed?
    3. He is now a Canadian passport can we still ask for support?
    4. How much normally it will cost me to proceed this claim?
    5. And do my child has a chance for support?

    I hope you have your kind time to reply my queries. I really need your profound help and advise.

    Thank you very much.

    Sincerely

    MGEE

    1. Atty. Post author

      MGEE: sent a reply through email. Please check.

  242. bhe

    hi atty, nagkaron po ako ng boyfriend n my asawa,tumagal din ng 8 years ang relasyon nmin,ngkaanak po kami ng isanag babae,at dinadala nya ang apelyido ng boyfriend ko,di alam ng tunay nyang asawa,sinuportahan nmn nya kmi,4 years old n ang anak ko ng mag desisyon kaming mg hiwalay,tinigil nya ang suporta nung mghiwalay kami,ngyon po gusto nya kunin ang anak namin at dalhin s ibang bansa,kahit ayaw ko ibigay,anu po dapat kong gawin?may laban po b ako s kanya,ayaw ko po mahiwalay ang anak ko s akin,sana po matulungan nyo ako,

    1. Atty. Post author

      Bhe: Since your child is illegitimate, her father will not be able to take her out of the country without your consent. Just don’t sign any papers agreeing to turn over custody and to allow your child to migrate abroad with him. If your child already has a passport, hold on to it and don’t show it or give the passport to the child’s father. This will prevent the child from leaving the country.

  243. bhe

    panu po kung nakakuha n ng passport ex boyfriend ko para s anak ko?,kc sabi po nya n meron n passport sya nkuha s anak ko,kc po nsa kanya ung birth certificate ng anak namin,kya ng massage sya s akin sa fb ko n kukunin nya anak ko for good,

    1. Atty. Post author

      Bhe: I doubt if the child’s father was able to obtain a passport for your daughter because the DFA requires only the mother of minor children to personally claim the passport when released.

  244. bhe

    maraming salamat po!!malaking tulong n po s akin ang payo nyo,,

  245. estrella

    Hi there Atty! Am a single mom with two illegitimate children, their father acknowledged them as his children. I have not asked support from him since our kids were born although now that I know that he is able, I want to file a petition for support. He is in Australia though and were here in the Phil. How will I go about it? Thanks

    1. Atty. Post author

      Estrella: You may file a petition for support here in the Philippines and if you are unable to serve summons on their father, then the court may order that the summons be served by publication in a newspaper of general circulation, for a few times before hearing starts. If the father does not appear in court, then the case may proceed without him. Depending on the evidence you present, the court may then issue an order for support. Since the father is out of the country, if he is no longer returning to the Philippines, you may have to take the additional step of filing a case in Australia for the enforcement of your judgment of support against him there. This will entail additional time and expense. So, my practical suggestion is for you to first try to exhaust all efforts to communicate with him in a positive tone, reminding him of your children and their growing needs. Some men respond at this stage. If he refuses, then you may ask a lawyer to send him a demand letter at his last known address here in the Philippines and one in Australia, to ensure that he knows you are serious about obtaining child support. Often, this is enough to get the father to seriously discuss support with the mother and offer an amount to end the possibility of a court action. I hope this helps.

  246. jhen

    good day atty.

    im jhen , just want some advise or just want to ask something. because of my unpaid loans, amounted to 5,300 as my balance. but this october i was about to have 3 payments only my last payment was at october 18, 2011. and now last monday i just went to the financing office and told me that they will not accept my payment because they file me a “small claims”.. is it legal atty to file small claims against me, wherein im still paying and not forgetting my unpaid balance to them?? i get angry then because they told me that my 5,300 blance would become 12700.. which is hard to think about that amount..

    any suggestion on this matter atty.. your immediate response about this matter of mine is much appreciated on my side. thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jhen: If a small claim has indeed been filed against you, then I suggest that you file your response and raise your defense of partial payments, attaching photocopies of your receipts and other supporting documents. If you are not leaving the original copies of your receipts with the Clerk of Court, then just ask the Clerk to compare the photocopies with the originals and certify that they are the same. Be sure to attend the hearing where the judge will ask you and the complainant to discuss a settlement before the court hearing. There you can ask for a new schedule of payment in amounts that you can afford. The judge can also look into the amount of interests and penalties being claimed, which is important in your case because it seems to be the reason why your unpaid balance has more than doubled in the meantime. The financing company’s claim may also meet another obstacle– lack of a certification to file action issued by the barangay, which is an important requirement in filing a small claim. Whatever happens, meet your obligations, don’t miss your hearing, keep all records and be sure to comply with the resulting court order that the judge will issue. I hope this helps.

  247. Gail

    Hi Atty,
    I’m a single mom of 2 lil boys aged 5 and 3. The father and I got married back in 2006 but wasn’t registered and we never had a marriage license. We separated last year. Ever since, he never gave support to the kids. Recently, I had to request for leave of absence from my company because I need to look for a nanny who can look after them while I’m at the office. My request had been declined and I’m worrying they might give me corrective action because of it. I don’t have a solo parent card yet but I’m already a single mom for more than a year. Is there something that I can do if my company give me corrective action or suspension though I don’t have a solo parent card yet? They said I have to have one first. I’m just a lil worried. I’d highly appreciate your response and Thank u so much for your help.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Gail: Absent without leave (AWOL) is an offense that the company may legally sanction. I suggest that you explain your situation as best as you can in writing when they send you a show cause memo. If it is a first offense and you have no other record of attendance issues, then they may give you some leeway in this case. But bear in mind that even with a solo parent card, there are procedures for availing of the solo parent leave, and internal rules of the company regarding its use must still be followed. I hope this helps.

  248. Thess

    Hi Atty,
    Im Ms.Thess
    I just want to ask some legal advice?
    I’m one of a signatory in a petition letter that surrounds inside our village many of my neighbor signed in also.
    but one day we receive a letter from a law firm asking to enlighten our participation in preparation & circulation of the said letter before they take the proper legal steps to protect the interest of their clients.
    This is my first time to receive a letter from a law firm and i dont know what to do?
    Can you please explain it to me what the letter means? and is there anybody jailed in this case?

    Thank you so much and more power to you your a big help to ask.

    THESS

    1. Atty. Post author

      Thess: You might want to send me a copy of the letter for me to know, more or less, if you have a legal problem or not. Meantime, the less said, the better it will be for you. email: atty@christineflorido.com

  249. kent v

    Hi Atty. , I just want to ask about the legitimation process..kasi po d ko makita ung father ko…eh kelangan po dalawa cla mg sign ng mother ko sa affidavit pano po un??? ayaw po kasi pumayag nung sa manila civil registrar… pero may proof naman na anak ako nung father ko kasi my affidavit of paternity naman …d lang tlga mkapag execute dun sa legitimation kasi d namin alam kung nasan siya… thx po

    1. Atty. Post author

      Kent: Have you tried showing your father’s SSS, ITR and other government records which show your name as one of his dependents? Most civil registrars, however, require both parents to appear in an interview to verify legitimation. I suggest that you show all the other documents and appeal to the civil registrar to consider your case.

  250. rona

    good day!
    i really want to know if there’s something we can do about our family’s situation. my mom and dad have been together for around 28 years now and they never really had a good relationship as husband and wife. i never saw him as a good father even when i was young. he had a long history of blackmailing, though he wasnt physically abusive, my mom would always complain over verbal and emotional abuse from him. we knw that he’s using drugs from time to time, and over the years, he sold a lot of our personal belongings, like jewelries, appliances, he even sold the tricycle we once owned at the time my brother was at the hospital and we didnt get anything from it, and he would usually ask advance rents from our tenants without my mom’s knowledge. we have a small shoe factory that they started when they got married. but my mom is the one who runs it. and most of the time when he’s given money to buy materials, he ends up spending it for himself and he doesnt go home for a day to a week. we’re really fed up with him. and we want him to leave already. but he wont. but yesterday, he decided to leave and transfer to one of our apartments. he took some of the appliances, half of the shoe moulders that we have and the machine that we use for shoe making. thats what he said he’s gonna do for a living. but we’re afraid that after several weeks or months, he’s just gonna go back with all of what he took gone and live with us again. because that’s what he usually does. even if we keep our house locked, he would have his way to enter and we cant complain to the barangay or the police. i really want him out of our lives, i pity my mom because he doesnt deserve any of the treatment he’s giving him. he would always blame my grandparents saying their marriage was a set up. by the way, around 3-4 years ago my mom found out their marriage wasnt legal because he was still married to another woman. i hope u can help us because we really dont know what to do to get him out of our lives.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Rona: Sent a reply directly through email. Please check your inbox.

  251. Jumay Gorgonia

    atty…
    ano po ba dapat kung gawin dahil po simula nang layasan kami nang asawa ko nung March 29 nito lng pong taon na toh at nagpunta nang Italy simula po non hindi na xa nagpdala nang sustento sa mga anak ko! buntis po ako ngayon sa pangatlo naming anak.. ang panganay po nmin ay 7 years old na babae, 4 po ung isa lalaki
    hindi po kase xa nagppdla ng sustento paano po ba gagawin ko? ano po bang kaso ang dapat kung gawin? kase po sa huli nming pag uusap bahala na daw po kung may mapapadala siya o wala, pero may work po siya don…
    nasa ROME< ITALY po siya at ang mahirap pa nga po TNT siya don kaya parang ang hirap habulin kung sasampahan ko siya nang kaso dito sa pinas.
    sana mo matulungan nyo ako…

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jumay: Are your husband’s parents still alive? You may send a demand letter to your husband’s regular address and provide a copy of the same letter to your husband’s parents. It is possible to demand support from his parents if your husband fails to provide support and your children urgently need it. You may also try to send a demand letter through the Philippine embassy in Rome, although I doubt if they can call his attention to it since, as you mentioned, he is “TNT” there. I hope this helps.

  252. Rosa

    How much right do I have for sole custody of my son then my husband that is not legal in this country ?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Rosa: If you are married, and your son is under the age of 7, then you have preference in the right of custody. But if your husband files a petition for custody in court, the court may ask you to enter into a joint parenting agreement where you both will share in the custody of your child. In cases like yours, I normally suggest discussing a joint agreement whether for sole or shared custody out of court in order to reduce your legal expenses and/or avoid the hassles of a court case. I hope this helps.

  253. inez

    hi, have a 4 yr old who is a citizen and would like to go back to my country of origin but his father wont sign for me to take my child. What are my rights?i am willing to negotiate for my son to visit my intentions are not to separate my child and his father.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Inez: What is the citizenship of your child and where is your child now?

  254. Babz

    Dear atty,
    I just would like to know if I will be deprived from my child’s custody since I committed adultery? My 4-yr-old daughter was born outside the Phils. And me and my daughter live most of our life in that country with my parents. My husband was left in the Phils until now. Since I went to another country to study and left my child under the care of my mother, I stayed to that country for a year and met someone who is also married. We were together for a year. I got pregnant but had it aborted because my husband threatened me that he would take our daughter away from me. I went back to the country where I used to live to be with my daughter again. And now my husband is going to file for a child custody. Since our daughter was born, I was the one and my mum who supported our daughter financially. Even when my daughter stayed for a 6-month vacation in the phils., I sent money to my husband for my daughter’s needs. If you could please give me an advice regarding this matter as I don’t want my child to be taken away from me. Thanks

    1. Atty. Post author

      Babz: Children under 7 years old are generally placed under the custody of their mothers. Only compelling reasons such as immorality, neglect, abandonment and other grounds which adversely affect the child’s welfare can be used to separate the mother from her child.

      In a case (Gualberto vs. Gualberto), the Supreme Court said:
      “But sexual preference or moral laxity alone does not prove parental neglect or incompetence. Not even the fact that a mother is a prostitute or has been unfaithful to her husband would render her unfit to have custody of her minor child. To deprive the wife of custody, the husband must clearly establish that her moral lapses have had an adverse effect on the welfare of the child or have distracted the offending spouse from exercising proper parental care.”

      Thus, a wife’s infidelity is not enough reason to deprive her of custody.

      I hope this helps.

  255. Babz

    In addition to my query, my daughter is an illegitimate child then 3 years after she was born, we went for a civil wedding.. Is it gonna make our child legitimate now?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Babz: She is considered legitimated by law which puts her in the same level as a legitimate child.

  256. ben

    Hello Atty Christine,

    Im putting up a small drafting business and im planning to just rent a house as a start and there we would do our work. What I wanted to know Atty Christine is im not sure if I’ll be needing to register first my business before we start…

    Kind regards,

    Ben

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ben: The law requires prior registration (as a single proprietorship, partnership or corporation) before starting business. Registering your business is still the best way to start one so that you avoid legal problems and are able to deal with clients without any difficulty. Business registration gives you certain advantages: professional appearance to prospective clients, separate bank account for better accounting, tax deductions, official receipts, opportunities to expand using company financing options in banks, etc. Good luck! Start on the right foot and you’ll reap the financial rewards easily when business is doing great. I hope this helps.

  257. jhun

    Dear Attorney ,
    ano po ba dapat kong gawin ,nandito po ako sa abroad tumawag po nung isang araw ang magulang ko at anak kong lalaki 10yrs old ,umiiyak po ung anak ko ang sabi nya hindi n daw nya kaya sa mga nadidinig nya at nakikita ,nasa bahay kasi namin ung pinsan ng asawa ko ng nag-karoon na cla dati ng relasyon ,ngayon po pinabaranggay (pina-blotter) po ng magulang ko yung asawa ko at pinsan niya ng kasong pakii-apid ,tanong ko po balak ko hiwalayan yung asawa ko may malaking possibilidad po ba na mapasa-aking custody ang anak ko kahit nasa abroad pa ako o kailangan kong umuwi ng pilipinas ,O pwedeng gumawa ako ng sulat na pansamantalang sa magulang ko muna mapunta ang anak ko

    salamat po

    lubos na gumagalang
    Jhun

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jhun: I suggest that you return to the Philippines to settle your family issues legally by filing the appropriate case against your wife. In the same case (legal separation of declaration of nullity), you can ask for child custody. Your son is above 7, so custody is not automatically handed to the mother. Your son’s preference and best interests are more important to the judge, so your lawyer will have to make these clear in your case. Once you obtain formal custody in court, you can delegate parental authority to your parents in the meantime while you are away working. I hope this helps.

  258. john

    john: Atty. i just want to ask if my mother have the right to get the salary of my father???..because our father abandoned us for almost 5months and he already stop his financial support from his children and he also have other women.

    1. Atty. Post author

      John: Are your parents married? Your mom may decide to file a case against him for legal separation (citing sexual infidelity and abandonment) and in the same case, ask for spousal support. The court may grant the request for support even while the case is pending. If your father still fails to comply with the court order for support, your mother’s lawyer may ask for the court to issue an order directing her husband’s employer to pay out the amount of support from his regular salary. I hope this helps.

  259. estrella

    Hello Atty.
    what is the legality involved in consultancy firms collecting professional fees for giving advice re migration to AU, UK, CANADA etc…
    is it proper that these fees are non refundable although the client did not pursue the visa processing?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Estrella: It really depends on the terms of the consulting contract. Consulting firms are generally paid to give advice so it may be possible to charge whether or not the client pursues with the visa application through them. Giving advice is a service that a consulting firm can legally charge for.

  260. Sheena

    Hello po Atty.
    My question is regarding my son. He is 5 yrs. old and live with his father, were not married and his father was not in the birth certificate. Actually this father works not in Saudi Arabia so my son live with his grandparent. Though were not married but we are in good terms, we help each other for our son. Next year I’m planning to go home and bring my son back here in the US. I feel they change their mind from our agreement before that i will bring my son as soon i am stable here in the US. The father strongly disagree with me, he said he will not cooperate with me and not allow my son to go with me here. I try to let them understand that I’m doing this because i want to secure his future here, millions of filipino wanted to come in the US to seek a good life and now his depriving his son the opportunity to have a better future. I wanna know my rights and things to do because i want to petition him by early january. I humbly need a help because i want peace of mind. Hoping to hear from you soon.SALAMAT

    Sheena

    1. Atty. Post author

      Sheena: You may have sole custody of your son who is illegitimate but without the father’s consent and agreement appearing on paper, the visa official may require you to produce a court order confirming your right of custody. You may have to file a petition for sole custody in court before you apply for your son’s visa to the US. But to do this, you will have to come to the Philippines and initiate the proceedings in court.

  261. suffered heart

    I got a subpoena in 2001 for a crime i didnt commit. It was a family member of mine who recruited some people and we later found out that everything was fake. My family member hid and I was also included in the complaint and got a warrant of arrest bec i signed as a witness when some people gave her money. Now im working abroad and I want to clear my name. I am afraid that I need to be arrested first before I clear my name. I do not want it bec as we all know, the justice doesnt work in the Philippines. I also would like to ask if I can enter some countries like Korea, Japan and Taiwan regardless of my criminal record.I want to know if I go to Taiwan or Korea, They have fingerprinting at the airport, will they see my previous background in my country? My documents are not fake and all real. My passport details are legiate. Please give me aan answer on this.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Suffered heart: It is possible for you to enter other countries if your Philippine passport has not yet been cancelled. If you have been placed on a watchlist, it is also possible for Philippine authorities to be alerted about your movement between countries. But enforcement of legal action abroad is another matter. There are procedures to be followed in the country where you are located or traveling into which must be followed before you can be stopped because Philippine laws are territorial in nature– they do not extend beyond its territories. I suggest that you face your accusers in court and get a good lawyer to defend you or forever live in fear whenever you travel. As a lawyer, I counsel clients or those who come to me for advice to trust the system.

  262. Sheena

    Hello po Atty,
    Thank you po sa response. My question now, is it possible if i can file a custody through my lawyer? Sana po huwag kayoing magsawa sa kasasagot ng among mga tanong. Malaki po and tulong nyo. God Bless.
    Salamat…

    Sheena

    1. Atty. Post author

      Sheena: I try to help through online advice as much as I can. Going to your situation, your lawyer can prepare the petition and other documents for filing but you will still have to come to the Philippines to attend the hearing and sign the petition.

  263. mine

    hi, just want to ask you about last will and testament matters…what makes a LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT LEGAL? if happens it was in hand written will it be honor?thank you

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mine: A handwritten will is valid if it is entirely done in the handwriting of the testator (the one creating the will) and signed. It’s called a holographic will.

  264. ems

    Dear Atty,

    I’m happy that I found your site. My dilemma is this:

    My husband and I are separated and our annulment is in progress. My husband and I have no communication since 2004. I am abroad now and I’m planning to invite my 4 kids (eldest is 19, the other 3 are minors). I’ve already sent a consularized/notarized consent together with all the necessary documents. Now, DSWD is asking for the father’s consent. My questions are:

    1. Can’t my kids travel (with the eldest) by themselves with only my consent and without their father’s?

    2. Can’t an affidavit from a lawyer or from the court explaining that the annulment is in progress not enough to get the DSWD permit?

    I really appreciate your prompt response.

    Thanks and God bless!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ems: 1. Your minor children will need the written consent of BOTH parents if not traveling with any of them. I suggest that you let your children talk to their father regarding this. They are old enough to ask for his permission. If he refuses, then perhaps your lawyer handling your nullity case can raise this matter in court for the judge to convince your husband to consider granting them permission.
      2. The DSWD travel clearance and requirement for both parents to provide their written consent has nothing to do with the pending court case. It is a safety precaution for children who are traveling abroad without any parent to accompany them. Your solution would be to fly to the Philippines and travel with them in order to dispense with the travel clearance.

      I hope this helps.

  265. Yule

    hi atty,

    i just want to ask if an unmarried father cohabiting with mother of his child can avail paternity or parental leave?

    my fiance gave birth to my daughter last November 3. i have filed a request prior to the delivery and i was told it was approved and so i availed the paternity leave but need to report to work prior to the 7th days of my leave because they said that i cannot use it because i’m not married and I’m cohabiting with the mother of my child.

    please advise. if this is really true.

    thank you and more power.

    Yule

    1. Atty. Post author

      Yule: Paternity Leave is available ONLY to fathers who are married to the women who give birth to their child.

  266. Ding

    Dear Atty,
    How do you treat the two muslim Holidays? More particularly the Ah’ha.Do we need to pay the employees even if they do not work?
    Thanks and regards,
    Ding Villanueva

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ding : Both Muslim holidays, Eidl Fitr and Eidul Adha have been proclaimed by Malacanang as Regular Holidays. Thus, “workers who do not report for work on said days are entitled to holiday pay equivalent to 100 percent of their basic pay if they are present or on leave of absence with pay on the working day immediately preceding the Muslim holiday x x x ” In short– yes, you have to pay them on those days even if they did not work.

  267. ems

    Thanks Atty! Such a big big help.

    I have another question. In case I fly back to the Philippines and fetch my kids, is it also necessary that I bring/travel with them back to the Philippines?

    Thanks again!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ems: If returning by themselves to the Philippines, they may not need the travel clearance BUT I still suggest that you ask the airlines about this requirement because they have the right to refuse a passenger if it is against the terms and conditions of their ticket. Please check with the airlines about the return.

  268. ems

    Thanks again Atty for the quick and enlightening response.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ems: My father who is also a lawyer suggested that you prepare an Affidavit of Consent for their return to the Philippines without you and let your children bring that when they travel back to the Philippines without you. Also, check with airline policy about minors returning to Philippines on their own.

  269. ems

    Atty, I really really appreciate your help. Thanks also to your dad.

  270. Ameluna

    Hi Atty.,

    The woman mentioned about RIAS office. What will be her possible motive or plan for my partner regarding the child’s support. Does she has a right to raise her claim at the RIAS office? What are her probable cause of approaching the agency?

    Thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ameluna: RIAS? the Regional Internal Affairs Service of the PNP? It will depend on the internal rules of the police agency. Every profession has its own governing body which is in charge of internal discipline, and the failure to provide support (which is a legal obligation) could be a violation of their code of conduct (please check with the proper authorities). I guess the bottomline here is for the child’s father to exert more effort to settle the woman’s claim for child support before things get out of hand.

  271. aimee

    please help me po wat to do…paalis na sya sa nov 16 for abroad…wala pa po kami kasunduan sa mga bata…

    1. Atty. Post author

      Aimee: I suggest that you ask a lawyer tomorrow to send him a demand letter for support and serve it personally at his home address so that he gets it right away. You can also start initiating communication regarding support through text, email or by phone– but be careful in your choice of words so as not to antagonize him or elicit a strong negative response. You can leave him your bank account number where he can make monthly deposits for your children and quote a specific amount already to cover the estimated costs of your children’s monthly needs. If he disagrees with the amount, just take whatever he offers in the meantime, in order to help you cover your children’s expenses. You can always ask for an increased amount later. I hope this helps.

  272. Jessica

    At may isa pa po akong concern. may policy po kasi ang company namin na if you have a 5 days late in 15 days or in 1 cutoff is equivalent to 25 days suspension (sobrang bigat po!) I already received a suspension letter due to my lates and ang sabi pa deducted daw po ito sa sa makukuha kong 13th month pay. makatuwiran po ba ito? may karapatan po ba silang i- deduct sa computations ang suspensions ko kahit na hindi pa nila ito ipinapa serve sa akin dahil na din sa kakulangan din nila ng empleyado.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jessica: The basis of the computation of 13th month pay is the total salary paid by your employee during the calendar year. If you were placed on suspension without pay, then naturally, the basis of your 13th month pay will be less than the amount you would have ordinarily receive. But if you were unable to serve your suspension this year, then I assume that your total pay would be the same for the year, and your 13th month pay, essentially the same. I suggest that you wait for your payslip showing the computation of your 13th month pay.

  273. solitairezcharley

    hi atty, sorry double post..

    i violated a company policy wherein a written warning should be served. based on our handbook, it should be served within 48 hOUrs frm the time the violation has been commited and a written explanation should likewise be submitted as well 48 hrs after the issuance of the written complaint. the violation was discussed to me but my previous boss didnt let me sign anything . after a month, they are now giving me that memo but i refused to sign it coz it is already beyond the alloted “”48 hrs” . am i on the right track? what if i really refused to sign the memo? will it be considered void coz they didnt give it to me within 48 hrs after i committed the violation? plEASE HELP

    1. Atty. Post author

      Solitairezcharley: If you were informed of the violation verbally within 48 hours from the time it happened, then you may still be required to reply to the written charge. What the law seeks to avoid is a situation where the employee is not informed of the alleged violation and not given an opportunity to respond. From your narration, it is clear that you were informed earlier and then formally given a memo for it. The law requires written notice and the opportunity to explain. These appear to be present in your case. The timing may be justified later if your employer will explain the delay. But from experience, companies are given enough leeway to investigate and decide whether to pursue administrative charges. And one month is not too long. I suggest that you respond to the charge as best as you can.

  274. Laine

    Good day.
    Please help me to clear my mind.
    When we separated with my husband he took our sin with him.its already 3 years.my son is already 7.He is playing with his rule.he don’t allow me to see my son everytime I want.he always saying his mom will be angry or any other reason.
    I’m just asking for a right to see and visit my son.
    Please give me some advice.can I have the right to visit him anytime?I’m always begging for him.i miss my son so much….

    1. Atty. Post author

      Laine: Your email address appears to be from Japan. If your son is not in the Philippines, then I suggest that you consult a lawyer where your son is presently residing to get an idea about the legal procedure for obtaining child visitation. Good luck!

  275. Mimi P*

    I am writing to you to inquire about the tax refund i am supposed to receive after my employer terminated my services. I was hired by my employer in January 2011 as Editorial Associate. On October 25, they told me, together with my other co-employees, that my employer is terminating our contract because the client terminated their project, in other words, wala na silang mahanap na work for us and our last day will be on November 24 (actually they told us not to report for work anymore but still they gave us our pay until Nov 24). So they gave us our last pay, leaves and 13th month. However with regard to the tax refund, some us received a tax refund (actually ang tawag po nila ay tax due not tax refund) but some of us did not. My question is are we not supposed to get a tax refund? I mean all of us who were terminated. We were asking them if they can give us an explanation (incl. how they computed the tax refund for terminated employees) but unfortunately until now, we have not received any explanation from them. On my part, the amount of tax withheld from me was more than php25,000.

    I hope you can help us and whatever explanation and help you can give us will be truly appreciated (and i will share this with my other colleagues, too).

    Again, thank you very much and GOD Bless po.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mimi P: The issue of whether or not you are entitled to a tax refund for taxes withheld by your previous employer will really depend on how much taxes you are liable to pay the BIR at the end of the year. Your employer is not obliged to pay a tax refund, if upon their computation, the amount they withheld were properly computed according to the tax tables enforced by the BIR. It is the employer’s obligation to withhold taxes. The employer does not keep your tax payments but ordinarily turns it over to the BIR. I suggest that you get hold of your BIR Form showing the total amount of taxes withheld by your employer for the year and then compute on your own how much your annual taxes are assuming you no longer work until the end of 2011. That should give you an idea if the government owes you a tax refund.

  276. judi

    atty. i am a single mom and i had a 6 yr. old daughter from a previous relationship and we are not married but she is using the surname of her father who is also a filipino but an australian citizen now.He left us when i was pregnant and i had no idea he got married few days after i gave birth.He stopped communicating with me after i gave birth and keep in touch again after almost 3 yrs.He’s not giving a regular child support,only when He likes to send us.He’s always making alibi that he has no job in australia but in a year he goes home in cebu twice.He only gives his share during the enrolment but he’s not paying the whole tuition fee of our child.And when he’s here in the phils. he’s not spending enough time with our child.How can i oblige him to give monthly support legally?He processed the child citizenship now and also the australian passport,i agreed because think that would be the best thing for our child to have a bright future.Will he be having the custody of our child then?maari po ba nyang kunin sakin ang bata?thanks,ill be waiting for your advice.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Judi: The next time the father comes back to the Philippines, get his usual address (exact) and have a lawyer send him a demand letter there for child support. In the meantime, you might want to write him a letter or email gently reminding him of your child’s monthly expenses. Send him a breakdown of her usual expenses, e.g. groceries, clothing, transpo, medicines, tuition, etc. and ask him to provide the equivalent amount. If he agrees but to a lesser amount, I suggest that you accept it in the meantime, rather than not have anything to support your child with. When he returns and you are convinced that he has visible means of support, like a business or other source of income, then you may file a petition for child support against him.

      About child custody, since your child is illegitimate, you have sole parental authority over her. But for added security, ask that you hold your child’s passport, not him. He can’t take your child away from you unless you willingly turn over custody and sign over a consent to travel with him abroad. I hope this helps.

  277. judiren

    hello…atty i have his complete address here.I’ve been reminding him already for several times na of his financial obligations to the child but to no avail.He’s 44 yrs old and i think he knows already his responsibilities as a father.He is now in cebu He arrived last fri.He texted me to bring the child and meet him in the airport and again promised to bring the child to the mall,what he did was he just bring us to a fastfood chain and had our dinner.He let us stay with him in the hotel,i was expecting he’ll spend some time with the child but what he did he just slept right away and left us early in the morning to catch his flight at 6am going to cebu.He’s been doing this for a couple of times already and i got irritated na.Di naman ako maniwala na wla sya pera kasi he has a 3 storey apartment for rent in cebu.I was just trying to understand but lately nakakainis na.Pwede ko po ba syang padalhan ng demand letter sa cebu or whenever he’s in australia?He’s trying to threat me kasi before na if ever mag file ako ng support kukunin daw ng au. govt ang bata kc im not capable of raising her.thanks.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Judiren: Yes, your lawyer may send him a demand letter at his Cebu address. Actually, Australian child support laws are much better and stricter than Philippine support laws because in Australia, the father is required to support in a regular monthly amount and the government has a child support enforcement agency which can take care of collecting child support for you. If the father defaults, he may also be made liable for arrears (or back support). Custody is not automatically given to the father if you fight for your rights. Just make sure that you don’t leave your child alone with him and keep the child’s passport.

  278. judiren

    atty. how will the australian govt. know about the child support i am asking from him?can i go to the australian embassy here in manila directly to file my complain?thanks agai

    1. Atty. Post author

      Judiren: Since the child’s father is here in the Philippines, I suggest that you pursue legal action while he is still here. If you file a petition for child support in court, your lawyer can ask for “support pendente lite” (or while the case is pending). The court may issue an order for him to pay child support in just a few hearings. If he is no longer in the Philippines, getting child support from someone who is already overseas is a longer process, often expensive, too. If you wish to do that also, then I suggest that you direct your inquiries to the Australian embassy which may help you.

  279. Lenore

    Hello Atty,

    Here is our situation:

    My Boyfriend, who is a US citizen, was dating a Filipino girl before we got together. And after they broke up, she told him she was pregnant. He wants to do the right thing by taking care of the baby, and since they have broken up, he has sent her money to help with her day to day living expenses. I have a couple of questions for you, because my bf and I have no idea how things are in the Philippines.

    1. Should my bf get a paternity test so that he can be put on the Birth Certificate? and if yes, how could we have that done?
    2. Legally, can the mother of the baby file for child support from the Philippines?
    3. What is the average monthly cost of caring for a child in the Philippines?
    4. What is the average cost of giving birth to a child in the Philippines at a good hospital?

    My bf wants the baby to have dual citizenship so that baby can visit him in the states. But we want to know what that means as far as what the mother can do legally against my bf.

    We aren’t sure that his ex is trying to get money out of him just because she is upset, but we want to make sure that the amounts that she is asking for isn’t more than what she actually needs for the baby. She has been asking for quite a bit of money and we want to make sure that she isn’t trying to take advantage of my bf.

    I know some of these questions aren’t exactly legal questions, but if you have any information you can pass on to me we would greatly appreciate it. We really are just trying to do whats right in this situation. Thank you very much for your help.
    🙂

    1. Atty. Post author

      Leonore:
      1. There is no need for a paternity test if your bf is certain that the child is his. He can simply acknowledge paternity by signing the back portion of the birth certificate. If he has doubts then he can ask the child’s mother for a paternity test after the child is born. There are a number of laboratories that offer DNA testing but I suggest that you have one done by the University of the Philippines. I think St. Luke’s also has a form of paternity testing called HLA typing. It is also a good exclusionary test for paternity though not as strong as the DNA test. I’m afraid you might have to inquire directly with the hospital or laboratories about the differences between the two, although HLA typing is less expensive.
      2. Yes, the mother can file a case for child support against the father if he does not provide support. But she will need proof of paternity/acknowledgment as basis for her claim in court.
      3. Average monthly cost for younger children such as a newborn infant can be anywhere from 5k to 10K pesos, depending on the child’s health and standard of living. Living expenses tend to grow with age as the needs of the child increase.
      4. Assuming the mother gives birth through normal delivery, not C-section, the father should be able to set aside 100K to cover hospitalization, doctor’s expenses, anaesthesiologist, pediatrician fees, and medicines. (in a good hospital). If she delivers by C-section, that amount can easily double.

      I suggest that you check if the child’s mother is enrolled at PhilHealth, or some HMO, which may reduce the costs of hospitalization or delivery. Also, the pregnant woman’s OB-Gyne doctor can give a fair estimate before actually giving birth. As a tip, doctor’s fees are usually dependent on the type of room that the mother and newborn obtains during delivery. Unless, there are special needs to be met during delivery, try getting an ordinary private room to keep their medical bills reasonable.
      I hope this helps.

  280. estrella

    Hi there atty! Thank you for really helping out with questions of law, you are a great help. The situation goes like this. . . . The office is a consultancy firm for Australian Migration, A father came with his 2 kids who are both of legal age applying for a Student Visa. As a process, the consultancy services prior to processing documents of client, a Registration fee of 15k is collected for administrative costs, covering services to be rendered. A Services and Fee Agreement is handed to a client to be read and understood and to be signed by the applicant. It was indicated in said agreement that Fees quoted are NON REFUNDABLE in bold letters. To cut the story short, the father called and said that they will abort the application for the meantime due to some circumstances. Now they are refunding the 15k. The consultancy firm is standing by its no refund policy, is this proper? The father has threatened to be a pain in the ass of the company. Is this proper? Hope you can enlighten me re the situation. Thank you

    1. Atty. Post author

      Estrella: If the consulting company has not yet performed any actual services other than collect the payment and forms from the client, then it is only fair to reimburse the registration fee under the civil law principle that no man shall be unjustly enriched at the expense of another. If administrative costs were incurred in the meantime, then you may have to determine to what extent of the fee was reasonably used up for the administrative expenses or consulting services.

  281. Clarisse

    Godd day Atty!

    I would like to ask if it’s possible to file a complaint against my older brother. He’s in charge of distributing my younger brother’s allotment as well as mine. We have separate and specific amounts of allotment but due to the fact that my father’s current company only allows him to deposit his earnings on two bank accounts, he chose to deposit our allotments on my older brother’s bank account. Our problem is that our older brother is being lazy in giving our allotment. He gives them by small amounts since his bank account is an atm only account. Therefore it has a limit on a withdrawals per day. We’ve been very patient with him but this time when my younger brother contacted him on his phone, he won’t answer. He has to give us our remaining 25k…12.5k for me and my younger brother. According to our father, he said that he has spoken to him. My older brother always say “Yes, yes I’ll give it to them”. It’s been weeks of no contact or reply from my older brother. We’re afraid that he used it for his personal wants since he has a history of doing those acts. I want to file a complaint against him since nagmamatigas siya Atty. Is this possible? If so, what are the possible complaints that I can file against him?

    We also filed a complaint against my father under RA 9262. He’s been giving us insufficient amount for years and his threatening us that he will not support us anymore. He currently holds a position as a captain. With a salary of 8k US dollars. Quite a sum yet he doesn’t want to support my mother. He filed an annulment case against my mother. This is still going on but my mother is unemployed and has suffered from mild stroke thus resulting to her difficulty in walking and speaking. Thus, she is not in the condition to find a job and get hired. He filed the annulment case before my mother suffered from mild stroke. Is my father obliged to support my mother since their annulment case is still not finished?

    Thank you🙂

    1. Atty. Post author

      Clarisse: Sent a reply through email already. Please check.

  282. Emjei

    Hi Atty, more than 10yrs po akong kasal bago nagkaroon ng annulment (1997-2007). Ako ay nabuntis kaya kami kinasal at nakatapos ng college 1999 sa parehong course. At dahil walang permanenteng trabaho ang dating kong asawa nakipagsapalaran ako sa gitnang silangan sa halos 5 taon. At dahil nakatira kami sa magulang ng dati kong asawa kasama nila sa bahay ang anak namin. Sa unang 2taon (2000-2001) hindi ako pinalad sa kompyang pinasukan ko ngunit hindi pa rin ako sumuko. (2001-2004) naitabi ko po ang ilang original remittances na pinadala ko sa account ng dati ko pong asawa. Pinalad ako sa taong 2004 na makapagtrabaho sa isang airline company. Taong 2005 walang trabaho ang dati kong asawa at nag alok na nakipagkasundo (mutual agreement-verbal) sa asawa ko ng tutulungan ko syang makapaghanap ng magandang opportunity sa gitnang silangan as long as 50% ng kanyang income ay mapuputa sa aking anak at sa Lola na kanalauanan ay hindi naman nasunod ang usapan. Sinagot ko mag isa ang lahat ng gastos sa aking anak at sa asawang naghahanap ng trabaho. Matapos ng 3buwang paghahanap ng trabaho ay pinalad naman syang makapasok sa isang oil company. Taong 2007 nag file na kami ng annulment at bago pa lumabas ang Entry of final judgement taong 2008 ginastusan niyang dalhin ang kanyang nobya at nagsama dito abroad. Bago matapos ang taong 2008, kinasal na kami pareho sa iba. Ang aming anak ay nakakapagtravel sa tulong ng benefits ko sa airline gayun din ang residence visa. Taong 2011, buwan ng March, ng magdesisyon ako na mag resign due to medical reason na cancel rin ang residence visa ng aking anak. 3months from the date of exit, nakabalik ako sa abroad under husband sponsor. Nakiusap akong ituloy ng ama ang pag sponsor ng aming anak na makabisita sa akin dito kahit sagutin ko na ung gastos, hindi sya sumang ayon na labis kong ikinasama ng loob. Mas madalas kong nakikita ang aking anak dahil ako ay nasa airline nagtratrabaho. Hindi rin sapat ang oras ng inilalan ng ama ng anak ko sa kanya kahit pa sabihin nyang nasa magulang nya ang bata sya daw ang nagpapa aral. Ng huling umuwi ang dati kong asawa hindi raw naramdama ng anak ko ang pag uwi ng daddy nya dahil kasama ang kanyang pangalang asawa.

    Masama ang loob ko sa pagkakataon ito dahil ni minsan hindi ako naging dependent sa una kong asawa. Minsan lang ako humiling at hindi pa nya ako pinagbigyan bagkus tinanong pa nya ako kung paano ko bubuhayin ang anak ko. Papaano ko makukuha ang anak kong makabisita dito sa amin abroad gaying magkaiba na ang aming apelyido? Pareho kaming nangungulila mag ina sa isat isa. Sinubukan kong padalhan ng Shared custody agreement by email kaso ang asawa pa nya ang sumagot ng maangas at mayabang. Sinubukan kong padalhan ng Demand Letter from Atty ngunit hindi naman ina-acknowledge. Ano po ang tawag sa affidavit kapag meron akong witness na ni-refuse ng ex-husband ko ang demand letter, although pinaldan din ng demand letter ang magulang ng ex-husband ko? Pease advise.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Emjei: About your husband’s refusal to receive your demand letter, just send it through registered mail and attach a registry return card. Please ask your lawyer to do that the next time he sends a demand letter. The registry return card will ordinarily show that it was received or the reason for its return. From there, your lawyer should be able to advise you on the next steps for filing the petition for custody against your husband (even when he refuses to accept the demand letter). His non acceptance of the letters should not prevent you from filing a case for custody. But these are steps that a lawyer is in a best position to determine and take up for you. You can still travel abroad with your son for as long as you accompany him during the trip. But if you are planning to obtain an immigrant visa for him, which normally requires proof of your right of custody or a court order, then the petition for child custody is the solution. I hope this helps.

  283. dana

    Dear Atty
    My brother has a daughter from an irish citizen here in the phillipines 6 years ago and he acknowledged this child as a father ,they 3 of them stayed in our house although they never married due to incompatibility issues n ot to mention the psychological illnes of the child’s mother. The mother and child left my brother after a year the child was born and went to live with her friends.we didnt try to persuade her to come back home since we were aware she was so paranoid that we might kidnap the child instead we let her go and prayed theyll be alright. after a while we found out they left us here in baguio city for somewhere in the south.she was teaching korean students that time.we never heard from them since then even after some attempts to contact her email add and phone number which was out of coverage already. Now after all these years my brother who is already married suddenly is being sued out of the blue by the child’s mother of child abandonment. the case was filed in rizal province which probably is their present address. by the way we are from baguio city and the mountain province..Atty, my brother never abandoned the child,it was the mother who took the child away from us and left without leaving any contact and never kept in contact with us.. how valid is the case or please enlighten me regarding these please so that we know what todo. thanks and more power to you..

    dana

    1. Atty. Post author

      Dana: Anyone can file a case in court and say things that are not true and that is precisely why people who are sued need to show up in court and raise their defenses or bring up their side of the story for the judge to weigh and decide. It is possible that the lack of financial support may be the cause for the case of abandonment. It is possible that the child’s mother tried to ask for support from him but was unable to get it from your brother, hence the case. It is also possible that the child’s mother is already married to another person and the new spouse is thinking of adopting her child. In cases of adoption where the child’s father is mentioned in the birth certificate, the father’s consent to the adoption is often necessary. If it cannot be obtained, abandonment may be established first to allow the petition for adoption to continue even without the father’s consent. I suggest that your brother obtain a lawyer who can view the contents of the complaint for abandonment and appear in court to address the charges against him.

  284. ella

    hi atty,
    more than 3 years na po akong hiwalay sa asawa may isa po kaming anak 19 yr.old nag aaral na nasa akin at suportado ko..mula po ng naghiwalay kami di na po sya sumuporta sa aking anak kahit isang sintemo..naghiwalay po ako sa napakaraming dahilan..
    1.pambubugbog, naipakulong ko po sya ng 2 weeks dahil sa pananakit.
    2.nagdadrugs
    3. 4 babae including my sister,gf ng anak ko ang pinaghihipuan nya at muntik na nyang marape..
    4. pambabae

    Gusto ko po sanang humingi ng tulong sa inyo kung pano po ako makakakuha ng LEGAL SEPARATION, may bf na po ako sa ngayon at gusto ko po sanang magkaron ng isang legal na pagsasama na kahit po sana isang papeles lang na magsasabi na di na po ako attached sa ama ng anak ko. Paanong process po ba ang gagawin ko ? pano ako mag uumpisa sa pagkuha ng legal separation at magkano ang magagastos? kumuha po ako ng marriage contract sa NSO at ang nakalagay na birthday ko ay november 23,1970 ngunit ang birthday ko po sa birth certificate ko na galing din sa NSO ay january 11,1974. sa huwes po kami ikinasal. valid po ba yung kasal namin kahit iba ang birthday ko??
    atty. sana po matulungan nyo ako ..
    maraming salamat po and more power..

    gumagalang,
    ela

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ella: Before anything else, it’s best to fix the discrepancy in your birth certificate and marriage certificate. If the error in either is due to a clerical or typographical error, you may apply for the correction of your birth certificate at the civil registries where your marriage contract and birth certificates were recorded. Once you are able to make the necessary corrections, then you may approach a lawyer to file your petition, either for nullity of marriage or legal separation, depending on the lawyer’s assessment of your circumstances. You cannot change your civil status without obtaining the approval of the court, even if you and your previous husband sign an agreement out of court.

  285. Teri

    Hi attorney, I’ve been working for this company for 3years now. I have 2 questions.
    1) Last year, they changed their policy regarding the computation of remaining leaves. Before, we can get the whole remaining leaves (converted to cash) but last year they changed it and can only get half of the remaining leave. So if we have 3days leaves remaining, they will only pay us the 1.5days. Is that legal? There is no memorandum given to us but they talked to us, they’re employees, regarding that matter.
    2) I’m in a managerial position. Our company is deducting late and undertime to our salary but not paying us overtime pay. Is this also legal?

    Thank you so much.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Teri: If the monetary conversion of leave credits has not ripened into practice (3 years may not be considered enough), then the employer may withdraw it any time. The deduction of undertime may be allowed under the principle of “no work, no pay”. Managerial employees are not covered by the provisions on overtime pay, unless there is an existing company policy or agreement (CBA or other contract) granting overtime pay to managerial employees.

  286. teacher c.

    Hello atty C. I would like to ask some legal advice regarding my problem. Im a probationary gradeschool teacher in a private school. this is my second year of teaching in this school. before the start of this school yr. we signed a letter of appointment. this 2nd semester i decided to add more subjects for my grad school and filed a resignation letter last NOV 3… effective DEC 2 (30 calendar days). my principal and hr officer said that the letter of appointment is our contract and i cannot resign from teaching in the middle of the school yr because my prc licensed can be revoked. they also said that teachers are not under the labor code and 30 days is not enough to find a replacement. My notice period is almost over, i send a letter requesting to give me a faculty clearance form. they refused to do so and said that I can leave the school but they will not give me Certificate of Employment and other benefits.

    -are teachers not covered by the labor code?

    -is the letter of appointment an employment contract? if so, why are there no terms and conditions about
    resignation stipulated? (nakalagay lang po na magwork ako from june 2011 to march 2012, wala rin po nakalagay na job description at saka salary d rin nakalagay)

    -am i liable for some damages? what are those?

    -will my prc license be revoked?

    -do i have the right to demand for a certificate of employment

    thank you for your response

    1. Atty. Post author

      Teacher C: Private school teachers are covered by the Labor Code although the school has a right to impose internal rules governing teachers (through their Code of Conduct). The appointment letter confirms the existence of your employment and thus, your contract. While it may be silent on other terms and conditions, it may contain a provision regarding the applicability of a Manual of regulations or Code of Conduct. You may also be bound by company policies if they were made known to you at the time of their issuance. I suggest that you check the code of conduct for rules on the required resignation procedures of the school to learn more about your rights. If you feel aggrieved by their position, you may initiate a complaint with the Department of Labor for non payment of salary. About the certificate of employment, there is a consensus among lawyers that while the Labor Code mentioned it, it does not seem to be a right which the employee can enforce through a court action. In fact, there is a law pending now in the Senate for the criminalization of the employer’s failure to issue the much needed employment of certification. Professional licenses may only be revoked on limited grounds and after due hearing conducted by the licensing authority.

  287. khaty

    Hi just want to ask if a collection agency conduct a legal visit at home and at the ofice if the crd holder failed to to pay d creditcrd company.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Khaty: The collection agency may only send the defaulting cardholder a demand letter at either his residence or office address but not enter the premises without the homeowner or business owner’s consent (if at the office).

  288. Ann

    Hi Atty,

    I just would like to ask if there is still a need for paternal consent during travel abroad if the court already issued together with the nullity order that I have the sole custody of my children? I am already remarried and planning to have a tour with my son (previous marriage).

    Appreciate your advice.
    Thanks.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ann: Yes, your child can travel abroad without a DSWD travel clearance for as long as you accompany your child on his/her trip. If you’ve already remarried and your travel papers show a different surname, I suggest that you bring copies of your child’s birth certificate which will show your name as his/her mother. This may help if the immigration authorities ask how you and your child are related. Also, bring your nullity order showing your right of custody, just in case.

  289. may b.

    hello..good day po… im a student and was verbally insulted by a prof but not my school prof…dhil may ntxt po ako s isang friend n sbi i said “punyemas ung prof ko..” and including un word n “bakla”… he said it was a discrimination against gay instructors and so on…he also said na kung gano daw ako ka’bobo’ ay gnun din mga instructor in my school and pinag mumura n ako.. and I want to file a complaint against him… could it be possible and what are the possible complaints that I can file against him? and him against me if ever po. and how can i do those po.salamt

    1. Atty Post author

      May B: Your most immediate recourse is to send your complaint to the school. The school has a Code of Conduct which may take care of sanctioning erring professors.

  290. mendoza

    Good Day Atty,

    In the company that I’m working for, I heard that they don’t give the employee’s backpay & 13th month pay if the notice of resignation was not given 30days prior to its effectivity, I’m concerned, is this legal?

    thanks

    1. Atty. Post author

      Mendoza: The employee who does not give enough notice of resignation may be liable for damages. The law does not fix the amount of damages the employee may be liable for but to withhold the payment of the final salary and 13th month pay may already be a violation of the Labor Code and the law on the 13th Month Pay.

  291. Ms. M

    Hi Atty. Florido,

    I would just like to ask if I can still have my 8 yr old illegitimate daughter’s custody even if she grew up with her father? Me and the father seperated when she was 2 yrs old and since Im living independently, I decided to have her taken care off by her father and grandparents since I can’t take care of her while working. After 6 yrs, I now have the capability to take care of her and wanted custody. Do I have any chance if I file a custody case? Thanks and hope you can give me an advice!

    Ms. M

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ms. M: It is possible to regain custody over your child because the law gives the mother sole parental authority over her child. Instead of fighting it out in court, try discussing a peaceful turnover with the child’s father first. It is better to obtain custody without fighting because your daughter may be caught in the middle of a court battle and suffer untold emotional issues as a result. I hope this helps.

  292. dhenlhenLhen

    Good day to you. My boyfriend and his wife is almost seven years separated and no communication. He decided to file an annulment. He had a vacation last October for 20 days. We both an OFW. The he visited a legal office and attorney said that if he will file for annulment, he must stay for a long time for the arraignment. But he refuse, because he had only a 20 days. So atty. suggested that his wife must filed for it. They both agreed for annulment. But when the day they go to atty. his wife refuse to go. She said that she’s afraid to face the atty. alone and she said also that they don’t need for annulment because they been separated for a long time. He got curious and some people said that his wife is pregnant. So he decided to go to baranggay hall. He will ask if they can make a testament that saying they agree for separation. Then the baranggay captain made a testament that they agree for separation and agree for having a new partners. They signed for it. But not knowing of his wife, he will file for annulment by 2013 after our contract. Because we had a plan to get married by 2012 here abroad. Is it okay if we married outside of the Philippine custody? And later, registered it after annulment case is done.

    1. Atty. Post author

      dhenlhenlhen: Only a judge can declare a marriage annulled or null and void. Any agreement or contract, even when entered into by both husband and wife, saying that they agree to go their separate ways, will not make any of them legally single. As a lawyer, it is my duty to uphold the law which prohibits bigamous marriages. Besides, petitions for annulment are not automatically granted. If you get married without your partner first getting his marriage annulled, your marriage will be considered bigamous, therefore illegal. Your children will be illegitimate, and cannot be legitimated (even if your partner’s 1st marriage is annulled later). Let your partner work on his annulment first, to show you how committed he is to starting a new life with you.

  293. adrian e*********

    Atty. is it important or necessary to inform employees regarding demotions within the policy of the company?

    After administrative case hearing and deliberation, an employee was proven terminated due to just cause, how many days are allotted for the employer in stating the effectivity of the employee’s termination?

    Is there a new law which states that the time given to an employee to explain in writing should be in 120 hours or 5 days.

    Thank you attorney.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Adrian: Please rephrase your question about “demotions within the policy of the company”.
      As to your question “how many days are allotted for the employer in stating the effectivity of the employee’s termination?”– If an employee is terminated for just cause following proper procedures of two notices and a hearing, then the final termination notice may state that the employee is dismissed effective immediately.

      As to your question “is there a new law which states that the time given to an employee to explain in writing should be in 120 hours or 5 days”? — It is case law or a Supreme Court ruling that considers 5 days as sufficient time to respond. While there are varying decisions on the matter, the longest I have encountered was 5 days, which as a safe measure I recommend to my clients, to avoid penalty on a mere technicality. Giving the employee more time to respond is to the advantage of the employer and will help disprove any claim of bad faith or prejudice against the terminated employee.

  294. Ms. M

    Dear Atty. Florido,

    Thank you for your advice. I already talked to the father but he doesn’t want to give my daughter back. I just want to know what are my chances of regaining custody in case this goes to court?

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Ms. M: The Family Code is on the side of the illegitimate child’s mother and it is the burden of the child’s father to prove that you are an unfit mom, for you to be denied custody.

  295. belle

    hi Atty. My co worker was told by our payroll dept. that she may have a deduction in her 13th month pay due to tardiness. she was suspended 4 days. She also has deductions for the tardiness in her payroll.
    is it legal?
    thank you

    1. Atty. Post author

      Belle: There’s a difference between a salary deduction and a deduction from the 13th month pay. While the law prohibits a reduction of the 13th month pay, this does not mean that the employee may not suffer any deduction during the period when the 13th month pay is released. Bear in mind that the basic salary may be released together with the 13th month pay and the total pay may be computed before making any salary deductions for undertime and unpaid leave dates. In this sense, the deduction is not made against the 13th month pay, but on the basic salary for the period.

  296. rina

    hello atty.! i have to ask this because even supervisors don’t know the answer.

    i had administrative hearing last month because i failed to perform my duties well. i told them i got UTI and gastritis(which i incurred from work). they then asked me to provide medical certificate indicating if i’m still fit to work in the call center industry. my supervisor asked me to do show memo cause.

    if i provide that med.cert., will i be terminated if i’m not fit to work anymore? or if the doctor tell me i just have to undergo medications and can go back to work, are they allowed to fire me?

    i honestly want to resign before they terminate me, do i have the right to do that?

    lastly, if i’ll resign on Dec.9 and render 15 days, my resignation will be effective by Dec.24. will i be able to get my 13th month pay on the Dec.14?

    thanks and God bless!🙂

    1. Atty. Post author

      Rina: An employee may be dismissed due to disease only if there is a medical certificate issued by competent public health authority that the disease is of such nature that it cannot be cured within a period of 6 months even with proper medical treatment. If the certification states that your sickness can be cured within 6 months then your employer should not terminate your employment but instead ask you to go on sick leave in the meantime. Resignation is possible but there is no way for me to assure when you will be paid your final pay, which will include your 13th month pay. I hope this helps.

  297. dhenlhen

    Thank you for your advice. Ano po kaya ang pwede na maging grounds for annulment? Kasi kinasal sila nd 1999, then nag-abroad sya ng 2003. Isang taon pa lang sya sa ibang bansa, nang umalis ang asawa nya sa kanila. 2004 umalis yung babae, at maraming nagsasabi na may karelasyon ito. At pinatunayan ito ng kanyang anak, maging ng kanyang pamilya. Mula noon, wala na sila komunikasyon. Ano po kaya ang mga steps na dapat nyang gawin?

    Maraming salamat po.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Dhenlhen: Psychological incapacity may be a ground for nullity of marriage but I strongly suggest that you first consult a psychiatrist in the Philippines who has experience in these cases to determine if it exists before you can file the petition in court. If the psychiatrist/psychologist determines that there is psychological incapacity of either or both spouses, then you must approach a lawyer who can file the petition for you.

  298. Ms. M

    Dear Atty. Florido,

    Thank you so much for your advice.

    With regards to the the family code, isn’t that applicable only to illegitimate children ages 7 and below? I read that when the child reaches 8 years and above, the court will allow her to choose which parent to live with. Since my daughter did not grew up with me, Im afraid her choice is to live with her father. Both of us are not unfit to have custody, will my chances of getting her be slimmer since she grew up with her dad? Will the choice of my daughter have huge impact on the court’s decision?

    Thank you again for your advice and more power to you!

    Best regards,
    Ms. M

    1. Atty, Post author

      Ms. M: The child’s preference, especially if over the age of 7, may be considered by the court but it is not the sole criteria for granting custody to one parent. The best interests of the child is always the paramount consideration. In your case, since you say that your child did not grow up with you, then the court may be inclined to let the child continue living with the custodial parent, NOT only because it is the child’s choice, but more to prevent undue stress that normally comes from adjusting to a new environment. Moreover, if the father is able to show that the child has grown up well despite the mother’s absence for so many years, then the court may consider that circumstance favorable to the father’s request to maintain child custody. But if the child is illegitimate, then even beyond 7 yrs of age, the mother still has sole parental authority.

  299. bianca

    Dear Atty., I would like to ask what are the possible cases shall i file for my suppose landlady?
    I made an advance payment for 3 months (1 mo adv. & 2 mos.dep) amounting to P36,000 last Nov. 12, she told me tha she will still give me time to prepare for the renovation of the commercial space that i will be renting. My business target date of opening is on Dec. 15 2011 and the former occupant of the space that i will be renting vacated only last Nov 25,2011. The landlady wanted me to issue 12 pdc for a 1 year contract and she wanted to make the first pdc dated on January 15,2011 on my first month and use my advance payment on the last month of rental. She told me that her lawyer created the contract stating her requirements to issue 12 PDC but i wonder why 12 months it should be 11 months since i made an advance payment already. When i made the payment she told me she will prepare the contract together with the receipt as soon as i arrive from an official business trip, she only gave me a note and signed by her stating that she received the money as payment for advance and deposit for the space rental.. When i got back i requested for the draft of the contract and receipt for the payment i made but she can’t give any. I decided to pull out because she was telling me so many things against me because of the receipt that im requesting. Only to find out the the commercial building with 10 commercial space for rental is not registered that’s why she can’t issue a receipt. I’ve been telling her to give back my money to avoid the hassles but until now she is not returning my money. I want to demand for the full amount because her business is illegal and yet we never enter to any contract and the business is not yet started. what can you say about this? thankyou.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Bianca: The absence of a written lease contract does not necessarily mean that there is no agreement to lease in the first place. The written note acknowledging the advance you paid is sufficient proof that there is an agreement to lease space from her. You can legally demand that she issue you a contract or return the amount you advanced. I suggest that you ask a lawyer to send a demand letter to the landlady either for the issuance of a proper lease contract or the return of the advanced amounts. If she refuses to return the amount you paid, your lawyer may also advise you to file a claim against her in the barangay court (if you are residents of the same municipality or city) and/or a claim at the small claims court. Be sure to have all copies of the note showing your payment, and maybe even photocopies of the checks you issued. I hope this helps.

  300. adrian

    Thank you Atty. for the explanations. Regarding the question for demotion, is it safe for a company to specify that in cases employee could not perform their duties and responsibilities in accordance with the company’s expectations they may or shall be subject to demotion?

    Follow up question for the number of days for an explanation letter, is it alright if we only ask them to explain within 48 hours?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Adrian: Yes, the employer may have a demotion policy clearly stating the circumstances that will lead to a demotion, PROVIDED, that the standards of performance or job expectations are made known BEFORE the employee starts working or at the onset of his employment. Demotion, even under this situation, still requires proper due process– meaning the first notice to explain, the administrative hearing and where appropriate, the final notice of demotion.

      I would not recommend shortening the period of providing the explanation letter to 48 hours. The shorter notice period may be viewed as a violation of due process. In one case, the Supreme Court viewed 5 days as sufficient time. Better be safe.

  301. Grecyryl ***********

    Hi Atty. This Grecyryl of Taguig. I just want to ask what other possible way I can have my “Fix” marriage voided other than filing an annulment which is costly and takes a lot of time before it can be finished. What happened is when I was 18 yrs old, I got pregnant and my mom asked my 4th cousin to do fix marriage since he is US citizen, my mom’s plan was to send me to USA and gave birth there. We got married but no replationships attached just pure Fixed marriage. But when I gave birth I decided not to continue with the papers for the petition. Now my 2nd son happened to used the surname of my 4th cousin since my mom was the one who filled up the birth certificate back in 2004. I never signed any paper for the petition because I didnt want to go then, I’m now with my son’s father living together for 8yrs now. But we cant process our wedding since I’m already married to my 4th cousin whose on the US. The marriage was done civil at Makati, dated August 14, 2003. Can you give me advise of what I can do about this? Thank you and more power!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Grecyryl: Unfortunately, even a fixed or arranged marriage that complies with all the requirements of a valid marriage, remains valid, and can only be dissolved or terminated by a court order dissolving or annulling it. I understand that it may be an expensive process but just look at it this way– it is a necessary expense in exchange for a new life. You may find a lawyer who is willing to take your case for a reasonable amount, just mention your budget or your source of income. Also, most legal fees are not payable at one time– they are usually staggered (meaning, paid in smaller amounts) over time, until the case is finished.

  302. rina

    what should i do if they still fire me after giving medical certificate stating that i can be cured within 6 months?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Rina: If you believe that you were illegally terminated then I suggest that you present your case to a lawyer who can handle your case before the labor arbiter (DOLE) and possibly file a complaint against your employer. In this case though, you have not yet been terminated and they are merely requiring you to show proof of your illness.

  303. adrian e

    Atty. thank you very much for your legal advices. Atty. when a company crafts its employees handbook, is it important and necessary to indicate the penalties for each violations such as the offenses and the equivalent penalties? or the company could just indicate a list of violations without any penalties. Thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Adrian E: It’s best to specify the range of penalties for each offense an occasion of offense– e.g. first offense, second offense, etc.

  304. adrian e*********

    Atty. I read the post about “When is legal to put an employee on floating status” a while ago and I became curious if the employee is a regular employee or not? and in case a regular employee will be put on a floating status, will they be paid or not during the duration of their floating period?

    It was stated there that the basis is article 286 of the Philippine Labor Code, do the company need to inform the proper authority the suspension of operations of business and the people to be assigned for floating status?

    Atty. I really appreciate asking questions from you. Once again thank you for your help in clearing my thoughts.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Adrian: “Floating” status of employment is allowed under certain situations and can apply to regular employees for as long as the company informs the DOLE of the suspension and the suspension does not exceed 6 months. Unfortunately, while on floating status, the employee may not be paid their usual salaries under the “No work, No pay” principle in labor law.

  305. Alena

    Good day🙂 May i ask po wth regards to the 13th month pay this December., As of now, I hve my sickleave from Dec4-15 supposedly.. I am a Flight Attendant from a certain airline in manila.. Will i still get my 13th month pay? kc po, half our our basic salary was given every 15th and 30th of the month.. Thankyou so much

    1. Atty. Post author

      Alena: Yes, for as long as you have worked for the same employer for at least a month, you are entitled to the 13th month pay and it must be paid not later than December 24. Your sick leave should not prevent you from receiving your 13th month pay on the 15th or any time before the 24th.

  306. Liza

    Dear Atty,

    I am a single mother. My daughter is 5 years old. When she was born I was currently living with her father. We were not married due to his pending annulment case. We are now separated. We separated rather abruptly and it was not amicably. I am not asking for any support from the father since he is not employed or no means. Can I stop him from any visitation rights? He seems to confuse my daughter more and make me out to be the bad person.

    My daughter and I will be leaving the country for vacation soon also. Can I take her out of the country for a short vacation?

    Thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Liza: If the father has acknowledged the child as his daughter in her birth certificate, he is entitled to reasonable visitation rights. This means, if you prevent him from seeing your child, he can go to court and file a petition to be granted visitation and the judge may compel you to negotiate a reasonable visitation schedule. You can enter into a visitation agreement out of court and impose certain limits on the things that he can do around your child, including the acts which you consider as “confusing” or tending to cause confusion on your child.

      Yes, you can travel abroad with your child, even without the father’s consent.

  307. adrian

    Atty. is abandonment of work and AWOL are similar in nature? if not what is the difference between the two?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Adrian: Abandonment and AWOL (absent without leave) are different. In abandonment, the employee does not have the intention to return to work while an employee who is AWOL has the intention to return to work but failed to follow internal rules on attendance and leave.

  308. cyndie

    Our management said that we can get our 13th month pay its because we dont have a profit…What is this mean.??..what are we going to do..?..Please help us.
    Thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Cyndie: The employer has the duty to pay the 13th month pay and may be exempted under certain circumstances only if it first obtains the exemption approval from the Dept. of Labor. I suggest that you ask your employer’s finance or accounting dept for proof of the DOLE exemption. Otherwise, you may refer your complaint to the DOLE hotline.

  309. Georvelyn

    Hi Atty,
    I just gave birth last Oct 21 2011. My boyfriend of 3 years which happens to be the father of my son promised that he will support the child. But no one came, not a single cent. He contacted me before my term and promised he will give us financial support. I just recently knew he was married as well. I don’t know what to do, I would like to file a complaint against him for the financial support that he promised. Will you please help me?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Georvelyn: I’ll send you a reply through your email within the day. Hang in there.

  310. jove922

    Hi Atty,
    How long does it takes for Mandaluyong court judge to release the annulment decision. My boyfriend filed an annulment and underwent several hearings for the past 3 years and last January 25, 2011, he received a court memo that his annulment petition is now for decision. How long are we going to wait for the decision? Can his lawyer ask the court for the estimated time when the decision can be given?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jove922: that seems to be a pretty long time for the case to remain pending “decision”. Are you sure that it is still pending? I suggest that you visit the clerk of court where the case is pending and ask for the latest status of the case to ensure that all the required documents have been filed for the court to make its decision. I hope this helps.

  311. Jeanice

    Hi atty. Good day! My concern is about my landlady who did not refund me my 3 months advance rental. She changed the rules of the condo after receiving my money. I was pregnant at that time. I didn’t live in her condo since it was still under construction then. This happened october 2010, i have not sent any demand letters yet though i have documents from barangay already dated march-april this year, can i still file a small claim?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jeanice: It is standard practice to send a demand letter for the collection of unpaid amounts before filing a claim in court. It’s not easy to say whether the barangay documents in your possession are sufficient for purposes of filing a small claim.

  312. Lea

    Hi Atty.

    I read in above post a question about demotion. Can employer reduce the monthly compensation pay of demoted employees? Or will that be tantamount to diminution of pay?

    Thanks!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Lea: One of the effects of a valid demotion is a reduction in salary, which is allowed only in certain conditions such as the observance of the proper procedures for demotion.

  313. cvalenzuela9

    Hi! I am a Filipino single mom of an adorable 2-y/o boy. I am planning to work in the US under a working visa and I was told that I could already bring my kid as long as I am ready and stable enough. I am just wondering if there will be problems in case that I would be bringing my kid. My boy uses my surname although his father has filled up and signed his birth certificate. His father and I are not in good terms, but in case it is need or it is more advantageous that my kid use the surname of his father most especially considering my plan of bringing him abroad, I will just find a way to talk to the father so that he would allow his surname be used by my kid. Thank you so much !

    1. Atty. Post author

      Cvalenzuela: The paternity acknowledgment appearing on the child’s birth certificate may actually add another requirement in your application for a resident visa for your child. This is because many immigration authorities require proof of the parent’s right of custody (usually a court order) when they see that the child’s father has acknowledged paternity. I suggest that you obtain a list of requirements from the immigration office, to see how any of them may impact your child’s application.

  314. Jane

    I had a child with a foreigner who was already married.I am unemployed. He has been supporting us financially. Now he wants to bring the child to his country and support our child and make him a citizen there. I am worried. Can he do it? If I don’t send my son to his country, I am afraid he will stop supporting us financially. He is still married to his wife. He wants me to move on in life, get married and have a complete family because I can’t have it with him. Can he do that? Thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jane: The child’s father will not be able to leave the country with the child if you don’t allow him to. If he stops sending child support, you can file a petition for support in court to compel him to do so. But of course, if he is no longer in the country, filing for support may become useless as the court’s process cannot reach him. You may just have to prepare for the time when he will not be sending support regularly– but that is a small problem compared to losing your child entirely. I hope this helps.

  315. Abdul

    Hi, i am pakistani, i m born and brought up in dubai, i met a filipina in dubai2008, she got pregnant. she went back to philippines. due to some family & business reasons i couldnt marry her, she knew about it. but i supported her financially & mentally..there was not a single day i dint contacted her for 2years.
    i visited her and my daughter sep 2010 to get marry, she even agreed, but when i came here she rejected, coz she has another relation. so i had to leave coz of short time visa. so when i came to dubai she left d house. And not supporting my daughter with watever i send her, she uses for herself, not even spending single penny on my daughter. so i came back to philippines in feb 2011. and i tried to compromise with her, but she never replied, never met me. and again i had to leave coz of short tym visa. and now i m back again on oct-22-2011, i extended my visa till 21st jan. i cant stay here for long, coz i hav business to be taken care of.

    anyhow my daughter is now 3years on xmas eve.
    its been more than 14months that she is not supporting my daughter, not even taking care of her, she visits my daughter once every month. she cannot support her with love, time & financially.

    my daughters family name is my name on her birth certificate.

    so i want to know, if i can take her to dubai or pakistan with d help of birth certificate for her better future? we r unmarried.
    Please give me d proper and detail answer. Thank You. and sorry for the long message.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Abdul: Your daughter is illegitimate even if she bears your surname. Under Philippine laws, an illegitimate child is under the sole parental authority of the mother. This means that you may not obtain travel papers and travel abroad with your child unless the mother provides her written consent and obtains the child passport herself. Your option is this situation is to warn her that if she is unable to show how she spends the child’s monthly support then you may be forced to stop sending her the funds in the meantime. In the meantime, you may want to consider letting the child live with her maternal grandparents who may be able to take better care of her or just send support in kind, not in cash. Example: instead of sending a regular monthly amount, let the mother provide you a list of the child’s usual expenses and buy the child’s needs or pay the school directly (if the child is attending pre school). I really hope this helps.

  316. Teresita P

    I got my Solo Parent Id this November. I have availed of 3 days and want to use the remaining 4 days to spend holidays with my kids at the end of December. My employer declined my request saying that it is

    1. Critical workdays/holiday on Dec 30
    2. Other Solo parents might avail of the leave at the same time

    I am working at a BPO company and since the solo parent leaves cannot be added on the next year I want to avail of the remaining 4 days.
    How can I avail of the remaining 4 days? Are they allowed to decline it?

    Thanks so much
    Terri

    1. Atty. Post author

      Teresita P: The solo parents leave may be used under certain conditions, primarily for the solo parent to attend to his/her parental obligations. You will still have to follow appropriate procedures in obtaining its approval and the employer is not obliged to approve every single application if it will negatively affect its business on the days applied for. Your solo parent ID is valid for one year from the date of its issuance. Technically, you can still avail of the remaining 4 days after 2011 since it will expire by November 2012. I hope this helps.

  317. diane dane r

    dear atty,

    thank you for having a kind heart to us answering legal queries like mine…its all about 13th month of the employees…company’s standing is shaky i mean financially no savings i mean the company is losing until it comes the time to release the 13th month of the employes…the mgt decided to deduct the employes cash advance(c.a.) because it blows up to more than 100thousand plus in overall total…so the system was like this we released the (1/2) half 13th month last nov 30th with c.a. deduction purposely to have a win win solution…i mean win win solution because the company was hard up financially, doing this will finally save us so we can operate continously then released the partial of the left one half (1/4) last dec 15 and on dec 23 we released the full(1/4)…how does it sounds? is it illegal or legal for us to all survive..pls advice.PTFTTS!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Diane Dane: The company should have applied for exemption at the DOLE citing its financial situation. I cannot recommend the deduction from the 13th month pay because the law generally does not allow any deductions from its computation. I understand that the company’s cash position may be alleviated by the collection of the employees’ cash advances. In order to avoid labor suit in the DOLE, I strongly suggest that the company write a letter citing its situation and proposal to the DOLE for its opinion and approval. I hope this helps.

  318. Sybil

    good day atty.

    Can u help me with my current situation with my ex-husband?

    Here’s my situation. We were separated for 7 years now. My ex-husband filed for divorce to the government of Utah to marry a Filipina and obtain citizenship.I have accepted this fix marriage for he reasoned out that he only wants the best for our family but after awhile the supposed to be fixed marriage turned into the real thing when I learned that he is having a relationship with his co-worker(this is another woman). In fairness to my ex-husband he still sends money to our son but as the years passed by he send lesser amount and ask a lot of questions about the expenses. I decided to go abroad last 2009 to help him raised our son even if we are separated.

    First, I want to know if I can still file for an annulment even if I am abroad and my ex-husband as well.

    Second, can I apply for the sole custody of my son.

    Thank you so much.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Sybil: You can have a lawyer file the appropriate petition in court but I’m afraid that you have to be in the Philippines while the case is ongoing to attend hearings and provide testimony in court. Depending on the ground that your lawyer will use for filing the nullity or annulment petition, you may also have to submit yourself to a psych exam to substantiate your case in court. In the same case for nullity or annulment, your lawyer may also include a prayer to obtain sole custody of your son. Generally, a child below 7 years of age is under the parental authority of the mother. I hope this helps.

  319. adrian e

    Atty. Merry X’mas to you. Legally who are the members of the “immediate Family”? tnx.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Adrian: “immediate family” generally refers to brothers, sisters, children, parents. But it depends on the legal provision invoked or the situation contemplated. You may want to elaborate on your query. Happy New Year!

  320. lech

    hi …
    i had big problem…. actually i already render my resignation and it will be effective this 31st of Dec. my 13th month was automatically deduct to my cash advances? is it possible ? is it against the law if the company will deduct my 13th month to my cash advance?

    1. Atty. Post author

      Lech: Actually, if you’re on your way out of the company, your final pay, which may include the computation of the 13th month pay, can be made to answer for pending liabilities to the company. If you have signed an authority to deduct your cash advance against your salary, then I see nothing wrong with the process. How else can the company collect what is due to them if it cannot deduct from your last pay? I hope this helps.

  321. mr bob

    i have an exfirlfriend who claims she is pregnant and i m the father…since im having doubts i told her i want a paternity test when the baby comes out.. at first she refused and was evasive..but finally she agreed but on 1 condition..if she finds out through the paternity test that im the father she will hide the baby and not communicate with me anymore, because she wants revenge for me not believing her that im the father! If im the biological father after the paternity test I would want visitational rights and want to pay child support also but she mentioned to me she doesnt care about child support since shes going to hide the baby and will take care of the baby herself.also she is threatening to file a case against me for child abandonment! how can this be possible the baby isnt even born yet and i told her if its mine after the paternity test ill take full responsibility +child support please give me some advice, these are my questions:

    what are my legal options here?

    can she deprive me of visitational rights even if she finds out im the biological father?

    how can i file for visitational rights when she will hide the baby and cutoff all communications?

    assuming the baby is mine, if she puts the babys name under her last name and does not acknowledge me as the father can she still demand child support?

    1. :Atty. Post author

      Mr. Bob: Your rights will depend on whether you can prove paternity or acknowledge the child as your own. If you acknowledge the child then you may be entitled to reasonable visitation which you may have to enforce through the appropriate case in court, assuming that the mother denies you such right. If she does not state the child’s father’s name on the birth certificate, she may claim child support but first prove paternity. When she does that, it may well be your chance to ask for reasonable visitation as well. I hope this helps.

  322. yay

    Dear Atty,

    I stumble upon your site while I’m googling up about my situation. Glad to see such a website.

    It has been more than a year since I am not with my ex-girlfriend which I had a baby with. Considering the fact that we are not married due to the reason that I supported her in terms of the U.S petition that her parents will soon be filing for her and our baby (her parents left sept 2010).

    So in short, in our pamamahinhikan even if I offered mariage, my gf and I met halfway of not getting married. Her parents back then just received their petition grant so they asked if we could stay in their house, which I agreed into even if I have a rent-to-own house for us.

    After which my gf and I planned a to have a baby, and we were blessed with a baby girl. Everything was fine during the pregnancy period until the delivery date.

    Her 3 aunts(both were all old maids) were with her in the hospital and I came there with my parents. There has been some tension between me and her aunts in the hospital since they wont let me do a thing like sign the medication approvals for the baby etc.

    I agree though that the surname of the kid will be my gf’s again because of the petition thing (even if i am aware of the new law on illegitimate children).

    After that the tension grew since her aunts were literally by-passing us in the hospital. With that tension growing, I decided to leave the hospital even before I can commit something that I would regret.

    After a few days, I’ve learned that the baby had a congenital decease wherein she needs to be rushed in an hospital in manila (from pampanga). She needs a surgery due to hiersprung’s disease. I was with her in the hospital with my father and soon to arrive was my gf where we stayed for more than 2 weeks.

    After going out from the hospital, I asked my gf to come with me and stay at our own house rather than stay in their old house with her brothers because of the tension. She didn’t agree to and I was devastated. With all the disappointments and anger, I decided to leave their house.

    I tried to send financial support but she refused and returned them to me. I tried multiple attempts but still to no avail.

    I went to singapore and luckily landed a job, tried to send them money but she refused again, had multiple attempts to no avail.

    After 6 months of staying there, I went back here in the Philippines. That is due to the fact that I was not really happy and I don’t feel the fulfillment of working overseas and our child is not the one being compensated with it.

    As I am here now, I am trying to fix my relationship with my gf trying to reconcile with her, I really miss her and my daughter. She insisted that we shouold wait for the time that her relatives are okay with it before we can all be together as a family.

    As much as possible I don’t want to go legal and would like to fix it, however, I am really feeling bad about what happened, I know I got my shortcomings with regard to being patient and understanding but I can’t take it any longer.

    My parents and my relatives as well are not really happy about the situation, We are all hoping if at least I could have some time with the baby. She is 1 year and 2 months now, and all I wanted is to feel her again in my arms and somehow feel how is it. It breaks my heart when my financial support is being rejected and I am really really devastated.

    Atty, all I wanted is to have them back both my kid and my gf(wifey). If in case my wifey don’t want us to be together, then at least I would like to have some time with our baby.

    I would like to know what are my chances regarding this matter. We are not married, the child is illegitimate and my name was not even written in the birth certificate.

    I really love and miss them both.

    Thanks for the support, may God bless you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Yay: I sent a reply to the same query on my website: christineflorido.com. Please view it there.

  323. alyanna d

    Hi atty.. gusto ko pa sana mabigyang linaw ang mga bagay ng gumugulo sa akin isipan. Atty possible po ba ako humingi ng financial support sa aking asawang walang trabaho? Kasal po kami. Gusto ko po sana na maobliga sya sa pagbigay ng suporta sa aming magina, sapagkat di po sapat ang aking kinikita. Ako ay hirap na hirap sa kakaisip kung pano at saan mangungutang para lang matutustusan ng tama ang aming pangangailangan, samantalang siya nagpapakasarap sa kaiinom, kababarkada at kasusugal.. Nagagawa niya pong maghulog ng bayad para sa motor niya, pero sa tuwing aking hihingin ng sustento lagi sinasabi wala daw siyang pera.. May panginom at pangsugal rin. Napadalhan na po siya ng demand letter at nagkabaranggayan na rin. Sumugod sa amin ang nanay at mga kapatid niya. Tinatakot kami na paalisin kami don (dahil sa stepdad nya po ang bahay), pero kami po ang gumastos sa pagpapaayos nito. Ako po ay dati OFW na di na po nakabalik due to medical reasons. Ang naipon ko po ay ipinapagawa nung bahay at ipinapadala ko sa asawa ko nung panahong iyon dahil nasa kanya ang bata, na ngayon ay sinasabi niyang napakaliit lang daw ng pinapadala ko, na hindi po totoo at halos ako po ang lahat gumagastos pati pagbili ng mga gamit sa bahay, na kung tutuusin siya po dapat ang bumubuhay sa amin.

    Ngayon po atty, nais ko po sana ituloy na ang case, kaso ako po ay nag-aalinlangan, dahil baka kami paalisin sa aming tinutuluyan, ginastusan ko po ang pagpapaayos nito at iniisip ko rin po na kung kami ay mapapaalis, madadagdagan po ang gastusin ko dahil kailangan naming umupa, na siya ko pong problema sa ngayon. Maituturing po ba na support niya yun sa amin, since don kami nakatira at di nagbabayad ng upa at siya po ay walang trabaho? Maari po ba kami mapaalis don sa sandaling isampa ko ang kaso? May habol po ba ako dahil ang lagi niyang katwiran ano raw po ang ibibigay niya e wala naman daw siya trabaho? Siya po ay may pending application as seaman at may nabalitaan ako na di raw ipaalam sa akin once na makaalis siya… Wala po kami direct communication at di man lang po nag-attempt na kamustahin o dalawin ang kanyang anak.

    Atty. sana po mabigyan niyo po ng linaw ang naguguluhan kong isipan.. Marami pong salamat. More Power!!!

    Alyanna

    Alyanna

    1. Atty. Post author

      Dear Alyanna: What are you waiting for? It’s time to teach your husband a lesson in financial responsibility and to provide for you and your child’s needs. You may file a petition for support and include all the amounts you and your child may need for your daily needs– include possible rent so that you no longer have to live in his stepfather’s home. In the meantime,
      if his family drives you away from the home where you stay, then you can legally insist on not moving out and ask the barangay court to intervene in your case. If you qualify for free legal assistance, then I suggest that you approach the PAO or public attorney’s office for help in filing your case. I hope this helps!

  324. Derick

    Hi Atty.

    My friend is working in the Barangay. Now, the Brgy. Capt. made an announcement in a meeting with the Brgy. employees that he will terminate some of the Brgy. employee. Due to budget cut next year. The problem is that he made an announcement about the termination of some employee but he never give any written notice to those Brgy. employees he plans to terminate. Today, my friend was called by the Brgy. Secretary and told him that he is terminated. Without any notice given to him. Is that legal?

    Derick

    1. Atty. Post author

      Derick: He should still be entitled to 30-day notice and the employer should be able to show proof that he has notified the Dept. of Labor about the retrenchment. I hope this helps.

  325. Jeorge

    dear atty,
    may problema po kasi ako s surname ng baby ko. ipinanganak po ito last october 21, 2011. hindi po kasi nasunod s apelyido ko yun baby namin. kasal po kami last march 18, 2011. bago sya umuwi last april ay nagpakasal muna kami ng hindi alam ng mama nya. nasa legal age n kmi nung ginawa namin un i’m 28 at un wife ko ay 26 na. sa cagdianao, surigao, del norte pinanganak yun baby namin. un tita nya ang nagparehistro ng birth certificate ng bata dahil un ang utos ng mama nya at dahil takot din yun misis ko s mama nya kaya sinunod nya ito n masunod s apelyido ng misis ko. nung makuha n ng misis ko un birth certificate ng bata pangalan ng wife ko at yun baby namin ang nakasulat dun at blanko n daw un iba.
    ano po ba gagawin ko para malipat s apelyido ko un surname ng baby ko. malaking pera po ba magagastos ko para s pagpapabago ng surname ng baby ko? minimun lang naman po kasi sinasahod ko at baka hindi ko makayanan yun gastos.
    sana po matulungan nyo po ako s problema ko at hihintayin ko po un response nyo.
    maraming salamat po!

    1. Atty. Post author

      Jeorge: You and your wife created a difficult situation by not telling the truth about your marriage. Ordinarily, a child born of married parents is legitimate and will automatically bear the father’s surname ONLY IF THE MOTHER declared that the child’s parents were married at the time. Otherwise, to change the information from “not married” to “married” and from the mother’s surname to your surname, may have to go through a court case/hearings. If a child is born of unmarried parents, the child may still bear the father’s surname by simply executing an Affidavit allowing the child to use the father’s surname and submitting it along with other requirements at the Civil Registry where the child’s birth certificate is recorded. The filing fee is not much– about Php1,000, maybe more or less. I hope this helps.

  326. mjaparis

    Good day Atty Florido,

    I wonder if you got my first post. I posted it yesterday. I am following your blog now so i can get more legal advice with regards to illegitimate children’s right.

    I was really hoping you could help me with my current situation right now.

    I am a single mom. I have a daughter which her father did not give any financial support from the hospital when i gave birth until now that she’s 1.
    I don’t have any form of proof of paternity because he did not sign the birth certificate. He did not even bother to visit the baby and shows no interest at all. My daughter is using my surname in her birth certificate.
    Now i want her to use his fathers surname and I want a financial support from him.

    Atty. I want to know my daughter’s right as an illegitimate child.Also I just found out that there are other 2 women that he got pregnant with the same exact situation as I do. He did not support any of the children.

    What case can I file against him? He has all the ability to support his children if he wants to because he is well off. Money matter he can afford. This is also the reason why I was afraid of taking legal action against him because he got money and i know he can get a good lawyer to defend him.
    Please tell me what to do and what step should I take to make this happen.

    Right now I am doing my best to support my child the best as I can.

    I hope you can help me with this Atty Florido.

    God Bless & More Power

    ~MJ~

  327. Connie

    Dear Atty,
    I had been looking all over for a debt counseling firm in the Phils. but unfortunately I haven’t been able to find one. I have been having debt problems and now that my income has changed severely from enough to less, and I have been having a very difficult time managing my debts from credit card companies to lending companies. I was wondering if there is a way I can have all of my debts put into one pot with a debt counselor helping me pay them in as much as i can from whatever income I get. Can you help me look for solutions? thank you.

    1. Atty. Post author

      Hi, Connie. Debt consolidation does not seem popular in the Philippines although some credit card companies offer credit card debt consolidation in a system known as balance transfer. Be sure to read the fine print every time you enter into agreements so that you are aware of the financial and legal consequences when you default.

      1. Know your financial position. What I can suggest that you do is determine your current cash position and know your monthly budget. Compute how much you earn monthly and how much your living expenses are.

      2. Eliminate one debt at a time. Then pay off the balance with the highest interest rate if you can do so with your free cash right now. Paying off one creditor will relieve you of some debt pressure and free up future cash which you can use to settle other debts.

      3. Negotiate with creditors to restructure your debt. This means submitting a proposal showing how you intend to pay off your loan to each company, using regular monthly amounts. If you are able to pay off any company in cash– ask for a discount, say that you have X amount to spare (quote an amount below your current free cash) and offer to use it to settle your account IN FULL. If they agree to discount your loan in exchange for payment in cash, be sure to obtain a written confirmation and receipt showing full payment.

      4. Do step no. 3 for the rest of your debts.

      All is not lost. Ending credit card debt involves discipline in following your monthly expense budget, cutting down expenses when possible, saving extra amounts that come your way, and paying off your debt religiously. If you can take on extra jobs to make additional amounts, that would be perfect. Try Elance if you want to earn from home.

      I hope this helps.

  328. Camille

    Hi Atty this is Malena i really need your advice hope you will have the time to assess my situation.I worked in a bpo for 5 months and had plans of resigning prior to submitting my resignation letter i called our HR dept and inquired if i were to submit my resignation letter which will be on 12/23/2011 and the effective date will be 1/2/2012 will i still be entitled to receive my salary for 12/30/2011 the HR representative clearly stated that i will still receive my salary for 12/30/2011 since final pay will be based on the effective date of resignation. So i made my resignation 12/22/2011 submitted it 12/23/2011 11:45pm to my TL , upon submission my TL asked me why is it on the 2nd why not immediate? i said that i am looking forward to get my salary for 12/30/2011, my TL said that i will not receive it since it will be immediately on hold after submitting the letter she will send an email to the HR dept about my resignation notice and that salary hold is based upon submission of resignation letter, i said that i verified with HR before i’ve decided to pen down my resignation that the info that i was provided is different from what she is telling me, she then called HR and spoke with the person who informed me to verify the info i was provided after my TL hung up she said that i was misinformed, still i stood firm of what i know since i did some clarification by sighting scenarios to confirm that the HR personnel and I were both on the same page. My TL knew that i wasn’t convinced of the info that she is providing me so she asked me to go down to HR dept and verified face to face from the HR personnel i spoke with, This HR personnel stated that im sorry for misinforming you,your salary will be on hold as soon as we receive your letter, hold is real time, I said im so confused, i clarified again and said that salary hold is not based on the effective date of resignation? meaning if an employee will render 30 day notice she wont get paid for 1 month that’s 1 until the 30 th? and the HR personnel replied yes since hold is real time sorry again for misinforming. My TL said it doesn’t make any difference i still wont get my salary for the 12/30/2011 I felt pressured and that i was in a situation with no option at all but to render immediate resignation so i said that ill just do immediate resignation so the OM noted my resignation letter but the OM adviced my TL that i need to submit a new one since it is not for immediate resignation, my supervisor asked me when can i submit my immediate resignation letter i told her on monday the 26th of dec. since there is no open internet shop near our office, she asked me to make my immediate resignation letter using her computer so i made one stating that i will be changing my resignation to immediate due to wrong info was provided by HR for payout for 12/30/2011 and thus prolonging my stay will be useless since no salary will be received for 12/30/2011 and still due to family matters, My TL signed my second notice and made me sign an acceptance letter for immediate resignation for 12/24/2011 which i signed but still incomplete since the senior om is not available to sign, TL asked if i wanted to leave my copies so the senior om can sign it i said i will just take my copies with me and comeback on monday 12/26/2011.I felt that they are deceiving me and fooling me so i can render my resignation immediately, one thing was clear though that i cannot trust our HR dept.On 12/24/2011 i sent a message to our HR through our company’s electronic system expressing my disappointment, i got a reply and said that i should contact our HR dept.
    12/26/2011 I called HR and spoke with a different HR rep, I questioned her how did this happen? why was i provided wrong info and that i need clarification, she said that it was already explained to me when i verified with my TL, but i keep on insisting its unacceptable for HR to provide wrong sensitive info since my action plan was based from the info that was provided, I asked her what is their policy for holding the salary of a resigning employee? is my salary on hold now? she said yes it is on hold, i said that is not right, she said since i submitted my resignation letter its now on hold, i replied i understand because of my immediate resignation, but still my question is if my first notice will be followed which the effective date is 1/2/2012 will it be on hold? she stated no it wont be on hold for 12/30/2011 but for 1/15/2012, i clearly understand that and that was also the first info that was provided before the first HR personnel spoke with my TL I asked who is in the best position to help me ? i was adv that HR manager is on leave and will be back 2012,i was asked to call the next day since she will inform HR Payroll officer of my concern. I immediately went to nlrc to file a complaint for constructive dismissal since nobody from the company is capable to assist me. 12/27/2011 I called HR Payroll officer and said that she spoke with my TL and my TL did that due to my absences, i said that is why im resigning ive been suffering from abnormal uterine bleeding i dont want my teams stats to suffer, i want my salary to be released for decembers last pay out, HR Payroll officer said that she will call to lift the hold of my salary and was adv to process my clearance immediately. 12/29/2011 i received my salary but still didn’t process my clearance and will still go and fight for my case.

    I have a couple of clarifications atty,

    1. do you think i have a strong case what i have is my 1st resignation letter that was noted by OM, 2nd resignation letter for immediate resignation received by TL, acceptance letter but still not signed by Senior OM,screen shot of message sent through our company’s e- system.

    2.The person who assisted me in nlrc didn’t mark SIL, Attorney’s fees for cause of action, can i include that in my position paper?

    3.I was asked what i want to achieve in filing a case? monetary damages? how much? based on my situation atty can you give me an idea on how much what is due for me?

    4. do you have any suggestions on how to make my case stronger?

    5.most of my absences are certified except for one. i never received a disciplinary form from my TL

    i hope you can enlighten me to make the right decisions.

    Have a Wonderful and prosperous new year!🙂

    1. Webmaster Post author

      Camille: reply sent via email. Please check.

  329. Clint

    Good day Attorney C.,

    I am a father of a 2-yr old kid born in Belgium. He’s currently in Belgium together with his mother and she’s a Filipina. We are not married and my son’s last name was under hers. When they were here in the Philippines we lived together and every December they will just go back to Belgium and renew their residence ID and come back again here in the PI. But recently, my son’s mother and I had a conflict of interest and decided to separate ways. My ex never gave me the chance to talk to my kid even using any online communication was not allowed. I have proofs; picture and videos and even testimonials of people around us that I am a good father and a good provider and I can even say that my son was a Papa’s boy. Her mother is unemployed and I am employed; regular worker and earning a stable salary. How can I claim for my son’s custody? Is it possible, if yes what are the action should I do? Enlighten me.
    Thanks

    1. Atty. Post author

      Clint: Under Philippine law, your son is illegitimate and ordinarily under the sole parental authority of his mother. If you have acknowledged your son by signing the back portion of his birth certificate, then you may be entitled to reasonable visitation and may be obliged to provide regular financial support to the child. Claiming custody through court action may be difficult given the law on the matter but you may enter into a visitation agreement with his mother following the same holiday schedule you previously observed. I know that communication may be strained right now between you and the child’s