The Family Code of the Philippines
Title IX Parental Authority
Title X Emancipation and Age of Majority
Article 209. Pursuant to the natural right and duty of parents over the person and property of their unemancipated children, parental authority and responsibility shall include the caring for and rearing them for civic consciousness and efficiency and the development of their moral, mental and physical character and well-being.
Article 210. Parental authority and responsibility may not be renounced or transferred except in the cases authorized by law.
Article 211. The father and the mother shall jointly exercise parental authority over the persons of their common children. In case of disagreement, the father’s decision shall prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary.
Children shall always observe respect and reverence towards their parents and are obliged to obey them as long as the children are under parental authority.
Article 212. In case of absence or death of either parent, the parent present shall continue exercising parental authority. The remarriage of the surviving parent shall not affect the parental authority over the children, unless the court appoints another person to be the guardian of the person or property of the children.
Article 213. In case of separation of the parents, parental authority shall be exercised by the parent designated by the Court. The Court shall take into account all relevant considerations, especially the choice of the child over seven years of age, unless the parent chosen is unfit.
Article 214. In case of death, absence or unsuitability of the parents, substitute parental authority shall be exercised by the surviving grandparent.
In case several survive, the one designated by the court, taking into account the same consideration mentioned in the preceding article, shall exercise the authority.
Article 215. No descendant shall be compelled, in a criminal case, to testify against his parents and grandparents, except when such testimony is indispensable in a crime against the descendant or by one parent against the other.
SUBSTITUTE AND SPECIAL PARENTAL AUTHORITY
Article 216. In default of parents or a judicially appointed guardian, the following person shall exercise substitute parental authority over the child in the order indicated:
(1) The surviving grandparent, as provided in Article 214;
(2) The oldest brother or sister, over twenty-one years of age, unless unfit or disqualified; and
(3) The child’s actual custodian, over twenty-one years of age, unless unfit or disqualified.
Whenever the appointment or a judicial guardian over the property of the child becomes necessary, the same order of preference shall be observed.
Article 217. In case of foundlings, abandoned neglected or abused children and other children similarly situated, parental authority shall be entrusted in summary judicial proceedings to heads of children’s homes, orphanages and similar institutions duly accredited by the proper government agency.
Article 218. The school, its administrators and teachers, or the individual, entity or institution engaged in child care shall have special parental authority and responsibility over the minor child while under their supervision, instruction or custody.
Authority and responsibility shall apply to all authorized activities whether inside or outside the premises of the school, entity or institution.
Article 129. Those given the authority and responsibility under the preceding Article shall be principally and solidarily liable for damages caused by the acts or omissions of the unemancipated minor.
The parents, judicial guardians or the persons exercising substitute parental authority over said minor shall be subsidiarily liable.
The respective liabilities of those referred to in the preceding paragraph shall not apply if it is proved that they exercised the proper diligence required under the particular circumstances.
All other cases not covered by this and the preceding articles shall be governed by the provisions of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts.
EFFECT OF PARENTAL AUTHORITY UPON THE PERSONS OF THE CHILDREN
Article 220. The parents and those exercising parental authority shall have with the respect to their unemancipated children on wards the following rights and duties:
(1) To keep them in their company, to support, educate and instruct them by right precept and good example, and to provide for their upbringing in keeping with their means;
(2) To give them love and affection, advice and counsel, companionship and understanding;
(3) To provide them with moral and spiritual guidance, inculcate in them honesty, integrity, self-discipline, self-reliance, industry and thrift, stimulate their interest in civic affairs, and inspire in them compliance with the duties of citizenship;
(4) To furnish them with good and wholesome educational materials, supervise their activities, recreation and association with others, protect them from bad company, and prevent them from acquiring habits detrimental to their health, studies and morals;
(5) To represent them in all matters affecting their interests;
(6) To demand from them respect and obedience;
(7) To impose discipline on them as may be required under the circumstances; and (8) To perform such other duties as are imposed by law upon parents and guardians.
Article 221. Parents and other persons exercising parental authority shall be civilly liable for the injuries and damages caused by the acts or omissions of their unemancipated children living in their company and under their parental authority subject to the appropriate defenses provided by law.
Article 222. The courts may appoint a guardian of the child’s property or a guardian ad litem when the best interests of the child so requires.
Article 223. The parents or, in their absence or incapacity, the individual, entity or institution exercising parental authority, may petition the proper court of the place where the child resides, for an order providing for disciplinary measures over the child.
The child shall be entitled to the assistance of counsel, either of his choice or appointed by the court, and a summary hearing shall be conducted wherein the petitioner and the child shall be heard.
However, if in the same proceeding the court finds the petitioner at fault, irrespective of the merits of the petition, or when the circumstances so warrant, the court may also order the deprivation or suspension of parental authority or adopt such other measures as it may deem just and proper.
Article 224. The measures referred to in the preceding article may include the commitment of the child for not more than thirty days in entities or institutions engaged in child care or in children’s homes duly accredited by the proper government agency.
The parent exercising parental authority shall not interfere with the care of the child whenever committed but shall provide for his support.
Upon proper petition or at its own instance, the court may terminate the commitment of the child whenever just and proper.
EFFECT OF PARENTAL AUTHORITY UPON THE PROPERTY OF THE CHILDREN
Article 225. The father and the mother shall jointly exercise legal guardianship over the property of the unemancipated common child without the necessity of a court appointment.
In case of disagreement, the father’s decision shall prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary.
Where the market value of the property or the annual income of the child exceeds P50,000, the parent concerned shall be required to furnish a bond in such amount as the court may determine, but not less than ten per centum (10%) of the value of the property or annual income, to guarantee the performance of the obligations prescribed for general guardians.
A verified petition for approval of the bond shall be filed in the proper court of the place where the child resides, or, if the child resides in a foreign country, in the proper court of the place where the property or any part thereof is situated.
The petition shall be docketed as a summary special proceeding in which all incidents and issues regarding the performance of the obligations referred to in the second paragraph of this Article shall be heard and resolved.
The ordinary rules on guardianship shall be merely suppletory except when the child is under substitute parental authority, or the guardian is a stranger, or a parent has remarried, in which case the ordinary rules on guardianship shall apply.
Article 226. The property of the unemancipated child earned or acquired with his work or industry or by onerous or gratuitous title shall belong to the child in ownership and shall be
devoted exclusively to the latter’s support and education, unless the title or transfer provides otherwise.
The right of the parents over the fruits and income of the child’s property shall be limited primarily to the child’s support and secondarily to the collective daily needs of the family.
Article 227. If the parents entrust the management or administration of any of their properties to an unemancipated child, the net proceeds of such property shall belong to the owner.
The child shall be given a reasonable monthly allowance in an amount not less than that which the owner would have paid if the administrator were a stranger, unless the owner, grants the entire proceeds to the child.
In any case, the proceeds thus give in whole or in part shall not be charged to the child’s legitime.
SUSPENSION OR TERMINATION OF PARENTAL AUTHORITY
Article 228. Parental authority terminates permanently: (1) Upon the death of the parents;
(2) Upon the death of the child; or
(3) Upon emancipation of the child.
Article 229. Unless subsequently revived by a final judgment, parental authority also terminates: (1) Upon adoption of the child;
(2) Upon appointment of a general guardian;
(3) Upon judicial declaration of abandonment of the child in a case filed for the purpose;
(4) Upon final judgment of a competent court divesting the party concerned of parental authority; or
(5) Upon judicial declaration of absence or incapacity of the person exercising parental authority.
Article 230. Parental authority is suspended upon conviction of the parent or the person exercising the same of a crime which carries with it the penalty of civil interdiction.
The authority is automatically reinstated upon service of the penalty or upon pardon or amnesty of the offender.
Article 231. The court in an action filed for the purpose in a related case may also suspend parental authority if the parent or the person exercising the same:
(1) Treats the child with excessive harshness or cruelty;
(2) Gives the child corrupting orders, counsel or example;
(3) Compels the child to beg; or
(4) Subjects the child or allows him to be subjected to acts of lasciviousness.
The grounds enumerated above are deemed to include cases which have resulted from culpable negligence of the parent or the person exercising parental authority.
If the degree of seriousness so warrants, or the welfare of the child so demands, the court shall deprive the guilty party of parental authority or adopt such other measures as may be proper under the circumstances.
The suspension or deprivation may be revoked and the parental authority revived in a case filed for the purpose or in the same proceeding if the court finds that the cause therefore has ceased and will not be repeated.
Article 232. If the person exercising parental authority has subjected the child or allowed him to be subjected to sexual abuse, such person shall be permanently deprived by the court of such authority.
Article 233. The person exercising substitute parental authority shall have the same authority over the person of the child as the parents.
In no case shall the school administrator, teacher of individual engaged in child care exercising special parental authority inflict corporal punishment upon the child.
EMANCIPATION AND AGE OF MAJORITY
Article 234. Emancipation takes place by the attainment of majority. Unless otherwise provided, majority commences at the age of twenty-one years.
Emancipation also takes place:
(1) By the marriage of the minor; or
(2) By the recording in the Civil Register of an agreement in a public instrument executed by the parent exercising parental authority and the minor at least eighteen years of age. Such emancipation shall be irrevocable.
Article 235. The provisions governing emancipation by recorded agreement shall also apply to an orphan minor and the person exercising parental authority but the agreement must be approved by the court before it is recorded.
Article 236. Emancipation for any cause shall terminate parental authority over the person and property of the child who shall then be qualified and responsible for all acts of civil life.
Article 237. The annulment or declaration of nullity of the marriage of a minor or of the recorded agreement mentioned in the foregoing.
Articles 234 and 235 shall revive the parental authority over the minor but shall not affect acts and transactions that took place prior to the recording of the final judgment in the Civil Register.