Form of Contracts

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Consensual by default – As a general rule, contracts are consensual.[1] Hence, they are generally perfected by mere consent.[2] Once perfected, contracts become obligatory regardless of whatever form they may have been entered into, so long as all the essential requisites for their validity are present.[3]

Formal contracts – The condition requiring that a contract be in some form to be valid and enforceable is absolute and indispensable: (f) if there is a law requiring such, or (b) if a contract is only allowed to be proved in a certain way.[4] Otherwise, a party cannot exercise his rights arising from the contract which does not comply with such a condition.[5]

Same; When in public instrument – These contracts are required to appear in a public instrument:[6]

  • Acts and contracts which have for their object the creation, transmission, modification, or extinguishment of real rights over immovable property; sales of real property or of an interest therein governed by the Statute of Frauds;
  • The cession, repudiation, or renunciation of hereditary rights or of those of the conjugal partnership of gains;
  • The power to administer property, or any other power which has for its object an act appearing or which should appear in a public document, or should prejudice a third person; and
  • The cession of actions or rights proceeding from an act appearing in a public document.

Same; When in private writing – A contract where the amount involve exceeds five hundred pesos is required to be in writing, even if it be in a private one.[7]

Same; Right to specific performance – A contracting party may require the other to observe or comply with the form required by law after the perfection of the contract.[8] The said right may be exercised simultaneously with an action arising out of or in connection with the contract.[9]


[1] Ibid.

[2] CIVIL CODE. Article 1315.

[3] Ibid. Article 1356.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] CIVIL CODE. Paragraph 1, Article 1358.

[7] Ibid. Paragraph 2, Article 1358.

[8] Ibid. Article 1357.

[9] Ibid.

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