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SOURCES OF OBLIGATION By Ramil F. De Jesus INTRODUCTION Obligation is a juridical necessity to give, to do or not to do (Art. 1156, New Civil Code).

It is a juridical necessity because it obliges someone to comply with the obligation otherwise the other party may seek recourse to the courts in order to enforce such obligation. In some cases, the obligor( the one who is obliged) may also be made liable for damages for the injury sustained for the delayed compliance or non-compliance. The obligor is bound or must comply with the obligation otherwise his failure will be dealt with sanctions from the court. It is the juridical tie that binds or connects the parties to the obligation.

An obligor may be compelled to fulfill the obligation because of the juridical or legal tie or otherwise known as sources of obligation. The binding force in an obligation can be determined knowing the source of the obligation.


The paper aims to provide an overview of the sources of obligations and to cite relevant examples and cases regarding the subject.


Obligations arise from: law; contracts; quasi-contracts; acts or omissions punished by law; and quasi-delicts. (Art. 1157, New Civil Code).

Legal obligations are those imposed by law. The New Civil Code provides:

Obligations derived from law are not presumed. Only those expressly determined in this Code or in special laws are demandable, and shall be regulated by the precepts of the law which establishes them; and as to what has not been foreseen, by the provision of this Book.

Thus, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the termination of an employee due to serious financial problem of the company and redundancy and states that:

We believe that redundancy, for purposes of our Labor Code, exists where the services of an employee are in excess of what is reasonably demanded by the actual requirements of the enterprise. Succinctly put, a position is redundant where it is superfluous, and superfluity of a position or positions may be the outcome of a number of factors, such as overhiring of workers, decreased volume of business, or dropping of a particular product line or service activity previously manufactured or undertaken by the enterprise. The employer has no legal obligation to keep in its payroll more employees than are necessarily for the operation of its business. ( Wiltshire File Co. v. NLRC, G. R. No. 82249)