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THE NOTARIAL LAW

(Title IV, Chapter 11, Revised Administrative Code)


Preliminary Article
SECTION 231. Title of chapter. —This chapter shall be known as the Notarial Law.
ARTICLE I
Appointment and Qualifications of Notaries Public
SECTION 232. Appointment of notaries public. — Judges of Court of First
Instance in the respective provinces may appoint as many notaries public as the public
good requires and there shall be at least one for every municipality in each province.
Notaries public in the City of Manila shall be appointed by one of the judges of the
Court of First Instance of Manila to be chosen by the judges of the branches of the said
court. (As amended by Executive Order No. 41, dated May 11, 1945.)
SECTION 233. Quali cations for appointment . — To be eligible for appointment
as notary public, a person must be a citizen of the Philippines (or of the United States)
and over twenty one years of age. He must, therefore, be a person who has been
admitted to the practice of law or who has completed and passed in the studies of law
in a reputable university or school of law, or has passed the examination for the o ce
of justice of the peace or clerk or deputy clerk of court, or be a person who has at
sometime held the o ce of clerk or deputy clerk of court for a period of not less than
two years, or a person who had quali ed for the o ce of notary public under the
Spanish sovereignty.
In the chartered cities and in the capitals of the provinces, where there are two or
more lawyers appointed as notaries public, no person other than a lawyer or a person
who had quali ed to hold the o ce of notary public under Spanish sovereignty shall
hold said office.
In municipalities or municipal districts where no person resides having the
quali cations herein before speci ed or having them, refuse to hold such o ce, judges
of rst instance may appoint other persons temporarily to exercise the o ce of the
notary public who have the requisite qualifications of fitness and morality. (As amended
by C.A. 514, Sec. 1.)
SECTION 234. Disquali cation incident to conviction of crime . — No person shall
be appointed notary public who has been convicted of any crime implying moral
turpitude.
SECTION 235. Restriction on right of certain o cials to act as notaries public . —
Justices of the peace and clerks of court shall not act as notaries public, except on the
character of notaries public ex officio.
SECTION 236. Where oath of the o ce to be preserved . — The oath of o ce of
notary public in a province shall be led and preserved, together with the commission,
in the o ce of the clerk of the Court of First Instance of the province. The oath of o ce
of a notary public in the City of Manila shall be led and preserved, with the
commission, in the o ce of the clerk of the (Supreme Court) Court of First Instance
thereof. (As amended by Executive Order No. 41, dated May 11, 1945.) HEcaIC

SECTION 237. Form of commission for notary public. — The appointment of a


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notary public shall be in writing, signed by the judge, and substantially in the following
form:
GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC
OF THE PHILIPPINES

PROVINCE OF __________________
This is to certify that ____________________, of the municipality of ____________________ in
said province, was on the ______ day of ______, anno Domini nineteen hundred and _____,
appointed by me a notary public, within and for the said province, for the term ending on the
first day of January, anno Domini nineteen hundred and ______.

___________________

Judge of the Court of


First Instance of said
Province

SECTION 238. Certi cate of appointment to be forwarded to Solicitor-General . —


Clerks of Court of First Instance shall make and forward to the Solicitor-General
immediately after the commission and oath of o ce of any notary public are recorded
in said clerk's o ce a certi cate of such appointment and the term of o ce of the
appointee. A record shall be kept of all such certi cates in the O ce of the Solicitor-
General.
SECTION 239. Term of office. — The term of o ce of a notary public shall end at
the expiration of the two-year period beginning upon the rst day of January of the year
in which the appointment is made.
ARTICLE II
Jurisdiction and Powers
SECTION 240. Territorial jurisdiction . — The jurisdiction of a notary public in a
province shall be co-extensive with the province. The jurisdiction of a notary public in a
City of Manila shall be co-extensive with said city. No notary shall possess authority to
do any notarial act beyond the limits of his jurisdiction.
SECTION 241. Powers of notary public. — Every notary public shall have power to
administer all oaths and a rmations provided for by law, in all matters incident to his
notarial o ce, and in the execution of a davits, depositions, and other documents
requiring an oath, and to receive the proof or acknowledgment of all writings relating to
commerce or navigation, such as bills of sale, bottomries, mortgages, and
hypothecations of ships, vessels, or boats, charter parties of affreightments, letters of
attorney, deeds, mortgages, transfers and assignments of land or buildings, or an
interest therein, and such other writings as are commonly proved or acknowledged
before notaries; to act as magistrate, in the writing of a davits or depositions, and to
make declarations and certify the truth thereof under his seal of o ce, concerning all
matters done by him by virtue of his office.
ARTICLE III
Notaries Public Ex Officio
SECTION 242. O cers acting as notaries public ex o cio . — Except as
otherwise specially provided, the following o cials, and none other, shall be deemed to
be notaries public ex o cio , and as such they are authorized to perform, within the
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limits of their territorial jurisdiction as hereinbelow de ned, all the duties appertaining
to the office of notary public;
(a) The chief of the Division of Archives, Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks, the
Clerk of the Supreme Court, the Clerk of the Court of First Instance of the Sixth Judicial
District (City of Manila), the Chief of the General Land Registration o ce (now
Commissioner of Land Registration), and the Superintendent of the Postal Savings
Bank Division, Bureau of Post, when acting within the limits of the City of Manila.TaCDIc

(b) Clerks of Courts of First Instance outside of the City of Manila, when acting
within the judicial districts to which they respectively pertain.
(c) Justices of the peace, within the limits of the territory over which their
jurisdiction as justices of the peace extends; but auxiliary justices of the peace and
other o cers who are by law vested with the o ce of justice of the peace ex o cio
shall not, solely by reason of such authority, be also entitled to act in the capacity of
notaries ex officio.
(d) Any government o cer or employee of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu
appointed notary public ex o cio by the judge of the Court of First Instance, with
jurisdiction co-extensive with the province wherein the appointee is stationed and for a
term of two years beginning upon the rst day of January of the year in which the
appointment was made. (The Department of Mindanao and Sulu, as a special political
division, has been abolished by Section 1 of Act No. 2878.)
The authority conferred in subsections (a) and (b) hereof may, in the absence of
the chief or clerk of court, be exercised by an assistant chief, acting chief, or deputy
clerk of court pertaining to the office in question.
SECTION 243. Notary public ex officio required to use register. — No person shall
do any act in the capacity of notary public ex o cio in cases where full notarial
authentication is required unless he shall have the prescribed notarial register; but the
notarial acts of an assistant chief, acting chief, or deputy clerk, shall be entered in the
same register as would be used by his principal.
ARTICLE IV
Notarial Seal
SECTION 244. Seal of notary public. — Every person appointed to the position of
notary public shall have a seal of o ce, to be procured at his own expense, which shall
be a xed to papers o cially signed by him. It shall be of metal and shall have the
name of the province and the word "Philippines" and his own name engraved on the
margin thereof, and the words "notary public" across the center. An impression of such
seal directly on the paper or parchment on which the writing is had shall be as valid as if
made on wax or water.
In the case of the Chief of the General Land Registration O ce or other clerk of
court acting as notary public ex o cio , it shall su ce to use the o cial seal of the
court to which the o cer in question pertains; other o cials authorized to act as
notaries public ex o cio are not required to keep or use a seal, unless especially so
prescribed by law.
ARTICLE V
Notarial Register
SECTION 245. Notarial register. — Every notary public shall keep a register to be
known as the notarial register, wherein record shall be made of all his o cial act as
notary; and he shall supply a certi ed copy of such record, or any part thereof, to any
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person applying for it and paying the legal fees therefor.
Such register shall be kept in books to be furnished by the Attorney-General
(Solicitor-General) to any notary public upon request and upon payment of the actual
cost thereof, but o cers exercising the functions of notaries public ex o cio shall be
supplied with the register at government expense. The register shall be duly paged, and
on the rst page, the Attorney-General (Solicitor-General) shall certify the number of
pages of which the book consists.
SECTION 246. Matters to be entered therein. — The notary public shall enter in
such register, in chronological order, the nature of each instrument executed, sworn to,
or acknowledged before him, the person executing, swearing to, or acknowledging the
instrument, the witnesses, if any, to the signature, the date of the execution, oath, or
acknowledgment of the instrument, the fees collected by him for his services as notary
in connection therewith, and, when the instrument is contract, he shall keep a correct
copy thereof as part of his records, and shall likewise enter in said records a brief
description of the substance thereof and shall give to each entry a consecutive number,
beginning with number one in each calendar year. The notary shall give to each
instrument executed, sworn to, or acknowledge before him a number corresponding to
the one in his register, and shall also state on the instrument the page or pages of his
register on which the same is recorded. No blank line shall be left between entries. HIETAc

When notary public shall protest any draft, bill of exchange, or promissory note,
he shall make a full and true record in his notarial register of all his proceeding in
relation thereto, and shall note therein whether the demand for the sum of money
therein mentioned was made, of whom, when, and where; whether he presented such
draft, bill, or note; whether notices were given, to whom, and in what manner; where the
same was made, and when, and to whom, and where directed; and of every other fact
touching the same.
At the end of each week the notary shall certify in his register the number of
instruments executed, sworn to, acknowledged, or protested before him; or if none
such, the certificate shall show this fact.
A certi ed copy of each month's entries as described in this section and a
certi ed copy of any instrument acknowledged before them shall within the rst ten
days of the month next following be forwarded by the notaries public to the Clerk of the
Court of the First Instance of the province and shall be led under the responsibility of
such o cer; Provided, that if there is no entry to certify for the month, the notary shall
forward a statement to this effect in lieu of the certi ed copies herein required. (As
amended by C.A. 72, Sec. 1.)
SECTION 247. Disposition of notarial register. — Immediately upon his notarial
register being lled, and also within fteen days after the expiration of his commission,
unless reappointed, the notary public shall forward his notarial register to the clerk of
the Court of First Instance of the province or of the City of Manila, as the case may be,
wherein he exercises his o ce, who shall examine the same and report thereon to the
judge of the Court of First Instance. If the judge nds that no irregularity has been
committed in the keeping of the register, he shall forward the same to the chief of the
division of archives, patents, copyrights, and trade-marks. In case the judge nds that
irregularities have been committed in the keeping of the register, he shall refer the
matter to the scal of the province, and in the City of Manila, to the scal of the city for
action, and the sending of the register to the chief of the division of archives, patents,
copyrights, and trade-marks shall be deferred until the termination of the case against
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the notary public.
ARTICLE VI
Supervisory Authority of Judge Over Notaries Public
SECTION 248. Supervision of judges of rst instance over notaries public . — The
judge of the Court of First Instance in each judicial district shall at all times exercise
supervision over the notaries public within his district and shall keep himself informed
of the manner in which they perform their duties by personal inspection wherever
possible, or from reports which he may require from them, or from any other available
source. IEaATD

In the City of Manila such supervision shall be exercised by one of the Judges of
the Court of First Instance of Manila to be thereunto assigned by the judges of the
branches of said court. (As amended by Executive Order No. 41, dated May 11, 1945.)
SECTION 249. Grounds for revocation of commission. — The following
derelictions of duty on the part of a notary public shall, in the discretion of the proper
judge of first instance, be sufficient ground for the revocation of his commission:
(a) The failure of the notary to keep a notarial register.
(b) The failure of the notary to make the proper entry or entries in his notarial
register touching his notarial acts in the manner required by law.
(c) The failure of the notary to send the copy of the entries to the proper clerk of
Court of First Instance within the first ten days of the month next following.
(d) The failure of the notary to a x to acknowledgments the date of expiration of
his commission, as required by law.
(e) The failure of the notary to forward his notarial register, when lled, to the
proper clerk of court.
(f) The failure of the notary to make the proper notation regarding cedula
certi cates. (See C.A. 238, re abolition of cedula tax; see also C.A. 465, sec. 6, re
presentation of residence certi cate by a person liable to pay residence tax when
acknowledging document before a notary public.)
(g) The failure of a notary to make report, within a reasonable time, to the proper
judge of rst instance concerning the performance of his duties, as may be required by
such judge.
(h) Any other dereliction or act which shall appear to the judge to constitute good
cause for removal.
SECTION 250. A xing date of expiration of commission . — Notaries public shall
a x to all acknowledgments taken and certi ed by them, according to law, a statement
of the date on which their commissions expire.
SECTION 251. Requirement as to notation of payment of (cedula) residence tax.
— Every contract, deed, or other document acknowledged before a notary public shall
have certi ed thereon that the parties thereto have presented their proper (cedula)
residence certi cates or are exempt from the (cedula) residence tax, and there shall be
entered by the notary public as a part of such certi cation the number, place of issue,
and date of each (cedula) residence certi cate as aforesaid. (See C.A. 238, re abolition
of cedula tax; see also C.A. 465, section 6, re presentation of residence certi cate by a
person liable to pay residence tax when acknowledging document before a notary
public.)
SECTION 252. Compensation of notaries public. — No fee, compensation, or
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reward of any sort, except such as is expressly prescribed and allowed by law, shall be
collected or received for any service rendered by a notary public. Such moneys
collected by notaries public proper shall belong to them personally. O cers acting as
notaries public ex o cio shall charge for their services the fees prescribed by law and
account therefor as for Government funds. (See C.A. 66, Sec. 1.)

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