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A Statute is an act of the legislature, adopted pursuant to its constitutional authority, by prescribed means and in certain form such that it becomes the law governing conduct within its scope. Statutes are enacted to prescribe conduct, define crimes, create inferior governmental bodies, appropriate public funds, and in general promote the public good and welfare.

The power to make laws is lodge in the legislative department of the Government. In the Philippines, statutes consist of the enactments of the Philippine Legislature in its various historical stages -- the Philippine Commission, the Philippine Assembly, the Philippine Legislature, the National Assembly, the Batasang Pambansa, and the Congress of the Philippines.

Under the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines (1987), the legislative power, or the power to propose, enact, repeal and amend laws, "shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserve to the people by the provision of initiative and referendum. [1]"


Parts of a Statute

  1. Title -- The title of the statute is the heading on the preliminary part, furnishing the name by which the act is individually known.
  2. Preamble -- That part of the statute explaining the reasons for its enactment and the objects sought to be accomplished.
  3. Enacting Clause -- That part of the statute which declares its enactment and serves to identify it is an act of legislation proceeding from the proper legislative authority.
  4. Body -- The main and operative part of the statute containing its substantive and even procedural provisions. Provisos and exemptions may also be found in the body of the statute.
  5. Repealing Clause -- That part of the statute which announces the prior statutes or specific provisions which have been abrogated by reason of the new law.
  6. Saving Clause -- a restriction in a repealing act, which is intended to save rights, pending proceedings, penalties, etc., from the annihilation which would result from an unrestricted repeal.
  7. Separability Clause -- That part of the statute which provides that in the event that one or more provisions are declared void or unconstitutional, the remaining provisions shall still be in force and effect.
  8. Effectivity Clause -- That part of the Statute which announces the effective date of the law.

Kinds of Statutes

  1. General Law -- is one that affects the community at large. A law that relates to a subject of a general nature, or that affects all people of the state or all of a particular class.
  2. Special Law -- is one which is different from others of the same general kind, designed for a particular purpose, limited in range, or confined to a prescribed field of action on operation.
  3. Local Laws -- are those which relates or operates over a particular locality.
  4. Public Laws -- consist of constitutional, administrative, criminal and international law, concerned with the organization of the State, the relations between the people and the state, the responsibilities of public officers to the state, and the relations of states with one another.
  5. Private Laws -- are those which defines, regulates, enforces, and administers relationships among individuals, associations and corporations.
  6. Remedial Statutes -- are those which refer to the method of enforcing rights or of obtaining redress of their invasion. It can be made to applicable to cases pending at the time of its enactment.
  7. Curative Statutes -- are those which undertake to cure errors and irregularities, thereby validating judicial or administrative proceedings, acts of public officers, or private deeds and contracts which otherwise would not produce their intended consequences by reason of some statutory disability or failure to comply with some technical requirement. They operate on conditions already existing, and are necessarily retroactive in operation. [2] Curative statutes are "healing acts x x x curing defects and adding to the means of enforcing existing obligations x x x (and) are intended to supply defects, abridge superfluities in existing laws, and curb certain evils x x x By their very nature, curative statutes are retroactive x x x (and) reach back to past events to correct errors or irregularities and to render valid and effective attempted acts which would be otherwise ineffective for the purpose the parties intended. [3]"
  8. Penal Statutes -- are those which defines criminal offenses and specify corresponding fines and punishments. It is enacted to preserve the public order, which defines an offense against the public and inflicts a penalty for its violation.
  9. Prospective Laws -- are those which applies only to acts or omissions committed after its enactment.
  10. Retrospective Laws -- are those which look backwards or contemplates the past. Laws which are made to affect acts or facts occurring, or rights occurring, before it came into force.
  11. Affirmative Statutes -- are those couched in affirmative or mandatory terms. One which directs the doing of an act, or declares what should be done.
  12. Mandatory Statutes -- are those which require, and not merely permit, a course of action.

Constitutional Limitations of Statutes

  1. No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted. [4]
  2. Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof. [5]
  3. No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members three days before its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. Upon the last reading of a bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal. [6]
  4. Every bill passed by the Congress shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President. If he approves the same, he shall sign it; otherwise, he shall veto it and return the same with his objections to the House where it originated, which shall enter the objections at large in its Journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of all the Members of such House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the Members of that House, it shall become a law. In all such cases, the votes of each House shall be determined by yeas or nays, and the names of the Members voting for or against shall be entered in its Journal. The President shall communicate his veto of any bill to the House where it originated within thirty days after the date of receipt thereof; otherwise, it shall become a law as if he had signed it. [7]


  1. ^ Sec. 1, Article VI, The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines (1987).
  2. ^ Tolentino, Arturo M., Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines, Vol. I, 1990 ed., p. 25.
  3. ^ Agpalo, Statutory Construction, 1990 ed., pp. 270-271.
  4. ^ Sec. 22, Art. III, Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines.
  5. ^ Sec. 26 (1), Art. VI, Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines.
  6. ^ Sec. 26 (2), Art. VI, Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines.
  7. ^ Sec. 27 (1), Art. VI, Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines.



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