Example of statutory law in the Philippines

The laws governing a country or nation are important aspects of its existence and in a way are contributing to its history, by taking from the past and giving to the future. Common law and statutory laws are followed by most nations in the world. A combination of both is necessary for justice to be served.

Common Law versus Statutory Law comparison chart
Example of statutory law in the Philippines
Common LawStatutory Law
Creation of new laws The law evolves with new decisions made by judges in courts. New laws are issued by various government agencies.
Operational Level Procedural Substantive
Also known as Case law Written law
Nature Instructive Prescriptive
Origin Precedent or judiciary Government or legislature

Common law is defined as law that has been developed on the basis of preceding rulings by judges. Statutory laws are written laws passed by legislature and government of a country and those which have been accepted by the society.

Basis for common law and statutory law

Common law is by far and wide based on judgments made in the past over hundreds of years. Statutory laws have statutes as their basis.

Decisions and New Laws

A judge refers to similar cases in the past and uses the judgments rendered then as a basis for deciding the current case. Thus, the judges while presiding over a case are referring to decisions based on previous cases to come to their final decision. In the event of unique circumstances presented in the specific case, the judgment passed by the judge becomes the new law.

Common law is also known as case law and is of two types – one where judgments passed become new laws where there are no statutes and the other where judges interpret the existing law and determines new boundaries and distinctions. Apart from common law and statutory law, there are also the regulatory laws framed by various government agencies that have the authorization to do so once statutes are created by the legislature.

Statutory laws can be passed by various government agencies of a country. Thus, there are laws passed by federal and state governments, ordinances passed by towns and cities all having the power of law. New laws are issued to meet the needs of the citizens, to resolve outstanding issues, and to formalize an existing law.

Determination of common law for a particular case is a process that begins with research analysis, location of previous relevant cases, extraction of statements and sentences passed in order to finally determine the common law applicable. Decisions of higher courts rule over lower courts and earlier cases. Statutory laws are already written and need just to be applied to a specific case.

Common law is being developed on an everyday basis without causing any fractionalization of society or creating any expense to the state. Statutory laws are developed by government of a state or nation and these are organized and codified into law codes. They cover all areas regulated by statutory laws exclusively as well as those areas where common law is not applicable.


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"Common Law vs Statutory Law." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 21 Sep 2022. < >

This article contains a partial list of Philippine laws.

Governmental power Forms of law Vested to
Constituent Constitution and Amendments
  • Congress of the Philippines (convening as Constituent Assembly)
  • Elected delegates (convening as Constitutional Convention)
  • People (through people's initiative and constitutional ratification)[L 1]
  • Votes
  • Election returns
  • Certificates of canvass
  • Election proclamations

Commission on Elections[L 2]

  • Statutes
  • Resolutions
  • Legal codes
  • Certificates of Confirmation
  • Legislation and Ordinances (local and international law)
Congress of the Philippines[L 3]
  • Treaties
  • Executive agreement
  • Executive orders
  • Proclamations
  • Administrative orders
  • Official decrees
  • Other executive issuances
President of the Philippines[L 4]
  • Judgments and court decisions
  • Orders
  • Resolutions
  • Administrative matters and judicial rules
Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law.[L 5]
  • Regulations
  • Administrative judgments
  • Orders
  • Ordinances

  1. ^ Article XVII: Amendment and Revisions of the Constitution.
  2. ^ Article IX-C: Commission on Elections
  3. ^ Article VI: Legislative Department
  4. ^ Article VII: Executive Department
  5. ^ Article VIII: Judicial Department

*Customs may be considered as supplementary source of law, however, customs which are contrary to law, public order or public policy shall not be countenanced

Philippine laws have had various nomenclature designations at different periods in the history of the Philippines, as shown in the following table:

Abbreviation Form of government Dates


Philippine government under United States sovereignty 1900–1935
Commonwealth Act


Philippine Commonwealth 1935–1946
Republic Act


Republic 1946–72, 1987–present
Presidential Decree


Republic under Martial Law/Fourth Republic 1972–1986
Presidential Proclamation


Republic under Martial Law 1972–1986
Batas Pambansa


Modified semi-presidential republic 1978–1985
Executive Order


Republic under Provisional Constitution 1986–1987[citation needed]

The following table lists Philippine laws which have been mentioned in Wikipedia, or are otherwise notable. Only laws passed by Congress and its preceding bodies are listed here; presidential decrees and other executive issuances which may otherwise carry the force of law are excluded for the purpose of this table.

Designation Date passed Result
Act 3815 December 8, 1930 The Revised Penal Code
CA 1 December 21, 1935 The National Defense Act of 1935, which created the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
RA 386 August 30, 1950 Civil Code of the Philippines
RA 1425 June 12, 1956 The Rizal Act, which mandates the inclusion of courses on José Rizal in the curricula of all educational institutions in the Philippines.
RA 1700 June 20, 1957 Anti-Subversion Act of 1957
RA 5186 September 16, 1967 Investment Incentives Act
RA 6135 August 31, 1970 Export Incentives Act of 1970
BP 8 December 2, 1978 An Act Defining the Metric System and its Units, Providing for its Implementation and for Other Purposes
RA 6955 June 13, 1990 The Anti-Mail Order Bride Act
RA 7160 October 10, 1991 Local Government Code of 1991
RA 8293 June 6, 1997 The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (the copyright law).
RA 8353 September 30, 1997 The Anti-Rape Act of 1997
RA 9184 January 10, 2003 Government Procurement Reform Act, establishes the creation of the Government Procurement Policy Board|Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) and the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS)
RA 9208 May 26, 2003 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003
RA 9372 March 6, 2007 The Human Security Act of 2007
RA 10066 March 26, 2010 National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, establishing the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property
RA 10175 September 12, 2012 The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012
RA 10349 December 11, 2012 The AFP Modernization Act of 2012
RA 10354 December 21, 2012 The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012
RA 10533 May 15, 2013 The Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013
RA 10535 May 15, 2013 The Philippine Standard Time (PST) Act of 2013
RA 10591 May 29, 2013 Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act
RA 10667 July 21, 2015 Philippine Competition Act
RA 10844 May 23, 2016 Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Act of 2015
RA 10913 July 21, 2016 Anti-Distracted Driving Act of 2016
RA 10931 August 4, 2017 Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017
RA 10963 December 19, 2017 Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act of 2017
RA 11054 July 26, 2018 Bangsamoro Organic Law
RA 11055 August 6, 2018 Philippine Identification System Act
RA 11106 October 30, 2018 Filipino Sign Language Act of 2018
RA 11201 February 14, 2019 Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Act of 2019
RA 11469 March 25, 2020 Bayanihan to Heal as One Act of 2020
RA 11479 July 3, 2020 Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020
RA 11494 September 11, 2020 Bayanihan to Recover as One Act of 2020
RA 11641 December 30, 2021 Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Act of 2021
  • Congress of the Philippines (section on Lawmaking)
  • Philippine legal codes
  • Philippines

  1. ^ Fernandez, Perfecto V. (September 1992). "The Philippine Legal System and Its Adjuncts: Pathways to Development" (PDF). Philippine Law Journal. University of the Philippines College of Law, University of the Philippines Diliman. 67 (First quarter): 21–52. ISSN 0031-7721.

The text of many Philippine laws can be found on the following sites:

  • Laws and Issuances at Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines
  • Republic Acts – House of Representatives of the Philippines
  • Philippine Supreme Court E-Library
  • ChanRobles Virtual Law Library
  • Laws, statutes & codes at ChanRobles Virtual Law Library (new site)
  • The Corpus Juris Online Law Library
  • The Lawphil Project by Arellano Law Foundation

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