Book 4: Obligations & Contracts

Title VIII. – LEASE

CHAPTER 3 > WORK AND LABOR

SECTION 1. – Household Service (n)

Art. 1689. Household service shall always be reasonably compensated. Any stipulation that household service is without compensation shall be void. Such compensation shall be in addition to the house helper’s lodging, food, and medical attendance.

Art. 1690. The head of the family shall furnish, free of charge, to the house helper, suitable and sanitary quarters as well as adequate food and medical attendance.

Art. 1691. If the house helper is under the age of eighteen years, the head of the family shall give an opportunity to the house helper for at least elementary education. The cost of such education shall be a part of the house helper’s compensation, unless there is a stipulation to the contrary.

Art. 1692. No contract for household service shall last for more than two years. However, such contract may be renewed from year to year.

Art. 1693. The house helper’s clothes shall be subject to stipulation. However, any contract for household service shall be void if thereby the house helper cannot afford to acquire suitable clothing.

Art. 1694. The head of the family shall treat the house helper in a just and humane manner. In no case shall physical violence be used upon the house helper.

Art. 1695. House helper shall not be required to work more than ten hours a day. Every house helper shall be allowed four days’ vacation each month, with pay.

Art. 1696. In case of death of the house helper, the head of the family shall bear the funeral expenses if the house helper has no relatives in the place where the head of the family lives, with sufficient means therefor.

Art. 1697. If the period for household service is fixed neither the head of the family nor the house helper may terminate the contract before the expiration of the term, except for a just cause. If the house helper is unjustly dismissed, he shall be paid the compensation already earned plus that for fifteen days by way of indemnity. If the house helper leaves without justifiable reason, he shall forfeit any salary due him and unpaid, for not exceeding fifteen days.

Art. 1698. If the duration of the household service is not determined either by stipulation or by the nature of the service, the head of the family or the house helper may give notice to put an end to the service relation, according to the following rules:

(1) If the compensation is paid by the day, notice may be given on any day that the service shall end at the close of the following day;

(2) If the compensation is paid by the week, notice may be given, at the latest on the first business day of the week, that the service shall be terminated at the end of the seventh day from the beginning of the week;

(3) If the compensation is paid by the month, notice may be given, at the latest, on the fifth day of the month, that the service shall cease at the end of the month.

Art. 1699. Upon the extinguishment of the service relation, the house helper may demand from the head of the family a written statement on the nature and duration of the service and the efficiency and conduct of the house helper.

SECTION 2. – Contract of Labor (n)

Art. 1700. The relations between capital and labor are not merely contractual. They are so impressed with public interest that labor contracts must yield to the common good. Therefore, such contracts are subject to the special laws on labor unions, collective bargaining, strikes and lockouts, closed shop, wages, working conditions, hours of labor and similar subjects.

Art. 1701. Neither capital nor labor shall act oppressively against the other, or impair the interest or convenience of the public.

Art. 1702. In case of doubt, all labor legislation and all labor contracts shall be construed in favor of the safety and decent living for the laborer.

Art. 1703. No contract which practically amounts to involuntary servitude, under any guise whatsoever, shall be valid.

Art. 1704. In collective bargaining, the labor union or members of the board or committee signing the contract shall be liable for non-fulfillment thereof.

Art. 1705. The laborer’s wages shall be paid in legal currency.

Art. 1706. Withholding of the wages, except for a debt due, shall not be made by the employer.

Art. 1707. The laborer’s wages shall be a lien on the goods manufactured or the work done.

Art. 1708. The laborer’s wages shall not be subject to execution or attachment, except for debts incurred for food, shelter, clothing and medical attendance.

Art. 1709. The employer shall neither seize nor retain any tool or other articles belonging to the laborer.

Art. 1710. Dismissal of laborers shall be subject to the supervision of the Government, under special laws.

Art. 1711. Owners of enterprises and other employers are obliged to pay compensation for the death of or injuries to their laborers, workmen, mechanics or other employees, even though the event may have been purely accidental or entirely due to a fortuitous cause, if the death or personal injury arose out of and in the course of the employment. The employer is also liable for compensation if the employee contracts any illness or disease caused by such employment or as the result of the nature of the employment. If the mishap was due to the employee’s own notorious negligence, or voluntary act, or drunkenness, the employer shall not be liable for compensation. When the employee’s lack of due care contributed to his death or injury, the compensation shall be equitably reduced.

Art. 1712. If the death or injury is due to the negligence of a fellow worker, the latter and the employer shall be solidarily liable for compensation. If a fellow worker’s intentional malicious act is the only cause of the death or injury, the employer shall not be answerable, unless it should be shown that the latter did not exercise due diligence in the selection or supervision of the plaintiff’s fellow worker.

SECTION 3. – Contract for a Piece of Work

Art. 1713. By the contract for a piece of work the contractor binds himself to execute a piece of work for the employer, in consideration of a certain price or compensation. The contractor may either employ only his labor or skill, or also furnish the material. (1588a)

Art. 1714. If the contractor agrees to produce the work from material furnished by him, he shall deliver the thing produced to the employer and transfer dominion over the thing. This contract shall be governed by the following articles as well as by the pertinent provisions on warranty of title and against hidden defects and the payment of price in a contract of sale. (n)

Art. 1715. The contract shall execute the work in such a manner that it has the qualities agreed upon and has no defects which destroy or lessen its value or fitness for its ordinary or stipulated use. Should the work be not of such quality, the employer may require that the contractor remove the defect or execute another work. If the contract fails or refuses to comply with this obligation, the employer may have the defect removed or another work executed, at the contractor’s cost. (n)

Art. 1716. An agreement waiving or limiting the contractor’s liability for any defect in the work is void if the contractor acted fraudulently. (n)

Art. 1717. If the contractor bound himself to furnish the material, he shall suffer the loss if the work should be destroyed before its delivery, save when there has been delay in receiving it. (1589)

Art. 1718. The contractor who has undertaken to put only his work or skill, cannot claim any compensation if the work should be destroyed before its delivery, unless there has been delay in receiving it, or if the destruction was caused by the poor quality of the material, provided this fact was communicated in due time to the owner. If the material is lost through a fortuitous event, the contract is extinguished. (1590a)

Art. 1719. Acceptance of the work by the employer relieves the contractor of liability for any defect in the work, unless:

(1) The defect is hidden and the employer is not, by his special knowledge, expected to recognize the same; or

(2) The employer expressly reserves his rights against the contractor by reason of the defect. (n)

Art. 1720. The price or compensation shall be paid at the time and place of delivery of the work, unless there is a stipulation to the contrary. If the work is to be delivered partially, the price or compensation for each part having been fixed, the sum shall be paid at the time and place of delivery, in the absence if stipulation. (n)

Art. 1721. If, in the execution of the work, an act of the employer is required, and he incurs in delay or fails to perform the act, the contractor is entitled to a reasonable compensation.

The amount of the compensation is computed, on the one hand, by the duration of the delay and the amount of the compensation stipulated, and on the other hand, by what the contractor has saved in expenses by reason of the delay or is able to earn by a different employment of his time and industry. (n)

Art. 1722. If the work cannot be completed on account of a defect in the material furnished by the employer, or because of orders from the employer, without any fault on the part of the contractor, the latter has a right to an equitable part of the compensation proportionally to the work done, and reimbursement for proper expenses made. (n)

Art. 1723. The engineer or architect who drew up the plans and specifications for a building is liable for damages if within fifteen years from the completion of the structure, the same should collapse by reason of a defect in those plans and specifications, or due to the defects in the ground. The contractor is likewise responsible for the damages if the edifice falls, within the same period, on account of defects in the construction or the use of materials of inferior quality furnished by him, or due to any violation of the terms of the contract. If the engineer or architect supervises the construction, he shall be solidarily liable with the contractor.

Acceptance of the building, after completion, does not imply waiver of any of the cause of action by reason of any defect mentioned in the preceding paragraph.

The action must be brought within ten years following the collapse of the building. (n)

Art. 1724. The contractor who undertakes to build a structure or any other work for a stipulated price, in conformity with plans and specifications agreed upon with the land-owner, can neither withdraw from the contract nor demand an increase in the price on account of the higher cost of labor or materials, save when there has been a change in the plans and specifications, provided:

(1) Such change has been authorized by the proprietor in writing; and

(2) The additional price to be paid to the contractor has been determined in writing by both parties. (1593a)

Art. 1725. The owner may withdraw at will from the construction of the work, although it may have been commenced, indemnifying the contractor for all the latter’s expenses, work, and the usefulness which the owner may obtain therefrom, and damages. (1594a)

Art. 1726. When a piece of work has been entrusted to a person by reason of his personal qualifications, the contract is rescinded upon his death.

In this case the proprietor shall pay the heirs of the contractor in proportion to the price agreed upon, the value of the part of the work done, and of the materials prepared, provided the latter yield him some benefit.

The same rule shall apply if the contractor cannot finish the work due to circumstances beyond his control. (1595)

Art. 1727. The contractor is responsible for the work done by persons employed by him. (1596)

Art. 1728. The contractor is liable for all the claims of laborers and others employed by him, and of third persons for death or physical injuries during the construction. (n)

Art. 1729. Those who put their labor upon or furnish materials for a piece of work undertaken by the contractor have an action against the owner up to the amount owing from the latter to the contractor at the time the claim is made. However, the following shall not prejudice the laborers, employees and furnishers of materials:

(1) Payments made by the owner to the contractor before they are due;

(2) Renunciation by the contractor of any amount due him from the owner.

This article is subject to the provisions of special laws. (1597a)

Art. 1730. If it is agreed that the work shall be accomplished to the satisfaction of the proprietor, it is understood that in case of disagreement the question shall be subject to expert judgment.

If the work is subject to the approval of a third person, his decision shall be final, except in case of fraud or manifest error. (1598a)

Art. 1731. He who has executed work upon a movable has a right to retain it by way of pledge until he is paid. (1600)

SECTION 4. – Common Carriers (n)

SUBSECTION 1. – General Provisions

Art. 1732. Common carriers are persons, corporations, firms or associations engaged in the business of carrying or transporting passengers or goods or both, by land, water, or air, for compensation, offering their services to the public.

Art. 1733. Common carriers, from the nature of their business and for reasons of public policy, are bound to observe extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods and for the safety of the passengers transported by them, according to all the circumstances of each case.

Such extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods is further expressed in Articles 1734, 1735, and 1745, Nos. 5, 6, and 7, while the extraordinary diligence for the safety of the passengers is further set forth in Articles 1755 and 1756.

SUBSECTION 2. – Vigilance Over Goods

Art. 1734. Common carriers are responsible for the loss, destruction, or deterioration of the goods, unless the same is due to any of the following causes only:

(1) Flood, storm, earthquake, lightning, or other natural disaster or calamity;

(2) Act of the public enemy in war, whether international or civil;

(3) Act of omission of the shipper or owner of the goods;

(4) The character of the goods or defects in the packing or in the containers;

(5) Order or act of competent public authority.

Art. 1735. In all cases other than those mentioned in Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the preceding article, if the goods are lost, destroyed or deteriorated, common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove that they observed extraordinary diligence as required in Article 1733.

Art. 1736. The extraordinary responsibility of the common carrier lasts from the time the goods are unconditionally placed in the possession of, and received by the carrier for transportation until the same are delivered, actually or constructively, by the carrier to the consignee, or to the person who has a right to receive them, without prejudice to the provisions of Article 1738.

Art. 1737. The common carrier’s duty to observe extraordinary diligence over the goods remains in full force and effect even when they are temporarily unloaded or stored in transit, unless the shipper or owner has made use of the right of stoppage in transitu.

Art. 1738. The extraordinary liability of the common carrier continues to be operative even during the time the goods are stored in a warehouse of the carrier at the place of destination, until the consignee has been advised of the arrival of the goods and has had reasonable opportunity thereafter to remove them or otherwise dispose of them.

Art. 1739. In order that the common carrier may be exempted from responsibility, the natural disaster must have been the proximate and only cause of the loss. However, the common carrier must exercise due diligence to prevent or minimize loss before, during and after the occurrence of flood, storm or other natural disaster in order that the common carrier may be exempted from liability for the loss, destruction, or deterioration of the goods. The same duty is incumbent upon the common carrier in case of an act of the public enemy referred to in Article 1734, No. 2.

Art. 1740. If the common carrier negligently incurs in delay in transporting the goods, a natural disaster shall not free such carrier from responsibility.

Art. 1741. If the shipper or owner merely contributed to the loss, destruction or deterioration of the goods, the proximate cause thereof being the negligence of the common carrier, the latter shall be liable in damages, which however, shall be equitably reduced.

Art. 1742. Even if the loss, destruction, or deterioration of the goods should be caused by the character of the goods, or the faulty nature of the packing or of the containers, the common carrier must exercise due diligence to forestall or lessen the loss.

Art. 1743. If through the order of public authority the goods are seized or destroyed, the common carrier is not responsible, provided said public authority had power to issue the order.

Art. 1744. A stipulation between the common carrier and the shipper or owner limiting the liability of the former for the loss, destruction, or deterioration of the goods to a degree less than extraordinary diligence shall be valid, provided it be:

(1) In writing, signed by the shipper or owner;

(2) Supported by a valuable consideration other than the service rendered by the common carrier; and

(3) Reasonable, just and not contrary to public policy.

Art. 1745. Any of the following or similar stipulations shall be considered unreasonable, unjust and contrary to public policy:

(1) That the goods are transported at the risk of the owner or shipper;

(2) That the common carrier will not be liable for any loss, destruction, or deterioration of the goods;

(3) That the common carrier need not observe any diligence in the custody of the goods;

(4) That the common carrier shall exercise a degree of diligence less than that of a good father of a family, or of a man of ordinary prudence in the vigilance over the movables transported;

(5) That the common carrier shall not be responsible for the acts or omission of his or its employees;

(6) That the common carrier’s liability for acts committed by thieves, or of robbers who do not act with grave or irresistible threat, violence or force, is dispensed with or diminished;

(7) That the common carrier is not responsible for the loss, destruction, or deterioration of goods on account of the defective condition of the car, vehicle, ship, airplane or other equipment used in the contract of carriage.

Art. 1746. An agreement limiting the common carrier’s liability may be annulled by the shipper or owner if the common carrier refused to carry the goods unless the former agreed to such stipulation.

Art. 1747. If the common carrier, without just cause, delays the transportation of the goods or changes the stipulated or usual route, the contract limiting the common carrier’s liability cannot be availed of in case of the loss, destruction, or deterioration of the goods.

Art. 1748. An agreement limiting the common carrier’s liability for delay on account of strikes or riots is valid.

Art. 1749. A stipulation that the common carrier’s liability is limited to the value of the goods appearing in the bill of lading, unless the shipper or owner declares a greater value, is binding.

Art. 1750. A contract fixing the sum that may be recovered. by the owner or shipper for the loss, destruction, or deterioration of the goods is valid, if it is reasonable and just under the circumstances, and has been fairly and freely agreed upon.

Art. 1751. The fact that the common carrier has no competitor along the line or route, or a part thereof, to which the contract refers shall be taken into consideration on the question of whether or not a stipulation limiting the common carrier’s liability is reasonable, just and in consonance with public policy.

Art. 1752. Even when there is an agreement limiting the liability of the common carrier in the vigilance over the goods, the common carrier is disputably presumed to have been negligent in case of their loss, destruction or deterioration.

Art. 1753. The law of the country to which the goods are to be transported shall govern the liability of the common carrier for their loss, destruction or deterioration.

Art. 1754. The provisions of Articles 1733 to 1753 shall apply to the passenger’s baggage which is not in his personal custody or in that of his employee. As to other baggage, the rules in Articles 1998 and 2000 to 2003 concerning the responsibility of hotel-keepers shall be applicable.

SUBSECTION 3. – Safety of Passengers

Art. 1755. A common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as far as human care and foresight can provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons, with a due regard for all the circumstances.

Art. 1756. In case of death of or injuries to passengers, common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove that they observed extraordinary diligence as prescribed in Articles 1733 and 1755.

Art. 1757. The responsibility of a common carrier for the safety of passengers as required in Articles 1733 and 1755 cannot be dispensed with or lessened by stipulation, by the posting of notices, by statements on tickets, or otherwise.

Art. 1758. When a passenger is carried gratuitously, a stipulation limiting the common carrier’s liability for negligence is valid, but not for wilful acts or gross negligence.

The reduction of fare does not justify any limitation of the common carrier’s liability.

Art. 1759. Common carriers are liable for the death of or injuries to passengers through the negligence or wilful acts of the former’s employees, although such employees may have acted beyond the scope of their authority or in violation of the orders of the common carriers.

This liability of the common carriers does not cease upon proof that they exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of their employees.

Art. 1760. The common carrier’s responsibility prescribed in the preceding article cannot be eliminated or limited by stipulation, by the posting of notices, by statements on the tickets or otherwise.

Art. 1761. The passenger must observe the diligence of a good father of a family to avoid injury to himself.

Art. 1762. The contributory negligence of the passenger does not bar recovery of damages for his death or injuries, if the proximate cause thereof is the negligence of the common carrier, but the amount of damages shall be equitably reduced.

Art. 1763. A common carrier is responsible for injuries suffered by a passenger on account of the wilful acts or negligence of other passengers or of strangers, if the common carrier’s employees through the exercise of the diligence of a good father of a family could have prevented or stopped the act or omission.

SUBSECTION 4. – Common Provisions

Art. 1764. Damages in cases comprised in this Section shall be awarded in accordance with Title XVIII of this Book, concerning Damages. Article 2206 shall also apply to the death of a passenger caused by the breach of contract by a common carrier.

Art. 1765. The Public Service Commission may, on its own motion or on petition of any interested party, after due hearing, cancel the certificate of public convenience granted to any common carrier that repeatedly fails to comply with his or its duty to observe extraordinary diligence as prescribed in this Section.

Art. 1766. In all matters not regulated by this Code, the rights and obligations of common carriers shall be governed by the Code of Commerce and by special laws.

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