An obligation is a juridical necessity to give, to do, or not to do. JURIDICAL NECESSITY – juridical tie; connotes that in case of noncompliance, there will be legal sanctions. – An obligation is nothing more than the duty of a person (obligor) to satisfy a specific demandable claim of another person (obligee) which, if breached, is enforceable in court. – A contract necessarily gives rise to an obligation but an obligation does not always need to have a contract. KINDS OF OBLIGATION A. From the viewpoint of “sanction” –
1. CIVIL OBLIGATION – that defined in Article 1156; an obligation, if not fulfilled when it becomes due and demandable, may be enforced in court through action; based on law; the sanction is judicial due process
2. NATURAL OBLIGATION – defined in Article 1423; a special kind of obligation which cannot be enforced in court but which authorizes the retention of the voluntary payment or performance made by the debtor; based on equity and natural law. (i.e. when there is prescription of duty to pay, still, the obligor paid his dues to the obligee – the obligor cannot recover his payment even there is prescription) the sanction is the law, but only conscience had originally motivated the payment.
3. MORAL OBLIGATION – the sanction is conscience or morality, or the law of the church. (Note: If a Catholic promises to hear mass for 10 consecutive Sundays in order to receive P1,000, this obligation becomes a civil one.) B. From the viewpoint of subject matter -1. REAL OBLIGATION – the obligation to give 2. PERSONAL OBLIGATION – the obligation to do or not to do (e.g. the duty to paint a house, or to refrain from committing a nuisance)
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