My neighbor Pete is renting a small room near our house. He is already 60 years of age and has no work so he has no means to pay his rent. The landlord eventually evicted Pete from his rented property. Pete is now roaming the barangay (village). Somebody suggested to him to file a case before the village authorities against his children A and B for support.
During a confrontation at the barangay hall, Pete’s children claimed that they cannot provide the support that their father needed because they were jobless and only dependent on the income of their spouses. Pete, however, insisted that his children must provide the necessary support because that is their obligation. Is Pete correct?
Pete is partly correct. Under Article 195 of the Family Code of the Philippines, legitimate ascendants and descendants are obliged to support each other. The support is dependent on the capacity of the person obliged to give support and needs of the person demanding the support. This is in accordance with Article 201 of the same code which provides that “the amount of support, in the cases referred to in Articles 195 and 196, shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient.” (Article 201, Id.)
Article 197 of the family code also provides that “for the support of legitimate ascendants; descendants, whether illegitimate or illegitimate; and brothers and sisters, whether legitimately or illegitimately related, only the separate property of the person obliged to give support shall be answerable provided that in case the obligor has no separate property, the absolute community or the conjugal partnership, if financially capable, shall advance the support, which shall be deducted from the share of the spouse obliged upon the liquidation of the absolute community or of the conjugal partnership.”
In Pete’s case, his children are obliged to give support to him subject to the condition that they have the financial capacity to give the support needed. Since Pete’s children claimed that they cannot provide him the support that he needs because they are jobless, the support may also be charged to the absolute community of property or conjugal property of his married children subject again to the condition that the absolute community of property or conjugal property is financially capable.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.