for abusive parents, the law will serve justice!

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 603, December 10, 1974


The molding of the character of the child start at the home. Consequently, every member of the family should strive to make the home a wholesome and harmonious place as its atmosphere and conditions will greatly influence the child’s development.



Art. 46. General Duties. – Parents shall have the following general duties toward their children:

(1) To give him affection, companionship and understanding;

(2) To extend to him the benefits of moral guidance, self-discipline and religious instruction;

(3) To supervise his activities, including his recreation;

(4) To inculcate in him the value of industry, thrift and self-reliance;

(5) To stimulate his interest in civic affairs, teach him the duties of citizenship, and develop his commitment to his country;

(6) To advise him properly on any matter affecting his development and well-being;

(7) To always set a good example;

(8) To provide him with adequate support, as defined in Article 290 of the Civil Code; and

Art. 290. Support is everything that is indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing and medical attendance, according to the social position of the family.

Support also includes the education of the person entitled to be supported until he completes his education or training for some profession, trade or vocation, even beyond the age of majority. (124a)

(9) To administer his property, if any, according to his best interests, subject to the provisions of Article 320 of the Civil Code.

Art. 47. Family Affairs. – Whenever proper, parents shall allow the child to participate in the discussion of family affairs, especially in matters that particularly concern him.

In cases involving his discipline, the child shall be given a chance to present his side.

Art. 48. Winning Child’s Confidence. – Parents shall endeavor to win the child’s confidence and to encourage him to conduct with them on his activities and problems.

Art. 49. Child Living Away from Home. – If by reason of his studies or for other causes, a child does not live with his parents, the latter shall communicate with him regularly and visit him as often as possible.

The parents shall see to it that the child lives in a safe and wholesome place and under responsible adult care and supervision.

Art. 50. Special Talents. – Parents shall endeavor to discover the child’s talents or aptitudes, if any, and to encourage and develop them.

If the child is especially gifted, his parents shall report this fact to the National Center for Gifted Children or to other agencies concerned so that official assistance or recognition may be extended to him.

Art. 51. Reading Habit. – The reading habit should be cultivated in the home. Parents shall, whenever possible, provide the child with good and wholesome reading material, taking into consideration his age and emotional development. They shall guard against the introduction in the home of pornographic and other unwholesome publications.

Art. 52. Association with Other Children. – Parents shall encourage the child to associate with other children of his own age with whom he can develop common interests of useful and salutary nature. It shall be their duty to know the child’s friends and their activities and to prevent him from falling into bad company. The child should not be allowed to stay out late at night to the detriment of his health, studies or morals.

Art. 53. Community Activities. – Parents shall give the child every opportunity to form or join social, cultural, educational, recreational, civic or religious organizations or movements and other useful community activities.

Art. 54. Social Gatherings. – When a party or gathering is held, the parents or a responsible person should be present to supervise the same.

Art. 55. Vices. – Parents shall take special care to prevent the child from becoming addicted to intoxicating drinks, narcotic drugs, smoking, gambling, and other vices or harmful practices.

Art. 56. Choice of career. – The child shall have the right to choose his own career. Parents may advise him on this matter but should not impose on him their own choice.

Art. 57. Marriage. – Subject to the provisions of the Civil Code, the child shall have the prerogative of choosing his future spouse. Parents should not force or unduly influence him to marry a person he has not freely chosen.



Art. 58. Torts. – Parents and guardians are responsible for the damage caused by the child under their parental authority in accordance with the Civil Code.

Art. 59. Crimes. – Criminal liability shall attach to any parent who:

(1) Conceals or abandons the child with intent to make such child lose his civil status.

(2) Abandons the child under such circumstances as to deprive him of the love, care and protection he needs.

(3) Sells or abandons the child to another person for valuable consideration.

(4) Neglects the child by not giving him the education which the family’s station in life and financial conditions permit.

(5) Fails or refuses, without justifiable grounds, to enroll the child as required by Article 72.

(6) Causes, abates, or permits the truancy of the child from the school where he is enrolled. “Truancy” as here used means absence without cause for more than twenty schooldays, not necessarily consecutive.

It shall be the duty of the teacher in charge to report to the parents the absences of the child the moment these exceed five schooldays.

(7) Improperly exploits the child by using him, directly or indirectly, such as for purposes of begging and other acts which are inimical to his interest and welfare.

(8) Inflicts cruel and unusual punishment upon the child or deliberately subjects him to indignitions and other excessive chastisement that embarrass or humiliate him.

(9) Causes or encourages the child to lead an immoral or dissolute life.

(10) Permits the child to possess, handle or carry a deadly weapon, regardless of its ownership.

(11) Allows or requires the child to drive without a license or with a license which the parent knows to have been illegally procured. If the motor vehicle driven by the child belongs to the parent, it shall be presumed that he permitted or ordered the child to drive.

“Parents” as here used shall include the guardian and the head of the institution or foster home which has custody of the child.

Art. 60. Penalty. – The act mentioned in the preceding article shall be punishable with imprisonment from two or six months or a fine not exceeding five hundred pesos, or both, at the discretion of the Court, unless a higher penalty is provided for in the Revised Penal Code or special laws, without prejudice to actions for the involuntary commitment of the child under Title VIII of this Code.






Art. 332. The courts may deprive the parents of their authority or suspend the exercise of the same if they should treat their children with excessive harshness or should give them corrupting orders, counsels, or examples, or should make them beg or abandon them. In these cases, the courts may also deprive the parents in whole or in part, of the usufruct over the child’s property, or adopt such measures as they may deem advisable in the interest of the child. (171a)



Art. 356. Every child: (4) Has a right to live in an atmosphere conducive to his physical, moral and intellectual development.



Art. 402. Majority commences upon the attainment of the age of twenty-one years.

The person who has reached majority is qualified for all acts of civil life, save the exceptions established by this Code in special cases. (320a)

Republic Act No. 7610, June 17, 1992


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled::

ARTICLE I – Title, Policy, Principles and Definitions of Terms

Section 3. Definition of Terms.

(b) “Child abuse” refers to the maltreatment, whether habitual or not, of the child which includes any of the following:

(1) Psychological and physical abuse, neglect, cruelty, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment;

(2) Any act by deeds or words which debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being;

(3) Unreasonable deprivation of his basic needs for survival, such as food and shelter;




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