Contract of deposit (depositum)

ART. 1962. A deposit is constituted from the moment a person receives a thing belonging to another, with the obligation of safely keeping it and of returning the same. If the safekeeping of the thing delivered is not the principal purpose of the contract, there is no deposit but some other contract. (New Civil Code of the Philippines) Below is an explanation given by De Leon (2010).

The above article in effect gives the definition of a contract of deposit. The term "deposit" is derived from the word "depositum" of the Roman Law.

The classification of deposits into civil deposit governed by the old Civil Code and commercial deposit governed by the Code of Commerce has been abolished by the new Civil Code. (see Art. 2270[2].) All deposits, whether civil or commercial, are now primarily regulated by Title XII, Book IV of the new Civil Code (Arts. 1962-2009.) subject to its transitional provisions. (Arts. 2252-2269.)

SOURCE: De Leon and De Leon, Jr. (2010). Comments and Cases on CREDIT TRANSACTIONS. 11th edition. ISBN 978-971-23-5535-6. Rex Books Store.

It may be contended that "the contracting parties may establish any agreements terms and conditions that may deem advisable, provided they are not contrary to law, morals, or public order." (Art. 1255, Civil Code.) However, we do not declare herein the nullity of the agreements contained in Exhibit 1 and its various novations. None of said agreements is contrary to law, morals, or public order, and all of them should therefore be maintained out of respect to the will of the contracting parties. The validity of these agreements, however, is one thing, while the juridical qualification of the contract resulting therefrom is very distinctly another. Such agreements, in our opinion, change the status of the sale with pacto de retro and give rise to juridical relations of a different nature. Similar thereto is a contract of commodatum wherein payment of compensation by the person acquiring the use of the thing is stipulated. This stipulation is valid but the commodatum, although so termed, ceases to exist and is converted into another contract with different effects (art. 1741). The same thing happens with the contract of depositum. Although it would seem that article 1760 of the Civil Code indirectly authorizes the constitution of an onerous deposit, when there is an express stipulation to that effect, this court has repeatedly held that the deposit should be considered a loan when it contains a stipulation for payment of interest. (Garcia Gavieres vs. Pardo de Tavera, 1 Phil., 71; Barretto vs. Reyes, 10 Phil., 489: In re Guardianship of the minors Tamboco, 36 Phil., 939, 941.) In order not to multiply the examples, we shall cite the cases of use and habitation wherein the usuary who consumes all the fruits of the thing subject to use, and the person having the right of habitation who occupies the whole house, are considered usufructuaries (art. 527). (G.R. No. L-43304. October 21, 1936)

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