SUMMARY: 2019 Rules of Civil Procedure

Below are the changes brought by the 2019 Proposed Amendments to the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure (A.M. No. 19-10-20-SC), effective May 01, 2020. They are summarized below based on the 43-page Supreme Court issuance, presented on a per-page basis for ease of cross reference.

For your reference, the actual 43-page issuance is embedded below. Please feel free to contact us in case you have any questions or suggestions.

PAGE 1, A.M. No. 19-10-20-SC
  1. An answer may be responded to with a reply only if the defending party attaches an actionable document to the answer (Page 1 of A.M. No. 19-10-20-SC).
PAGE 2, id.
  1. Affirmative defenses may also include grounds for the dismissal of a complaint, specifically, lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, litis pendentia, or res judicata. (Page 2, id.)
  2. A compulsory counterclaim not raised in the same action is barred, unless otherwise allowed by the Rules. (Page 2, id.)
  3. Cross-claims may cover all or part of the original claim. (Part 2, id.)
  4. All new matters alleged in the answer are deemed controverted. If the plaintiff wishes to interpose any claims arising out of th enew matters so alleged, such claims shall be set forth in an amended or supplemental complaint. However, the plaintiff may file a reply only if the defending party attaches an actionable document to the answer.
  5. In case an actionable document is attached to the reply, the defendant may file a rejoinder if the same is based solely on an actionable document.
  6. A third-party complaint shall be denied admission, and the court shall require the defendant to institute a separate action if: (a) the third-party defendant cannot be located within 30 calendar days from the grant of the leave; (b) matters extraneous to the issue in the principal case are raised; or (c) the effect would be to introduce a new and separate controversy into the main action.
  7. Counsel's signature constitutes a certification that counsel's knowledge, information and belief were formed after a reasonable inquiry.
PAGE 3, id.

  1. Counsel's signature constitutes a certification that the pleading is not for any improper purpose; that the pleading is supported by existing law or jurisprudence; that the pleading is supported by a non-frivolous argument; that the pleading is supported by evidence; and, that denials therein are warranted. (Page 3, id.)
  2. Violation of the above certification by counsel shall warrant monetary and/or non-monetary penalties upon the lawyer or law firm responsible, but in no case shall the monetary penalty be shifted to the client. (Page 3, id.)
PAGE 4, id.
  1. Authorization to sign the verification must be attached to the pleading. (Page 4, id.)
  2. The verification states that the allegations in the pleading are true and correct based on personal knowledge or authentic documents; that there is no intent to harass, delay or increase litigation costs; and the factual allegations in the pleading are supported by evidence.
  3. Affiant's signature on the verification is a certification of truthfulness of the allegations in the pleading.
PAGE 5, id.
  1. Every pleading must contain the names of witnesses; their intended testimonies; their judicial affidavits; and documentary and object evidence to support the allegations therein. (Page 5, id.)
  2. An authenticated copy of a judgment or decision pleaded or alleged shall be attached to the pleading. (Page 5, id.)
PAGE 6, id.
  1. A defendant shall raise his affirmative defenses in his answer. (Page 6, id.)
  2. Failure to raise the affirmative defenses at the earliest opportunity shall constitute a waiver thereof. (Page 6, id.)
  3. The court motu proprio shall resolve the affirmative defenses within 30 days from filing of answer.
  4. As to affirmative defenses under Section 5(b) of Rule 6, the court may conduct a summary hearing within 15 calendar days from filing of answer. Such shall be resolved within 30 calendar days from termination of the summary hearing.
  5. If denied, affirmative defenses shall be raised only on appeal after judgment on the merits. (Page 6, id.)
  6. Striking out of a pleading or matters contained therein shall be made upon motion within 20 calendar days from service upon the party. (Page 6, id.)
PAGE 7, id.
  1. In marriage cases, the court shall order the Solicitor General or the deputized public prosecutor. (Page 7, id.)
  2. In case of a reply, amendment as a matter of right shall be made within 10 calendar days after its service.
  3. Amendment with leave of court shall be denied if it intends to confer jurisdiction upon the court or if the pleading states no cause of action from the beginning.
PAGE 8, id.
  1. No amendment of the pleadings is needed when evidence is presented for an issue not within the pleadings but without the objection of the opposing party. (Page 8, id.)
  2. Answer to an amended complaint as a matter of right shall be within 30 calendar days from service thereof.
  3. When amendment is not a matter of right, answer shall be within 15 calendar days from order admitting the amended complaint.
  4. A cross-claim or counterclaim must be answered within 20 days from service. (Page 8, id.)
PAGE 9, id.
  1. A reply, if allowed, may be filed within 15 calendar days from service of the pleading responded to. (Page 9, id.)
  2. Only one motion for extension to file answer is allowed for meritorious grounds. (Page 9, id.)
  3. A motion for bill of particulars must be filed, if referring to a reply, within 10 calendar days from service thereof. (Page 9, id.)
  4. If the court grants a motion for bill of particulars, compliance shall be made within 10 calendar days from notice of order. (Page 9, id.)
PAGE 10, id.
  1. Filing is the act of submitting the paper or pleading to the court. (Page 10, id.)
  2. Where several counsels appear for one party, such party shall be entitled to only one copy of any pleading or paper to be served upon the lead counsel or upon any of the counsels if none is designated as lead counsel. (Page 10, id.)
  3. Filing in court may be done by sending the pleading or paper to the court via an accredited courier or transmitting it via electronic mail or other electronic means, if the court is so equipped. (Page 10, id)
  4. Date of electronic transmission shall be considered as date of filing. (Page 10, id.)
PAGE 11, id.
  1. Court submissions shall be made personally or by registered mail, accredited courier, electronic mail, fax,  other electronic means as may be authorized by the court, or as provided for in international conventions to which the Philippines is a party.
  2. Court submissions may be served by personal delivery to the authorized representative named in the party's pleading or motion.
  3. Service by mail should be with instructions to the postmaster to return the mail to the sender after 10 calendar days if undelivered.
  4. Service by electronic means or fax required consent of the party concerned.
  5. Service via email, or other electronic means may be by agreement of parties or upon discretion of the court.
  6. Service by fax may be done via the party's or counsel's given fax number.
  7. There is presumptive service if notice appears on the record to have been mailed at least 20 calendar days before schedule hearing if the addressee is within the judicial region. 30 calendar days if outside the judicial region.
  8. The court and all other parties must be notified within 5 calendar days from change of fax number or email address.
PAGE 12, id.
  1. Service via email or fax shall be presumed valid unless notice of change thereof has been made to the court.
  2. The subject line of the emailed or faxed document must contain: case number; case title; and, the document title. Also: the party or parties filing; nature of the paper; party/s against whom relief is sought; and, nature of relief sought.
  3. Judgments, final orders or resolutions may be served via accredited courier upon ex parte motion of any party and at his or her expense.
  4. The following cannot be served or filed electronically, unless the court grants permission: initiatory pleading and initial responses; subpoena; protection orders; writs; appendices or exhibits that cannot be electronically scanned; and sealed and confidential documents or records.
  5. Service by accredited courier is complete upon actual receipt by the addressee, or after at least 2 attempts to deliver, or upon expiration of 5 calendar days after first attempt, whichever is earlier.
  6. Electronic service is complete at the time of the electronic transmission, or when available, at the time of electronic notification of sending.
PAGE 13, id.
  1. Electronic service is not effective or complete if the party serving the document learns that it did not reach the addressee or person to be served.
  2. Service by fax is complete upon receipt by the other party, as indicated in the fax transmission printout.
  3. If service is by registered mail, instructions to the postmaster must be to return the mail to the sender if not delivered after 10 calendar days.
  4. If service is via accredited courier, proof thereof must be by the affidavit of the person mailing, together with the courier's official receipt and document tracking number.
  5. If service is via email, proof thereof must be by affidavit of electronic filing with paper copy stamped with acknowledgment by the clerk of court.
  6. If service is via other electronic means, proof thereof must be by affidavit of electronic filing with paper copy stamped with acknowledgment by the clerk of court.
PAGE 14, id.