How legal periods are computed (Article 13)

Article 13. When the laws speak of years, months, days or nights, it shall be understood that years are of three hundred sixty-five days each; months, of thirty days; days, of twenty-four hours; and nights from sunset to sunrise.

If months are designated by their name, they shall be computed by the number of days which they respectively have.

In computing a period, the first day shall be excluded, and the last day included. (New Civil Code of the Philippines)

Section 31 of Chapter 8 of the Administrative Code of the 1987 (EO No. 297) states: "Legal Periods. - "Year" shall be understood to be twelve calendar months.Since the Administrative Code took effect after the New Civil Code, the later law prevails. 

"Year" shall be understood to be twelve calendar months; "month" of thirty days, unless it refers to a specific calendar month in which case it shall be computed according to the number of days the specific month contains; "day," to a day of twenty-four hours; and "night," from sunset to sunrise. (Section 31)

When a law, contract, instrument or legal document says "two years," this means twenty four (24) calendar months. The new rule under Section 31 above disregards the actual number of days in a year or actual number of days in a month. Therefore, if it says "one year from January 15, 2020," this refers to "January 15, 2021." Under the old rule, it would be "January 14, 2021" which is 365 days from said starting date.

READ: CUSTOMS UNDER CIVIL LAW (ARTICLES 11, 12).

READ: NEW RULES RE COMPUTATION OF LEGAL INTERESTS.

If a law, contract, instrument or legal document says "10 months," it means 300 days. According to Paras (2008), this should not mean the same date 10 months later. For example, 10 months from September 21 is July 18, 2021. It should not be July 21.

As to years, please take notice of the following comment by a famous author in civil law:

This does not, however, apply in computing the age of a person. Thus, a person becomes 21 years old on his 21st birthday anniversary, and not on the date arrived at by multiplying 21 by 365 days. However, in case the law speaks of years (as in prescriptive periods for crimes), it is believed that the number of years involved should be multiplied by 365. Thus, if a crime that is committed today prescribes in 10 years, the end of said period would be 365 x 10 or, 3,650 days from today. In effect, therefore, the period will be shorter than when the calendar reckoning is used because certain years are LEAP YEARS. (See NAMARCO v. Tecson, L-29131, Aug. 27, 1969, cited in Paras, 2008.)

The above comment, however, has been affected quite largely by Section 31 of Chapter 8 of the Administrative Code of the 1987 (EO No. 297) as mentioned above.

In Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Primetown Property Group, Inc., the Supreme Court found that there exists a manifest incompatibility in the manner of computing legal periods under the Civil Code and the Administrative Code of 1987, specifically as regards the computation of a year, thus, Section 31, Chapter VIII, Book I of the Administrative Code of 1987, being the more recent law, governs the computation of legal periods. Lex posteriori derogat priori. (Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Primetown Property Group, Inc., 558 Phil. 182, 190, 2007)

The COA Revised Rules of Procedure does not explicitly provide the manner on how the period in contest shall be computed. Hence, applying Section 31, Chapter VIII, Book I of the Administrative Code of 1987, which now governs the computation of legal periods, the six (6) months period constitutes 180 days. Further, this Court in Torres v. Commission on Audit stated as follows: "the 6-month or 180-day reglementary period shall be reckoned from the petitioners' date of receipt of the Auditor's Notice of Disallowance on November 6, 2009." (G.R. No. 211225, January 10,2017, Unsigned Resolution)

A week, of course, has seven days. However, week of labor is to be understood to embrace the ordinary number of six labor days, in the absence of an express agreement to the contrary. (Lee Tay & Lee Chay, Inc. v. Kaisahan Ng Mga Manggagawa, L-7791, Apr. 19, 1955) Note that the phrase is "a week of labor" which is a qualified use of the term "week."

The same is true when it comes to a "work day" under the Labor Code. Although a "calendar day" is a twenty-four (24) hour period starting from 12:00 midnight and ending at the next 11:59:59 PM, a "work day" is a twenty-four (24) hour period starting from the beginning of the tour of duty of an employee. Hence, the work day of an employee who normally works from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM is from 8:00 AM of a certain day to 7:59:59 AM of the following day. 

When the law or legal document speaks of "September," this means that month between August and October, which has thirty (30) days. A month designated by its name shall have the number of days it respectively has in our system of calendar. Therefore, if an act or a series of acts should be done, under the law or under a contract, in the whole month of September, it should be performed in the 30 days of that month.

30-DAY MONTH UNDER THE REVISED PENAL CODE

The following excerpt was taken from People v. Del Rosario, G.R. No. L-7234, May 21, 1955.

The other question is whether a month mentioned in Article 90 should be considered as the calendar month and not the 30-day month. It is to be noted that no provision of the Revised Penal Code defines the length of the month. Article 7 of the old Civil Code provided that a month shall be understood as containing 30 days; but this concept was modified by section 13 of the Revised Administrative Code which provides that a month means the civil or calendar month and not the regular 30-day month (Gutierrez vs. Carpio, 53 Phil., 334). With the approval of the Civil Code of the Philippines (R.A. No. 386), however, we have reverted to the provisions of the Spanish Civil Code in accordance with which a month is to be considered as the regular 30-day month (Article 13). This provision of the new Civil Code has been intended for general application in the interpretation of the laws. As the offense charged in the information in the case at bar took place on May 28, 1953, after the new Civil Code had come to effect, this new provision should apply, and in accordance therewith the month in Article 90 of the Revised Penal Code should be understood to mean the regular 30-day month. (People v. Del Rosario, G.R. No. L-7234, May 21, 1955) 

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