Definition of obligation

Article 1156 of the Civil Code of the Philippines defines an obligation, to wit:

Article 1156. An obligation is a juridical necessity to give, to do or not to do. (n)

An obligation is a juridical relation, whereby a person (called the creditor) may demand from another (called the debtor) the observance of a determinative conduct, and in case of breach, may obtain satisfaction from the assets of the latter.[1] Sanchez Roman described obligation as "the juridical necessity to comply with a prestation."[2] An obligation creates a juridical tie between the debtor and the creditor.

Obligation has been defined differently by different authors.[3] Some view it based on the vinculum tie between the parties. On the other hand, others define obligation based on its source. Although they may have different views on this, every obligation has four essential requisites. It has a juridical tie, prestation, and active and passive subjects.


[1] Makati Stock Exchange v. Campos, G.R. No. 138814 (2009).

[2] 4 Sanchez Roman 53.

[3] Rabuya, E. (2019). 

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