What is pure obligation?

Paragraph 1 of Article 1179 of the Civil Code tackles the concept of pure obligation, to wit:

ART. 1179. Every obligation whose performance does not depend upon a future or uncertain event, or upon a past event unknown to the parties, is demandable at once. 

 Every obligation which contains a resolutory condition shall also be demandable, without prejudice to the effects of the happening of the event. (1113)

A pure obligation is one where the performance does not depend upon a condition and no specific term or period is mentioned. Therefore, it is demandable at once. In Olivarez Realty Coporation v. Castillo,[1] the Supreme Court defined pure obligation, viz.:

On one hand, pure obligations, or obligations whose performance do not depend upon a future or uncertain event, or upon a past event unknown to the parties, are demandable at once. On the other hand, obligations with a resolutory period also take effect at once but terminate upon arrival of the day certain.

Olivarez Realty Corporation’s obligation to pay disturbance compensation is a pure obligation. The performance of the obligation to pay disturbance compensation did not depend on any condition. Moreover, the deed of conditional sale did not give the corporation a period to perform the obligation. As such, the obligation to pay disturbance compensation was demandable at once. Olivarez Realty Corporation should have paid the tenants disturbance compensation upon execution of the deed of conditional sale.


[1] G.R. No. 196251, July 9, 2014. 

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