What is condonation or remission?

Condonation or remission of debt as a mode of extinguishment of obligation is discussed under Article 1270 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, to wit:
ART. 1270. Condonation or remission is essentially gratuitous, and requires the acceptance by the obligor. It may be made expressly or impliedly.

One and the other kind shall be subject to the rules which govern inofficious donations. Express condonation shall, furthermore, comply with the forms of donation. (1187)
Condonation or remission is an act of liberality where the creditor gives up his right against the debtor, either in whole or in part, resulting in the extinguishment of the latter's obligation.[1][2] It is essentially gratuitous and requires the acceptance of the debtor. The reason for the need of debtor's consent is that one cannot simply impose his own generosity upon another person. The remission may be made expressly or impliedly.

For a condonation or remission to be valid, the following requisites must concur:

a) the debt must be existing and demandable;

b) it must be gratuitous;

c) the debtor must accept the remission;

d) it must not be inofficious; and

e) if made expressly, it must conform with the forms of donation.

If the renunciation is not gratuitous, the nature of the act changes and it may become: a) dation in payment[3]; b) novation[4]; and c) compromise.[5]


[1] Rabuya. (2019). Obligations and Contracts.

[2] De Leon. (2014). Obligations and Contracts.

[3] What is dation in payment? (projectjurisprudence.com)

[4] Novation as mode of extinguishing obligations (projectjurisprudence.com)

[5] When the matter renounced is in litigation or dispute and in exchange of some concession which the creditor receives. (Tolentino)

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