The Law in Our Lives

by Atty. James Benedict Florido · May 3, 2021

This article was requested with the objective of helping ordinary Filipinos understand and gain more knowledge about the law and how it affects or influences our daily lives. It will also help people of other nationalities to attain the same knowledge and understanding in whichever country they are currently found or residing. Every country has its own different and specific laws, but the function of the laws are the same or similar in each cultural society - to maintain a semblance of order.

Our lives begin when we are born. At that specific point of time, the law already interacts with us. Our parents are required to inform the Civil Registry of our birth which shall be officially recorded for the purpose of issuing our Birth Certificate. The birth certificate is so simple yet of extreme importance. Almost all important transactions in our lives will involve our birth certificates, i.e. applying to schools, getting a job, acquiring a passport, obtaining a social security number, etc.

Since the moment we are born until our death, we interact with our family, society and even the world. These interactions are dictated by the law. There are laws on Human Relations which enumerate what actions are against customs, morals and the public good, for which a person can be held financially liable in the form of "damages". As we get older, we enter into interpersonal relationships and even marriage --- the manner of conduct and spousal relationship of which are governed by laws. The law declares who may enter into a marriage; how to procure a marriage license; what proper relations exist between a husband and wife; and, the manner by which one may terminate their marriage. Finally, we are still intimately involved with the law when we die with regard to the debts, obligations and properties we left behind, including the rights of those who shall inherit and succeed from us. The law even governs the manner of issuance of a Death Certificate which shall be necessary for claiming any life insurance proceeds as a beneficiary, or for the settlement of the deceased's estate.

During our lifetime, the law defines all significant actions we perform such as but not limited to: criminal liability and penalties; property acquisition and ownership; contracts and obligations arising therefrom; sales; barter or exchange; lease; partnership; agency; loan; deposit; arbitration and compromise; guaranty; pledge and mortgage; labor relations and standards; insurance; commercial transactions; incorporation and corporate requirements; etc.

Ergo, the law is touching almost every part of our lives in order to establish some order to the chaos around us. It is, therefore, imperative that we know our rights to claim what is ours and defend what we have under the law, AND to be aware and mindful of the limits to the same rights bestowed upon us under the law.

About the Author

Atty. James Benedict Florido is an International Attorney-at-Law and is a Member of the American Bar Association and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. With 28 years of experience as a lawyer, he serves as the Senior Name Partner of FLORIDO Law Offices and is a Special Consultant at Wachtell Rosen Lipton & Katz. Atty. Florido is based in Cebu City, the Queen City of the South.

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