The Constitution gets much attention, despite the fact that any attempt to amend it means a danger to the system of checks and balances. Meanwhile, there are other laws which require amendments or revisions but are overlooked.
- Revised Penal Code (RPC) – In force since January 1, 1932, the primary criminal law in the Philippines penalizes such acts as duel, a relic of a bygone era, and death or physical injuries in a tumultuous affray, which is no longer necessary due to advances in forensics (now making it possible to identify who inflicted what). Also, a lot of special laws have been passed to penalize acts not covered by the RPC. Thus, one studying criminal law has to look at all these laws. Revising the RPC to include all acts punished by special laws (an effort called “codification”) would make it easier for anyone to find whether a certain act is punished by law.
- Negotiable Instruments Law – This is another American-era law, enacted on February 3, 1911. The procedures contained in the law as prerequisites to recovery (ex. presentment and dishonor) are no longer in step with advances in communication and transportation. Said advances have also rendered irrelevant the provisions on bills in set, where more than one copy of the same bill is issued and sent, in case the first copy is lost. Lastly, different modes of payment have emerged that are certainly deserving of regulation. Non-paper based GCash and Smart Padala come to mind.
- Public Service Act – This Commonwealth-era law still regulates land transportation in the Philippines, despite advances in technology brought about by web-based applications like Grab.
- Land Transportation and Traffic Code (Republic Act No. 4136) – The prohibiton against the operation of motorcycles as public transport services is contained in this law. Thus, the legal issue involving Angkas.
- Code of Commerce – Much of this law, from the Spanish era, has been replaced. However, several provisions still remain valid to this day. The provisions on water transportation and letters of credit come to mind, again despite advances in technology.
Will update this law when I encounter more vintage laws.