Living in a society means that there are certain social rules or norms that you need to abide by in order to keep the peace. In a modern nation-state, these norms are codified into laws. According to the University of Melbourne Southeast Asian Legal Research Guide, the Philippine legal system in particular is a mixture of customary laws, civil laws, Islamic laws, and the Anglo-American system. The main sources of Philippine law are:
- The 1987 Constitution – the highest law of the land
- Statutes – Acts of Congress, municipal charters and legislation, court rules, administrative rules and orders, legislative rules, and presidential decrees or issuances
- Judicial decisions – decisions of the Supreme Court, which are binding in all other courts
Given the Philippines’ rich cultural history, including influences from religious customs, Spanish rule, and American colonization, laws in this country can go from the standard rules that every society needs to function, to some truly wacky regulations. Let’s take a look at some of the laws still in force today that would make anyone reading them do a double-take.