Contract Cancellation due to Pandemic

With the global pandemic on the rise due to COVID19 virus, weddings and other events are on a halt due to restricted health and safety protocols against mass gatherings. One of the most affected is the weddings and events industry. Weddings, birthdays, christening, baby showers, bridal showers, even photo shoots and so on have been cancelled everywhere. Instead of the usual celebrations with all the booked suppliers, people have opted to do their events online. Just like how we did it here with our Online Gender Reveal and usually DIY-style, since you’re left with no choice but to be resourceful and do everything with whatever you’ve got.

So what about the bookings and payments that has been done before the pandemic occurred? With the cancellations, would the couple/ celebrant (1st party in the contract) be able to get their money back? This is actually a very good question which has been noted on one of our posts regarding Wedding Supplier Contract Cancellation which discussed about the importance of the clauses inside a contract.

But while watching a favorite show, we heard this advice from the show’s legal advisor when the case pertains to a couple who didn’t want to push through with their wedding contract anymore and was seeking for a full refund because of the pandemic. At first, with the knowledge that we have, we thought that it will be a lose case since typically wedding suppliers does not give full refunds unless it’s their fault even if in some instance that it was for “force majeur” or the Act of God. In this scenario, it was clear that the reason for the full refund was for “force majeur” due to the pandemic and it was explained clearly that as per our Philippines Civil Code, a rescission can be applied which according to Pinoy Legal (2010), contracts which are rescissible as provided by law (Articles 1380, 1381 and 1382, Civil Code) or to a contract with reciprocal obligations, where one of the parties fail to comply with his obligations under the contract (Article 1191, Civil Code). To rescind not only means to end a contract; rescission in this case means to have it declared void from the beginning, as if there was no contract at all (Spouses Velarde vs. Court of Appeals, GR No. 108346, July 11, 2001).

In short, the clauses inside the contract as well as the contract itself can be dismissed between parties with a full refund as a result to be given to the 1st party (couple) kung hindi pa gumastos, umaksyon or may nagawa ang 2nd party (supplier) para sa kasal or event as per the contract and their obligation to the customer (1st party) na naapektuhan ng force majeur or the pandemic. This is a good information for those whose event has been affected by this pandemic since full refund can be sought.

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