BP 22



Section 1. Checks without sufficient funds. - Any person who makes or draws and issues any check to apply on account or for value, knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment, which check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid reason, ordered the bank to stop payment, shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than thirty days but not more than one (1) year or by a fine of not less than but not more than double the amount of the check which fine shall in no case exceed Two Hundred Thousand Pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.

The same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who, having sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank when he makes or draws and issues a check, shall fail to keep sufficient funds or to maintain a credit to cover the full amount of the check if presented within a period of ninety (90) days from the date appearing thereon, for which reason it is dishonored by the drawee bank.

Where the check is drawn by a corporation, company or entity, the person or persons who actually signed the check in behalf of such drawer shall be liable under this Act.

Section 2. Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. - The making, drawing and issuance of a check payment of which is refused by the drawee because of insufficient funds in or credit with such bank, when presented within ninety (90) days from the date of the check, shall be prima facie evidence of knowledge of such insufficiency of funds or credit unless such maker or drawer pays the holder thereof the amount due thereon, or makes arrangements for payment in full by the drawee of such check within (5) banking days after receiving notice that such check has not been paid by the drawee.

Section 3. Duty of drawee; rules of evidence. - It shall be the duty of the drawee of any check, when refusing to pay the same to the holder thereof upon presentment, to cause to be written, printed, or stamped in plain language thereon, or attached thereto, the reason for drawee's dishonor or refusal to pay the same: Provided, That where there are no sufficient funds in or credit with such drawee bank, such fact shall always be explicitly stated in the notice of dishonor or refusal. In all prosecutions under this Act, the introduction in evidence of any unpaid and dishonored check, having the drawee's refusal to pay stamped or written thereon or attached thereto, with the reason therefor as aforesaid, shall be prima facie evidence of the making or issuance of said check, and the due presentment to the drawee for payment and the dishonor thereof, and that the same was properly dishonored for the reason written, stamped or attached by the drawee on such dishonored check.

Not with standing receipt of an order to stop payment, the drawee shall state in the notice that there were no sufficient funds in or credit with such bank for the payment in full of such check, if such be the fact.

Section 4. Credit construed. - The word "credit" as used herein shall be construed to mean an arrangement or understanding with the bank for the payment of such check.

Section 5. Liability under the Revised Penal Code. - Prosecution under this Act shall be without prejudice to any liability for violation of any provision of the Revised Penal Code.

Section 6. Separability clause. - If any separable provision of this Act be declared unconstitutional, the remaining provisions shall continue to be in force.

Section 7. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect fifteen days after publication in the Official Gazette.1âwphi1

Approved: April 3, 1979.

Bar Exam Question (2002)

BP 22; Presumption of Knowledge (2002)

A a businessman, borrowed P500,000.00 from B, a friend.To pay the loan, A issued a postdated check to be presented for payment 30 days after the transaction. Two days beforethe maturity date of the check, A called up B and told him not to deposit the check on the date stated on the face thereof, as A had not deposited in the drawee bank the amount needed to cover the check. Nevertheless, B deposited the check in question and the same was dishonored of insufficiency of funds. A failed to settle the  amount with B in spite of the latter's demands. Is A guilty of violating B.P. Blg. 22, otherwise known as the Bouncing Checks Law? Explain.

Suggested Answer:

Yes, A Is liable for violation of BP. Blg. 22 (Bouncing Checks Law), Although knowledge by the drawer of insufficiency or lack of funds at the time of the issuance of the check is an essential element of the violation, the law presumes prima facie such knowledge, unless within five (5) banking days of notice of dishonor or nonpayment, the drawer pays the holder thereof the amount due thereon or makes arrangements for payment in full by the drawee of such checks.

A mere notice by the drawer A to the payee B before the maturity date of the check will not defeat the presumption of knowledge created by the law; otherwise, the purpose and spirit of B.P. 22 will be rendered useless.

Bar Exam Question (1996)

Estafa vs. BP 22 (1996)

The accused was convicted under B.P, Blg. 22 for having issued several checks which were dishonored by the drawee bank on their due date because the accused closed her account after the issuance of checks. On appeal, she argued that she could not be convicted under Blg. 22 by reason of the closing of her account because said law applies solely to checks dishonored by reason of insufficiency of funds and that at the time she issued the checks concerned, she had adequate funds in the bank. While she admits that she may be held liable for estafa under Article 215 of the Revised Penal Code, she cannot however be found guilty of having violated Blg. 22. Is her contention correct? Explain.

Suggested Answer:

No, the contention of the accused is not correct. As long as the checks issued were issued to apply on account or for value, and was dishonored upon presentation for payment to the drawee bank for lack of insufficient funds on their due date, such act falls within the ambit of B.P. Blg. 22. Said law expressly punishes any person who may have insufficient funds in the drawee bank when he issues the check, but fails to keep sufficient funds to cover the full amount of the check when presented to the drawee bank within ninety (90) days from the date appearing thereon.

Bar Exam Question (2003)

Estafa vs. BP 22 (2003)

A and B agreed to meet at the latter's house to discuss B's financial problems. On his way, one of A's car tires blew up. Before A left following the meeting, he asked B to lend him (A) money to buy a new spare tire. B had temporarily exhausted his bank deposits, leaving a zero balance. Anticipating, however, a replenishment of his account soon, B issued A a postdated check with which A negotiated for a new tire. When presented, the check bounced for lack of funds. The tire company filed a
criminal case against A and B. What would be the criminal liability, if any, of each of the two accused? Explain. 

Suggested Answer:

A, who negotiated the unfunded check of B in buying a new tire for his car may only be prosecuted for estafa if he was aware at the time of such negotiation that the check has no sufficient funds in the drawee bank; otherwise, he is not criminally liable. B, who accommodated A with his check may nevertheless be prosecuted under BP 22 for having issued the check, knowing at the time of issuance that it has no funds in the bank and that A will negotiate it to buy a new tire, i.e., for value. B may not be prosecuted for estafa because the facts indicate that he is not actuated by intent to defraud in issuing the check which A negotiated. Obviously, B issued the postdated check only to help A: criminal intent or dolo is absent.