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Editorial

Overview

The economic growth and foreign investment enjoyed by the Philippines, one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, continued into 2015. The infrastructure sector has seen significant investment, with major national expressways and light rail transit systems now underway – though activity in projects and real estate slowed ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Domestic banks were remarkably liquid, reducing the need for foreign banks to finance large projects; borrowers have been less dependent on capital markets for funding.

Several sectors were notably active: although Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles is still the premier tax firm, numerous other tax practices were busy throughout the year, with clients looking to navigate the country’s 30% corporate income tax rate and relatively aggressive attitude towards tax collection; the resources market, including but not limited to renewable energy, has also been busy; and there has been no shortage of BPO activity in the Philippines.

The larger domestic firms – most notably Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALAW), Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles and SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan – continue to provide strong service across various practice areas.

Although foreign firms are not allowed to establish themselves in the Philippines, some have associated or member firms based in Manila offices; for example Quisumbing Torres is Baker & McKenzie’s correspondent firm in the Philippines.

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Legal Developments in Philippines

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Export Development Canada’s First 5 Calls: Philippines

    ExportWise magazine has published the “First 5 Calls” series on the Philippines. Published by Export Development Canada (EDC) for Canadian exporters and investors, ExportWise’s “First 5 Calls” series seeks to provide practical, on-the-ground advice from five market experts who each address a particular aspect of doing business in a certain country, such as legal and regulatory, market entry and distribution, customs, human resources, etc.
  • IFLR: “Philippines: New foreign investment rules”

    The April 2016 issue of the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) included an international briefing article entitled “New foreign investment rules.” The article was contributed by SyCipLaw partner  Marietta A. Tibayan .
  • The Public-Private Partnership Law Review 2nd ed.

    The second edition of The Public-Private Partnership Law Review has been published. Each jurisdiction chapter contains information on general framework, bidding and award procedure, contract, finance, recent decisions, and outlook. The Philippine chapter was contributed by the SyCipLaw Partners  Marievic G. Ramos-Añonuevo  and  Arlene M. Maneja .
  • IFLR: “Philippines: New securities regulations”

    The March 2016 issue of the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) included an international briefing article entitled “New securities regulations.” The article was contributed by SyCipLaw partner  Melyjane G. Bertillo-Ancheta .
  • IFLR: “Philippines: PPPs and the election ban”

    The May 2016 issue of the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) included an international briefing article entitled “PPPs and the election ban.” The article was contributed by SyCipLaw partner  Aaron Roi B. Riturban .
  • The Tax Disputes and Litigation Review - Edition 4 - Philippine Chapter

    The Philippines section of The Tax Disputes and Litigation Review 4th Edition  contains information on commencing disputes, including national and local taxes; courts and tribunals; penalties and remedies; tax claims, including recovering overpaid taxes, challenging administrative decisions, and claimants; costs; alternative dispute resolution; anti-avoidance; double taxation treaties; areas of focus; and outlook and conclusions. The section was contributed by SyCipLaw partner  Carina C. Laforteza  with support from associate  Mark Xavier D. Oyales .
  • ALB SE Asia Law Awards 2016 Shortlist

    The ALB SE Asia Law Awards 2016 shortlist has been published. SyCipLaw is shortlisted for law firm of the year awards in arbitration, banking and financial services, commercial litigation, construction and real estate, energy and resources, and intellectual property. Six of the firm's transactions are also shortlisted for deal of the year awards.
  • Liability Management Exercise of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and affiliates

    SyCipLaw acted as Philippine counsel for the dealers, Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in a back-to-back tender offer of perpetual securities and issuance of new perpetual securities.
  • Philippine Competition Commission Issues Transitory Rules for Mergers and Acquisition

    On February 12, 2016, the recently constituted Philippine Competition Commission (“PCC”), which was created under the Philippine Competition Act (Republic Act 10667 or the “PCA”), issued Memorandum Circular No. 16-001, Series of 2016 (the “Transitory Rules”), which provides for the transitory rules and guidelines relating to mergers and acquisitions that were, or are to be, executed or otherwise implemented after the effectivity of the PCA on August 8, 2015 but before the effectivity of its implementing rules and regulations (the “PCA IRR”). Given the special nature of transactions effected through the Philippine Stock Exchange, the Transitory Rules will not cover such transactions and will be covered by a separate issuance by the PCC.
  • Financing for the Mactan Cebu International Airport

    SyCipLaw acted as Philippine counsel to a syndicate of Philippine banks (composed of BDO Unibank, Inc., Bank of the Philippine Islands, Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company and Philippine National Bank) and Asian Development Bank for the financing of the rehabilitation and development of the Mactan Cebu International Airport that was awarded by the DOTC and the MCIAA under the private-public partnership program of the government to the consortium between Megawide Construction Corporation and GMR Infrastructure. The financing is composed of (1) Php20 Billion (approx. US$446,773,200) commitment of the Philippines syndicate banks and (2) US$75 Million commitment of ADB.

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