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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.

Press releases

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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
  • SyCipLaw advises lenders in Limay, Bataan power project

    SyCipLaw acted as local counsel to DBS Bank Ltd., Mizuho Bank, Ltd. and Standard Chartered Bank, the structuring banks in the US$400 million Project Financing of a new 300MW coal-fired power plant in Limay, Bataan of SMC Consolidated Power Corp. The lenders to the project financing, in addition to the structuring banks were Bank of Commerce, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, CTBC Bank Co. Ltd., Maybank International (Labuan Branch), Maybank Philippines, Inc., Siemens Bank GMBH (London Branch), INTESA San Paolo S.p.a. (Hong Kong Branch). The project financing was recognized as Best Power Deal in the Asia-Pacific Region in the 2015 IJ Global Awards.
  • 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.

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to
  • Lower VAT On Hotel Services In Montenegro

    An important piece of regulation has been introduced in Montenegro recently, through the reduction of VAT on catering services in four stars hotels (in the north of the country) and five-star hotels (on the seaside), which will be effective from 2018. According to media reports, Olivera Brajović, General Director of Tourism Development and Standards in the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, pointed out that these reduced tax rates on services of preparing and serving food and drinks are expected to raise the overall competitiveness in the hospitality sector, while at the same time contribute to the combat against grey economy.
  • Karanović & Nikolić Joins The NextLaw Global Referral Network

    Karanović & Nikolić is pleased to announce that it has joined the NextLaw Global Referral Network, created by global law firm Dentons. We are particularly excited by the fact that Nextlaw presents a new type of network, with a unique invitation-only approach in their selection, ensuring that all of its members have the highest quality standards and a proven track record of excellence.
  • Sweet Smell Of Success - Serbian Sugar Industry Consolidates Its Forces

    After more than a four months and a Phase II (in-depth) investigation, the Competition Commission gave conditional approval, to Sunoko's acquisition of the Star Šećer company and its subsidiary Te-To - the owner of the sugar factory in Senta. No divestments have been required from Sunoko.
  • New Bridge Over Danube To Be Built In Belgrade

    News reports are informing us that Belgrade will gain another bridge over the Danube river in the near future – this one at the Ada Huja island and over three kilometres long.
  • Nikola Tesla Airport To Acquire Sava Centar?

    Media outlets have recently been reporting on the possibility that Nikola Tesla Airport will acquire Sava Centar (SC), with the purpose of turning it into its company headquarters. This acquisition would be followed by an investment of over EUR 30 million in the next three years for the building's reconstruction and adaptation. Such a decision would result in Sava Centar changing its name to "Congress Centre Nikola Tesla Airport", with an expanded array of facilities, including a tower, a shopping mall, and a hotel. The funds for the investment in question will be hailing from the Airport's own assets.
  • Too Big To Hide – European Commission Sanctions Truck Cartel

    Global competition law circles have recently been shaken by the European Commission's record-setting fine of EUR 2.93 billion for collusion on the automotive market, imposed against Volvo, Daimler, Iveco and DAF trucks. The sanctions in question varied amongst the accused parties, with Daimler facing the largest penalty in the amount of more than EUR 1 billion on its own. Iveco's fine was set at EUR 494 million, DAF's at EUR 752 million, and Volvo's fine has been set at EUR 670 million.
  • Cartel Office ensures greater competition in rail sector

    The German railway company Deutsche Bahn must allow for more competition. The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, found that the company had abused its dominant market position with respect to the sale of rail tickets.
  • ETERNA LAW IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE START OF THE COOPERATION WITH PUBLIC ASSOCIATION "ACADEMY OF PREVE

    Eterna Law (representative office in Almaty) announces the beginning of co-operation as a legal adviser with the Public Association "Academy of Preventive Medicine of Kazakhstan."
  • LAG Sachsen-Anhalt on video surveillance at the workplace

    Video surveillance at the workplace does not inevitably give rise to claims for damages. That was the verdict of the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Sachsen-Anhalt [Regional Labour Court of Saxony-Anhalt] (Az.: 6 Sa 301/14).
  • Final stretch for loan withdrawal

    Those who still want to withdraw from real estate loans concluded between 2002 and 2010 should take action now while the right of withdrawal is on its last legs. This get-out-of-jail-free card is set to lapse shortly.