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Mark Vergara heads the Banking and Finance practice at Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano, which has particular expertise in banking operations and regulatory compliance. Co-head Rosalia Bartolome-Alejo and partner Erika Paulino recently acted as counsel to BDO Unibank in the $23m term loan facility made to Cardinal Agri Products to partially finance the development of an integrated coconut processing facility in Palawan. Other notable clients include Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, Sta Lucia Land and Sarangani Energy Corporation.

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles‘ banking and finance practice head Jose Mirasol is regularly instructed by major domestic and foreign banks, multinationals and financial institutions. The group is particularly consulted by corporate clients on structuring, nationality compliance, capital raising and counterparty negotiation, among other matters.

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan’s banking and finance practice is headed by Marievic Ramos-Añonuevo, who succeeds the now-retired Mia Gentugaya, and includes Vicente Gerochi IV, Simeon Ken Ferrer and Jose Florante Pamfilo. The firm has acted for a range of notable clients such as the Philippine National Bank and Energy World Corporation, and recently advised BDO Unibank on a PHP3.4bn term loan to Solar Philippine Calatagan Corporation to refinance the development of a major solar power generating facility in Batangas.

Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos advises on a range of matters, including regulatory issues, export credits and guarantees, project financing, documentary credits and quasi-equity financing. Cristina Gil-Fernandez and Gemma Santos have advised a number of notable clients, including the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

Ramil Bugayong leads the practice at Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices, which is experienced in a range of banking and finance matters, including acquisition financing, equity investment and securitisation. The team has acted for a number of notable clients, such as Aboitiz Power Corporation, China Banking Corporation and China Bank Capital Corp. Highlights included the $650m acquisition of beneficial interests in GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant and GNPower Dinginin by Therma Power, an Aboitiz subsidiary.

Quisumbing Torres’ banking and finance department handles a range of domestic and cross-border financing, regulatory and industry issues. The team has particular experience in project development and financing, asset and balance sheet financing, securitisation and insurance regulatory matters.

Sylvette Tankiang and Franchette Acosta head the practice at Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law), providing expertise in structuring financing transactions and drafting loan agreements in domestic and cross-border matters. Maria Simundac provides ‘quality legal advice’ and has considerable experience in complex regulatory and compliance work. Recent highlights include acting for Conergy Solar Philippines on a $75m facilities agreement.

Angelo Advincula and Samantha Dy-van de Loo lead the team at Zambrano Gruba Caganda & Advincula, which has acted for a number of notable clients, including Asia United Bank, the Philippine Bank of Communication and BDO Unibank; for example, Antero Caganda acted as counsel to BDO Unibank in a $178m loan deal to finance a number of real estate development projects, including a new five-level retail mall.

Eusebio Tan leads the team at Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw), which includes Judy Hao, Andre Navato, Jr and Elaine Reyes-Rodolfo. The group recently advised Standard Chartered Bank as a co-lead arranger on the updating of BDO Unibank’s medium term note programme and the issuance of $300m senior notes due 2021.

Mel Macaraig, Alvin Geli and Polo Pantaleon are the key partners at Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose, which acts for clients including the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Nomura International.

The team at Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law) is experienced in advising banks and financial institutions on a range of matters, with particular expertise in regulatory compliance and security transactions. Jaime Gatmaytan leads the practice and recently represented Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in a $650m loan deal to Therma Power, an Aboitiz subsidiary.

Ma Carmen Agcaoili-Oreña leads the banking and finance practice at Agcaoili & Associates, supported by Jose Agcaoili and Enrique Parungo. Clients include Citibank, the Asian Development Bank and Philippine Commercial Capital.

Ocampo Manalo Valdez & Lim’s banking and finance practice has experience in mutual funds, insurance, banking and project finance matters. The team, which is led by Carlos Ocampo, has acted for range of clients, including Grepa Mutual Fund, MAA Mutualife and Paramount Life & General Insurance Corporation.

The corporate practice at Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres Ibarra Sison & Damaso handles a range of banking and finance, investment and securities regulation matters. Ruelito Soriano and Eileen Pangalangan-Pardo act for a number of notable clients, including Energy Development Corporation, Manila Electric Company and Cagayan Electric Power and Light.

Jocelyn Esguerra-Dee is Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako’s key banking partner, with experience in transactions involving lending and financing arrangements, securitisation and regulatory compliance. The practice acts for a range of banks and insurance companies and is particularly active in contentious matters. Key clients include HSBC, the Banker’s Association of the Philippines (BAP) and NestlĂ©.

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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 TMT Bulletin: “More Philippine Data Privacy Act: Are you Ready for Phase II?”

    Controllers and processors who have completed Phase I registration with the National Privacy Commission (NPC) will now have to gear up for Phase II. Phase II involves providing the NPC certain information on the organization’s compliance with the Data Privacy Act (DPA).
  • Getting the Deal Through: Appeals 2017

    The Philippine chapter of Getting the Deal Through: Appeals 2017 was contributed by SyCipLaw partner Ramon G. Songco and associate Kathleen Kay A. de Guzman . The chapter provides key insight into the appellate stage of dispute resolution in the Philippines.
  • The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Patents 2018

    The Philippine chapter of the International Comparative Legal Guide to: Patents 2018 was contributed by SyCipLaw partners Enrique T. Manuel and Vida M. Panganiban-Alindogan . The chapter answers key questions on patent enforcement, patent amendment, licensing, patent term extension, patent prosecution and opposition, border control measures, and antitrust laws and inequitable conduct. It also gives an overview on current patent developments in the country.
  • IBA Taxes Committee: “Developments in Philippine Tax Laws and Regulations”

    The International Bar Association’s (IBA) Taxes Committee published its annual update on tax developments by jurisdiction for 2017. The 2017 update includes a Philippine report by SyCipLaw partner Hiyasmin H. Lapitan entitled “Developments in Philippine Tax Laws and Regulations”. The Philippine report summarizes recent updates related to tax treaty relief, passed-on gross receipts tax, alternative modes of paying taxes, reduction of real property tax on independent power producers, and case law, as well as upcoming tax reform developments.
  • ALB: “Enforcement Update: Philippine Competition Act”

    The August 2017 issue of the Asian Legal Business (ALB)  includes a Philippine regional update by SyCipLaw partner  Arlene M. Maneja entitled, “Enforcement Update: Philippine Competition Act”. The article summarizes the administrative, civil and criminal penalties that apply to companies that have yet to comply with the Philippine Competition Act (PCA). The transitional clause of the PCA to enable parties to renegotiate agreements or restructure their businesses to comply with the law expired on August 7, 2017.
  • CPO: “Philippines: To Be or Not To Be a Data Protection Officer (DPO)”

    Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) Magazine, an online publication owned by Data Privacy Asia, featured an article by SyCipLaw partner Rose Marie M. King-Dominguez . Entitled “Philippines: To Be or Not To Be a Data Protection Officer (DPO) ”, the article discusses the qualifications and responsibilities of a DPO as outlined in the Philippine Data Privacy Act of 2012. It also outlines difficulties companies may experience in the appointment of a DPO.
  • ALB: “Guidelines on Related Party Transactions for Insurers in the Philippines”

    The July 2017 issue of the Asian Legal Business (ALB) includes a Philippine regional update by SyCipLaw partner Hiyasmin H. Lapitan and associate Jo Margarette W. Remollo entitled, “Guidelines on Related Party Transactions for Insurers in the Philippines ”. The article summarizes the Insurance Commission’s compliance guidelines on related party transactions, as set out in Insurance Circular Letter No. 2017-29. The Circular covers insurers, reinsurers, branch offices of foreign insurers, mutual benefit associations, pre-need companies, and health maintenance organizations and their intermediaries.
  • Philippines Chapter in The Tax Disputes and Litigation Review - Edition 5

    The Philippines section of The Tax Disputes and Litigation Review - Edition 5 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 .
  • IFLR: “Philippines: Acquiring insurance brokers”

    The April issue of the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) includes an international briefing article by SyCipLaw partner  Hiyasmin H. Lapitan  entitled “Philippines: Acquiring insurance brokers”. The article discusses the new requirement by the Philippine Insurance Commission (IC) for advance approval to acquire a stake in a Philippine corporation that is licensed as an insurance broker or reinsurance broker. This requirement is noted in the IC’s circular letter number 2017-09 dated February 14, 2017, which prescribes guidelines on the documentation requirements for acquiring a domestic insurance or reinsurance broker.
  • SyCipLaw Tax Bulletin: Philippine BIR Rules on Proper Tax Treatment of Passed-on Gross Receipts Tax

    On June 13, 2016, the then Commissioner of Internal Revenue issued Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 62-2016 purporting to clarify the proper tax treatment of percentage tax or gross receipts tax (GRT) due on transactions covered by Sections 1211 and 1222 of the Tax Code which are shifted through contractual stipulations to borrowers/customers/clients (“passed-on” GRT). Banks, non-bank financial intermediaries performing quasi-banking functions are subject to GRT under Section 121 while financing companies and other financial intermediaries not performing quasi-banking functions are subject to GRT under Section 122. The effectivity of this circular was suspended on July 1, 2016 by the new Commissioner of Internal Revenue. However, on November 15, 2016, the suspension was lifted by RMC No. 127-2016 rendering RMC No. 62-2016 effective immediately.

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