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Who Represents Who

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Ernesto Añasco heads the six-partner team at Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw), which represents GlaxoSmithKline, Convergys, Chevron Philippines and Procter & Gamble Philippines in various labour disputes. Eduardo Soleng, Jr made partner in April 2016.

Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño’s department is led by Grace Quevedo-Panagsagan, with support from Rachelle Santos. It assisted Minacs Group with a labour compliance audit. Other clients include Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines and Arinso Philippines.

The ‘very responsive, practicalKenneth Chua co-heads the ‘excellent value’ practice at Quisumbing Torres with Gil Zerrudo. Eliseo Zuñiga, Jr is also active in the space. Clients include Johnson & Johnson and Takeda Pharmaceuticals Philippines.

At Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako, chairman Rolando Villonco leads the employment team, which has assisted numerous high-profile Philippines companies with their collective bargaining agreements.

The ‘very knowledgeable, practicalMarianne Miguel at SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitanalways provides sound, strong legal advice’ and is noted for her ‘eye for detail’. Luisito Liban heads the team, which acts for clients including Pfizer, Bank of America and Thomson Reuters.

The ‘prompt, supportive’ department at Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio is led by Cesar Santamaria, Jr; he and Norma Patacsil have ‘superb knowledge of employment matters’. Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corporation is a key client.

Romeo Fernandez, Deogracias Fellone and Luis Clemente at Poblador Bautista & Reyes handle a wide variety of employment work.

Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices’ department is led by Roy Santos and Joseph Castillo. Castillo and Fidel Valeros, Jr represented various business process outsourcing companies in disputes relating to their operations in the country.

The team at Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles is well versed in compliance and litigation, and advises on collective bargaining, union relations and health and safety. It also resolves disputes over sexual harassment and compensation.

Belo Gozon Elma Parel Asuncion & Lucila represents clients in compulsory and voluntary arbitration, and assists with negotiating collective bargaining agreements. It also reviews employee benefit plans and personnel manuals.

Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose advises companies on labour policy, handles strikes and collective bargaining negotiations, and helps clients resolve personnel problems.

Joseph Rebano at Del Rosario & Del Rosario represented Thome Group in a $2m case brought against its health insurance provider. Ruben del Rosario, Arturo del Rosario, Jr and Charles Dela Cruz are also active.

The practice at JGLaw is led by Ernesto Caluya, Jr, with support from Winston Esguerra. It successfully defended Netsuite Philippines in a dismissal case brought against it by a former director of the company.

Reynaldo Dizon leads the team at Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano, with support from senior associate Kristine Bongcaron. Clients include Century Canning Corporation, ADP (Philippines), PMI Colleges and Diversified Technology Solutions International.

Ocampo Manalo Valdez & Lim’s practice is headed by Manolito Manalo and includes Juan Valdez and Bernadeth Lim. Airline Pilots Association and Port Users Confederation are clients.

The department at Ortega Bacorro Odulio Calma & Carbonell, which is led by Elizer Odulio, handles all aspects of employer-employee relations, including unfair dismissals and collective bargaining negotiations. It is particularly active in the maritime sector.

Purisimo Buyco’s practice at Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos advises employees and employers on collective bargaining negotiations and industrial disputes.

Orencio Ibarra, Jr, Miguel Damaso and Jose Tual are the key partners at Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres Ibarra & Sison, which handles unfair dismissals, strikes, wage claims, and employment-related criminal cases.

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)’s labour practice counts Conergy Asia & ME as a client. Raoul Angangco and Leonardo Singson are the partners to contact.

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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
  • 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.
  • Philippine Court of Appeals Denies Issuance of Environmental Protection Order Against Mining Company

    In a decision issued on March 8, 2017, the Philippine Court of Appeals (CA) denied the petition by NGO Ang Aroroy ay Alagaan, Inc. and certain individuals, for the issuance of a writ of kalikasan against Filminera Resources Corporation, and its directors and officers. The petitioners have claimed that Filminera, which operates in the Philippine province of Masbate, had been causing environmental damage in the conduct of its mining operations in violation of local law, and that a writ of kalikasan should be issued.
  • SyCipLaw TMT Bulletin: Philippine Central Bank Issues New FinTech Rules

    The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) (the Philippine Central Bank) has issued two new circulars that will be of interest to companies engaged in remittance services, e-money, digital currency, and other fintech businesses. Both circulars amend portions of the BSP Manual of Regulations for Non-Bank Financial Institutions.
  • IFLR: “Philippines: Foreign equity ownership decision”

    The March issue of the International Financial Law Review ( IFLR ) includes an international briefing article by SyCipLaw partner  Jose Florante M. Pamfilo  entitled “Philippines: Foreign equity ownership decision”. The article discusses the Philippine Supreme Court decision on the case of Roy v. Herbosa (GR no. 207246) to invalidate the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Memorandum Circular no. 8-2013 (MC 8-2013) on the guidelines on compliance with the Filipino-foreign ownership requirements prescribed in the Philippine Constitution and/or existing laws by corporations engaged in nationalized and partly nationalized activities.
  • Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All

    The World Bank Group has released its Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All report. This is the 14th in an annual series of reports providing objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement in 190 economies. The report focuses on measuring regulations affecting 11 areas: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, and labor market regulation.

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