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Fortun Narvasa & Salazar’s practice frequently advises clients on joint venture agreements, government permit approvals, environmental matters, construction contracts and project financing. The team is led by Roderick Salazar III and includes energy expert Karl Castillo.

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)’s project and energy practice frequently handles major domestic and international energy projects, and recently acted for Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ on its $650m loan to Therma Power. Key partners within the department include Jaime Gatmaytan, Ben Yap, Norma Patacsil and Albert Yu Chang.

The projects and energy practice at Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano is led by Manuel Gonzalez, with strong support from Mark Vergara and Rosalia Bartolome-Alejo. The firm recently advised the Filoil Group on its entry into a PHP7bn joint venture agreement with Total Corporation for the merger of its operations in nationwide retail petroleum stations. Asia United Bank Corporation, the Philippine National Bank and BDO Bank are other clients.

Roderico Puno and Julito Sarmiento lead the team at Puno & Puno Law Offices, which includes senior partner Jose Layug, Jr. The practice is particularly experienced in handling matters concerning the renewable energy sector and the petroleum industry, and has acted for a range of clients such as Manila Electric Company, Visayan Electric Cooperative and Aboitiz Power Corporation.

Monalisa Dimalanta leads the energy practice at Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices, with strong support from Najha Estrella, Luther Ramos, Rowena Salonga and Shirley Velasquez-Viray. The department is experienced in issues involving renewables and coal thermal projects, as well as government advisory matters, and has acted on behalf of a number of notable clients such as Aboitiz Power Corporation, Masinloc Power Partners and San Buenventura Power. The team recently acted as counsel for Therma Power, an Aboitiz subsidiary, in the $1.2b acquisition of interests in GNPower.

The ‘capable and experienced’ team at Quisumbing Torres is led by Dennis Quintero, Pearl Liu and Lourdes de Leon, who have ‘a deep understanding of the Philippines’ oil and gas legal market’. The firm recently advised Techlron Resources on contractual matters relating to its joint venture project. MWH New Zealand, GRCO Isulan Mining Corporation and Philipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation are also clients.

The practice at Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles is led by Perry Pe, who is supported by energy specialist Tranquil Salvador III. The team has expertise in energy infrastructure matters, mining, and oil and gas exploration. It regularly handles regulatory compliance matters.

Rocky Reyes heads the practice at SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan, which regularly acts for notable developers in the Philippine coal, gas, hydroelectric and geothermal sectors. The team advised Manila Electric Company (Meralco) on the development of bidding terms for the tender of electricity sourced from renewable energy sources in the Philippines, as well as assisting the Bids and Awards Committee and providing regulatory advice.

Eusebio Tan leads the department at Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw), which has particular experience in matters involving natural resources and renewables.

Patricia Bunye leads the department at Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia, with strong support from Pancho Umali. The practice provides counsel to leading mining and energy companies on a broad range of matters, including compliance with nationality, obtaining government approval and licensing for mining activities and exploration permits. The firm recently advised Sagittarius Mines (SMI) on its cancellation of its environmental compliance certificate for the Tampakan Project, and has also acted as counsel to Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. and Filminera Resource Corporation.

Aris Gulapa leads the practice at Gulapa Law Office, which has recently been engaged in projects involving the renewable energy sector and solar power plant developments. Notable clients include Aboitiz, Ayala and MWM Terminals.

The team at Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos is particularly experienced in acting for leading mining companies and is frequently involved in domestic and cross-border mining and exploration projects, as well as hydro and wind projects. Silverio Tan, Alex Erlito Fider and Grace Dela Cruz are the key partners.

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law) ‘provides quality legal advice and value for money’, with experience in advising clients on ownership, structuring and documenting projects to ensure regulatory compliance and handling matters relating to renewable energy projects. Raoul Angangco, Sylvette Tankiang and Franchette Acosta are the key partners within the practice and they have acted for clients such as Aboitiz Equity Ventures, the Ayala Corporation and Alternegy Hydro Partners Corporation.

Belo Gozon Elma Parel Asuncion & Lucila handles a range of projects and energy matters, including negotiating and documenting power, energy and mining services contracts, and advising clients on government and administrative regulation. The firm provides particular expertise in matters involving the development and utilization of natural resources and issues relating to the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA). Magdangal Elma, Roberto Parel and Gener Asuncion are the key contacts.

At Mosveldtt Law, Rodolfo Tuazon, Jr advises clients on project development, joint ventures, securities offerings, investments and financing. The practice has acted for clients such as Next Generation Power Technology Corp, and has worked on a range of projects including conventional base-load power plants, wind, hydroelectric and transmission projects.

Ocampo Manalo Valdez & Lim’s projects and energy practice has particular expertise in the natural resource sector and has advised clients such as RT Minerals, Benguet Corporation, and Hitachi Asia. Bernadeth Lim is the name to note.

Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño’s projects and energy practice is managed by Rachelle Santos and Mia Martin, who have particular experience in renewable energy projects. The firm has advised ThomasLloyd Cleantech Infrastructure Fund on its investment and project financing of biomass power companies in the Philippines.

Miguel Mathay heads the practice at Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres Ibarra Sison & Damaso, which frequently acts for the leading oil companies, power generation and distribution companies, and electric cooperatives. The team is experienced in advising on legislation and regulatory compliance, contractual arrangements concerning the energy market, and project financing of oil and gas developments 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
  • 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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