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  2. Leading individuals
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Leading individuals

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Who Represents Who

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Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw) is strong in construction, development and PPP infrastructure development, and was involved in the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) Project. Teodoro Regala, Avelino Cruz, Victor Lazatin and Eusebio Tan are particularly active in real estate and construction work.

The real estate practice at Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law) is active in PPP projects involving construction, financing and operation of public utilities such as airports and rail systems. The firm is currently advising the International Finance Corporation as well as the Development Bank of the Philippines on the Light Rail Transit Line 2 O&M PPP Projects and the Davao Sasa Port Modernization Project. Jaime Gatmaytan, Norma Patacsil, Mary Mundin and Albert Yu Chang are the key contacts.

Aris Gulapa leads the team at Gulapa Law Office, which frequently advises private sector clients on acquiring development rights on public properties. The team has also been involved in the North-South Rail Project and Ayala’s ITS-South Terminal project.

The practice at Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos advises clients on the acquisition, lease, development, and disposition of real estate. Ma Adelina Gatdula and Paul Salanga are the partners to note.

Poblador Bautista & Reyes advises real estate developers on issues involving land acquisition, land use conversion and regulatory compliance. Founding partners Alexander Poblador and Gilbert Reyes are active in this area.

Elizabeth Opeña leads the real estate practice at Quisumbing Torres, which regularly advises clients on a range of matters, including real estate finance, planning and land use, commercial leasing, construction litigation, and corporate real estate. The firm acts for buyers and sellers, and was also recently instructed by Ocmador Philippines VB, an affiliate of ING Bank.

The team at Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles frequently advise clients on land ownership and lease of government land, with particular expertise in handling matters involving foreign investors. Joaquin Sayoc, Ronaldo Ventura and Benjamin Lerma are the key contacts.

Rocky Reyes leads the team at SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan, which recently acted for Erawan Group PCL, a leading hospitality and hotel developer company, in its various hotel construction and management projects in the Philippines.

The six-partner real estate and construction team at Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law) is led by Sylvette Tankiang and Franchette Acosta. The department is experienced in handling the full range of real estate transactions and construction projects, and frequently advises developers of commercial, residential, industrial and mixed-use projects, such as Ayala Land.

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia’s practice is led by Rosa Bagtas, who is strongly supported by Pancho Umali. The firm recently assisted Goldenwill Inc with the PHP103m acquisition of unutilised air development rights.

The real estate and construction practice at Ocampo Manalo Valdez & Lim is led by Carlos Ocampo, who advises on various commercial agreements and regulatory matters. Key clients include Hong Kong Engineering, Konstrak International, and SM Prime.

The team at Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices has expertise in construction in the transport and energy sectors, and has been particularly active in advising the Philippine Department of Transportation and Communications and the PPP Center on the development and construction of a new international airport in Cebu.

Nicanor Padilla is the key contact in Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako’s real estate practice, which has particular expertise in advising industrial park developers and operators.

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Legal Developments in Philippines

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

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  • 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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