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The Philippine market has been fairly dynamic in the last couple of years; this is attributable to the change in administration and the enactment of different policies in the infrastructure and projects space. Since Rodrigo Duterte became president in 2016, promising a "war on drugs" and a push towards federalism, he has initiated a ‘build, build, build’ infrastructure program with an emphasis on unsolicited proposals, build–operate–transfers (BOTs) and public–private partnerships (PPPs), which has led to a flurry of activity in the projects sector. This increase, the need for which is heightened by an expanding population and growing economy, has led to more investor-state and commercial arbitration. The government continues to promote alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as a method of resolving disputes, especially when it comes to BOTs, PPPs and joint ventures.

The business-process outsourcing (BPO) sector remains a strong contributor to the economy and there has been an increase in inbound foreign investment, especially from China, in the corporate and M&A space. Outbound investment from Filipino conglomerates overseas is also increasing. The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act was implemented in 2018 with the aim of creating a fairer and more efficient tax system; its three key aims are economic growth, employment generation and inflation control.

The key players in the legal market remain the same, with Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw), SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan, Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles and Quisumbing Torres (a Baker McKenzie LLP correspondent firm) taking on the biggest cases nationally.

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