Labour and employment in Philippines

Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw)

Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALaw) provides a comprehensive service in labour and employment, where it has a well-established client base of leading multinational companies in various sectors; key names include Coca-Cola, Chevron and AstraZeneca. In ongoing work on the contentious side, the team is currently handling several labour litigation cases - involving termination disputes, labour standards and labour relations matters - brought against client PMFTC; Erwin Jay Filio and of counsel Emiterio Manibog Jr are leading the team. The team has grown significantly at the associate level with several hires over the past couple of years, and other recent team changes include the promotion of Franchesca Abigail Gesmundo and Jose-Mari Roco to senior associate. Senior partner Emerico De Guzman maintains an active employment practice alongside his duties as managing partner. Ernesto Añasco has retired from practice.

Practice head(s):

Clarence Darrow Valdecantos; Neptali Salvanera

Key clients

Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc.

PMFTC Inc.

Chevron Philippines, Inc.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation

Unilever Philippines, Inc.

Glaxo SmithKline Philippines, Inc.

Concentrix CVG Philippines, Inc.

Procter & Gamble Philippines, Inc.

ING Bank N.V.

SC Reservations, Inc. (doing business under the name and style of IHG)

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (Phils), Inc.

J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. Manila Branch/J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.-Philippine Global Service Center

LizardBear Tasking, Inc.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation

ePerformax Contact Centers & BPO

Work highlights

  • Advised Procter & Gamble on complaints for Illegal Dismissal filed against it by former employees of its service contractor.
  • Acting for manufacturing company PMFTC Inc. in labor litigation cases involving termination disputes, labor standards and labor relations cases.
  • Assisting oil and gas giant Chevron in negotiations for a New Collective Bargaining Agreement with a union of employees.

Quisumbing Torres

Advising across the gamut of labour law issues, Quisumbing Torres has established itself as one of the leading firms in the Philippine market. Areas of expertise include employment litigation, occupational health and safety, trade union negotiation procedures, and the HR aspects of corporate transactions. As a member of the Baker McKenzie network, it has access to the firm's global expertise, and can work alongside overseas offices to handle multi-jurisdictional projects. It has notable strength in the IT sector, where employment practice head Kenneth Chua is a key contact. Eliseo Zuñiga, Jr.  is noted for his 'sound and practical advice', and associate Marianne Ko-Tibayan  is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Kenneth Chua

Other key lawyers:

Eliseo Zuñiga Jr; Gil Zerrudo; Miguel Galvez; Marianne Ko-Tibayan; Anna Carmi Calsado-Amoroso; Patrick Henry Salazar

Testimonials

The Quisumbing Torres sincerely takes into consideration the client’s comments, and finds ways to professionally address those comments in the pleadings to be submitted to court. This trait shows how grounded and humble the team is, in spite of its very high reputation as one of the top three law firms in the Philippines’.

This team is very accommodating and provides relevant advise. This, coupled with the team’s knowledge of the practice and current developments, makes it a good partner for in-house lawyers’.

Eliseo Zuñiga Jr is a highly competent lawyer but is also humble and gracious’.

Kenneth Chua is a deeply experienced and distinguished employment lawyer within the legal circle. He has the talent of providing simple and effective solutions to difficult and complex issues’.

Key clients

Takeda Pharmaceuticals Philippines, Inc.

Johnson & Johnson

UHS Essential Health Philippines, Inc.

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

The employment and immigration department at SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan expanded its already sizeable client base by attracting several new clients, including Firmenich Philippines and the University of Rhode Island. Its labour work spans contentious, bargaining, compliance and transactional contexts, and among its particular strengths are compulsory and voluntary arbitration and grievance handling, drafting of company rules and policies and employee retention programmes. In recent work, Leslie Dy and a team assisted Union Bank of the Philippines in the collective bargaining negotiations with a union, representing about 700 employees across more than 300 branches nationwide; the bank and union concluded a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) after less than six months of negotiations. Lusito Luban retired from practice in 2019; Dante Pamintuan - whose expertise spans industrial relations, collective bargaining, strikes and lockouts - is now the practice head.

Practice head(s):

Dante Pamintuan

Other key lawyers:

Leslie Dy; Amer Mambuay; Rodelle Bolante; Marianne Miguel; Russel Rodriguez; Easter Princess Castro-Ty; Ma. Viola Vista-Villaroman

Key clients

Thomson Reuters Philippine Branch

Skyview Capital LLC

Union Bank of the Philippines

Isuzu Autoparts Manufacturing, Inc.

Firmenich Philippines, Inc.

University of Rhode Island

Philippine Airlines, Inc.

Cargill Philippines, Inc.

Cargill Philippines, Inc.

Syngenta Philippines, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Assisted Thomson Reuters in the sale of its Financial and Risk business to Blackstone, particularly, in the reorganisation of Thomson Reuters and the transfer of all employees in its Financial and Risk business to Blackstone’s Refinitiv.
  • Assisted Union Bank of the Philippines in its collective bargaining negotiations with a union, representing about 700 rank-and-file employees.
  • Advised University of Rhode Island in establishing a Philippine branch to implement a fisheries programme of the USAID in the Philippines, including advising on all employment issues.

Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law)

The 'very reliable' employment department at Gatmaytan Yap Patacsil Gutierrez & Protacio (C&G Law) remained busy in 2018 and 2019, receiving instructions from new and longstanding clients in the food and beverage, logistics, natural resources and financial services sectors, among others. It handles a range of employment work, covering contentious, non-contentious advisory and transaction-related matters, with recent victories including its successful defence of Hyder Consulting Middle East in a dismissal case concerning former employees dismissed for engaging in unauthorised consultancy work for other entities. Cesar Santamaria Jr leads the practice and is recommended. Vladi Miguel Lazaro was promoted to partner in 2018; he often takes a key role on the department's major cases.

Practice head(s):

Cesar Santamaria Jr

Other key lawyers:

Vladi Miguel Lazaro; Katrine Paula Suyat;

Testimonials

The team is very reliable and offers good advice‘.

The firm has demonstrated a genuine interest in understanding how we operate as a business, what matters to us, and has provided very sound advice’.

Cesar Santamaria Jr is very pragmatic and offers good advice for labour disputes‘.

Both the partners and associates, especially Katrine Paula Suyat, have been easy to reach and are very accommodating with our concerns and questions’.

Key clients

ABInbev

American Express International, Inc.

Arcadis / Hyder Consulting Middle East Limited

CalEnergy International Services, Inc.

Cargill Limited

CBI Constructors Pty Ltd.

CEVA Logistics Singapore Pte. Ltd.

Charoen Pokphand Foods Philippines Corporation (drugs)

China National Offshore Oil Corporation

Dampskibsselskabet NORDEN A/S

Fieldcore Services Solutions International LLC

Givaudan Singapore Pte. Ltd.

Green Cross, Inc.

InterGlobe Technologies Philippines, Inc.

Juul Labs Singapore Holdco Pte. Ltd.

Kalbe International Pte. Ltd.

Leighton Contractors (Asia) Limited

Leopalace21 Corporation

Lixil Philippines Ltd. Co., Inc.

Work highlights

  • Engaged by Leighton Contractors (Asia) Limited to prepare the subcontracts, including the labor subcontract, for a major construction project.
  • Successfully defended engineering company Hyder Consulting Middle East Ltd. in a dismissal case.
  • Assisting TeaM Energy Corporation in respect of a complaint for regularisation filed by 50 employees of a security service contractor claiming that they should be considered as employees of the client.

Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano

Under the leadership of Reynaldo Dizon, Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano's employment team advises on labour policies, negotiating CBAs, dismissals, redundancy and company closure. Recently, it has expanded its offering to include data privacy issues, and the firm also has an active immigration practice. Its diverse client base includes companies operating in the media, tech, outsourcing and healthcare sectors. Supporting Dizon are experienced senior associates Kristine Bongcaron and Arleo Antonio Magtibay.

Practice head(s):

Reynaldo Dizon

Other key lawyers:

Kristine Bongcaron; Arleo Antonio Magtibay; Enrico Angeles

Testimonials

They are able to provide expert legal advice. They do extensive research and investigation of the details at hand when representing us in labour cases’.

 

Key clients

Citigroup Business Processing Solutions, Pte. Ltd.

Ubiquity Global Services, Inc.

Krexim, Inc.

Intelenet Global Philippines, Inc.

ADP (Philippines), Inc.

White and Case

DKT International, Inc.

Xentrix Toons, Inc.

Facebook Singapore

Visa Philippines Business Processing Center, Corp.

Licton Industrial Corporation

FIFPro/FPFA

Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño

Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño acts for an impressive roster of clients, including household name companies in the food and beverage and pharma sectors. The team has experience handling arbitration and litigation before the National Labor Relations Commission and the courts. It also represents employers in negotiating collective bargaining agreements with labour unions. Senior partner Grace Quevedo-Panagsagan leads the department and is supported by Israfel Fagela and Rachelle Aileen Santos.

Practice head(s):

Grace Quevedo-Panagsagan

Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako

Lawyers at Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako cover a range of employment matters but have a particular focus on contentious work including collective bargaining negotiations. The key contact is Romarie Villonco.

Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law)

The 'approachable' team at Villaraza & Angangco (V&A Law) stands out in labour litigation, where it boasts a notable track record. Recent work includes assisting e-sports company Garena in complaints filed before the National Labor Relations Commission by two former employees for illegal dismissal, the payment of back wages, monetary benefits and damages. The firm also maintains a busy immigration practice. Senior associate Ma. Carla Mapalo and junior associates Ernesto Herrera and Efren Resurreccion often take key roles on the firm's employment engagements and are recommended.

Practice head(s):

Raoul Angangco; Sylvette Tankiang; Franchette Acosta

Testimonials

The team is approachable and explains issues very well‘.

Ma. Carla Mapalo is approachable and always assists and answers questions‘.

Efren Resurreccion is very hands-on in cases and explains each detail‘.

Ernesto Herrera is knowledgeable and helpful on labour laws‘.

Key clients

CommSec Inc.

Garena Philippines, Inc.

Movenpick Resorts and Spa Boracay

Tropical Focus Philippines, Inc.

Casto Travel Philippines, Inc

John Clements Group

Silver Heritage Philippines, Inc.

Hijo Resources Corporation

Amazon Operation Services Philippines, Inc

Cisco Technologies Philippines, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Conducted an internal audit of client CommSec’s operations and labour policies in order to ensure that the company is in full compliance of all the requirements of Philippine labour laws, including its occupational health and safety standards.
  • Assisted e-sports company Garena in relation to complaints filed before the National Labor Relations Commission by two former employees.
  • Advises Movenpick Resorts and Spa Boracay on various issues pertaining to Philippine labour standards, labour relations and employee discipline action process.

Belo Gozon Elma Parel Asuncion & Lucila

Belo Gozon Elma Parel Asuncion & Lucila handles a range of labour issues, including arbitration, collective bargaining negotiation, cases before the National Labor Relations Commission, company employment policies, employee benefit plans and personnel manuals. Roberto Parel is the key name.

Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose

Lawyers at Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose represent local and international clients in all employment matters, including labour disputes, compliance with statutory and regulatory standards, and employee benefits. The team includes Ancheta Tan.

Del Rosario & Del Rosario

Specialist maritime firm Del Rosario & Del Rosario provides a comprehensive service to shipping and insurance companies, including in labour law matters. Having been active in this space since 1977, the firm has handled the settlements of thousands of seafarer claims, and also advises on labour standards, wage policies and retirement benefits, among other areas. Joseph Rebano and Saben Loyola are key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Ruben Del Rosario; Arturo Del Rosario Jr

Other key lawyers:

Joseph Rebano; Saben Loyola

Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra

In employment law, Gorriceta Africa Cauton & Saavedra's expertise spans collective bargaining negotiations, illegal dismissal, social security, immigration requirements and sexual harassment in the workplace claims. The team manages the labour concerns of a multinational company with operations across Southeast Asia; recently, this has included representing the company in litigation before the Supreme Court. Francis Africa and Ramon Andre Cedro co-head the department and are particularly experienced in litigation.

Practice head(s):

Francis Africa; Ramon Andre Cedro

Key clients

Lumina One Corporation

Work highlights

  • Provides advice to major jewellery chain Lumina One Corporation on various employment matters and labour cases.
  • Advises a multinational company on its labour and employment concerns involving employees of different nationalities.
  • Advised a client on its employment restructuring plan, to ensure compliance with standards set forth in Philippine labor laws and procedures.

JGLaw

The team at JGLaw has wide experience of employment matters, including preparation of contracts and manuals, and representation before labour courts and agencies. Ernesto Caluya is a key contact.

Ocampo Manalo Valdez & Lim

Ocampo Manalo Valdez & Lim has a particular focus on advising management on disputes and bargaining agreements. The team includes Bernadeth Lim.

Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos

Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos advises on matters including unfair labour practices, employment policies, compensation packages, collective bargaining and labour disputes. It acts for both management and employees.

Poblador Bautista & Reyes

Poblador Bautista & Reyes advises both domestic and foreign clients on a wide range of employment matters. The team includes Romeo Johann Fernandez, Deogracias Fellone and Anzen Dy.

Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices

The recommended labour law practice at full-service firm Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices is equipped to advise employers on contracts, dismissals, secondment, outsourcing, disciplinary action and HR issues. On the contentious side, it represents clients in cases filed before the National Labor Relations Commission. Key practitioners include Roy Enrico Santos and Rachelle Magtanggol-Lim. Former department head Joseph Omar Castillo joined AirAsia as its chairman of the board.

Other key lawyers:

Roy Enrico Santos; Roberto Miguel Ramiro; Rachelle Magtanggol-Lim; Fidel Valeros Jr

Work highlights

  • Acts as labour law counsel for major Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) units located in the country on various employment law matters.
  • Assisted various companies in the subcontracting industry on registration with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as legitimate independent contractors. Also assists on various employment and HR issues.

Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres Ibarra Sison & Damaso

The labour group at Quiason Makalintal Barot Torres Ibarra Sison & Damaso handles all aspects of labour relations, including collective bargaining agreements, dismissal, money claims and strikes.

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles

Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles advises clients on all aspects of labour law, including health and safety, union relations, documentation, sexual harassment and social security.