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Editorial

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.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Avenida & Diaz Law Office

Avenida & Diaz Law Office is one of the leading providers of Philippine Immigration-Related Services such as assistance in securing long-term visas (working visa, retirement visa, spouse visa, etc.) and work permits. As a duly accredited law office by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration, FLA processes at least 500 applications per month for multinational clients and relocation companies. FLA became one of the fast-growing players that specializes in Philippine Immigration-related services by engaging the best visa specialists with vast experience in the industry.  Thus, FLA has quickly established its presence and network that allows it to go toe-to-toe with big local firms in terms of quality of service but with far more reasonable rates.

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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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