The Philippines is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world. According to the Index of Economic Freedom, an annual guide published by The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation, the Philippine economy has recorded an average growth rate exceeding 5 percent over the past half-decade.

The country’s economic development is demonstrated by the stable increase in foreign direct investments since 2010. With approximately 60 percent of the population within the age bracket of 15-64 years, a literacy rate of over 95 percent, and an English-speaking population, the Philippines has the manpower to fuel further economic growth.

As more investors venture into Philippine grounds for business, legal disputes are inevitable. Thankfully these disputes can be resolved through arbitration, as the Philippines embraces a pro-arbitration position in resolving commercial disputes.

Legal framework

Separate legislations govern international arbitration, domestic arbitration and construction arbitration. In 2004, the legislature enacted the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004 (ADR Act), which, among others, adopted the 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law to govern international commercial arbitration and the enforcement or setting aside of international arbitral awards. The Model Law was designed by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law to assist States in reforming and modernising their laws on arbitral procedure. It covers all stages of the arbitral process from the arbitration agreement, the composition and jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal and the extent of court intervention, through to the recognition and enforcement of the arbitral award. It reflects worldwide consensus on key aspects of international arbitration practice.

In accordance with the ADR Act, the Department of Justice issued the ADR Act’s Implementing Rules and Regulations in 2009.

Jul-Sep 2015 issue

Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre