This Country Answer reflects the state of the law as of 31 December 2012. Please refer to the explanations in the chapter entitled Preliminary Note.

A. The Contracting State and the New York Convention

1. Name of Contracting State (also specify jurisdiction(s), if relevant)

Philippines.

2. Date of entry into force of the New York Convention

4 October 1967.

(Source: http://www.uncitral.org/uncitral/en/uncitral_texts/arbitration/ NYConvention_status.html)

3. Has any reservation been made under Art. I(3) of the New York Convention regarding:

(a) reciprocity?

Yes.

(Source: Senate Resolution No. 71 adopted on 10 May 1965.)

(b) commercial relationships?

Yes.

(Source: Senate Resolution No. 71 adopted on 10 May 1965.)

4. In addition to arbitral awards made in the territory of another State, the New York Convention (Art. I(1)) also applies to arbitral awards not considered as domestic awards in the State where recognition and enforcement are sought. Are there any awards rendered in your country that are not considered as domestic awards such that the New York Convention and the answers to this Questionnaire are applicable to them?

No.

B. National sources of law

5. What specific sources of law are applicable to recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. statutes, regulations, codes, directives, other legal instruments)?

(i) Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004 (Republic Act No. 9285);

(ii) Rules and regulations implementing the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004;

(iii) Special Rules of Court on Alternative Dispute Resolution;

(iv) Rules of Court.

C. Limitation periods (time limits)

6.

(a) Is there a limitation period (time limit) applicable to the commencement of legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards?

There is no specific time limit applicable to the commencement of legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards under Philippine law. Rule 13.2 of the Special Rules of Court on Alternative Dispute Resolution provides: 'At any time after receipt of a foreign arbitral award, any party to arbitration may petition the proper Regional Trial Court to recognize and enforce such award.'

Custodio Parlade, author of the chapter on the Philippines in M. Moser, ed., Arbiration in Asia, 2d ed. (2010), has written that the Civil Code is a general law that applies to all transactions, whether commercial or non-commercial (ibid., § 2.2). Going one step further, it could be argued that the general limitation periods for initiating suits under the Civil Code might apply to recognition and enforcement proceedings. This is a reasonable inference, consistent with Philippine law, but not yet tested in the Philippine Supreme Court.

(b) If yes, what is the applicable limitation period (time limit) and when does it start running?

If the limitation periods set in the Civil Code are applicable, as discussed above, then an action for recognition and enforcement may be brought within the time limit for bringing an action based on a written contract, which is 10 years from the date on which the cause of action accrued.

(Source: Civil Code, Art. 1144.)

D. National courts and court proceedings

7. What authority or court has jurisdiction over recognition and enforcement of foreign awards?

Regional Trial Court.

Regional Trial Courts have jurisdiction over particular kinds of cases and civil cases involving amounts exceeding the limits to which the jurisdiction of first level courts (Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts) is subject. Regional Trial Courts also have general jurisdiction over cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any other court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions.

(Source: Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004, s. 42,)

8. What requirements, if any, must be met for the authority or court to accept jurisdiction over recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. domicile or assets of respondent in the jurisdiction, etc.)?

Rule 13.3 of the Special Rules of Court on Alternative Dispute Resolution provides: 'The petition to recognize and enforce a foreign arbitral award shall be filed, at the option of the petitioner, with the Regional Trial Court (a) where the assets to be attached or levied upon is located, (b) where the act to be enjoined is being performed, (c) in the principal place of business in the Philippines of any of the parties, (d) if any of the parties is an individual, where any of those individuals resides, or (e) in the National Capital Judicial Region.'

9. Is the first decision granting or denying recognition and enforcement obtained through ex parte or inter partes proceedings?

Inter partes proceedings.

(Source: Special Rules of Court on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Rules 13.6, 13.8, 13.9.)

10.

(a) Is the first decision granting or denying recognition and enforcement subject to any form of appeal or recourse?

Yes.

(b) How many levels of appeal or recourse are available against this decision?

Three.

First, the losing party may file a motion for reconsideration with the Regional Trial Court.

(Source: Special Rules of Court on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Rule 19.1.).

Second, on certain grounds, the aggrieved party can challenge the Regional Trial Court's decision in the Court of Appeals by filing either an appeal or a special civil action for certiorari.

(Source: Special Rules of Court on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Rules 19.12, 19.26,)

Third, a decision of the Court of Appeals can be appealed by certiorari to the Supreme Court.

(Source: Special Rules of Court on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Rule 19.36.)

11. What is the earliest stage in legal proceedings for enforcement of foreign arbitral awards at which a party can obtain execution against assets (i.e. party actually obtains possession of assets as opposed to simply freezing assets)?

As soon as the Regional Trial Court has issued its decision recognizing and enforcing the foreign arbitral award, as this decision is immediately enforceable.

(Source: Special Rules of Court on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Rule 13.11.)

E. Evidence required

12.

(a) What evidence must be supplied for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. arbitral award, contract containing arbitration clause, affidavits, witness statements, etc.)?

The following evidence must be supplied: (i) an authentic copy of the arbitration agreement and (ii) an authentic copy of the arbitral award. (Rule 13.5, Special Rules of Court on Alternative Dispute Resolution)

(b) Is it necessary to provide the entire document or only certain parts (e.g. entire contract or only arbitration clause)?

It is necessary to provide the entire arbitral award and the entire arbitration agreement.

(c) Are originals or duly certified copies required?

An authentic copy is required.

(d) How many originals or duly certified copies are required?

One authentic copy to be filed with the Regional Trial Court.

(e) Does the authority or court keep the originals that are filed?

The Regional Trial Court will retain the authentic copy.

13.

(a) Is it necessary to provide a translation of the documents supplied?

Yes, if the foreign arbitral award or agreement to arbitrate is not in English.

(Source: Special Rules of Court on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Rule 13.5.)

(b) If yes, into what language?

English.

(c) Is it necessary for the translations to be certified and, if yes, by whom (official or sworn translator, diplomatic or consular agent (of which country?) or some other person)?

The translation must be certified by an official or sworn translator or by a diplomatic or consular agent.

(Source: Special Rules of Court on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Rule 13.5.)

(d) Is it necessary to provide a full translation of the documents or only a translation of certain parts (e.g. entire award or only part setting forth the decisions; entire contract or only arbitration clause)?

It is necessary to provide a full translation of the arbitral award and the arbitration agreement.

F. Stay of enforcement

14.

(a) Can the authority or court stay legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement pending the outcome of an application to set aside or suspend the foreign award before the competent authority referred to in Art. V(1)(e) of the New York Convention?

Yes, Rule 13.10 of the Special Rules of Court on Alternative Dispute Resolution provides: 'The court before which a petition to recognize and enforce a foreign arbitral award is pending, may adjourn or defer rendering a decision thereon if, in the meantime, an application for the setting aside or suspension of the award has been made with a competent authority where the award was made.'

(b) On what other grounds, if any, can the authority or court stay legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement (e.g. forum non conveniens)?

None.

(c) Is the granting of a stay of legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement conditional on the provision of security?

Upon application of the petitioner, the court may require the other party to give suitable security. (Source: Special Rules of Court on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Rule 13.10.)

G. Confidentiality

15.

(a) Do the documents filed in legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement form part of the public record? If yes, can any steps be taken to preserve the confidentiality of such documents?

Section 23 of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004 provides that '. . . the records, evidence and the arbitral award, shall be considered confidential and shall not be published except . . . for the limited purpose of disclosing to the court of relevant documents in cases where resort to the court is allowed herein'. The court is empowered to issue protective orders to prevent or prohibit the disclosure of confidential information.

(Source: Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004, s. 23.)

(b) If there are hearings on recognition and enforcement, are such hearings confidential? If not, can steps be taken to maintain the confidentiality of the legal proceedings?

The hearings on recognition and enforcement are generally public. However, the court has the power to issue protective orders to ensure the confidentiality of these proceedings.

(Source: Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004, s. 23.)

(c) Are judgments on recognition and enforcement published? If yes, can steps be taken to remove the names of the parties or avoid publication of confidential information (such as business or State secrets)?

Judgments on recognition and enforcement issued by the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court are published. The court may issue a protective order to prevent the disclosure and publication of confidential information.

(Source: Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004, s. 23.)

H. Other issues

16. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of interim or partial foreign awards?

It is possible to obtain recognition and enforcement of a partial foreign award that resolves an issue in controversy. In Transfield Philippines Inc. v. Luzon Hydro, GR. No. 146717, 19 May 2006, the Philippine Supreme Court recognized the possibility of enforcing partial awards provided they are not premature.

17. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of non-monetary relief in foreign arbitral awards (e.g. order requiring a party to deliver up share certificates or other property)?

No distinction is made between monetary and non-monetary relief.

18. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of only part of the relief granted in foreign awards?

No legislation or case law has been identified in this regard. However, in the Philippines it should be possible for a party to enforce only part of an award.

19. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of foreign awards which have been set aside by the competent authority referred to in Art. V(1)(e) of the New York Convention?

No legislation or case law has been identified in this regard.

20. Are there any other procedural or practical requirements relating to recognition and enforcement of foreign awards which are worth mentioning (e.g. unusually high court costs, filing fees, stamp duties, obligation to post security as a condition for seeking recognition and enforcement, obligation to identify the assets that will be the object of enforcement, etc.)?

No.

Country Rapporteur:

Jun Bautista