COVID-19 Legal Bulletin: Focus on Litigation and Dispute Resolution
May 05, 2020
SyCipLaw’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution group prepared a legal briefing that touches on Philippine issues in TMT triggered by the global pandemic.
The legal briefing covers the following topics, among others:
A. State of Philippine Dispute Resolution The courts are physically closed during the ECQ, although designated judges may act on extremely urgent matters that largely relate to criminal cases such as the posting of bail and promulgation of judgment of acquittals, and to the measures imposed by the government to address the public health emergency. The conduct of hearings for other matters is suspended and the filing of appeals, pleadings and other submissions that fall due during the ECQ has been extended for 30 calendar days counted from May 16, 2020.
B. Remedies for Distressed Debtors under Philippine Law: Insolvency and Rehabilitation Under the Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act (FRIA), an insolvent debtor may voluntarily initiate either court-supervised rehabilitation or liquidation by filing a petition in court. In court-supervised rehabilitation, the debtor’s rehabilitation will be supervised by the court principally through a court-appointed rehabilitation receiver. The FRIA also recognizes out-of-court or informal restructuring agreements or rehabilitation plans, provided that such agreements meet the minimum requirements prescribed by the law.
C. Contract Disputes: What Clauses to Revisit The economic and other effects of the pandemic may impact contracts that have, among others, provisions that refer to force majeure, legal impossibility, and change in circumstances. It would be prudent for parties to review agreements with these contractual provisions to determine whether they are already in play and, if so, what are appropriate courses of action.
To view the full text of the bulletin, please click here.
The bulletin was prepared by SyCipLaw partners Ricardo Ma. P.G. Ongkiko and Ma. Patricia B. Paz, with the assistance of associates Eleanor N. Balaquiao, Joachim Alfonso P. Dompor, Lois Philippe M. Pelito, Ramon I. Rocha IV, April Gayle U. Soller, and Jericho R. Tiu.
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