Resolve Disputes Faster: Why Arbitration Makes Sense

Makati B, Makati Shangri-La

Breakfast Forums and Meetings

The Philippines remains among the fastest growing Southeast Asian economies in 2017, with upgrades to sovereign investment ratings confirming improvements in the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals. The Philippines ranked 56th in the 2017-2018 Global Competitiveness Index, with an expected 6.7% GDP growth in 2018.

As a result of high economic growth and more international business activities, commercial transactions in the Philippines have become increasingly complex, necessitating careful management of business risks. When deals go sour, business partners often look to the judicial system to resolve their disputes. However, for various reasons, resort to courts may not be the most cost-effective mode of dispute resolution.

The government has been promoting the use of alternative modes of dispute resolution ("ADR"), including arbitration. The government itself has mandated its agencies to include ADR clauses in certain government contracts. The Supreme Court has also issued procedural rules clarifying and limiting court intervention in disputes covered by arbitration agreements.

Commercial arbitration has become more popular over the past decade and is considered a viable alternative to court litigation. Unlike court litigation, commercial arbitration is confidential and generally speedier. Also, parties are generally free to appoint arbitrators who are usually industry experts or experienced industry practitioners.

In appropriate cases, an investor may seek remedies against the government under an investment treaty between the investor's home state and the Philippines. Such remedies usually include investment treaty arbitration. The Philippines is currently a signatory to over 30 investment treaties.

For these reasons, companies need to understand better how arbitration works. This Business Forum will:

  1. Provide an overview of commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration as modes of dispute resolution;
  2. Offer guidelines on when best to use arbitration as a mode of dispute resolution;
  3. Provide tips on drafting effective arbitration clauses for commercial contracts; and
  4. Showcase arbitration cases highlighting successes and challenges in the use of arbitration.


Leng Sun Chan SC
Principal, Global Head of International Arbitration at Baker McKenzie

Leng Sun is Baker & McKenzie’s Global Head of Arbitration. He is a Senior Counsel of the Supreme Court of Singapore and is also qualified in Malaysia and England. Leng Sun has a broad commercial practice that covers maritime law, international trade and company law. Leng Sun is the Deputy Chairman of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and a Chartered Arbitrator. He is the Deputy Chairman of the SGX (Singapore Exchange) Appeals Committee and the Immediate Past President of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators.

Leng Sun has most recently been recognized among the top lawyers worldwide by 'Who's Who Legal - Litigation 2017' and "Who's Who Legal - Arbitration 2017". He is described by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2017 as "one of the best arbitrators and practitioners in arbitration."

Kevin Nash
Deputy Registrar and Centre Director at Singapore International Arbitration Centre

As Deputy Registrar & Centre Director of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), Kevin assists with the administration of all cases filed with SIAC and the supervision of SIAC's multinational Secretariat.

Since joining SIAC in 2012, Kevin has assisted with and overseen the administration of more than 1,000 international cases under all versions of the SIAC Rules and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, among others, and has significant experience in SIAC cases conducted under the Expedited Procedure and applications for the appointment of an Emergency Arbitrator. He also worked closely on the revisions to the SIAC Rules 2013, the SIAC Rules 2016 and the SIAC Investment Arbitration Rules 2017.

Kevin holds a B.A. from Mount Allison University and a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School. Kevin worked at one of Canada's prominent 'Seven Sister' law firms and then went on to study an LL.M. in International Commercial Arbitration at Stockholm University. He is qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor with the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Kevin speaks English and French.

Donemark Calimon
Partner, Dispute Resolution Practice Group Head at Quisumbing Torres (Member Firm of Baker & McKenzie International)

Donemark Calimon is a partner and the head of Quisumbing Torres' Dispute Resolution Practice Group. Donemark focuses on commercial arbitration, both domestic and international. His arbitration practice is supplemented by his extensive experience in civil and criminal litigation, and corporate, regulatory and tax mining litigation. He is one of the founders of the Philippine Institute of Arbitrators (PIArb) and is an accredited arbitrator of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. (PDRCI). He is also an accredited arbitrator of the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC).

Donemark acts has acted as counsel or arbitrator in several commercial arbitrations, including arbitrations conducted under the arbitration rules of the PDRCI, the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Philippine Construction Industry Arbitration Commission, and ad hoc arbitrations under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. He also lectures and writes on commercial arbitration.

Bernadette Ongoco
Executive Director at Office for the Alternative Dispute Resolution

Atty. Bernadette Ongoco is the Executive Director of the Office for Alternative to Dispute Resolution under the Department of Justice. She is responsible for acting on the mandate of the OADR to promote, develop and expand the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the private and public sectors; and, to assist government to monitor, study and evaluate the use by the public and the private sector of ADR, and recommend to Congress needful statutory changes to develop, strengthen and improve ADR practices in accordance with world standards.

Marjorie Ramos-Samaniego
Director, Legal and Compliance Service at Board of Investments


Michael Macapagal
Senior Associate at Quisumbing Torres (Member Firm of Baker & McKenzie International)

Michael Macapagal is a senior associate in Quisumbing Torres' Dispute Resolution Practice Group and is a member of the Compliance and Competition focus groups. He has eight years of legal practice involving compliance, arbitration, civil and commercial law, labor law, intellectual property and property law, public private partnerships, project finance, joint venture matters. He received the sixth highest score in the 2008 Philippine bar examinations. He is also a professorial lecturer at the Manuel L. Quezon University, where he teaches civil torts and damages law. Previously, he was an associate counsel at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and an associate solicitor at the Office of the Solicitor General.

Michael focuses on commercial arbitration, construction disputes, public-private partnerships, competition law enforcement and project finance deals with the government, as well as antitrust and compliance matters for corporate clients. He advises domestic and multinational clients on dispute resolution-related issues. He has also represented government agencies in constitutional, environmental and money-laundering cases.

Jay Patrick Santiago
Senior Associate at Quisumbing Torres (Member Firm of Baker & McKenzie International)

Jay Patrick Santiago is a senior associate in Quisumbing Torres' Dispute Resolution Practice Group. His legal experience covers general litigation, arbitration, intra-corporate disputes, taxation, corporate housekeeping, and mergers and acquisitions. In 2014, Jay became the first Filipino counsel at the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. In 2016, he became HKIAC's first accredited arbitral tribunal secretary from the Philippines. He is the Vice President for International Initiatives (Hong Kong) of the Philippine Institute of Arbitrators and the founding chairperson of Young PIArb, the first young members arbitration organization in the Philippines. He is also the youngest member of the technical working group organized by the Philippine government to propose amendments to the Philippines' arbitration law.

He actively participates as a speaker and presenter in various seminars and conferences on international arbitration-related issues. He wrote articles discussing notable topics in international arbitration and published in various professional and business magazines.


Member: PHP 1,600 | Non-Member PHP 2,000

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For inquiries, contact Ms. Mica Aragon at or call 845 1324.