Arbitration law in The Philippines
Foreign companies involved in a trading dispute with a Filipino company shall resolve the dispute in accordance with Republic Act No. 876, also known as the Arbitration Law and Republic Act 9285 otherwise known as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004. Arbitration practice in the Philippines is either ad hoc, institutionalized or specialized (ASEAN Law Association, 2016).
Ad hoc arbitration grants the parties the right to select an arbitrator and to choose procedures to govern the proceedings, including rules of arbitration institutions. In the Philippines it is typical that most smaller disputes, including business disputes, are solved at the Barangay (village) level in presence of the Barangay captain who will function as the arbiter.
Institutionalized arbitration is conducted through organized bodies such as courts of arbitration, trade associations, and arbitration centers. Most important among these institutions in the Philippines is the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center. These institutions do not actually participate in settling the dispute but help administer the arbitration and provide a set of rules to govern the proceedings. For international arbitration, the popular institutional rules referred to are those of the International Chamber of Commerce and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre.
Specialized arbitration involves particular industries that have set up their own arbitration mechanisms and this including the banking sector and the construction sector.
Arbitration is a very common procedure to dissolve disputes in the Philippines. This is partly because litigation is a costly a time consuming procedure and partly because of cultural village traditions in which public arbitration was the common method to dissolve a dispute between two villagers.
When involved in a dispute in the Philippines it is very important to stay polite and patient. When you become impatient or impolite during the procedures you embarrass the other party in the dispute and you will have a big possibility that the arbiter will not decide in your favour.