Originially from: World Arbitration and Mediation Report (WAMR) 1994 Vol. 5, No. 4
An Overview of Philippine Law on Arbitration
By Eduardo R. Ceniza, SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan, Manila.
Law and Conventions
The general law on arbitration in the Philippines is found in Republic Act No.
8976 (Arbitration Law) and in Article 2028 to 2016 of Republic Act No. 385 (Civil
Code of the Philippines). In the absence of a special statute or stipulation by the
parties, where proper, the Arbitration Law governs the making of arbitration and
submission agreements, the appointment of arbitrators, and the procedure for
The Local Government Code (Republic Act. No. 7160) provides for a system of
conciliation and arbitration for residents of the same city or municipality.
The Philippines is a party to the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition
and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. It ratified the Convention in 1965,
subject to the reciprocity reservation and the commercial reservation.
There are also special laws on arbitration:
(a) Executive Order No. 1008, creating the Construction Industry Arbitration
Commission (CIAC), establishes an arbitration mechanism for the construction
industry. The CIAC has approved rules of procedure governing construction
(b) Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise know as the Labor Code of
the Philippines, provides for the voluntary arbitration of disputes arising out of labormanagement
relations. The Department of Labor and Employment has promulgated
rules and regulations to implement the pertinent codal provisions.
(c) Executive Order No. 292 (Administrative Code of 1989; Book II, Chap. 14),
Presidential Decree No. 242, and Administrative Order No. 121 of the Department of
Justice govern arbitration of disputes, claims, and controversies between or among
government offices, agencies, and instrumentalities, including government-owned or
Private Sector Committees
Two important arbitration committees have been established by the private sector.
The Philippine Clearing House Corporation (PCHC), which processes the daily
exchanges of checks and bank drafts of the country’s commercial banks and financial
institutions, has established an Arbitration Committee with jurisdiction over any
dispute or controversy between and among participants of PCHC clearing operations.