The Community Quarantine imposed by the Philippine government to stem the transmission of COVID-19 has resulted in economic pressures that precipitated the rising need of Filipino parties in international arbitration to obtain interim measures or emergency relief aimed at, among others, maintaining the status quo and preserving assets or evidence. Recognizing the importance of understanding issues, strategies and considerations in seeking interim or emergency relief, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) organized a webinar entitled “COVID-19 Special: Strategies for Seeking Interim Measures in International Arbitration”, which was held last 18 June 2020. Over 300 registrants participated in the SIAC Philippines webinar, mostly coming from the Philippines, Singapore and India. Other registrants were from Australia, Hong Kong, Brunei, Maldives, Serbia, Turkey, UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The webinar, moderated by SIAC Associate Counsel Thea Elyssa Vega, included panelists who were leading international arbitration practitioners and arbitrators including Patricia-Ann T. Prodigalidad, a Senior Partner of ACCRALAW and an accredited arbitrator of SIAC. Ms. Prodigalidad discussed the advantages of emergency arbitration, as a form of interim relief, and expounded on the Philippine legal landscape for enforcement of interim measures and the challenges posed thereby. She provided practical and strategic tips on how to enforce interim measures and emergency awards in the Philippines and, more importantly, how to craft arbitration clauses so as to increase the likelihood of voluntary party compliance.
Among the other issues discussed were the types of interim or emergency relief, contents of applications for emergency relief, conduct of virtual hearings in emergency arbitration as well as the trends and developments in international arbitration in the Philippines and Singapore.
The other panelists were Bazul Ashhab, Managing Partner of Oon & Bazul, Donemark Calimon, Partner, Quisumbing Torres, Philip Jayeretnam, SC, Global Vice-Chair & ASEAN CEO, Dentons Rodyk & Davidson, and Louie T. Ogsimer, Partner, Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & de los Angeles.