PDRCI Administrative Guidelines

Article 1. Administrative Guidelines

  1. These Administrative Guidelines (“Guidelines”) shall form part of the Arbitration Rules (“Rules”) of PDRCI. By agreeing to submit their dispute to arbitration under the Rules, the parties are deemed to have accepted the terms of these Guidelines.

  2. These Guidelines supersede Administrative Guidelines No. 1 dated 17 October 2005, Administrative Guidelines No. 2 dated 15 September 2008, and Administrative Guidelines No. 3 dated 30 August 2012 and shall take effect on 1 January 2015.

  3. In case any of the provisions of these Guidelines are inconsistent with any provision of: (a) the Rules; (b) the applicable arbitration agreement(s): or (c) any applicable arbitration law or rules, the latter provision shall prevail.

  4. Requests, notices, documents, orders and decisions submitted or issued in accordance with these Guidelines shall be communicated to the parties, the arbitral tribunal and PDRCI in accordance with: (a) the applicable provisions of the Rules; (b) any method specified in the applicable arbitration agreement(s); or (c) any applicable arbitration law or rules.

Article 2. The Role of PDRCI

  1. PDRCI is a non-stock, non-profit organization incorporated in 1996 out of the Arbitration Committee of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. PDRCI promotes and encourages the use of arbitration, mediation and other alternative modes of settling commercial disputes, and provides alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) services to the business community. Its members are composed of prominent lawyers, members of the judiciary, academicians, professionals, arbitrators, bankers, accountants, and businessmen. PDRCI acts or performs its functions through its board of trustees, unless such actions or functions have been delegated to one of its committees, its officers or the PDRCI Secretariat.

  2. As an arbitral institution, PDRCI does not itself resolve disputes. It administers arbitrations under the Rules, but the function of resolving disputes through arbitration rests on the arbitrators who are appointed in accordance with the Rules. PDRCI ensures the proper application of and compliance with the Rules.

  3. Among others, PDRCI performs the following functions in relation to the administration of arbitrations:

  1. Receive and communicate pleadings and other papers from the parties to the arbitral tribunal, or vice versa, and from one party to another;

  2. Monitor the arbitration process;

  3. Confirm appointments in arbitrations under the Rules;

  4. Resolve challenges to and replacement of arbitrators;

  5. Act as appointing authority;

  6. Exercise supervisory authority over arbitrators to ensure that they perform their functions with due diligence and efficiency in accordance with the parties’ arbitration agreement and the Rules;

  7. Fix, assess and collect provisional advances for arbitration fees;

  8. Resolve arbitration-related issues prior to the constitution of the arbitral tribunal, such as extension of time and appointment of emergency arbitrators;

  9. Arrange facilities and services to be provided during the arbitration;

  10. Provide information to parties on matters relating to the drafting of arbitration agreements or the adoption of appropriate rules to govern the conduct of arbitration for a speedy and fair resolution of their disputes; and

  11. Provide assistance on issues relating to joinder of parties or consolidation of arbitrations or as the arbitral tribunal may request in aid of arbitration.

Article 3. PDRCI Secretariat, Secretary General and Counsel-In-Charge of the File

PDRCI Secretariat

  1. The PDRCI Secretariat is responsible for providing technical and administrative support to the PDRCI Board and its committees. It also assists the Secretary General in the performance of his/her functions. It is headed by the Executive Director who is responsible for its day-to-day operations.

  2. Secretary General

  3. PDRCI monitors the status of ongoing arbitrations through the Secretary General. The Secretary General shall have access to the files of a case, which shall include all pleadings, papers and communications in the arbitration. In case of a manifest violation of the Rules, PDRCI, upon recommendation of the Secretary General, may intervene directly in the conduct of an arbitration. The Secretary General shall submit periodic reports to PDRCI concerning all arbitrations under the Rules. The Secretary General is assisted by or may delegate his monitoring functions in respect of a particular case to the PDRCI Secretariat.

  4. Counsel-In-Charge of the File

  5. The Secretary General may recommend to PDRCI the appointment of a Counsel-In-Charge of the File (“File Counsel”) to monitor an arbitration and to report to PDRCI. The File Counsel shall also have access to the file and may attend a hearing and any meeting of the arbitral tribunal and the parties, unless the arbitral tribunal expressly directs otherwise, and shall regularly inform the Secretary General of the progress of or lack of progress in the case.

Article 4. Time frame for Completion of Arbitration

  1. Arbitrations under the Rules shall be completed within a period of one (1) year from the constitution of the arbitral tribunal.

  2. When an arbitration case is not fully and completely resolved by an arbitral tribunal in a final award or in a final order of dismissal within a period of one (1) year from the constitution of the arbitral tribunal, the File Counsel, if any, shall submit a full and complete written report to the Secretary General.

  3. The Secretary General shall confer with the arbitral tribunal or any member thereof to ascertain the cause for the delay and submit to PDRCI a report of his verification of the relevant circumstances and recommend to PDRCI whether to give the arbitral tribunal a reasonable extension of the period for making the final award or to replace the chairman, or an arbitrator or the entire tribunal. PDRCI shall have the sole authority to remove and replace an arbitrator, a chairman or the entire tribunal.

Article 5. Code of Ethics

PDRCI hereby adopts as its Code of Ethics for Arbitration the: (a) Rules of Ethics for International Arbitrators adopted by the International Bar Association (“IBA”); (b) 2014 IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration; and (c) IBA Guidelines on Party Representation in International Arbitration, to the extent that they do not conflict with any provision of Philippine law.

Article 6. Duties of Arbitrators and Parties

Duties of Arbitrators

An arbitrator who accepts an appointment as arbitrator shall:

  1. Comply with the applicable laws, the Rules and these Guidelines, or any other applicable arbitration rules and the PDRCI Code of Ethics for Arbitration, and to devote as much time and attention to the arbitration as the circumstances may require in order to achieve the objective of a speedy, effective and fair resolution of the dispute.

  2. Refrain from making any communication or taking any action that may be interpreted as solicitation or as accepting, or having a predisposition to accept or to receive any gift, favor or advantage from a party or its lawyer or representative or from any other representative.

  3. Comply faithfully with the rules concerning prompt disclosure of any potential conflict of interest during the proceedings and up to the time of final award.

  4. Ensure that the proceedings are kept confidential including the records of the arbitration and to avoid any ex parte communication with the Parties, their lawyers or representatives, or any other person concerning the proceedings.

  5. Ensure the complete resolution of the arbitration not later than one (1) year from the date of the constitution of the arbitral tribunal, unless PDRCI extends this period.

  6. Comply with administrative requirements concerning transmission and delivery of documents and other submissions, the selection of the venue of the arbitration, arrangements for travel, hotel bookings, facilities for site visits, recording requirements including video and audio equipment and the like, and the collection of provisional advances by complying without equivocation with any directive from PDRCI or the PDRCI Secretariat to suspend the proceedings for nonpayment of fees and charges that are past due.

  7. PDRCI may, on its own initiative, upon consultation with the parties and the arbitral tribunal, remove or replace the arbitrator in the event that the arbitrator fails to comply with the Rules, including the Guidelines.

  8. An arbitrator who fails to resolve a dispute and make and release a final award within a period of one (1) year from the date the arbitral tribunal is constituted or within such extended period as PDRCI may grant, shall be conclusively presumed to be de facto incapacitated to act and this shall constitute sufficient cause for his removal and replacement.

  9. An arbitrator shall perform his/her duties promptly and with due diligence until a full final award is made.

Duties of Parties

A party to an arbitration shall:

  1. Comply with: (a) the applicable provisions of the Rules and these Guidelines; (b) the applicable arbitration agreement(s); (c) any applicable arbitration law or rules; and (d) the PDRCI Code of Ethics for Arbitration.

  2. Not in any manner improperly influence any of the arbitrators on matters that require action or resolution by the arbitral tribunal.

  3. Not to seek the removal of an arbitrator that it appoints by directly or indirectly exercising moral suasion and pressuring or persuading the arbitrator to resign.

Article 7. Confirmation of Arbitrator Appointments

  1. The appointment of any arbitrator under the Rules is subject to confirmation by PDRCI.

  2. In addition to other applicable requirements, no arbitrator appointment shall be confirmed unless the following requirements are complied with:

  1. Submission of a signed copy of the prescribed form for Arbitrator Acceptance, Oath of Office and Statement of Independence and Impartiality (Schedule C of Guidelines on Fees).

  2. The arbitrator’s curriculum vitae, which shall include pertinent information about the nominee, his/her contacts or involvement with a party or party-related entities, either as officer, director, employee, agent, counsel, consultant, adviser, trustee or trustor, or with such organizations, causes, activities, or programs from which a party may have cause or reason to believe that the arbitrator is not independent or impartial, or is otherwise incapable of rendering a fair and just award.

  1. An arbitrator whose appointment is confirmed by PDRCI shall, without delay, submit an oath or affirmation in writing undertaking to efficiently, faithfully and fairly conduct the arbitration and to make just awards or orders according to the best of his ability and understanding. The oath or affirmation shall be provided to PDRCI and to the parties.

Article 8. Default Appointment of Arbitrator

  1. In making a default appointment, PDRCI shall have regard to such considerations as are likely to ensure the appointment of an independent and impartial arbitrator.

  2. PDRCI, having regard to the circumstances, may give the parties a period of not more than thirty (30) days to submit their positions with respect to PDRCI making the default appointment.

  3. PDRCI shall inform the parties and the members of the arbitral tribunal of the appointment made as soon as possible.

Article 9. Resolution of Challenge of an Arbitrator

  1. This Article provides for the rules for challenging arbitrators under Article 20(1) of the Rules.

  2. A notice of challenge shall be in writing and shall state the reasons for the challenge.

  3. An arbitrator may be challenged on any grounds specified in the applicable arbitration law, rules or agreements.

  4. The grounds of a challenge shall, in principle, be limited to those set out in the notice of challenge.

  5. The other party or parties to the arbitration and the challenged arbitrator may submit an answer to the notice of challenge, within fifteen (15) days from receipt.

  6. The challenging party may comment on the answers to the notice of challenge within five (5) days from receipt of the answer submitted pursuant to the preceding paragraph.

  7. PDRCI shall determine the challenge on the basis of written evidence and written submissions alone, unless it decides that it is appropriate to hold one or more hearings.

  8. PDRCI’s determination of the challenge shall be communicated to the parties, the challenged arbitrator and, where applicable, the other members of the arbitral tribunal in writing.

  9. PDRCI has no obligation to, but may give reasons for its determination on the challenge.

  10. Until a decision is made to replace the arbitrator in case of a challenge, the arbitration shall continue notwithstanding the challenge and the challenged arbitrator shall continue to participate therein as an arbitrator.

  11. The party making the challenge shall pay such fees as may be assessed by PDRCI pursuant to Article 3(3) of the Guidelines on Fees. If the party making the challenge fails to pay such fees within the period granted by PDRCI, the challenge shall be dismissed. PDRCI may at any time require the party making the challenge to deposit further sums to meet its additional fees and expenses, taking into account, among others, the nature of the case and the nature and amount of work performed by PDRCI.

  12. PDRCI shall have the sole discretion to decide whether and when and in what manner arbitrators’ fees of challenged arbitrators shall be released to the arbitrators, taking into account all relevant circumstances of the case. When an arbitrator is challenged, and before the matter of the challenge is finally resolved, PDRCI may allow the release of all or part of the arbitration fees to the arbitrator.

Article 10. Replacement of Arbitrator

When an arbitral tribunal is truncated because of the death, resignation, disqualification and removal of an arbitrator, the remaining arbitrators shall suspend the arbitration proceedings until the replacement arbitrator has been appointed.

Article 11. Appointing Authority for Ad Hoc and UNCITRAL Arbitrations

  1. If so empowered pursuant to an agreement of the parties, PDRCI shall act as appointing authority in accordance with the parties’ agreement and/or the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.

  2. Where an authority within PDRCI is requested to act as appointing authority pursuant to the parties’ agreement, such designation will be understood to refer to PDRCI and these Guidelines shall apply.

  3. A party requesting PDRCI to act as appointing authority shall submit a request containing all the information that the requesting party may consider appropriate to allow PDRCI to make the requested appointment.

  4. When acting as the appointing authority under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, PDRCI shall follow the relevant provisions of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules with respect to appointment of arbitrators, resolution of challenges of arbitrators, replacement of arbitrators and any other functions of an appointing authority.

  5. When acting as appointing authority in ad hoc, non-UNCITRAL arbitrations, the following rules shall apply:

  1. PDRCI, exercising its discretion within the limits fixed by the parties in their agreement(s), or the limits contained in the applicable law or rules, shall appoint an arbitrator independent of the parties involved in the arbitration.

  2. The parties to non-UNCITRAL arbitrations may agree that PDRCI, as appointing authority, shall have the power to decide a challenge made by any of the parties against any member of the arbitral tribunal.

  3. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, a challenge shall be made in accordance with the Rules and these Guidelines.

  1. For purposes of this Article, PDRCI may, if it deems necessary, require the submission of comments from the party, arbitrator or arbitral tribunal or the holding of hearings prior to resolving the challenge.

  2. If so empowered by an arbitration clause, a subsequent agreement of the parties or otherwise, PDRCI shall consider providing services, besides those specifically indicated in this Article, in accordance with the parties’ agreement.

  3. An arbitrator appointed pursuant to this Article shall comply with all the requirements of the Rules for the confirmation of the appointment of an arbitrator by PDRCI.

  4. PDRCI has no obligation to give reasons for its determinations in connection with its functions as an appointing authority under this Article.

  5. The party making the request shall pay the fees as may be assessed by PDRCI pursuant to Article 3(3) of the Guidelines on Fees. If the party making the request fails to pay such fees within the period granted by PDRCI, the request will be dismissed. PDRCI may require the party making the request to deposit further sum(s) to meet its additional fees and expenses, taking into account, among others, the nature of the case and the nature and amount of work performed by PDRCI.