Press Release
February 22, 2006

Drilon wants arbitration of disputes extended to other industries

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon proposed the extension of dispute resolution through arbitration to other industries, like banking and securities, in order to build stability and confidence in business transactions in a speech Monday night before the Philippine Institute of Construction Arbitrators (PICA).

He called arbitration "the wave of the future, an unstoppable force" in dispute resolution in various industries.

Drilon recalled that when he was secretary of labor during the Aquino administration "labor arbitration provided a ready venue for the common laborer to meet with his employer or the companys representative and cases could be heard and settled expeditiously and amicably."

According to him, "This translated to faster resolution, less expense and less technical entanglements and could even be done without lawyers on either or both sides. All this made a significant impact on both the daily wage earner who has to feed his family every day and the employer who has to keep his bottom line above red ink."

He added, "Arbitration is also consistent with the Filipino culture that thrives on a healthy resolution of disputes rather than a protracted legal confrontation. This can probably explain why arbitration is such a great success."

Drilon noted that the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC), outside of the labor field, has achieved remarkable success in resolving disputes among players in the industry.

"Over the past 15 years, the average construction arbitration case was resolved in only four months from the signing of the Terms of Reference, while the prescribed period was six months," Drilon said. In 1992, there were eight cases, but in 1997, there were 39 cases and 2002, 49. Due to the slowdown in the construction industry at present only 32 cases were pending.

Since 1999, 442 cases have been filed before the CIAC involving sums of over P23 billion, and the average case was worth P50 million, Drilon said. The process also allowed arbitrators to restore the good relationships of parties to the disputes, thus stabilizing the long-term interests of the construction field.

"I would like your arbitration experience replicated into banking, securities and many other industries where we need to attract investors and build confidence and stability not only in business itself but also in the dispute resolution process, Drilon told the construction industry arbitrators.

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