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Quisumbing Torres' Dispute Resolution Practice Group Head Donemark Calimon will be leading the Philippine Institute of Arbitrators (PIArb) as President for years 2018 and 2019.

The PIArb recently held its planning session last 16 December 2017. Donemark is joined by other lawyers in QT's Disputes group, who also occupy leadership roles in PIArb: Jared Amoroso (Senior Vice President for Advocacies); Grace Ann Lazaro (Corporate Secretary); Bianca Gatmaitan-Santos (Treasurer), and Jason Rudolf Arteche (Assistant Corporate Secretary).

Review of Past Achievements

PIArb's initiatives focus on advocacy, research & development, community-building, and public awareness. During the planning session, PIArb revisited its achievements for the years 2016 - 2017, among which include the organization of annual basic and specialized / advanced training courses in arbitration; participation at the annual Regional Arbitral Institutes Forum; and involvement in the study and formulation of policies and regulatory affairs, primarily through the Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution (OADR).

Future Plans and Strategies

PIArb, through its working committees, seeks to accomplish several initiatives for years 2018-2019. PIArb's Secretariat aims to effectively manage information flow through PIArb Interactive - a database where officers can access real-time reports, documents and information from different committees.It also plans to launch an online database which allows members and non-members to sign up for PIArb's various activities.

The Secretariat also aims to come up with rules on Professional Standards and Conduct, and explore the possibility of providing arbitration support services. The Membership Committee seeks to achieve a 10% increase in attendance in PIArb's monthly fellowship meetings. It plans to hold basic mediation and arbitration courses for the next 2 years, and launch a Special Interest Group in Mediation and Negotiation by April this year.

The committee will also continue holding Young PIArb fellowship events and regular cocktail fellowships. The Advocacies Committee on the other hand will focus on the development of user-oriented Arbitration Training Programs as well as Dispute Resolution Schemes specifically catered to different industry groups. The committee, while maintaining its initiatives aims to further assist OADR in its policy and rule making mandates.

The institute's existing strategic partnerships will also be reviewed in order to reconnect and strengthen partner relationships. Professional Development Programs such as the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Introduction to Mediation and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Introduction to Arbitration are among the undertakings of PIArb's Programs Committee.

The team will also work on Research and Publication Projects that include the marketing of the PIArb Handbooks, launch of the PIArb Journal and the release of the PIArb Commercial Arbitration Handbook (Second Edition).

Moreover, as part of the institute's international initiatives, the committee continues its active support for the Regional Arbitral Institutes Forum (RAIF) which will be held in Indonesia later this year.

PIArb in partnership with Quisumbing Torres might be hosting the said forum in 2019.

QT and PIArb Partnership

QT has actively supported PIArb since its inception, as a means of promoting arbitration as a preferred form of alternative dispute resolution in the country.

The institute celebrated its 10th anniversary last October 2017. The Firm regularly hosts a number of PIArb activities, which include the institute's monthly fellowships and several of its arbitration courses. PIArb[i] is the first learned society in the Philippines dedicated to promoting private dispute resolution within the country, and pursuing initiatives to enable the country to serve as a viable and practical venue for private dispute resolution. PIArb also serves as the Philippine Chapter of CIArb's East Asia Branch.

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