Insights / Updates

Stay up to date with legal developments in Philippines.

What's New

Anti-Terrorism Act Signed into Law

On 3 July 2020, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11479 or The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (“Anti-Terrorism Act”). The Anti-Terrorism Act repealed the Human Security Act of 2007, which was previously the governing law on acts of terrorism in the Philippines. The Anti-Terrorism Act took effect on 22 July 2020, fifteen (15) days after its complete publication in the Manila Bulletin on 6 July 2020.

As of 6 August 2020, twenty-five (25) petitions seeking to declare the Anti-Terrorism Act unconstitutional, either partially or in its entirety, have been filed with the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

This Update summarises the salient features of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

House Panel Approves Bill Imposing 12% VAT on Digital Transactions

The House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means has approved the Substitute Bill to House Bills 6765, 6944, 4531, and House Resolution 685, which aims to impose value-added tax (“VAT”) on digital services. Digital service refers to any service that is delivered or subscribed over the internet or other electronic network, which cannot be obtained without the use of information technology.

BIR Adopts Fast-track Measures and Removes the Requirement of Submission of Photocopies of Documents Evidencing Credit Extensions and Credit Restructurings

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (“BIR”) has issued Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 071-2020 to circularise the advisory for the adoption of fast-track measures during the COVID-19 state of calamity issued by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (“ARTA”) through ARTA Advisory No. 01, Series of 2020 (“Advisory”). The Advisory applies to all government offices and agencies including local government units, government-owned or -controlled corporations, and other government instrumentalities, whether located in the Philippines or abroad, that provide services covering business and nonbusiness-related transactions. The suggested measures include extending the validity of permits, licenses, certifications, and other similar authorisations that are expiring within the period of the State of National Emergency.

BIR has also issued Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 072-2020 to remove the requirement of submission of photocopies of documents evidencing credit extensions and credit restructurings granted by covered institutions during the enhanced community quarantine.