The Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) has entered into a strategic partnership with the National Center for Mediation (NCM) to promote mediation as an alternative mode of dispute resolution in business transactions.
The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by mediation service provider NCM and umbrella export group PHILEXPORT on March 14, 2023 during the latter’s first general membership meeting in Pasay City.
Under the MOA, both parties agree to work together to raise awareness of the benefits of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms, particularly mediation, as a mode of dispute resolution in business, commerce, and industry.
Mediation is a process of settling dispute with the help of a third neutral party called the mediator, which acts to facilitate the discussion and negotiation, and skillfully enjoins the parties to cooperate in arriving at a mutually satisfactory settlement of their dispute.
NCM and PHILEXPORT agreed to develop and implement programs to institutionalize the use and practice of ADR, particularly mediation, and jointly conduct researches and studies on developments in domestic and international ADR practice.
As part of this, NCM will serve as the training arm of PHILEXPORT, providing resource speakers, lecturers, trainors, and facilitators for the conduct of trainings, seminars, and workshops.
NCM and PHILEXPORT may jointly conduct ADR/mediation trainings and seminars for ADR practitioners in the private sector, and hold forums and conferences to discuss new ideas and developments, promote and adopt best practices, and enhance the effectiveness of mediation proceedings.
The MOA also calls for the joint development of programs and initiatives to institutionalize the practice of mediation among PHILEXPORT member organizations.
Moreover, it was agreed that PHILEXPORT members will insert this mediation clause in all their contracts to ensure a collaborative process in case of any future disputes: “Any disputes arising from and related to this contract shall be brought to the National Center for Mediation, Taguig City, Philippines, for mediation.”
The MOA was signed by NCM president Apolinar Aure and PHILEXPORT head Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr.
To promote mediation as an alternative mode of resolving disputes, the Philippines in 2004 issued the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004 (Republic Act No. 9285). Under the ADR Act, it is a state policy to promote party autonomy in resolving disputes and encourage the use of ADR as a means to achieve speedy and impartial justice and de-clog court dockets.
Interest in mediation in the commercial world has increased sharply in recent years partly because of dissatisfaction with the cost, delays and length of litigation. Where mediation has been used, it has enjoyed very high rates of success in achieving a result acceptable to both sides to a dispute, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization.
And even if the disputants do not resolve the dispute, mediation frequently will bring out the real issues and enhance communications between the parties, fostering an improved working relationship.