Republic of the Philippines
Department of Justice
Balara, Quezon City


Pursuant to the provisions of Section 10, Chapter 3, Title III, Book IV of the Administrative Code of 1987 and other relevant laws, the Government Corporate Counsel hereby promulgates the following rules to efficiently discharge the OGCC’s functions and powers as principal law office of all government-owned or controlled corporations, their subsidiaries, other corporate offsprings and government acquired asset corporations, as well as government instrumentalities with corporate powers and government corporate entities, and effectively exercise its power of control and supervision over their respective legal departments.

To keep abreast with the legal developments and emerging needs of the GOCCs, the OGCC issues its revised rules and regulations.

Title and Construction

Section 1. Title – These Rules shall be known as the “OGCC Rules and Regulations”.

Section 2. Scope – These Rules shall cover all matters referred to the OGCC for advice or representation pursuant to its role as the principal law office of all government corporations whether incorporated under the law or created by a charter.

Section 3. Construction – These Rules shall be liberally construed so that the OGCC may perform its functions in an efficient, effective, equitable, just, speedy and inexpensive manner, in view of its larger role in the national government’s agenda for development and good governance.

Section 4. OGCC’s client corporations – The OGCC shall be the principal and statutory law office of all government-owned or controlled corporations, their subsidiaries, corporate offsprings, and government acquired asset corporations, as well as government instrumentalities vested with corporate powers or government corporate entities.[1]

For purposes of these Rules, the term “government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs)” refers to any agency organized as a stock or non-stock corporation, vested with functions relating to public needs whether governmental or proprietary in nature, and owned by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines directly or through its instrumentalities whether wholly or, where applicable as in the case of stock corporations, to the extent of at least a majority of its outstanding capital stock. This term shall also include subsidiaries, offsprings, acquired asset corporations, government instrumentalities with corporate powers (GICP), government corporate entities (GCE)[2] and government financial institutions (GFI)[3] and other government entities of which the OGCC is the principal law office.

Declaration of Policy

As the statutory counsel of all GOCCs, the OGCC shall dutifully safeguard their legal interest and diligently provide them legal services and uphold justice under the rule of law with integrity, excellence and professionalism.

Powers of the OGCC

Section 1. Powers –

Section 1.1 As principal law office and as supervisor – The OGCC, as principal law office exercising control and supervision over the legal departments of GOCCs, shall have the following powers and duties:

(a) Represent GOCCs in the litigation of appropriate cases brought before the courts or quasi-judicial bodies in the Philippines or abroad in accordance with Rule 5 of these rules;

(b) Review and, if necessary, recommend revisions or modifications on contracts referred by GOCCs, as required by law, and/or prepare such contracts when so requested in appropriate cases in accordance with Rule 6 of these rules; and

(c) Render legal opinions, as required by law, on all important legal questions referred by the GOCCs conformably with Rule 6 of these rules.

Section 1.2 Regular assignments – The OGCC’s regular assignments shall consist of handling of cases, rendering of opinion and contract review.

Section 1.3 Special Assignments – When the exigency of the service requires, any member of the OGCC legal staff may be assigned or designated to a GOCC to perform additional or special tasks as may be determined by the Government Corporate Counsel which shall include, but not limited to, the following:

(a) Be detailed or assigned to GOCCs upon their request provided, that the Government Corporate Counsel approves the assignment or designation, including attendance in meetings requested by GOCCs;

(b) Mediate and act as hearing officers under relevant laws in accordance with Rule 11 of these rules, and arbitrate disputes, claims and controversies between or among GOCCs in appropriate cases in accordance with Rule 12 of these rules;

(c) Investigate and, in appropriate cases, hear administrative disciplinary cases involving all lawyers, officials and employees of GOCCs upon the latter’s request and recommend appropriate administrative or disciplinary sanctions in accordance with Rule 7 of these rules;

(d) Conduct periodic performance audit of the in-house lawyers or legal departments of the GOCCs and to recommend appropriate actions to GOCCs;

(e) Require the in-house lawyers or legal departments of GOCCs to submit periodic reports of work performed and/or accomplished and to supervise and control the necessary legal action;

(f) Conduct research and/or submit position papers on novel/important questions or issues affecting GOCCs;

(g) Conduct fact-finding and preliminary investigation in appropriately referred cases;

(h) Act as corporate officers of GOCCs upon their request;

(i) Be assigned as members of technical working groups, bids and awards committee, tasks force and other committees in relation to GOCC projects; and

(j) Represent the OGCC in the Board of GOCCs and management committees.

In the performance of their special functions, the designated OGCC lawyers shall be entitled to receive such additional compensation and privileges as may be granted by the GOCC concerned.[4]

Further, GOCCs are authorized to extend to OGCC such benefits and privileges as are given to their employees.[5]

Section 1.4 Power of Administrative Supervision – In exercising its power of administrative supervision over the legal departments of the GOCCs, the OGCC shall:

(a) regularly consult with concerned GOCCs on the referred case/s to ensure satisfactory collaborative formulation of legal strategies and evidence presentation and on relevant legal matters;

(b) monitor the progress of cases and other concerns being handled by in-house counsels/legal departments or their duly retained external lawyers; and

(c) issue such rules and directives to standardize pleadings and practice of all lawyers in the GOCCs.

Section 1.5 Power to enforce the Property Insurance Law – The OGCC, upon its own initiative, shall have the power to enforce the Property Insurance Law pursuant to Republic Act 656, as amended by P.D. 245, in domestic or international transactions.

Section 1.6 Power to assess and to receive attorney’s fees

(a) In addition to the regular assessment mentioned in Sec. 4 of P.D. 1415, the Government Corporate Counsel is authorized to make special assessments upon GOCCs serviced by its office, to meet contingencies, obligations, and undertakings necessary to maintain and promote service efficiency.

(b) The OGCC is authorized to receive attorney’s fees adjudged in favor of GOCCs in judicial or arbitral proceedings handled by it. These attorney’s fees shall accrue to a special fund of the OGCC, and shall be deposited in an authorized government depository as a trust liability and shall be made available for expenditure without the need for a cash disbursement ceiling, for purposes of upgrading facilities and equipment, granting of employees’ incentive pay and other benefits, and defraying such other incentive expenses not provided for in the General Appropriations Act as may be determined by the Government Corporate Counsel.[6]

Organizational Set-Up

Section 1. Composition – The OGCC shall be composed of the Government Corporate Counsel, Deputy Government Corporate Counsel (DGCC), Assistant Government Corporate Counsels (AGCCs), all of whom shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines. All other members of the legal staff of the OGCC shall be appointed by the Government Corporate Counsel, the ranks of which shall be as follows: Government Corporate Attorney IV (GCA-IV), Government Corporate Attorney III (GCA-III), Government Corporate Attorney II (GCA II), Government Corporate Attorney I (GCA I), Associate Government Corporate Attorney II, and Associate Government Corporate Attorney I.

Section 2. Administrative Staff – The OGCC shall be supported by an administrative staff all of whom shall be appointed by the Government Corporate Counsel.

Section 3. Organization into Teams – Unless otherwise determined by the Government Corporate Counsel, the Legal Staff shall be divided into teams, each to be headed by an Assistant Government Corporate Counsel as team leader. The classification of the teams shall include, but shall not be limited to: (1) Gaming & Allied Services; (2) Ecozones; (3) Information & Energy; (4) Environment & Water; (5) Banking & Finance; (6) Transportation, Communication & Infrastructure; (7) Agriculture & Trade; and (8) Housing & Urban Development.

A senior Assistant Government Corporate Counsel may also be appointed as in-charge for Litigation and another one as in-charge for Opinion/Contract Review.

3.1 Each team leader shall be designated by the Government Corporate Counsel and shall be directly responsible for the supervision of the members of his/her team. The Government Corporate Counsel, assisted by the Deputy Government Corporate Counsel, shall have over-all direct supervision and control over all the Teams.

3.2 Special Project Teams may be created by the Government Corporate Counsel as the need arises.

Procedures in Handling Cases

Section 1. The OGCC shall handle all cases by the GOCCs unless their respective legal departments are duly authorized or deputized, or when the engagement of a private lawyer has been authorized in accordance with Rule 9 of these rules. For this purpose, additional reimbursable and other allowances shall be granted to OGCC lawyers assigned to it.

Section 2. The OGCC shall accept only cases that have been officially endorsed by the GOCC through its duly authorized officer.

Section 3. All referred cases shall be accompanied by the following:

(a) detailed historical background of the case;
(b) photocopies of pertinent documents; and
(c) the names and contact details of officials, proposed witnesses and all those knowledgeable about the case.

Opinion and Contract Review

Section 1. Requests for Legal Opinion and Contract Review – All GOCCs, through their duly authorized officer, shall refer to the OGCC for review all proposed contracts or agreements.

All important matters shall also be referred to the OGCC for opinion or advice.

Section 2. Form and Substance of the Request for Opinion – For effective, efficient and prompt disposition of requests for opinion, GOCCs shall clearly state or submit the following:(1) factual circumstances; statement of the issue/s sought to be solved; (2) documents pertinent to the issue; and (3) other matters which the OGCC needs to be apprised of.

Section 3. Form and Substance of the Request for Contract Review – For effective, efficient, and prompt disposition of requests for contract review, GOCCs shall submit the following: (1) supporting documents to explain the antecedents of the proposed contract; and (2) other matters which the OGCC needs to be apprised of.

In both cases, the OGCC may request for additional documents necessary for the completion of opinion and contract review.

Section 4. Policy on Fait Accompli Contracts – All contracts or agreements of GOCCs shall be submitted to the OGCC for review before they are signed. A contract already executed shall not be acted upon except for justifiable reasons as may be determined by the Government Corporate Counsel.

Section 5. Policy on Matters Pending Litigation – No opinion shall be rendered on issues pending in court or any tribunal for adjudication.

Procedure on Administrative Cases

Section 1. OGCC Lawyers as Hearing Officers/Prosecutors – Upon request from the GOCC, the Government Corporate Counsel shall designate an OGCC lawyer to preside as hearing officer or to act as prosecutor for and on behalf of the OGCC over administrative cases against GOCC employees. For this purpose, the Government Corporate Counsel shall assign a head for administrative cases to actively monitor the proceedings and review the hearing officer’s investigation report prior to the submission to the Government Corporate Counsel for approval.

Section 2. Rules in Administrative ProceedingsThe Civil Service Rules and, when applicable, the internal rules of the GOCCs, shall apply in the conduct of administrative cases referred to the OGCC.

Section 3. Period to be Observed – OGCC lawyers designated to preside over administrative cases or to handle administrative complaints shall cooperate in the speedy disposition of the cases. Once designated as hearing officer, the assigned lawyer shall at the start of the proceedings, be able to: (a) dictate the pace of the proceedings from filing of the respective briefs to presentation of evidence or in lieu of the presentation of witnesses, filing of judicial affidavits, position paper and formal offer of evidence; and (b) render a formal investigation report within thirty days from receipt of the final pleadings from both parties. The report shall be submitted to the designated head for Administrative cases for review, then to the Government Corporate Counsel for approval prior to transmittal to the GOCC concerned for appropriate action.

Section 4. Venue of Administrative Cases

(a) Unless requested and subject to funding by the GOCC concerned due to distance and other constraints, all administrative cases shall be heard at the OGCC premises.

(b) Out of town hearings and conferences shall be allowed only upon agreement of the parties concerned as to expenses and disbursements involved taking into consideration cost-benefit or other justifiable reasons.

Section 5.Transmittal of report The formal investigation report shall be endorsed by the Government Corporate Counsel for transmittal to the requesting GOCC.

Rule on Criminal Cases

Section 1. Limited representationUpon due request, the OGCC shall handle only criminal cases filed by the complaining GOCCs against any party.[7]

Section 2. Extent of legal assistance – The OGCC shall represent the complaining GOCC in all stages of the criminal proceedings. The legal assistance extended is not limited to the preparation of appropriate sworn statements but shall include all aspects of an effective private prosecution including recovery of civil liability arising from the crime, subject to the control and supervision of the public prosecutor.

Limited Engagement of Private Lawyers

Section 1. Policy – GOCCs shall refrain from engaging the services of private lawyers or law firms to handle their cases and legal matters save under exceptional circumstances as may be determined by the Government Corporate Counsel.[8]

Section 2. Conditions – The hiring of private lawyers shall be subject to the following conditions:

(a) the engagement shall have prior approval by the Government Corporate Counsel and the Commission on Audit; and

(b) private lawyers hired shall be under the direct supervision and control by the OGCC which shall include but not be limited to the supervision of the proceedings, review of pleadings, agreements and other documents prior to filing to courts and submission of periodic reports to the OGCC.

The Government Corporate Counsel may, from time to time, impose additional conditions depending on the nature of the case or transaction being referred to private lawyers and of their engagement (whether on a retainer or consultancy basis). The OGCC further reserves the right to takeover the handling of the case if the exigency of the circumstances requires.

The ADR Principles and Framework

Section 1. OGCC as Hearing Officer – Pursuant to Presidential Decree 242 in relation to Book IV, Chapter 14 of Executive Order 292, the Administrative Code of 1987, and upon prior authority from the Secretary of Justice, the OGCC shall, in the public interest, encourage settlement through early neutral evaluation, mediation or arbitration to resolve disputes, and is accordingly vested with authority to settle claims, disputes, and controversies involving GOCCs the legal departments of which are under its control and supervision.

Section 2. Application of Alternative Dispute Resolution Act (ADR Act) – In applying and construing the provisions of these ADR Rules, consideration must be given to the state policy “to actively promoting party autonomy in the resolution of disputes”[9] and the need “to promote candor of parties and mediators through confidentiality of the mediation process, the policy of fostering prompt, economical and amicable resolution of disputes in accordance with principles of integrity of determination by the parties, and the policy that the decision-making authority in the mediation process rests with the parties.”[10]

In the conduct of the arbitration proceedings, the OGCC may adopt the provisions of ADR Act as may be applicable and in a suppletory character.

Section 3. Definition of Terms

3.1    Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) means any process for resolving a dispute or controversy other than by judicial adjudication. This includes mediation, arbitration or early neutral evaluation.

3.2    Arbitration is a process by which a neutral third party resolves a dispute by rendering an award.

3.3    Mediation is a voluntary process by which a neutral third party facilitates communication and negotiation and assists the parties in reaching a voluntary agreement in resolving their disputes.

3.4    Early Neutral Evaluation is a process of assessing on a non-binding basis the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case that will serve as basis for a compromise agreement.

Procedure in Mediation

Section 1. Coverage – The rules on mediation shall apply to all disputes, claims and controversies, including incipient ones and those ongoing or pending cases with the OGCC, between or among GOCCs that do not involve constitutional issues, public order, public policy, morals, principles or public exemplarity or other matters of public interest, which are better resolved by adjudication.

Section 2. Mediation Policy – Disputes or controversies, between or among GOCCs may be referred to the Government Corporate Counsel for mediation. The latter will designate the lawyers who will act as mediator/s. Any assigned mediator shall not be appointed as hearing officer in case of failure of mediation.

Section 3. Confidentiality – Information obtained through mediation shall be privileged and confidential, except on instances provided under Section 10, R.A. 9285 when confidentiality is waived or falls under the exceptions provided in Section 11, R.A. 9285.

Mediation proceedings and all its incidents shall be kept strictly confidential, unless otherwise specifically provided by law, and all admissions or statements made in it shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

Section 4. Venue of Mediation – Mediation proceedings shall be done at the OGCC offices unless parties request another venue for their convenience upon prior agreement.

Section 5. Presence of Parties or Authorized Representatives – Parties or their duly authorized representatives shall attend the mediation proceedings and shall cooperate with the Mediator towards securing a settlement of the dispute.

Section 6. Flow of Mediation – Parties shall be called to an initial joint conference in order to lay down their respective issues before the assigned mediator/s.

During the initial joint conference, the Mediator shall make an opening statement introducing himself/herself and informing the parties of the process flow, including the manner by which the proceedings will be conducted, and shall stress the confidentiality of proceedings as provided in Section 3.

The parties shall each give an opening statement on the antecedents of their respective positions.

After this, the Mediator shall:

(a) draw out the parties’ underlying interests behind the legal issues and explore common ground for settlement; and

(b) suggest options for parties to consider, and if practical or necessary seek the assistance of a co-mediator or a technical expert, to help resolve the dispute.

The parties, assisted by the Mediator, shall endeavor to resolve their dispute.

If no settlement is reached at this conference, the Mediator may, with the consent of both parties, hold separate conferences with each party to enable the Mediator to determine their respective real interests in the dispute. Thereafter, another joint conference may be held to consider various options, including assessment (on a non-binding basis) of the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case and such other options as may be proposed by the Mediator to resolve the dispute.

The OGCC shall not keep a file of mediation proceedings, except the report of the Mediator. All other records or documents that may have been submitted by the parties during the mediation shall be returned to them.

After thirty working days from the initial mediation conference and no settlement has been reached, the mediation proceedings shall be terminated, in which case the parties may resort to arbitration under Rule 12 of these Rules. The parties may, however, agree to further continue the mediation, in which case an extension of another thirty working days may be granted by the Mediator, with the written approval of the Government Corporate Counsel.

Section 7. Agreement of the Parties – A successful mediation happens when parties have agreed in principle before the mediator/s the terms of their compromise agreement. In order to facilitate the settlement, the mediator shall direct the parties to submit a duly signed compromise within fifteen days. Upon its receipt, the Government Corporate Counsel shall confirm that the parties have reached a compromise. In case of non-compliance, the same may be enforced through arbitration proceedings under Rule 12 of these rules.

Section 8. Deposit of Settlement Agreement – The parties may deposit the settlement agreement with the Government Corporate Counsel subject to the final disposition of the Secretary of Justice.

Procedure in Arbitration

Section 1. Application Any dispute, claim or controversy between GOCCs arising out of or in connection with a transaction may be subject of arbitration proceedings.

Section 2. Commencement of Arbitration – Any party wishing to commence an arbitration under these Rules (the Claimant) shall file with the OGCC and serve on the other party (the Respondent, a written Notice of Arbitration (the Notice of Arbitration) which shall include the following:

(a) a request that the dispute be referred to arbitration;
(b) the names and addresses of the parties to the dispute;
(c) a statement describing the nature and circumstances of the dispute;
(d) the amount in dispute, if any; and
(e) the relief or remedy sought.

Section 3. Response –Within fifteen days from receipt of the Notice of Arbitration, the Respondent shall file with the OGCC and serve on the Claimant a Response including:

(a) a confirmation or denial of all or part of the claims;
(b) a statement of the nature and circumstances of any counterclaims;
(c) the estimated value of any such counterclaims; and
(d) any comment or response to any proposals contained in the Notice of Arbitration.

Section 4. Filing of Case Statement –The Notice of Arbitration and the Response shall constitute the Claimant’s Case and Respondent’s Defense, respectively. If the Claimant intends to challenge anything in Respondent’s Defense and/or Counterclaim, the Claimant must then file within fifteen days from its receipt and serve on the Respondent, Claimant’s Reply and if necessary, Defense to Counterclaim. Within fifteen days from receipt, the Respondent may file its Rejoinder.

Section 5. Default in Filing and Serving of Case Statements – If the Respondent fails to submit its Statement of Defense within the time specified under these Rules, the OGCC may declare the Respondent in default and proceed with the arbitration and make the corresponding recommendation, if warranted.

Section 6. Appointment of Hearing Officer/s –The Government Corporate Counsel shall appoint a sole hearing officer unless in his view, more than one hearing officer is necessary. The Government Corporate Counsel shall appoint the hearing officer/s within ten days following receipt of the Notice of Arbitration. A hearing officer to be appointed under these Rules shall be a lawyer of the OGCC as of the date of the appointment. In the event of death, resignation or withdrawal of the hearing officer, a substitute hearing officer shall be appointed by the Government Corporate Counsel.

Section 7. Hearing

(a) Whenever possible, documents and evidentiary materials should be agreed upon and the case should proceed based on documents and/or evidentiary material or oral arguments only.

(b) The hearing officer has the discretion to allow oral evidence to be presented.

(c) Where oral evidence is requested and directed, the hearing should not exceed three days.

(d) The hearing officer shall set the date, time and place of hearing and shall communicate this to the parties, by writing, at least seven days in advance.

(e) If any party fails to appear at a hearing, of which notice has been given, without showing sufficient cause for such failure, the hearing officer may proceed with the arbitration and may make the recommendation on the evidence before it.

(f) The hearing officer shall have the widest discretion to ensure the just, expeditious, economical and final determination of the dispute.

(g) All hearings shall be in public unless the parties agree otherwise.

Section 8. Witnesses –

(a) The hearing officer may direct any party to give notice of the identities of the witnesses it intends to call as well as the subject matter of their testimony and its relevance to the issues.

(b) The hearing officer has absolute discretion to allow, refuse or limit the appearance of witnesses.

(c) Evidence may be given in the form of signed written statements, video or audio recordings, records, notes and other evidentiary material. Experts may be permitted to give evidence on trade practices and usages.

(d) A party shall be responsible for the practical arrangements, cost and availability of any witness he is allowed to call by the hearing officer.

Section 9. Closure of Hearings – The hearing officer may inquire from the parties if they have any further proof to offer or submission to be heard and if there are none, declare the hearings closed. The hearing officer may also, under exceptional circumstances, reopen the hearings at any time before the recommendation is made.

Section 10. The Recommendation

(a) The recommendation shall be issued by the hearing officer within thirty days after the close of hearing, or where the case proceeds based on documents and evidentiary materials only, from the date when all documents and evidentiary materials are submitted to the hearing officer.

(b) The hearing officer may extend the time for the making of the recommendation.

(c) The Government Corporate Counsel may approve or modify the recommendation and endorse the same to the Secretary of Justice for approval.

(d) Unless appealed, the approved recommendation shall be final, binding and enforceable according to its terms and the parties undertake to carry out the award without delay. Otherwise, the hearing officer shall refer it to the concerned Team who shall then act for and on behalf of the winning party for filing of a Motion for Writ of Execution in accordance with Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.

Section 11. Arbitral Award based on a Compromise – If the parties agree on a settlement of the dispute, they shall submit a duly signed compromise which shall be the basis of an arbitral award.


The parties to an arbitration or mediation, as the case may be, shall be required to pay fees in such manner and in such amount as may be determined by the Government Corporate Counsel.

Procedure for Amendment of Rules

Section 1. Creation of a committee to study proposed amendment -Any amendment or revision of any provision of these Rules shall be made by the Government Corporate Counsel. For this purpose, he may create a committee to carefully study and analyze whether there are sufficient reasons to amend the same.

Section 2. Prospective application – Any provision/s of the Rules that have been amended, altered or modified shall only have prospective application.

Section 3. Effectivity of amendment – The amended Rules duly approved by the Government Corporate Counsel shall take effect fifteen days after its publication in accordance with law.

Final Provisions

Section 1. Repealing clause– All rules, circulars, memoranda or other issuances or any part thereof inconsistent with the provisions of these Rules are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

Section 2. Separability clauseIf for any reason or reasons, any portion or provision of these rules shall be held unconstitutional or invalid, all other parts or provisions not affected shall continue to remain in full force and effect.

Section 3. Effectivity – These Rules shall take effect fifteen days after publication in accordance with the 1987 Administrative Code.

Approved by:

Government Corporate Counsel

[1] Section 1, Executive Order 596, 29 December 2006.
[2] Under RA 10149 or the GOCC Governance Act of 2011, government instrumentalities with corporate powers (GICP) and government corporate entities (GCE) refer to instrumentalities or agencies of the government, which are neither corporations nor agencies integrated within the departmental framework, but vested by law with special functions or jurisdiction, endowed with some if not all corporate powers, administering special funds, and enjoying operational autonomy usually through a charter xxx.
[3] Section 3(m) of RA 10149 defines GFIs as financial institutions or corporations in which the government directly or indirectly owns majority of the capital stock and which are either: (1) registered with or directly supervised by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; or (2) collecting or transacting funds or contributions from the public and places them in financial instruments or assets such as deposits, loans, bonds and equity including, but not limited to, the Government Service Insurance System and the Social Security System.
[4] Section 6, Executive Order 878.
[5] RA 6000, Section 5. Any law to the contrary notwithstanding, the government-owned or controlled corporations, or corporations the majority stock of which is owned or controlled by the Government, and instrumentalities of the Government performing proprietary functions, are hereby authorized to extend to the personnel of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel such benefits and privileges as are given to their corporate employees.
[6] Cf. Section 10, Chapter 3, Title 3, Book 4, Administrative Code of 1987.
[7] OGCC Order 26; cf. Urbano v. Chavez, 183 SCRA 347.
[8] Cf. Memorandum Circular 9, Series of 1998.
[9] Cf. Section 2, RA 9285 or the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004.
[10] Section 8, supra.