March 2, 2018

TRAIN Law 2018

President Duterte signed Republic Act No. 10963, otherwise known as, the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion Act (“TRAIN”) last 19 December 2017, amending portions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

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June 21, 2017

Reviewing the Declaration of Martial Law

In response to the attack of the Maute Group militants in Marawi City last 23 May 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte, through Proclamation No. 216, declared Martial Law following the clash, citing rebellion as a justification.

Thereafter, both the Senate and House of Representatives issued legislative resolutions in support of the declaration and indicating that there is no need for them to review Martial Law. These statements generated protest from several sectors of society, echoing the fear from the Martial Law during the Marcos Era.

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June 1, 2017

The Anti-Distracted Driving Act

The enactment of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (“ADDA”) is a response to the ever-changing demands brought about by technological devices. Enacted last 27 June 2015, Republic Act No. 10913, otherwise known as, “An Act Defining and Penalizing Distracted Driving,” is intended to safeguard the public from the inimical consequences of unrestrained use of electronic mobile devices on road safety.

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We welcome your questions and will be happy to be of help.
Can I legally change my name and gender in the Philippines?
The process for changing one’s name would depend on the basis for such change. If the reason is that there has been a clerical or typographical error in spelling out the name in the birth certificate, an administrative petition will suffice. On the other hand, if extraordinary circumstances are present that would merit a change of name, a judicial proceeding is required.

Until 2008, the law has never allowed anyone to change his gender. The landmark case of Republic v. Cagandahan (G.R. No. 166676) has changed this.

The petitioner, born Jennifer Cagandahan, female, filed a Petition for Correction of Entries in Birth Certificate. Later in life, she was diagnosed with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, where a person is born with both male and female characteristics. One of these characteristics will eventually overpower the other and the person becomes either fully male or fully female.

Cagandahan argued that based on her most recent medical tests, she has become a biological male, contrary to what is stated in her birth certificate. Thus, she petitioned that her name be changed from Jennifer Cagandahan to Jeff Cagandahan, and her gender from female to male.

The Supreme Court granted Cagandahan’s petition and allowed her to legally change her name and gender. The Court opined that “Respondent here has simply let nature take its course and has not taken unnatural steps to arrest or interfere with what he was born with… Nature has instead taken its due course in respondent’s development to reveal more fully his male characteristics.”

I’ve worked three months for a company. One day we were advised not to report for work beginning the following day as the office would be undergoing major renovations. However, after more than a week, we were informed that the company could no longer continue operations. Our last pay was not given. What can we do?
You are a victim of an illegal dismissal. The fact that the company could no longer pursue its operations, whether due to financial constraints or other causes, shall not automatically relieve the company of its obligations to its employees. The Labor Code provides the mandatory requirements that an employer must comply with prior to cessation or closure of its business.

The fact that you have worked for only three months should not discourage you from pursuing your claims which include backwages and separation pay, among others.

You can file a complaint before the National labor Relations Commission and there seek payment of the aforesaid claims, impleading the company and its responsible officers if bad faith is apparent.