eOasis is Rajah & Tann Asia’s legal publications portal, where you can view updates on the latest key legal and regulatory developments in Asia, prepared from a practitioner's viewpoint.
What's New on eOASIS
In October 2019, the Supreme Court issued two administrative matters (collectively, the "New Rules") amending the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure and the 1989 Revised Rules on Evidence. These New Rules took effect on 1 May 2020, and substantially modify the way that court litigation and dispute resolution have traditionally been conducted in the Philippines.22 May 2020 | Philippines
After the implementation of an Enhanced Community Quarantine ("ECQ") for two months in Luzon and other high-risk areas, the Philippine Government has gradually started easing restrictions and has begun transitioning to the "new normal". On 30 April 2020, the Philippines President issued Executive Order No. 112), which adopted the Inter-Agency Task Force ("IATF") for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolution No. 30 or the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines ("Omnibus Guidelines") and granted the IATF the authority to modify the Omnibus Guidelines without need of further approval of the President. On 15 May 2020, the IATF issued the Revised Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines.22 May 2020 | Philippines
This Update discusses the following potentially difficult coverage issues under some of such existing (and pre COVID-19) commercial insurance policies:
- Loss of profit/revenue and business interruption;
- Event cancellation;
- Credit insurance;
- Public liability; and
- Management liability.
- The introduction of legislative amendments to support Singapore's adoption of the International Convention on Salvage
- The implementation of the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims under Singapore law.
In this Update, we look at the key aspects of the recent legislative amendments and their potential impact on the shipping industry. 21 May 2020 | Singapore
In order to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand, the Thai government announced an emergency decree which applies to all areas in Thailand from 26 March to 30 April 2020 (“Emergency Decree”), and has since been extended to 31 May 2020. Under the Emergency Decree, the Thai government has issued several notifications in order to prevent and suppress the outbreak.
One of the most recent notifications is from the Ministry of Labour Re: Referral of unsettled labour disputes to the labour relations committee for settlement and prohibition on employers to cause a lockout or employees to cause a strike during the period of the emergency situations in accordance with the laws on public administration in emergency situations (“Notification”). The Notification came into force on 8 May 2020 and is widely understood to be intended to prevent a potential spread of the disease by prohibiting employee strike action, while also allowing employees who were previously subject to a lockout to return to work.21 May 2020 | Thailand
Guidance on Notification Procedures of Economic Concentration Cases to the Ministry of Industry and Trade
On 14 May 2020, the Ministry of Industry and Trade ("MOIT") published a guidance on notification procedures of economic concentration cases during the transitional period ("Guidance"), because the new Vietnam Competition Commission has not been established yet. The Guidance is based on the Law on Competition and Decree 35/2020/ND-CP detailing a number of Articles of the Law on Competition.21 May 2020 | Vietnam
On 19 May 2020, the Thai Cabinet approved in principle a proposal made by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society to provide a one-year long postponement of the effective date of key operative provisions of the Personal Data Protection Act B.E. 2562 (2019) ("PDPA") from 27 May 2020 to 31 May 2021 ("New Effective Date"). This move comes as good news for companies struggling to implement their personal data protection regimes by the original 27 May 2020 date. For example, by the New Effective Date, companies are required to ensure they obtain consent from the Data Subject prior to or at the time of any collection, use, or disclosure of Personal Data, except where consent is not required under the PDPA or pursuant to any other laws.
This Update highlights the implications of the postponement, as well as the key features of the PDPA20 May 2020 | Thailand
As the global COVID-19 cases continue to rise, researchers around the world are racing to understand the virus and working to roll out an effective vaccine.
In this Update, we look at the general requirements and procedure for pharmaceutical product registration and also cosmetic product notification in Malaysia.18 May 2020 | Malaysia
The draft PDP (Amendment) Bill sets out the proposed amendments to the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 ("PDPA"). These amendments are precipitated by the global shift towards a digitised economy, and the exponential increase in the need for and usage of personal data in business transactions and growing threat of data breaches. The amendments are intended to ensure that the PDPA keeps pace with the changing circumstances, while providing for effective protection of personal data in the digital economy.
In this Update, we highlight the key amendments to the PDPA that organisations should take note of. Please note that this update is not a comprehensive list of all the proposed changes to the PDPA pursuant to the PDP (Amendment) Bill. The full Public Consultation Document and the draft PDP (Amendment) Bill may be accessed here. 15 May 2020 | Singapore
This Update highlights the key features and implications of the Updated Regulations. 15 May 2020 | Singapore
The Grant complements the S$125 million support package announced by MAS on 8 April 2020 ("Support Package") to sustain and strengthen capabilities in the financial services and FinTech sectors amid the current economic slump. The Support Package took effect from 8 April 2020.
This Update highlights the key features of the Grant and the Support Package for FinTech firms in Singapore. 15 May 2020 | Singapore
As M&A activity continues against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are certain key considerations that should be borne in mind by the parties.
This Update aims to highlight these considerations as well as steps that can be taken to manage the risks caused or aggravated by COVID-19. 15 May 2020 | Singapore
On 13 May 2020, the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Transfer of Benefit of Property Tax Remission) Regulations 2020 ("Regulations") came into operation. The Regulations provide further details on how owners are to pass on the rebate, including: (i) the formulae for determining the prescribed amount of benefit that must be passed on to the tenant; (ii) the prescribed manner and time for passing on the benefit; and (iii) the information to be provided to the tenant. In this Update, we highlight the key points of the Regulations that property owners should take note of. 15 May 2020 | Singapore Updates looks at the concerns identified under these issues and the Committee's analysis and recommendations in the Report. 14 May 2020 | Singapore
BSP Grants Relief Measures to Manage the Financial Impact of COVID-19, Temporarily Suspends Administrative Proceedings, and Issues Guidelines for the Implementation of the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (“BSP”) Monetary Board has approved the granting of relief measures to BSP-supervised financial institutions (“BSFIs”) to enable them to extend the same relief measures to their clients, borrowers, and employers in view of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (“ECQ”) imposed by the Philippine government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines. The BSP also temporarily suspended proceedings of administrative cases at the BSP’s Office of the General Counsel and Legal Services-Investigation and Prosecution Group due to the Luzon-wide ECQ. It likewise directed all BSFIs to comply with Section 4(aa) of the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.
On April 24, 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte announced another extension of the ECQ in high-risk areas which include Metro Manila, Central Luzon (except Aurora), the CALABARZON Region (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), the island of Cebu, the provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, and Davao City, among other areas until May 15, 2020.14 May 2020 | Philippines update. 13 May 2020 | Singapore
SGX to Remove Minimum Trading Price Framework and Refine Criteria for Exiting Financial Watch-List from 1 June 2020
On 11 May 2020, the Singapore Exchange Regulation ("SGX RegCo") announced that with effect from 1 June 2020:
- The minimum trading price ("MTP") rules for issuers listed on the SGX-ST Mainboard will be removed; and
- The criteria for exiting the Singapore Exchange Limited ("SGX") financial watch-list will be refined.
This Update highlights the removal of the MTP rules and the refinement of the criteria for exiting the SGX financial watch-list.
13 May 2020 | Singapore mechanism by which contractors can make progress payment claims, and employers must either pay the claimed amount or, in the case where the amount is disputed, file a payment response detailing the reasons for their differences and objections to the claim, jurisdictional or otherwise. The Court's authoritative guidance as to the operation of the SOP Act and the scope of its previous decisions is important to both stakeholders in the construction industry and legal practitioners alike.
In the recent case of Shimizu Corporation v Stargood Construction Pte Ltd  SGCA 3736, the Court of Appeal had the opportunity to deal with the issue of whether progress payment claims under the SOP Act can still be submitted following the termination of the contract. It found that the SOP Act did not provide an independent right to payment; instead, a claimant must establish its right to payment pursuant to the contract itself. The "dual railroad track system" argument - whereby a party possessed a statutory entitlement to a progress payment that was separate and distinct from a party's contractual entitlement to the same – was conclusively rejected
The apex court's decision reaffirms the approach taken in the case of Far East Square Pte Ltd v Yau Lee Construction (Singapore) Pte Ltd  2 SLR 189 ("Far East") that "in order to determine a contractor's entitlement to submit payment claims under the [SOP Act], the court must necessarily have regard to the provisions of the underlying construction contract". 13 May 2020 | Singapore