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On 27 December 2023, the BIR published RR No. 16-2023 to amend RR No. 2-1998 and impose withholding tax on the gross remittances by e-marketplace operators and digital financial services providers to sellers/merchants. On 11 January 2024, the BIR issued RMC 8-2024 to provide guidance on the timeline and procedures to implement RR No. 16-2023. According to RR No. 16-2023, e-marketplace operators and digital financial services providers are allowed a transitory period of 90 days from the issuance of RMC 8-2024 to comply with the provisions of RR No. 16-2023.

The Doing Business in the Philippines handbook aims to equip both local and foreign entrepreneurs with a practical guide to navigating the ever-evolving business landscape in the Philippines. It provides information on the requirements needed when setting up and operating a business in the Philippines, including incentives under special registrations, taxation, employment, IP, dispute resolution, and industry-specific regulations.

On 8 January 2024, Commissioner of Internal Revenue Romeo D. Lumagui Jr. issued an advisory regarding the cessation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)’s collection of the Annual Registration Fee (ARF), in compliance with Republic Act (RA) No. 11976 or the “Ease of Paying Taxes Act.”

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) formally announced through its official website that the Annual Security Incident Report for the year 2023 must be filed by 31 March 2024.
Any natural and juridical person in the government or private sector processing personal data in or outside of the Philippines that are subject to the provisions of Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 must submit the ASIR containing the following information:
• Summary of the number of security incidents encountered in a particular calendar year and categorized by type, i.e., theft, identity fraud, sabotage/physical damage, malicious code, hacking, misuse of resources, hardware failure, software failure, communication failure, natural disaster, design error, user error, operations error, software maintenance error, third-party service, and other analogous causes
• Summary of the number of personal data breaches encountered in a particular calendar year and classified based on the application of the breach notification obligations, i.e., mandatory and voluntary notification

The Bureau of Internal Revenue recently issued Revenue Regulations No. 16-2023, which sets out the guidelines on the imposition of withholding tax on gross remittances by electronic marketplace operators and digital financial services providers to online sellers/merchants, in connection with goods and services sold or paid through the former’s platform.
The Regulations took effect on 12 January 2024.

Consent is not the only available lawful basis for processing personal information. Personal information controllers and other parties engaged in the processing of personal information may also use legitimate interest as a lawful basis for processing. However, these parties must be aware of the conditions and limitations for processing personal information based on legitimate interest. For this reason, the National Privacy Commission (“NPC”) recently issued NPC Circular No. 2023-07, which provides guidelines on the processing of personal information based on legitimate interest. The Circular takes effect on 14 January 2024.

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) recently issued NPC Circular No. 2023-03 (“Circular”), which sets out guidelines on the issuance of identification cards to data subjects. The Circular applies to all personal information controllers (PICs) that issue ID cards to data subjects, excluding government-issued ID cards. The Circular took effect on 30 November 2023.

On 7 November 2023, the National Privacy Commission issued Advisory No. 2023-01, which sets out guidance on the nature of deceptive design patterns and how their use by personal information controllers and personal information processors when securing consent vitiates the consent of the data subject and consequently renders the data processing to be without lawful basis.
This Advisory supplements the recently issued NPC Circular No. 2023-04, or the comprehensive guidelines on the use of consent as a lawful basis for processing data, which, among others, prohibits the use of deceptive design patterns.

On 22 September 2023, the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) issued OCA Circular 335-2023, providing instructions for trial courts in instances where the prosecution seeks dismissal of criminal cases, based on the new evidentiary standard — “lack of prima facie evidence or reasonable certainty to sustain a conviction” — adopted by the Department of Justice earlier this year.