Plan Early

Give yourself a minimum of 4 weeks to plan. The further you plan ahead, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to locate and book the right professionals for your deposition.

Depo Venue

Philippine authorities have advised the U.S. Embassy that voluntary depositions of willing witnesses in civil and commercial matters may be taken before U.S. consular officers in the Philippines. The Philippines is not a party to the Hague Evidence Convention. Voluntary depositions may be conducted in the Philippines regardless of the nationality of the witness, provided no compulsion is used. Oral depositions or depositions on written questions may be taken by U.S. consular officers or by private attorneys from the United States or the Philippines at the U.S. Embassy or at another location such as a hotel or office, either on notice or pursuant to a commission. If the services of a U.S. consular officer are required to administer an oath to the witness, interpreter and stenographer, such arrangements must be made in advance with the U.S. embassy directly. 

Court Reporters

We have region-based court reporters for depositions in the Philippines, that means very low travel costs for you and your client.

Visa Requirements

U.S. passport holders may enter the Philippines for up to 30 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa.

Hague Evidence Convention

Philippines is not a member of the Hague Evidence Convention. Find out more about the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters.

Want more information on how to conduct an international deposition? Please request your free Definitive Guide to International Depositions.

Video tips

Let our experts walk you through the process of setting up a deposition in the Philippines.

How to set up a deposition in Philippines

Kimberlee Castro, Global Deposition Expert with Optima Juris, gives a few tips on how to set-up a U.S. deposition in Philippines.

How to swear in a witness abroad

Ian Hardy, President of Optima Juris, discusses essential tips and know-how to correctly administer the oath during an international deposition.

Case Study: Philippines

Deposition in Manila

Challenge
U.S. attorneys need to depose witnesses in Manila, but given recent violence they would prefer to avoid traveling in.
Solution
Thanks to our unmatched global network of videoconferencing centers, we were able to immediately secure a top-notch facility near the witness in downtown Manila. We flew in a region-based court reporter to administer the oath and provided an interpreter for the witness. The U.S. attorneys participated by video link, saving time, money, and ensuring everyone’s peace of mind.

Expert info, tips & advice

Sharing our over 17 years of international deposition experience with you.

Taking Voluntary Depositions of Willing Witnesses in Philippines

Although not a party to the Hague Evidence Convention, the Philippines allows the deposition of willing witnesses without any special formalities or involvement of foreign courts. Here is the official statement from the U.S. Department of State website about taking voluntary depositions of willing witnesses in the Philippines:

Depositions in the Philippines – International Deposition Tips

In our latest video in the International Deposition Tips series, Kimberlee Castro, Director of Scheduling, guides you through taking a deposition in the Philippines. If you need to organize a deposition in the Philippines, this video has amazing insider knowledge and is a great way to get started.

Infographic: 5 Tips for Swearing In a Witness Abroad

Planning a deposition in Philippines can sometimes seem a little overwhelming. With all the rules and regulations it is easy to get lost in the mix. But have no fear! At Optima Juris we have been successfully organizing depositions in Philippines for the past 15 years

Essential international travel information for the Philippines

Currency

The Philippines uses the Philippine Peso (₱). For more information on currency conversions visit XE. Before you leave, notify your bank, credit card company, or other financial institutions that you are going overseas. Avoid carrying cash and consider using traveler's checks or major credit cards instead (but make sure they are accepted at your destination before departing on your trip).

Weather

For the latest weather information in cities throughout the Philippines visit weather.com.

General tipping

There is no obligation to tip in the Philippines. However, some establishments already incorporate a 'Service Charge' or you may tip independently. If you intend to tip and there is no service charge multiply your total bill (minus any VAT) by 10% or you can just give around P50 depending on the quality of service. Overall, tipping is usually not expected so the staff are not offended when you do not give a tip. Do not feel pressured to leave a tip if the service was poor. The Philippines was traditionally a non tipping culture but tipping is increasingly common among the local population.

Holidays & observances

Imagine your reaction if your deposition had to be rescheduled because of a major local holiday when everything was closed. Don’t let that happen to your depo. You can see a complete list of holidays in the Philippines here: timeanddate.com/holidays/philippines/.

Health

Check with your physician to see which shots are required and/or recommended for your trip to the Philippines. You can check online resources like the U.S. Department of State Philippines country page or contact the Philippine Embassy or Consulate for current entry requirements. The World Health Organization (WHO) can provide their recommendations for vaccinations and other travel health precautions for your trip abroad.

Major airports

MANILA, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, MNL

DAVAO, Francisco Bangoy International Airport, DVO

CEBU, Mactan-Cebu International Airport, CEB

ZAMBOANGA, Zamboanga International Airport, ZAM

Bacolod, Bacolod-Silay International Airport, BCD

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