Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Juris Doctor

Subject Categories



College of Law



Thesis Advisor

Rebecca E. Khan

Defense Panel Chair

Ricardo A. Sunga III

Defense Panel Member

Marie Tanya Z. Recalde
Nobumichi Teramura


The recent shift towards Sino-Philippines relations came with a wave of developmental possibilities in the form of Chinese enterprises, ventures, investments and even people. Much confidence is placed in linkages that China provides, and may potentially provide. Such development, however, comes with a price. For Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) specifically, the legitimate expectations set by the State as to Chinese FDI oblige the Philippines to protect the same under its International Investment Agreement (IIA) obligations.

Employing the doctrinal research analysis, the thesis explores the fair and equitable treatment (FET) standard found in IIAs, particularly the element of legitimate expectations, to determine and evaluate possible consequences of the current treatment of Chinese FDI on the Philippines' capacity to review, revamp, or even revoke its participation in these investments. Such analysis allowed the author to nuance arbitral decisions within the heavily dispute-driven investor-State dispute settlement system and analyze the factors that determine tribunals’ decisions.

Together with the FET considerations within ISDS, the thesis evaluates investments connected with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Philippines’ Build, Build, Build (BBB) Program as these are long-term investments with significant impacts on public interest and the overall international investment landscape of the Philippines.

The thesis identifies the potential limitations to future State actions as a result of the present treatment of Chinese FDI, and whether such treatment will warrant continued protection from future administrations. Notwithstanding restrictions on State conduct, the thesis likewise identifies when the State’s sovereign rights are to apply over all other FDI obligations, taking into consideration public interest factors such as environmental right issues, the socio-political climate, corruption surrounding the investment, and even human and labor rights concerns.

Keywords: International Investment Law, Fair and Equitable Treatment (FET) Standard, Legitimate Expectations, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Build, Build, Build Program, China-Philippines, Chinese FDI, Foreign Direct Investment, Duterte Administration, Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)

Abstract Format




Physical Description

116 leaves


Investments, Chinese--Philippines; Investments, Foreign; Investments, Foreign (International law)

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