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The Secretary-General is the head of the Secretariat. He has custody of the seal and records of the Association. He attends and keeps minutes of all sessions and meetings of the Assembly and the Council.

The Secretary General may appoint such employees and agents of the Association as he deems desirable and prescribe their duties, such employees and agents to hold office at the pleasure of the Council; and may have such other functions and discharge such other duties as may from time to time be prescribed by the Council or the President.

The Secretary-General is a member of the Council ex-officio but does not have any voting right.

The Secretariat is the principal office of the Association. It is established and maintained at Jakarta or at any principal city in the ASEAN member countries as the Governing Council may designate.

Atty. Regina Padilla Geraldez

The Honourable Atty. Regina Padilla Geraldez was elected Secretary General of the ASEAN Law Association (ALA) on 28 February 2015 at the 12th General Assembly held in Manila, Philippines.

Ms. Geraldez is a Senior Partner of the Angara Abello Concepcion Regala  & Cruz (ACCRALAW) and is currently its Co-Managing Partner. She has headed its Immigration Department since 1994 and is a member of its Corporate and Special Projects Department.  Ms. Geraldez obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines in 1974, and her Bachelor of Laws degree (cum laude) from the same university in 1978. She obtained a Master of Laws degree from the University of Michigan in 1983.

Ms. Geraldez was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 1979, the same year she joined ACCRALAW. She trained as a visiting lawyer with the firm of Baker & McKenzie in San Francisco.

In 1989, she was appointed Associate Commissioner of the Commission on Immigration and Deportation, playing a significant role in revitalizing and professionalizing the agency. She was instrumental in putting order to and simplifying immigration rules and procedures for the benefit of aliens and the general public. In 1990, she was appointed Acting Undersecretary for Legal Affairs of the Department of Agrarian Reform where she contributed to the formulation of many administrative orders and regulations in keeping with the institution’s mission.

Upon her return to private practice, she assumed an expanded role to include giving advice on investments, joint ventures, acquisitions of agricultural land and other real estate. She was also involved in litigation work before the appellate courts. With her appointment as head of the Firm’s Immigration Department, she currently devotes substantial time to advising on the requirements for obtaining visas and work permits for investors and their employees. She has advised on the acquisition by a foreign bank of a local subsidiary, and on investments at the Subic Bay Freeport.

Ms. Geraldez is active in professional organizations and civic organizations, having served as President of the University of the Philippines Law Alumni Association from 2003 to 2004; President of the U.P. Women Lawyer’s Circle from 1994 to 1996 and which she continues to serve as a Director. She is a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Philippine Bar Association. She has served for many years as the President of the Immigration Lawyers Association of the Philippines. She  served as  President, for two terms, of the Zonta Club of Manila Foundation Inc. and as Chair of the Nominating Committee of Zonta District 17. The Zonta clubs comprise a world-wide organization dedicated to uplifting the status of women worldwide.  

Ms. Geraldez has been, for many years, the Treasurer of the ASEAN Law Association of the Philippines., Inc., and of the ASEAN Law Foundation. Ms. Geraldez headed the Organizing Committee for the ALA 12th General Assembly which was held in Manila in February 2015.

Ms. Geraldez has attended numerous local and international conferences. She attended the Practical Arbitration and International Practice Special Training conducted by the Charter Institute of Arbitrators. She was invited by the Philippine Judicial Academy to participate in the Conference for Value and Professional Development and to train as a Court of Appeals Mediator. In April 2014, she attended the ASEAN Regional Workshop on the Promulgation of Laws and Regulations of ASEAN Member States: A Comparative Study, held in Jakarta.

In 1995, she spoke at the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (“IPBA”) Fifth Annual Meeting and Conference in San Francisco on “Practical Solutions to Employment Issues Facing Overseas Companies and Employees Working on Foreign Projects”. In the same year, she spoke at the IPBA Women Business Lawyers in Asia and the Pacific Inaugural Conference in Singapore on ‘The Rewards and Hazards of Public Service – Readjusting to the Legal Culture of Private Law Practice”. In 1996, she delivered a paper on “Prospects for Plantation Agribusiness in the Philippines (Mindanao)” at a seminar on plantation projects in Kuala Lumpur sponsored by the Center for Management Technology. Recently, in July 2015, in her capacity as ALA Secretary-General, she spoke on “Practices, Challenges and Direction Towards Legal Harmonization in ASEAN” at the international seminar on Legal Harmonization in the Establishment of the ASEAN Community – Issues for Vietnam and Experiences from the EU, organized by the EU-Vietnam Strategic Dialogue Facility.


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