No more expiry dates for gift checks after Duterte signs new law
MANILA, Philippines – Gift certificates or gift checks (GC) will not have expiry dates anymore after President Rodrigo Duterte signed a new law, which replaces a similar order of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
RA 10962 prohibits issuers from releasing GCs that bear an expiry date. It also bars them from imposing an expiry date "on the stored value, credit, or balance of the gift check."
Refusing to honor the unused value, credit, or balance stored in the GC is also not allowed.
All GCs that have already been issued shall be covered by RA 10962. "Holders of unused and unexpired gift checks shall, at no additional cost, be entitled to avail of replacement after revalidation by the issuers," the law adds.
However, GCs that are issued to customers "including, but not limited to, those under loyalty, rewards, or promotional programs" as determined by the DTI are not covered by the new law.
Coupons or vouchers that entitle the holder to "a discount off a particular good or service," or "that may be exchanged for a pre-identified good or service" are also not included.
Issuers and its accredited merchants may refuse to honor a gift check if it is lost due to no fault of the issuer, or it is mutilated or defaced not due to the issuer's fault and said damage "prevents the issuer from identifying the security and authenticity features thereof."
Any complaint regarding GCs can be made with the DTI, in accordance with Chapter III, Title V of RA 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines.
Those found violating RA 10962 would be fined by the DTI from P500 thousand to P1 million, and would be obligated to return the unused balance of the GC within 90 days from DTI's declaration of the violation.
A second offense would mean the suspension of the issuance of GCs by the erring issuer, on top of the fine. A third offense would merit the cancellation of the issuer's right to issue GCs together with the fine.
DTI Administrative Order 10-04 has previously implemented the "no expiry date" rule on GCs since 2012. – Rappler.com