MANILA, Philippines – Consumers, take note.
Starting July, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will ban the imposition of expiry dates on gift checks issued by commercial establishments, Trade Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said Saturday, June 16.
Maglaya issued this reminder during her weekly radio show on dzMM, citing a DTI administrative order signed in 2010. The government is implementing it this year after giving commercial establishments a two-year grace period.
“Commencing July 1, 2012, it shall be prohibited for any supplier to issue and/or sell gift certificate/check/card that contains an expiry date. All gift checks/certificates/cards with no expiry dates shall be redeemable until used up by the bearer,” the DTI states in Administrative Order No 10-04 that was signed on June 25, 2010. (Read the full order below.)
The DTI implemented this order, Maglaya explained, after receiving complaints from consumers on the expiry of gift checks, which are “good as cash.”
“Sabi nila, ‘We bought it, pera ito. Eh hindi naman nag-eexpire ang pera. So bakit magkakaroon ng expiry date?’” Maglaya said. (They said, “We bought it. This is money. But money doesn’t expire. So why should this have an expiry date?)
Commercial establishments or suppliers, however, may refuse to honor gift checks under two basic circumstances, according to the DTI order:
when the gift certificate/check/card is lost due to no fault of the supplier; and
when the gift certificate/check/card is mutilated or defaced due to no fault of the supplier and such damage prevents the supplier from identifying the security and authenticity features thereof
The Philippine Retailers’ Association (PRA), however, is uncomfortable over the order that will supposedly heighten the risk of tampered gift checks. The PRA explains that expiry dates allow suppliers to modify designs and security features from time to time, to prevent cases of tampering.
Maglaya, on the other hand, said it is the responsibility of commercial establishments to implement measures to curb the tampering of gift checks.
Consumers may report violations to the DTI, Maglaya said. — Rappler.com