Gift check expiration prohibited as Duterte signs new law

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 29 2017 03:09 PM | Updated as of Dec 29 2017 03:22 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law that prohibits the issuance of gift checks with expiry dates, according to a copy of the measure that was released by his office on Friday.

The Gift Check Act of 2017 states that consumers bearing gift checks "must not be unduly deprived of the value of their money." The measure was signed on Dec. 19.

It outlaws the refusal to honor the unused value, credit or balance of the gift check.

However, gift certificates issued under loyalty, rewards or promotional programs, as determined by the Department of Trade and Industry, are not covered by the law.

Coupons or vouchers for discounts for pre-identified goods or services are also not covered.

The law allows the merchant to refuse gift checks that are either lost or mutilated.

Gift checks can be used with promotional sales, loyalty programs, warranties, return policies for cash purchases, and discounts for senior citizens and persons with disability.

The measure covers gift checks that are already issued. Those with unused and unexpired gift checks can have them replaced.

The fine for first time offenders was set at P500,000 to P1 million. Second-time offenders will also be fined the same amount and have their authority to issue gift checks be suspended for 3 months.

Third-time offenders, in addition to the fine, will have their authority to issue gift checks cancelled.