DFA junks 'RP' acronym, adopts 'PH' or 'PHL'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 28 2010 01:52 PM | Updated as of Oct 29 2010 06:39 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is doing away with the "RP" acronym, and will use the world-standard initials PH or PHL.

In a press release, the DFA said the department and its Foreign Service Posts (FSPs) will now shift from using "RP," which stands for "Republic of the Philippines," to the initials PH or PHL, which are the initials designated by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

This move, the DFA said, is in line with the Philippine membership with the ISO, and to "avoid the ambiguity and confusion" with the use of the initials "RP."

The move was mandated by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo through DFA Department Order No. 16-10, dates October 20.

"The long standing usage of the initials “RP” is not in accordance with ISO codes, leading to ambiguous initials that can also refer to other countries," according to the DFA.

The DFA explained that the ISO developed the ISO3166-1 codes, assigning two letter (alpha-2) and three letter (alpha-3) code to member-countries. ISO 3166-1 is part of the ISO 3166 standard adopted by the ISO, and defines codes for the names of countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest. The codes for the Philippines are PH and PHL, respectively.

These codes are used in the Philippines and abroad in airline ticketing, passport issuances, currencies, and internationally-traded shares of stocks, among others, the press release noted.

Philippine passports are already using the ISO codes, after the DFA Office of Consular Affairs adopted the standard.

The Philippines is represented in the organization by the Bureau of Product Standards of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Adoption of these initials was recently endorsed by former Ambassador Juan Ona and the DFA Tattlers Group, a group of retired and active Philippine envoys, the DFA press release added.