MANILA - The House of Representatives this week approved on third and final reading a measure that would remove expiration dates of gift checks, cards, and certificates.
House Bill No. 6016, also known as the "Gift Check Non-Expiry Act," outlaws the issuance or sale of any gift check, certificate, or card with an expiry date.
The proposed measure also mandates that any stored value in gift cards should remain valid until use. It also says gift checks, certificates, and cards should be sold at a discount of five percent from its face value.
Those sold at a discount, meanwhile, should not be used for the purchase of groceries.
Gift checks issued to customers under an award, loyalty, or promotional program are also not covered.
Merchants may also refuse to honor mutilated or defaced gift cards and certificates and are not obligated to honor the value of lost cards.
Promotional sales activities, loyalty programs, warranties, return policies for cash purchases, and discounts for senior citizens and persons with disability shall apply to the purchase of goods and services that are paid for with gift checks, gift certificates and gift cards.
All previously issued gift checks will be covered by the measure once it is ratified and put into effect.
Those who do not comply may face a penalty of imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than five years, and a fine of not less than P500,000 but not more than P1 million, or both.
The Senate must first pass a counterpart measure before it is placed under bicameral deliberations for approval.