Press Release
May 23, 2017

Sponsorship Speech on SB No. 1466 or the "Gift Check Act of 2017" under Committee Report No. 104
by Sen. Juan Miguel F. Zubiri
Chairman, Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship

Mr. President,

As Chairman of the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, it gives me great honor and privilege to present to you Senate Bill No. 1466, otherwise known as the "Gift Check Act of 2017," under Committee Report No. 104.

This bill is the final outcome of a series of public hearings, technical working group meetings and consultations we have conducted with stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.

As a brief backgrounder, the DTI, in its Administrative Order No.10-04 series of 2010, has set guidelines on the issuance, use and redemption of gift checks, certificates or gift cards in accordance with Republic Act No. 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines. Said Department Order prohibits all suppliers, issuers, distributors and sellers from issuing selling gift certificates/checks/cards with an expiry date, but exempts gift certificates/checks/cards that are distributed to consumers under awards, loyalty and promotional programs. Further, the Department Order allows that goods and services purchased with gift certificates/checks/cards be qualified in promotional sales activities, loyalty programs, warranties, return policies for cash purchases, and discounts for senior citizens or persons with disability.

This policy stems from the general idea that, since gift checks are bought with cash, and cash has no expiration date, then it should follow that the same value stored inside the instrument, be it a certificate/check/card, should likewise not expire.

With this bill, we seek to institutionalize the mechanisms already established by the abovementioned Department Order, and add more teeth to its implementation by subjecting violators to fines and penalties.

We have before us a measure that aims to promote the general welfare of the consumers and protect their interest by ensuring that they are not deprived of the right to enjoy their hard-earned money. I enjoin our colleagues to support the measure and hope for the immediate passage of this bill.

Thank you.

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