House of Representatives Approves Bill Banning Expiration Dates on GCs on Final Reading

To let our loved ones choose what their hearts desire to buy, we often end up giving them gift checks (GC) as gift. Unfortunately, such precious gift always comes along with an expiration date. So here’s good news to all of us.

Searching for a perfect gift for our loved ones always gives us woes since we always wanted to give them what they desire. So, we often end up giving them gift checks (GC). In fact, it might be one of the best material thing they could ever wanted but, but not the expiration date that comes along with it.

Fortunately for us, the House of Representatives has approved a bill banning the selling or issuance of gift checks, cards and certificates with expiration dates.

The measure which was entitled as the House Bill 6016 or the “Gift Check Non-expiry Act” will illegalize the issuance or sale of any gift check, card and certificate with an expiry date.

Under the proposed law, the terms “gift check”, “gift card” and “gift certificate” refer to instruments issued to an individual, partnership, or a juridical entity for certain monetary consideration honored at a single merchant or an affiliated group of merchants as payment for either consumer goods or services given by such merchants or affiliated group pf merchants upon presentation of said GCs up to the extent of the value, credit or balance stored in the instrument.

It would illegalize the imposition of an expiry date on the stored value, credit or balance in the gift check, certificate and card.

Also, it would mandate that gift check, card and certificate shall remain valid until the cessation of business of its issuer.

Moreover, under the said bill, the gift check, card and certificate shall be sold at a discount of five percent from its face value by its issuer or the juridical entity who sells the same for which goods or services will be exchanged.

The gift check, certificate and card that is sold at a discount shall not be used for the purchase of grocery goods.

Meanwhile, a gift check, certificate and card that is issued to an individual under an award, loyalty or promotional program shall not be covered under the proposed measure.

In addition, it is also mandated under the bill that a mutilated or defaced gift check, card and certificate may be dishonored by he issuer as long as the latter is not at fault.

"Promotional sales activities, loyalty programs, warranties, return policies for cash purchase and discounts for senior citizens and persons with disability as provided under relevant laws and regulations shall apply likewise to purchase of goods and services that are paid for with gift check, gift certificate and gift card”

-an excerpt of the measure

The measure further imposes that any individual who violates the provisions of the act or its implementing rules and regulations shall face imprisonment of not less than one year, and not more than five years, and a staggering fine of not less than P500,000 but not more than P1 million, or both, depending on the court’s decision.

Aizelle Joe