DTI clarifies ‘GC’ expiry dates policy

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said gift certificates or checks (GCs) purchased have no expiration dates and could be used by the user without limit in the number of presentation until the certificate’s value is fully utilized.

Natalia Dalaten, officer-in-charger provincial director of DTI-Pangasinan, said this is in accordance to R.A. 10962 or the Gift Check Act of 2017 which prohibits issuers from releasing GCs that bear an expiry date and from imposing an expiry date on the stored value, credit, or balance of the gift check.

Dalaten said that any violation of the Gift Check Act would be fined by DTI from P500 thousand to P1 million for the first offense.

“A second offense would mean the suspension of the issuance of GCs by the erring issuer, on top of the fine. A third offense would merit the cancellation of the issuer’s right to issue GCs together with the fine,” she said.

Refusing to honor the unused value, credit, or balance stored in the GC is a violation of the law.

“However, GCs issued and given as loyalty, rewards or as part of promotional programs are not covered by the said law,” Dalaten clarified.

Coupons or vouchers that entitle the holder to a discount off a particular good or service, or that may be exchanged for a pre-identified good or service are also not included. 

“Issuers and its accredited merchants may refuse to honor a GC if it is lost due to no fault of the issuer, or it is mutilated or defaced not due to the issuer’s fault and said damage prevents the issuer from identifying its security and authenticity features,” she added. 

 (PIA Pangasinan/AMB)

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