Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez has issued an administrative order mandating the translation of signages and business marketing materials to either English or Filipino.
Filipino is not limited to Tagalog but also includes regional and provincial dialects.
Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 19-09 Series of 2019, which Lopez signed on June 21, 2019, mandates the translation of signages, billboards, advertisements, brochures, flyers, notices, advisories, labels, price tags/lists, menus, receipts, and other business marketing materials to English and/or Filipino.
Business establishments have one month to comply with this new directive from its effectivity, which is 15 days after publication.
“With this new DAO, we are enhancing the protection of consumers on their right to accessible information that can help them in making wise purchase decisions,” Lopez said in a statement.
“Presenting information on products and services in foreign languages other than those officially recognized and used by the consumers are deemed unfair and discriminatory, thus, inimical to their interest,” he added.
The order was prompted by the discovery of signages in Chinese language at a Chinese food park in Las Piñas City in Metro Manila.
The DTI statement said a surprise inspection conducted at the food park in May 2019 showed that all 33 food stalls were using only signages, price lists and receipts in Chinese.
According to the DTI, this is a form of deceptive, unfair, or unconscionable sales act since non-Chinese speaking consumers are not provided with easily understandable information pertaining to the products and services that they need.
Under the new DAO, the translation into English or Filipino of the marketing paraphernalia must be visible, and printed and/or written legibly.
To ensure its accurate translation, business establishments are now required to secure a certification from the Embassy of the country whose language is sought to be translated to, or from its accredited translator or interpreter, or any competent individual or institution duly recognized by the DTI.
Violators will be fined P1,000 to P300,000 depending on the capitalization and frequency of offense.
They may also face cancellation of their business name certificates. Their business registration, permit, license and other regulatory clearances may also be revoked upon the recommendation of the DTI. (Ventures Cebu)