THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it has prepared a draft order that would require shops to translate foreign-language signs into Filipino or English, apparently in response to reports of restaurants catering to Chinese-only clients.
In an advisory to solicit comment on the draft, the DTI said the draft department administrative order will cover all businesses offering products or services covered by the Consumer Act of 1992.
The order bans untranslated signage, billboards, brochures, fliers, notices, fliers, labels, advisories, price tags, menus, and receipts, among others.
“The use of foreign language or languages shall be allowed, provided, that a corresponding translation is made in both or either Filipino or English, which translation shall be written or printed in the same material, either above or below the written foreign language, or in such manner that the English/Filipino translation clearly indicates or refers to the foreign language intended to be translated,” according to the draft order.
It requires the English or Filipino translation to be as easily visible and legible as the foreign language.
The order refers to “Filipino” as including all regional languages of the Philippines.
It proposed penalties of P50,000 for a first offense, P100,000 for a second and P300,000 for a third. Third-time violators also face cancellation of their business name certificate at the DTI’s Business Name registry. The DTI will also recommend to local government units or other agencies the revocation of the company’s business registration, permits, licenses and other clearances. — Janina C. Lim