With just less than 30 days before Christmas, Bohol First District Representative, Rene L. Relampagos bats for gifts that never expire and focus on practicality.
“In this practical day and time, many opt to giveaway gift cards, gift checks and gift certificates as raffle prizes, company perks and, well, gifts,” the lawmaker said.
It is now becoming a trend. And why not? It passes the burden of choosing the gift from the giver to the receiver.
“A problem lies, however, when these gift cards are given expiry dates. Among others, it opens falsification of these gift cards.”
To address this concern, the House of Representatives approved a bill that would remove the putting of expiry dates in these gift cards. “It is fairly basic. These cards and certificates are bought with cash or money and cash or money has no expiration. They are as good as cash. In effect, why should the cash with which you bought the card or certificate expire?”, he asked.
The proposed bill has the main objective of consumer protection. It accords value to these cards, checks and certificates as financial instruments.
Gift check, gift certificate and gift card is defined as “instruments issued to an individual, partnership or a juridical entity for monetary consideration honored at a single merchant or an affiliated group of merchants as payment for consumer goods or services provided by such merchant or affiliated group of merchants upon presentation of said gift check, gift certificate, and gift card to the extent of the value, credit or balance stored in the said instrument, and which shall remain valid until cessation of business of the issuer.”
More importantly, the bill provides remedies in case of loss or defacement of the gift card, check or certificate. Also, warranties, return policies, senior citizen and PWD discounts are honored when the purchase is made through these. Finally, there are penal provisions for violations of the law. Once approved by the Senate and signed into law, it will benefit gift cards already issued.
“Of course, the best gifts this Christmas are those that cannot be bought with money. We must never lose focus that Christmas is more than gift-giving and receiving. And along with the gift cards, checks and certificates, these kinds of gifts never expire,” Relampagos reminded.