ADVANCE payments for events that have been canceled or scaled down due to lockdown restrictions must be refunded, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

DTI in a memorandum circular signed June 2 said that advance payments for events that were cancelled due to social distancing restrictions within a community quarantine must be refunded either fully or partially.

The circular includes advance payments for the use of a venue, food, and related services such as vehicle or equipment rental.

Payments made after government restrictions on social distancing are considered in effect do not have to be refunded.

Events covered by the circular include business functions such as conferences, workshops, and planning sessions and personal functions such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and family reunions.

For canceled events, parties that have made payments may use the amount paid for services at a later date up to a year after restrictions are lifted. They may also either receive the full amount paid regardless of expenses after the restrictions were put in place, or get the net amount paid after deducting relevant expenses made before restrictions.

For scaled-down events, paying parties may also avail of services at a later date. They could get refunds proportionate to the agreed scale-down regardless of expenses or after deducting relevant expenses made before restrictions.

Regulations in the Consumer Act of the Philippines and the New Civil Code of the Philippines may be used as bases for filing charges if violations are made.

Reports said that participants in Ironman Philippines have recently sought registration fee refunds for the eventscheduled in October. — Jenina P. Ibañez