THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it issued an order to all businesses to restrict the language used in their signage and marketing materials to English or Filipino only.

Secretary Ramon M. Lopez signed the order, citing the need for consumers to be guided properly in their buying decisions, the DTI said in a statement Thursday.

Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 19-09, Series of 2019 was issued on June 21 to “(enhance) the protection of consumers’ right to accessible information that can help them in making wise purchase decisions.” It also called use of other languages “unfair and discriminatory.”

The DAO covers signage, billboards, advertisements, brochures, flyers, notices, advisories, labels, price tags/lists, menus, receipts, and other such material.

To ensure accurate translation, establishments are now required to secure a certification from an embassy, or from accredited translators or interpreters, or any individual or institution duly recognized by the DTI.

It said the use of Filipino applies to all regional languages.

The DAO outlined fines ranging from P1,000 to P300,000 depending on the seriousness and frequency of the offense, plus the potential cancellation of business licenses.

Compliance period was set at one month.

The government is receiving complaints about businesses catering only to Chinese clients, including a food park in Las Piñas with all-Chinese signage. — Janina C. Lim