TO ATTRACT customers, some foreign-owned business establishments in Cebu City reportedly put up signboards and billboards with foreign words.
The languages are mostly Arabic, Korean and Chinese, and most Cebuanos could not understand these.This caught the attention of Councilor Lea Japson, who proposed an ordinance regulating the use of foreign words on signage, signboards and billboards of any business establishments within Cebu City.
“If not regulated, (it) will endanger the uniqueness of our city and our community, and (it) will constitute (as) nuisance,” a portion of the measure reads.
The legislation wants to mandate foreign establishments to carry a translation either in English or in Cebuano. The proposed ordinance sets a fine of P1,000 for first-time violators, and P2,000 for second offenders.
For the third-time violator, a fine of not more than P5,000 or an imprisonment of not more than one year, or both penalties would be imposed depending on the court’s discretion.
In case the involved individual is a foreign national, the person shall be endorsed for deportation.
The measure, if passed by the City Council and signed by Mayor Edgardo Labella, would be enforced by the Office of the Building Official.
The City Council has referred the measure to the committee on laws for further review.
The Department of Trade and Industry issued an administrative order on June 21, 2019 requiring business establishments to provide Filipino or English translations of their signages, billboards and other marketing materials, including items in the menu. (JJL)