Cebu News

City regulates use of foreign language

Alicia Chua - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City Council has passed an ordinance regulating the use of foreign words in the signage, signboard, and/or billboards of business establishment within the City of Cebu.

Councilor Lea Japson pushed for this ordinance to regulate all business signboards, who are using foreign language, to make a translation in either English or Cebuano.

“Naa man gyud na sa building code, na kung magbuhat ta og billboards o signboards, kinahanglan na i-translate into English or Cebuano. Sa atong ordinance, gibutangan nato og ngipon para kung naay mo-violate, naa sila’y penalty,” said Japson.

There is a need for signage, signboards, and billboards written in any foreign language to have a translation into English or in Cebuano words in pursuant to the National Building Code of the Philippines and its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations more particularly in Rule XX, Section 2001 paragraph 2.

According to the 2015 census, Cebu City has a population of 922,611 people, which makes it the fifth-most populated city in the nation, and most populous in the Visayas.

Japson said that Cebu City has become a tourist getaway to central and southern Philippines.  With this, more establishments are looming in the city.

She said that these establishments are using signage, signboards, and/or billboards as a form of advertisement to attract customers using foreign languages such as Arabic, Chinese, and Korean.

In the ordinance, it was stated that the Philippines is using English language as a medium of communication with foreign entity or nationals, notwithstanding the use of mother tongue.

“The proliferation of these signage, signboards, and billboards with foreign wordings, if not regulated, will endanger the uniqueness of our city and our community and will constitute nuisance,” said Japson.

Under Section 2 of the ordinance, it is declared policy by the City Government of Cebu in its relation with the owners of business establishment whether Filipino or foreign nationals to give paramount consideration to the local autonomy, interest, and the right to self-determination for its general inhabitants.

The provision of this ordinance applies to all business establishments whose signages are written in a foreign language within the jurisdiction of the City of Cebu, as stated in Section 4.

Under Section 7 of the ordinance, violators will be fined P1,000 for the first offense; P3,000 for the second offense; and a fine of not more than P5,000 or imprisonment of not more than one year or both such fine at the discretion of the court. GAN (FREEMAN)

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