DEFERMENT. The implementation of the new check design standards has been deferred by the Philippine Clearing House Corporation (PCHC) from May 2, 2023 to May 1, 2024 to allow holders of old design checks to exhaust their stocks. This schedule has been approved by the PCHC Board, it said, contrary to a Tiktok video saying it will be implemented this May. (Photo grabbed from PCHC memorandum)

MANILA – The implementation of the issuance of a new check format and specifications has been postponed to May 1, 2024 instead of May 2, 2023.

In its operating memorandum (OM) issued on Jan. 25, the Philippine Clearing House Corporation (PCHC) said the change in the implementation date was based on the recommendation by the Clearing Officers Club, Inc. and was approved by the PCHC Board.

“This deferment in implementation is effected with a view to allowing more time for bank clients to exhaust remaining checks or base stocks of printed checks in their possession,” the memorandum said.

Citing the memorandum issued on Feb. 11, 2019, the latest memorandum said the new standards will adopt the month, date and year format on the issue date of the check.

It said the date format guide is indicated below the date line, the individual box is provided for each character of the issue date, the peso sign is moved out of the box vis-à-vis the amount in figures and there should be boxed white spaces for writing the date of issue, the amount in figures and the signature of issuer/drawer.

These changes, it said, aim to “set a standard or uniform format of writing the date on checks in order to avoid misinterpretation of date of issue” and to “enhance check processing capabilities by providing banks better optical character recognition features that are needed for an automated check verification system.”

The memorandum said checks that still have the old format “with date of issue written in alphanumeric are acceptable for clearing provided they are dated April 30, 2024 or earlier and they are presented for deposit prior to the 180th day from issue date.”

“The issue date in alphanumeric on old format checks may be written in any sequence, i.e. Month-Day-Year or Day-Month-Year or Year-Month-Day,” it said.

However, the memorandum said “alphanumeric Month-Day-Year sequence is preferable for consistency with the MM-DD-YYYY sequence prescribed for issue date in numeric format.”

“Notwithstanding the deferment, nonetheless, the date of issue on checks that are in the ‘new format’ (i.e., with boxed spaces) has to be written now in numeric format and strictly in the MM-DD-YYYY or MM/DD/YYYY sequence,” it added. (PNA)