Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pantawid Pasada Program guidelines (Plain English / Plain Language revisions)

Notes: (1) Please read my post “Plain English, Plain Language or Plain Writing for government offices and private companies in the Philippines.” (2) I conduct seminars for government offices or private companies that want to train their staff in Plain English. Please email me at gtgalacio@yahoo.com or text 0927-798-3138 for details. (3) For interactive grammar exercises, please visit my “Better English for everyone” website; I also have interactive quizzes on Plain English / Plain Language. (4) If the tables do not look right, try using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. (5) These revisions are my own and are used only to illustrate Plain English principles. If there are conflicts between my revisions and the official DOE guidelines, you must follow the official guidelines.

BeforeAfter
GUIDELINES FOR CARD USE (GFCU) FOR THE PANTAWID PASADA PROGRAM (PPP)

PURPOSE: THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE) ISSUES THIS GFCU PURSUANT TO SECTION 16, RULE IV OF THE IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 32, SERIES OF 2011.

I. OWNERSHIP

The Pantawid Pasada Card (“CARD”) is the property of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.

II. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE BENEFICIARY

The BENEFICIARY’s use of the card shall be deemed his acceptance of the provisions of this GFCU. The BENEFICIARY shall take care of the CARD and shall ensure that the CARD is used in accordance with the GFCU.

III. CARD & LOAD VALIDITY

Unless voluntarily returned by the BENEFICIARY, earlier terminated by the DOE, reported lost to the DOE, or recalled by the DOE, the CARD shall be valid from May 2011 to May 2016. Any load of the CARD shall revert to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines if unused within six (6) months from the date of the last loading.

IV. USAGE

The CARD shall only be used for fuel purchases at petroleum retail outlets or gasoline stations displaying “PANTAWID PASADA CARD ACCEPTED HERE”. The CARD is transferrable. However, the CARD can only be used with the jeepney with the corresponding plate number as indicated in the CARD.

V. CARD-RELATED INFORMATION & ISSUES

The BENEFICIARY shall report to the DOE within twenty four (24) hours from the occurrence of any of the following: (a) loss of the CARD, (b) rejection of the CARD, and (c) other analogous situations. In case of LOSS, the BENEFICIARY can secure a replacement CARD upon submission of an affidavit of loss: Provided, however, that should the loss be due to the negligence or fault of the BENEFICIARY, the BENEFICIARY shall be answerable for the replacement costs. For all other cases, the BENEFICIARY can secure a replacement CARD only upon surrendering the CARD. For more information, connect with the DOE via:

Call : (02) 984-6381
Email : ptap@doe.gov.ph
Text Only:
Globe: 0917 556-0759; 0917 480-3488
Smart: 0947 392-5378
Sun: 0932 778-6494
Website: www.doe.gov.ph/pantawid

VI. AMENDMENTS

The DOE may, at any time and for whatever reason it may deem proper, amend, revise or modify this GFCU and such amendment shall be effective upon its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

VII. RESTRICTIONS

The actual CARD must be presented prior to fuel purchase. Petroleum retail outlets or gasoline stations should only honor the CARD if used for the vehicle bearing the plate number indicated in the CARD. The load of the CARD shall be voided should the CARDS be tampered with.

VIII. OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS

The DOE reserves the right to terminate the use and privileges of the CARD at any time and for whatever reason. Likewise, the DOE can cause the surrender of the CARD without need of prior notice and the BENEFICIARY agrees to surrender the CARD upon demand to any authorized DOE representative. The BENEFICIARY agrees to hold Government of the Republic of the Philippines and/ or the DOE free and harmless from any claim for damages arising from such termination.
Guidelines for beneficiaries in using the Pantawid Pasada Program (PPP) Card Purpose:

The Department of Energy (DOE) issues these guidelines under Section 16, Rule IV of the Implementing Rules and regulations of Executive Order No. 32, Series of 2011.

I. Ownership of the Card

The Pantawid Pasada Card (“Card”) is the property of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.

II. Your responsibilities as PPP beneficiary

If you use this Card, you are bound by these guidelines. You must take care of this Card and use it according to these guidelines.

III. Card and load validity

The Card is valid from May 2011 to May 2016 unless:
  • you voluntarily return it; or
  • you report its loss to the DOE; or
  • the DOE terminates the Card at an earlier date; or
  • the DOE recalls the Card.
If you do not use the Card within six months from the date you last loaded it, any remaining load will go back to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.

IV. How to use the Card

You can only use the Card to purchase fuel at petroleum retail outlets or gasoline stations displaying “PANTAWID PASADA CARD ACCEPTED HERE”.

The Card is transferable to another driver. But it can only be used with the jeepney whose plate number is marked in the Card.

V. Card-related information and issues

You must report to the DOE within twenty four hours any of the following:
  • you lost the Card;
  • petroleum retail outlets or gasoline stations reject the Card; or
  • other similar situations
If you lose your Card, you can get a replacement after filing an affidavit of loss. If the loss is due to your negligence or fault, you must pay the costs of the replacement.

For all other cases, you can get a replacement only when you surrender the Card.

For more information, connect with the DOE via:

Call : (02) 984-6381
Email : ptap@doe.gov.ph
Text Only:
Globe: 0917 556-0759; 0917 480-3488
Smart: 0947 392-5378
Sun: 0932 778-6494
Website: www.doe.gov.ph/pantawid

VI. Amendments

The DOE may amend, revise or modify these guidelines. The changes in the guidelines become effective upon their publication in a newspaper.

VI. Restrictions

You must present the Card before buying fuel.

Petroleum retail outlets or gasoline stations will honor the Card only if it’s used for the vehicle bearing the plate number marked in the Card.

The load of the Card shall be voided if it’s tampered with.

VIII. Other terms and conditions

The DOE can terminate the use and privileges of the Card at any time and for any reason. It can demand, without prior notice, that you surrender the Card to any authorized DOE representative.

You agree not to sue the Government of the Republic of the Philippines or the DOE if it terminates the Card.






Plain English / Plain Language revisions:
I turned the headings which were in all capital letters to caps and lower case, and highlighted them instead by boldfacing.

I used the pronoun “you” to directly address the user (called the “Beneficiary” in the official guidelines).

I used the simpler word “under” to replace the legalese “pursuant to.”

I used bulleted lists for clarity.

I used “But” instead of “However.” The original sentence is “However, the CARD can only be used with the jeepney with the corresponding plate number as indicated in the CARD.” I edited it into “But it can only be used with the jeepney whose plate number is marked in the Card.”

I could have used the pronoun “we” instead of the initials DOE but I left them as they are.

Using all capital letters makes the headings and terms difficult to read. Bryan Garner, editor in chief of Black’s Law Dictionary, points out, “the effect of using all caps is to make the text harder to read and understand.” (Michigan Bar Journal, March 2010). Garner suggests using boldface or putting the text in a box.

Using all caps also leads to typographical errors since the spell check tool of some word processing programs doesn’t work with text in all caps.

Most people think that formatting in all caps makes a text conspicuous. But the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in its 2002 ruling in Darlene M. Bassett vs. American General Finance, Inc. (285 F.3d 882) debunked this claim about conspicuousness and the use of all caps:
[1] The BAP was troubled that the right-to-rescind statement is in lower case, but there is nothing magical about capitals. True, the UCC specifies that “[a] printed heading in capitals” is normally conspicuous. U.C.C. § 1 201(10) (emphasis added). This has given rise to the canard that all language in capitals is automatically conspicuous, and the fallacy that language not in capitals isn't conspicuous.

[2] The use of capitals as a talisman of conspicuousness has survived intact despite decades of improved literacy and technology. Even some web page “click-through” agreements have clauses written in capitals, though there are better ways of making text stand out in a web browser window. (Specht v. Netscape Communications Corp)

[3] Lawyers who think their caps lock keys are instant “make conspicuous” buttons are deluded. In determining whether a term is conspicuous, we look at more than formatting. A term that appears in capitals can still be inconspicuous if it is hidden on the back of a contract in small type. (Sierra Diesel, 890 F.2d at 114)

[4] Terms that are in capitals but also appear in hard-to-read type may flunk the conspicuousness test. (Lupa v. Jock’s)

[5] A sentence in capitals, buried deep within a long paragraph in capitals will probably not be deemed conspicuous. Formatting does matter, but conspicuousness ultimately turns on the likelihood that a reasonable person would actually see a term in an agreement. Thus, it is entirely possible for text to be conspicuous without being in capitals.

Related posts (Before and After revisions of selected government communications):

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