MILF to ask gov't to declare “for the record” that GPH is GRP

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/18 January) – From GRP-MILF to GPH-MILF.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will ask the government peace panel in the formal exploratory talks in early February to state “for the record,” that the new abbreviation, GPH (for Government of the Republic of the Philippines), “replaces GRP.”

“We will formally ask GPH (to state) that these initials replace GRP. This is for the record, so that all documents that bear GRP binds GPH,” Mohagher Iqbal, MILF information chief and concurrent peace panel chair, told MindaNews.

The records of the 14-year old peace negotiations between government and the MILF refer to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines as GRP. Previous to this, the records of the GRP in the talks with the Moro National Liberation Front and the National Democratic Front also referred to the Philippine government as GRP.

Administrative Order no. 5 issued by President Benigno Aquino on December 9, 2010 but released in early January, directed  “all offices, agencies and other instrumentalities of the Philippine Government to adopt and use, as soon as practicable, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) two-letter code PH or three-letter code PHL is referring to the Philippines.”

The Philippines is a member of the ISO, a  network of national standards institutes with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.

The ISO developed ISO 3166-1 assigning two-letter (alpha-2) and three-letter (alpha-3) codes for member countries, and the codes assigned to the Philippines are PH and PHL, respectively.

The codes “are used in international events and conferences, sports meets, airline ticketing, among others, abroad and in the Philippines,” AO 5 said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) “has adopted and reflected the ISO three-letter codes, notably PHL standing for the Philippines, in the data page of the electronic passport.”

AO 5 also noted that “ use of initials RP in referring to the Philippines is not in accordance with the ISO 3166-1, leading to ambiguity and confusion” and that such ambiguity and confusion “can be avoided by following the codes assigned to the Philippines by ISO.”

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo on October 20 issued Department  Order 16-10 directing the DFA’s 67 embassies, 23 consulates general and four permanent missions to use PH or PHL instead of RP, to conform to the accepted code of the IOS.

The DFA order said the abbreviation PH or PHL is more widely known in the international community than RP. The DFA said there would be less ambiguity and confusion if  the ISO code is adopted. (MindaNews)

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