M a n i l a

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 187 May 10, 1973


WHEREAS, the concurrent usage of different standards of weights and measures in the Philippines abets confusion, waste of time in computations and diversity;

WHEREAS, although the Revised Administrative Code specifies the metric system as the national standard, the use of other weights and measures is allowed by law in certain cases, compounded by customary weights and measures;

WHEREAS, the metric system, which employs decimals, is officially adopted by many countries and even the United Kingdom and the United States are planning to gradually adopt it in lieu of the English system;

WHEREAS, the exclusive use of the metric system will facilitate domestic and foreign trade, avoid unnecessary waste and diversity in manufacturing goods, promote uniformity and simplification of measurements and consistency in calculations, and afford other advantages;

WHEREAS, several bills to adopt the metric system exclusively were filed in Congress but they failed to be enacted;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers in me vested by the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21, 1972, and General Order No. 1 dated September 22, 1972, as amended, in order to effect the desired changes and reforms in the social, economic and political structure of our society, do hereby order and decree:

Section 1. Official use of metric system. The system of weights and measures to be used in the Philippines for all products, commodities, materials, utilities, services and commercial transactions in all contracts, deeds and other legal instruments publicly and officially attested; and in all official documents shall be the metric system, in accordance with the provisions of this decree and its implementing rules and regulations.

Section 2. Creation of Metric System Board. In order to effect the orderly change from the English and other systems of weights and measures to the metric system, a Metric System Board, hereinafter referred to as Board, is hereby created, which shall be composed of the Secretary of Trade and Tourism as Chairman, and the Secretary of Finance, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Justice and the Chairman of the National Science Development Board as members. The Department undersecretaries and the board vice-chairman concerned shall serve as alternates.

Section 3. Powers and Functions. The powers and functions of the Board shall be as follows:

a. Cause the conversion of all weights and measures to their equivalents in the metric system subject to the approval of the President of the Philippines;

b. Draw up a program, after consultation with the private sector and subject to the approval of the President of the Philippines, for the nationwide use of the metric system, including the respective starting dates, in the different agricultural, commercial, industrial, utilities, scientific, services and other sectors: Provided, That the metric system shall be fully adopted in all sectors throughout the Philippines by January first, nineteen hundred and seventy- five. The Board shall consider the need to provide adequate time for the modification of existing devices or acquiring new devices in conformity with the standard weights and measures in the metric system and the need to disseminate widely the official equivalents in the metric system of other weights and measures, the starting dates of their use in the various sectors and the other implementing rules and regulations;

c. Promulgate rules and regulations for the implementation hereof, and, after approval thereof by the President of the Philippines, widely disseminate the same to all government offices and instrumentalities and the general public, including publication once for three consecutive weeks in at least three newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines;

d. Appoint such personnel as may be necessary, preference to be given to qualified persons who were laid-off from the government as a result of the government reorganization; and

e. Create advisory and technical committees from the public and private sectors and call upon any government office agency or instrumentality and upon any government official or employee for assistance in the effective performance of its functions.

Section 4. Secretariat. The Director of the Bureau of Standards shall serve as Executive Secretary of the Board. Initially and until such time as funds become available, the personnel of the Board may be detailed from other government offices and instrumentalities.

Section 5. Appropriation. The sum of Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) is hereby appropriated out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the expenses of the Board for fiscal year nineteen hundred and seventy-four. The same amount shall be included in the national budget for fiscal year nineteen hundred and seventy-five.

Section 6. Penalties. Any violation of the provisions hereof, or the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant hereto, shall, upon conviction, subject the offender to a fine of not more than one thousand pesos or imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or both, upon the discretion of the Court. If the violation was committed by a juridical person, the manager, representative, director, agent or employee of said juridical person responsible for the act shall also be liable to the penalties provided herein. If the offender is an alien, he shall be deported after serving the sentence, without need for further proceedings for deportation.

Section 7. Effectivity. This decree shall take effect upon its approval but persons or entities allowed under existing laws to use the English system or other standards of weights and measures are given until the dates fixed for them to use the metric system pursuant hereto. The Board shall cease to exist by June thirty, nineteen hundred and seventy-five.

Section 8. Repealing clause. The provisions of the Revised Administrative Code and of all other laws and rules and regulations inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed or amended accordingly.

Done in the City of Manila, this 10th day of May, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-three.

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