life in the Philippines

PH for Philippines

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MANILA, Philippines-The Philippine Daily Inquirer is now using the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) initials “PH” when referring to the Philippines, and no longer “RP,” the acronym for “Republic of the Philippines.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced last month it was adopting the ISO initials “PH” in accordance with the country’s membership in ISO. The use of “PH,” the DFA said, would also avoid the ambiguity and confusion that could result from the use of “RP.”

A DFA official once assigned to Europe said the use abroad of the initials “RP” proved confusing for foreigners because there are other states whose official names begin with a “P,” as well as places and institutions that use the initials “RP.”

Examples are the Republic of Poland (Rzeczpospolita Polska), the Portuguese Republic (Republica Portugesa) and the republics of Panama, Paraguay and Peru and Rhineland-Palatinate, one of the states of Germany.

The ISO codes “PH” and “PHL” are used in the Philippines and abroad in airline ticketing, issuance of passports, currencies and internationally traded shares of stocks, among other things.

PH code online in 1990

The two-letter “ph” code was used in the Internet as a website address for the Philippines beginning in 1990.

The list released by the ISO states the country names (official short names in English) in alphabetical order as given in ISO 3166-1 and the corresponding ISO 3166-1-alpha-2 code elements. The list, which contains 246 official short names and code elements, has “PH” for Philippines.

The ISO, which is based in Geneva, Switzerland, is an international standard-setting group composed of representatives of various national standard organizations. Founded in 1947, it promulgates worldwide proprietary industrial and commercial standards.

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