Embassy of the Philippines > Embassy of the Philippines DC >> Announcements


15/11/2010: Use of ISO Initials PH and PHL

15 NOVEMBER 2010, WASHINGTON, DC – The Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines reiterated its directive instructing all offices in the Department and all Foreign Service Posts to use the initials PH or PHL, when referring to the Philippines.

The ISO developed the ISO 3166-1 codes, assigning two-letter (alpha-2) and three-letter (alpha-3) codes for its member countries.  The Philippines, as represented by the Bureau of Product Standards, has been assigned the codes PH and PHL, respectively.

Prior to the shift, it has been common practice to use ‘RP’ referring to “Republic of the Philippines,” which is not in accordance with ISO 3166-1.  This has led to ambiguity and confusion due to other countries also using the same acronym.

The PH and PHL codes are now being used in airline ticketing, currencies, internationally-traded shares of stocks, and an increasing number of Philippine media organizations.  The DFA, in particular, reflects the use of the alpha-3 code PHL in the Philippine electronic passport.

Founded in 1947, the ISO is a non-government organization composed of a network of national standards institutes from 163 countries.  Its Central Secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.  END.