The general rule for abbreviations is they should be defined or spelled out at first mention. For documents, issuances, and press releases, the abbreviation is placed inside parentheses after the full form.

The Department of Education (DepEd) is working on a program.

For transcripts for interviews and speeches, and quotations, the abbreviation is placed in square brackets.

PRESIDENT AQUINO: Tax ang pinag-uusapan eh, so ‘yung Secretary ng Finance at saka ‘yung BIR ang kausap. Wala sigurong kinalaman ‘yung DSWD [Department of Social Welfare and Development] diyan.

The abbreviations are set in all capital letters with no periods in between letters.


However, there is an exception to setting the acronyms in capital letters. Such is the case of “PEACe Bonds,” which stands for Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificates Bonds. If you are unsure or unfamiliar with the acronym, and to ensure that the acronyms are set correctly, we suggest that you check previous documents containing this acronym or check online.

As with all other abbreviations, issuances are spelled out at first mention and are abbreviated thereafter. Note also that Republic Act, Administrative Order, Executive Order, et cetera, should be abbreviated as RA, AO, EO, et cetera, without the periods in between letters, and the year series should be included as well.

At first mention:                  Executive Order No. 210, s. 2004

Succeeding citation:           EO 210, s. 2004

At first mention, the capitalization should be title case; the word “No.” is present, and “s.,” which stands for series, should be in lowercase.

For the succeeding citation, the abbreviation should be used and should be in all capitals. The word “No.” should not be included once it is abbreviated.

PHL and PH is the International Organization for Standardization initials for the Philippines. RP is not used anymore to avoid ambiguity. DFA Department Order No. 16-10, dated October 20, 2010, mandates all DFA offices, Consulates General, and four permanent missions to use PHL and PH.

Spell out the first instance of United States in a document, then abbreviate thereafter. The abbreviation, “U.S.,” should have periods in between the letters.

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