Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced that they will hunt down those who are involved in online barter trade for such transactions are illegal.
In a Laging Handa briefing on Tuesday, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said that online barter transactions are only allowed in limited areas in Mindanao but against the law in any other areas in the country.
“Sa ibang lugar, hindi po allowed ang barter trade. At tsaka, kailangan regular transactions tayo diyan. Dapat ay may tax na binabayaran,” Lopez said.
Lopez explained that based on Executive Order No. 64 approved in 2018 by President Rodrigo Duterte, barter trade is only allowed in selected areas such as Sulu and Tawi-tawi.
He added that DTI will run after those who are engaging in the activity. “Ipapahanap natin ‘yun dahil ilegal po ‘yung activity,” Lopez warned.
The department will tap the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to catch those who are engaged in the activity.
In Iloilo, members of barter communities in Facebook have grown exponentially in times of the COVID-19 pandemic as it helps Ilonggos obtain their needs without spending cash. As of this writing, Iloilo Barter Society has over 99,000 members while Iloilo Barter Community has around 90,000.
With the pronouncement of DTI, admins of Iloilo Barter Society announced that they will place the online group in ‘lockdown’ until such time that the issue will be cleared out.