Rules on barter trade out in 2 months: DTI

MANILA -- Following the issuance of Executive Order (EO) No. 64 that revives the barter trade in Mindanao, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) targets to release the comprehensive guidelines governing barter in the next two months.

In a text message Wednesday, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said his department will conduct consultations in drafting the guidelines governing barter trade and is eyeing to complete this until the end of the year.

Lopez, as the country’s trade chief, will chair the Mindanao Barter Council (MBC) created under the EO.

Top officials of the Mindanao Development Authority and the Bureau of Customs will serve as vice chairpersons in the newly formed Council.

“The Council will finalize the rules and procedures with respect to allowable goods and the limit in the amount of transaction under the barter scheme,” Lopez said.

Under the barter system, trade in goods and services can be done without the use of cash.

The EO initially allowed barter trade in only three ports specifically in southwestern part of the country --the Port of Siasi and Port of Jolo in Sulu, and the Bongao Port in Tawi-Tawi.

Last September, President Rodrigo Duterte has been eyeing to bring back the ancient trade system in Mindanao, which hosts many of the country’s poorest provinces, to tame price pressures.

“More trading of basic goods shall lead to better supply and prices in those areas,” Lopez noted.

“It has been the wish of the President to provide more livelihood opportunities in depressed areas of selected Island provinces in Mindanao, specifically in Sulu and Tawi Tawi. He wants to initiate more economic activities that will uplift the lives of people in those areas that will hopefully lead to more peace and development,” the trade chief added. (PNA)

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