Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Kuya Bong” Go sees the growth for the local economies in Mindanao with the signing Wednesday by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of Executive Order No. 64 that revives barter trading in the region.
“With the issuance of this EO, we look forward to more robust trading and commercial transactions in our backdoor areas. Part of the agenda of the Duterte administration is the development of rural areas by creating an environment conducive to expansion of businesses and livelihood,” Kuya Bong said of the EO titled “Reviving Barter in Mindanao, Promoting its Growth and Development.”
“More business means more income for our ordinary people. We hope this will be helpful in solving the insurgency and terrorism. Poverty is the usual reason and improving the lives of our people, with more income, will help discourage them from joining rebel groups,” he added.
Barter trade, which is “a system of exchange where participants in a transaction directly exchange goods or services for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money,” is an ancient commercial practice in southern Philippines.
Historically, it links communities in the Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area region.
The current barter ports in Mindanao are located in Siasi and Jolo in Sulu, and Bongao in Tawi-Tawi.