PH ‘revives’ barter tradition

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President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday signed Executive Order No. 64 reviving the age-old practice of barter trade in southern Philippines noting the custom continues to thrive and evolve as a living tradition until the present day.”

Under the new EO, the President has ordered the creation of the Mindanao Barter Council (MBC) to draft policies, coordinate, supervise and create programs and activities on barter trading. The MBC is also tasked to create a conducive environment that will foster the growth and development of the tradition.

The council may also suggest the creation of other ports but only on the approval of the President.

Barter is a thriving practice in the Philippines since pre-colonial times where goods are exchange with another commodity, compared to doing business using money.

To harmonize transactions, the MBC will write rules as well as formulate regulations concerning accrediting or registration of qualified traders who are allowed to engage in trade within the identified barter zones in the ports of Siasi and Jolo in Sulu and Bongao in Tawi-Tawi.

The council may also suggest the creation of other ports but only on the approval of the President.

As per the EO, the council can issue guidelines to govern barter in the areas, including the establishment of a mechanism for the valuation of bartered goods as well as provide a list of goods to be bartered. It shall also create a system to prevent smuggling and circumvention of customs laws.

Imported goods whose valuation exceeds P10,00 are subject to applicable national and local taxes.

However, commodities including corn, rice and sugar and all products that enjoy tariff protections and/or quantitative restrictions and those which require special import permits or subject to standard requirements, remain regulated.

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