DTI sees Feb. release of barter order’s IRR

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Port of Bongao Tawi-Tawi

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it will release next month the implementing rules and regulations which will revive barter trade in Mindanao.

Trade Undersecretary for Special Concerns Abdulgani M. Macatoman said the department is in the process of finalizing the draft rules which have already gone through nationwide consultations.

“Anytime next month there will be an IRR (implementing rules and regulations),” Mr. Macatoman told reporters on Wednesday in San Juan City.

Mr. Macatoman said the IRR will arrive at valuations for the products covered for barter.

In October, President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) 64 to regulate barter trade in Mindanao.

The move was meant to spur economic activity in the affected areas and strengthen trade and commerce among member states of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

The order designates barter ports for the entry of goods including Siasi and Jolo in Sulu, and Bongao in Tawi-Tawi.

The order noted that products with tariff protections and/or quantitative restrictions such as rice, corn, and sugar, as well as those requiring special import permits and/or subject to standard requirements, will continue to observe current laws.

The EO noted as well that national and local tax laws are applicable to “all goods imported under this order whose valuation, as determined by appropriate authorities, exceeds the de minimis value of P10,000, or in such threshold amounts as may be adjusted by the Secretary of Finance.”

The order created the Mindanao Barter Council (MBC) which will be attached to the DTI with the Trade secretary to sit as its chairman.

Meanwhile, the heads of Mindanao Development Authority and Bureau of Customs will serve as vice-chairs. — Janina C. Lim