TRADE SECRETARY Ramon M. Lopez said the department will look into illegal barter activity online.
In a Laging Handa briefing Tuesday, he said barter is only allowed in selected areas in Mindanao.
“Sa ibang lugar hindi po allowed ‘yung barter trade. At kailangan po ‘yung regular transaction tayo diyan, at saka dapat ho ay may tax na binabayaran (In other areas barter is not allowed. The transactions need to be regular and taxable),” he said.
The ports of Siasi, Jolo, and Tawi-Tawi are authorized barter centers under Executive Order No. 64 issued in 2018.
Mr. Lopez said such activity outside those areas would be illegal, and subject to action by the composite team consisting of representatives of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Philippine National Police, and National Bureau of Investigation.
“Bawal nga po at saka nalalabag nila ‘yung tax law dyan. Anyway, papahanap po natin ‘yun dahil illegal po ‘yung activity (These activities violate tax law. We will search them out because they are acting illegally).”
The Trade department has received around 10,000 online scam consumer complaints in the first half of 2020.
“Ganun din kadami kasi tumalon ang transaction sa online selling lalo na nung quarantine. (The number of online transactions spiked during the quarantine).” — Jenina P. Ibañez