Bartering, not barter trading, will not be taxed, said Trade and Industry Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi yesterday, echoing the clarification of her boss, Secretary Ramon Lopez on the issue.
Ambi explained, in a report of the Philippine Information Agency, the exchange of goods in a personal level will not be taxed. “A personal transaction like you have a second-hand TV (television set) or a refrigerator and you exchange that to another item, that is allowed, it could be taxed because it is a personal transaction, that is not a business,” said Ambi.
Ambi re-echoed the clarification of Lopez who has been in hot water after saying that barter trading, unless they are done in some identified areas in Western Mindanao, should be taxed.
His opinion has elicited negative comments on social media where bartering has been happening since the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in March.
About two years ago, President Rodrigo Duterte issued an executive order to revive barter trading in Western Mindanao where, a trading mechanism which allows local traders to buy goods from nearby areas within the Brunei-Indonesia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area without any import duties.
Assistant Secretary Romeo M. Montenegro, deputy executive director of the Mindanao Development Authority, said that under the concept, the barter trading system would even become an economic component of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The same executive order, which the President signed in October 2018, also carries a “sunset clause”” that would lead to its turnover to the regional government.