Press Release
July 15, 2020

'DTI should barter that statement for common sense, and swap it for compassion'

DTI should barter that off-the-cuff statement with common sense, and exchange it with a clarificatory statement that no law is being violated by neighbors swapping goods in the community chat group.

When you exchange a tax-paid shirt too small for you for tax-paid shorts too big for your friend, where is the revenue loss for the government?

And I think the army of tax collectors would rather be going after POGOs than millennials swapping their sneakers for goods they like.

Where is the harm to the economy in a farmer swapping his pig for a secondhand computer for his child's use, unlike the clear sabotage done by smugglers who bring in pork cuts by the boatload?

Bartering is a fixture of life in many rural communities where a bag of rice is traded for a basket of vegetables. In villages, money is not always the medium of exchange.

This ancient practice is even evident in our language. "Palit" in Tagalog means "exchange", but in Cebuano it is the word for "buy".

To survive the economic crunch of the lockdown, people are bartering unused and surplus household items, not to monetize them, but for goods they need. Previously loved items are being rehomed.

Or simply to fight boredom. This is why "plant exchanges" by "plantitas" are blooming in Viber groups. Kulang na nga ng isang channel sa TV, pakikialaman mo pa cactus nila?

To survive, our people are bartering clothes for calories. Dresses which the pandemic have made too small or too big are being bartered for food ingredients such as flour, as many of our people have to turned to baking--not to get rich, but to get by.

Bartering is the people's way of generating economic activity. How can this be wrong?

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