Two lawmakers on Thursday hailed President Rodrigo Duterte’s order for the creation of Mindanao Barter Council through Executive Order 64.
Reps. Frederick Siao of Iligan City and Henry Ong of Leyte said the resurgence of the barter trade would bring economic and social gains for the Mindanaons.
“Coupled with the institutional strengths of Islamic finance, Mindanao barter can flourish well and more so when Islamic banks of Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and even from the Middle East set up shop in our country soon after the Islamic banking measure becomes law,” said Ong, chairman of the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries.
Ong added investors and bankers, especially Arabs, would have more reasons to participate in the growth of our economy.
For his part, Siao, member of the House Committee on Economic Affairs, advised the Mindanao Barter Council to “explicitly ban any trade in illegal drugs, explosives, armaments, ammunition, and any other contraband goods.”
He said there must be strictest import inspection systems and procedures to discourage illegal activities. “Never must the Mindanao Barter Council barter trade system be used by smugglers and terrorists,” Siao said.
He added: “Valuation of rice traded via barter must incorporate the valuation of the rice tariffs of the national government.”
“Mindanao barter rules must not be used to circumvent the national law of rice tariffs,” Siao said.