MANILA - Online barter trade is illegal, the Department of Trade and Industry said on Tuesday as it encouraged online sellers to register with the department and with the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said while barter trade is allowed in some parts of Mindanao like Sulu and Tawi-tawi, it is against the law everywhere else in the country. He said online trade should go through regular transactions and pay taxes.
In barter trade, participants in a transaction directly exchange goods or services for other goods or services without using money.
“Bawal nga po at saka nalalabag nila yung tax lax law diyan,” Lopez said.
(That is not allowed and they are violating tax laws there.)
Lopez said the DTI will now look into online barter trade.
“Diyan po umaaksyon naman po yung team, yung composite team ng DTI, at ng PNP, NBI,” Lopez said.
(The composite team of the DTI, Philippine National Police and national Bureau of Investigation will act on that.)
Lopez meanwhile encouraged consumers not to buy from unregistered sellers on social media, and patronize only sellers on major platforms like Lazada, Shopee and Zalora.
“Huwag po tayong bibili sa mga hindi natin kilala, o nagbebenta lang sa Facebook o Instagram.”
(Let’s not buy from those we don’t know, or those who sell only on Facebook or Instagram.)
He said consumers are better off buying from registered sellers because the DTI can help them in case the products they bought turn out to be defective.
Lopez said the DTI has already received around 10,000 complaints this year on online sellers.