Illegal and Taxable: DTI sets sights on “Online Barter Trade” groups

With the quarantine showing no signs of ending, people have gotten creative in making ends meet. From starting online businesses to bartering unused and pre-loved items for food or other goods, the Filipino resiliency shines through no matter what.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) aims to put a stop to online barter. According to Secretary Ramon Lopez, bartering is illegal. During a press conference held on Tuesday, the DTI Secretary stated, “Bawal po ‘yan dahil labag po yan sa tax law” (That isn’t allowed because it goes against the tax law).

He also added that online sellers are encouraged to register with both the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and DTI. Although bartering is allowed in some parts of Mindanao like Sulu and Tawi-tawi, he stressed that it is illegal everywhere else in the country. Online trade, like most transactions, must be paid for in cash. Plus, the applicable taxes that these items come with must be taken into account.


Pay in cash, not in kind

Meanwhile, Lopez said that DTI, together with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), will now look into online barter trade. “Diyan po umaaksyon naman po yung team, yung composite team ng DTI, at ng PNP, NBI,” he concluded. (The composite team of DTI, PNP, and NBI will take action on that.)

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[Cover Photo from Unsplash]

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