The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said online barter is against the law. DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez stated that barter trades are only allowed in some parts of the country such as Sulu and Tawi-tawi. It is, however, illegal everywhere else in the Philippines. He further stated that online trade should undergo usual transaction process and tax payment.
There are numerous online barter groups in the country. Most of these groups are on Facebook with some groups have more than 200,000 members. Participants in a barter trade directly exchange goods with each other without using money.
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Lopez further encourages consumers to buy only in major platforms such as Lazada, Shopee, and Zalora, and avoid purchasing in unregistered sellers online. He reasoned that buying from registered businesses will benefit consumers as the department may help them if the products are defective.
On the other hand, Global Barter Communities released a statement defending the group. The message stated that there is no clear legal basis to declare barter groups as illegal. You may check the full statement here.