News Release

Reopening barter trade will improve peace in Mindanao — President Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gives a message during the birthday celebration of Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao at the KCC Convention and Events Center in General Santos City on December 17, 2018. ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

GENERAL SANTOS CITY –– President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, December 17, restated that reviving the barter trade in Mindanao would not only help the economy but also magnify regional peace and security.

The President made such a remark when he attended Senator Manny Pacquiao’s 40th birthday celebration held at KCC Convention Center.

“I have ordered also the reopening of the barter trade for a start and maybe if we can agree, a similar setup. I don’t know what happened because it also includes itong BBL ang Basilan pati Jolo,” he noted.

In October this year, the Chief Executive has signed Executive Order No. 64, which revives the ancient commercial practice in the Southern Philippines.

The EO formalizes the barter trade in Mindanao, which constitutes a Mindanao Barter Council (MBC) and establishes “barter ports” in Tawi-Tawi and Sulu. The MBC is also encouraged to invite representatives from among the major Muslim ethnolinguistic groups such as (but not limited to) Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranaw, Yakan, and Sama to participate in the proceedings.

However, with the current situation, the President said, “I really do not know how to navigate at this time pero makita ko ‘yan once it is implemented and malaman ko kung ano ang kulang o anong idagdag.”

President Duterte also cited that there would be “some movements” in Mindanao since he is “in a hurry” in attaining peace in the region and, in order for his negotiation to succeed, he needs to “go higher.”

He added that if the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) would pass in the plebiscite, he still needs time to talk to Moro National Liberation Front founding chair Nur Misuari.

“Nur Misuari is my friend. I am open to any other arrangement, but that would not intrude into the sovereignty… a disseverment of the Republic of the Philippines,” he said.

Before attending Senator Pacquiao’s birthday celebration, the President went to Jolo, Sulu and spearheaded the activation of the 11th Infantry (ALAKDAN) Division, where he decided to place 840 troops and air assets from the Philippine Air Force in the area. ###PND