Author Archives: Jocelle Batapa Sigue

My Hero is You: How Kids Can Fight COVID-19

My Hero is You – Storybook for Children on COVID-19

Published Date: 31 March 2020

“My Hero is You” is a book written for children around the world affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My Hero is You” should be read by a parent, caregiver or teacher alongside a child or a small group of children. It is not encouraged for children to read this book independently without the support of a parent, caregiver or teacher. The supplementary guide called “Actions for Heroes” (to be published later) offers support for addressing topics related to COVID-19, helping children manage feelings and emotions, as well as supplementary activities for children to do based on the book.

Sara’s mum is her hero because she is the best mum and the best scientist in the world. But even Sara’s mum cannot find a cure for the coronavirus.

This book was a project developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (IASC MHPSS RG). The project was supported by global, regional and country based experts from Member Agencies of the IASC MHPSS RG, in addition to parents, caregivers, teachers and children in 104 countries. A global survey was distributed in Arabic, English, Italian, French and Spanish to assess children’s mental health and psychosocial needs during the COVID-19 outbreak. A framework of topics to be addressed through the story was developed using the survey results. The book was shared through storytelling to children in several countries affected by COVID-19. Feedback from children, parents and caregivers was then used to review and update the story.

Over 1,700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers from around the world took the time to share with us how they were coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. A big thank you to these children, their parents, caregivers and teachers for completing our surveys and influencing this story. This is a story developed for and by children around the world.

As the sun rose, they landed in a lovely desert by pyramids, where a small group of children were playing. The children cried out in joy and waved at Sara and her Ario.

This IASC MHPSS RG acknowledge Helen Patuck for writing the story script and illustrating this book. Source: Inter-Agency Standing Committee

Leila decided to travel with Ario and her new friends. Sara was glad Leila joined them because she knew that sometimes we need to support each other. They flew quietly, without words, but Leila knew her new friends cared a lot about her.

THE JOCELLE BATAPA-SIGUE LEADERSHIP

Note: I found this piece in my computer files today. It looked like an unfinished speech in 2019. Let me share it anyway to preserve it.

As I enter one of the most crucial challenges in my life to day – running for the mayor of the City of Bacolod – I face another important reckoning – an opportunity to assess the person you see in the mirror.

I ask myself the most important question today – what is my brand of leadership as the highest leader of a city? What does it mean when we say Jocelle Batapa Sigue leadership? I reflect upon my life as a leader since I was 6, and president of my first grader class until today as I review my curriculum vitae. I see many accomplishments and milestones – but then I still have to go back to the question – so what is it a Jocelle Batapa Sigue brand of leadership?

For me, leadership is not a position. It is a responsibility. It is beyond the title, it is what you are set to accomplish using the title you hold. To easily remember the four basic tenets I follow – I will use my tagline – a branding I have used since my second term as councilor sometime in 2007, or around ten years already – JOBS. Jobs, because I was serious in dedicating myself to the cause of creating information and communications technology (ICT) jobs since my first term began in 2004. That is a long story which is already amply covered by many materials available in the Internet. Creating opportunities for Bacolod in the ICT industry has become not only a committee responsibility since I took on the task s Sanggunian Panlugsod chair of communications and energy in 2004 – but has become an advocacy, a life-long passion until today.

Now JOBS is going beyond just its literal meaning and the fact that it is my initials JO from my first name and B for Batapa and S for Sigue.

J is for job generation and investment promotions. The end goal of a series of objectives that need to be accomplished first, such as, but not limited to:

  • Talent Development Roadmap for Bacolod which entails a comprehensive summary and analysis of our available skills in the city across all industries (not just ICT) focused on skilling, upskilling and re-skilling the talent supply, a clear and time-bound set of strategies to develop digital skills across all sectors to prepare the talent pool for the Future of Work, a continuous series of T3s (train the trainers/train the teachers) programs to ensure quality and scale of educational and training programs.
  • Business Environment, Infrastructure, Cost and Ease of Doing Business which are all indicators for the attractiveness of location to the influx of digital jobs or ICT-enabled employment opportunities and entrepreneurial ventures or startups. A mandatory compliance to the provisions of the new Ease of Doing Business law is going to be the first order of the day. There is a need to actively involve the business and private sector in addressing all current bottlenecks like energy supply, peace and order, traffic management, solid waste management and other environmental issues. A strong collaboration between the city and the business sector will serve as a mechanism to identify more relevant strategies along the way and allow for future and long-term planning.
  • Business and Investment Promotions and the need to institutionalize programs to constantly develop investment campaigns for Bacolod across identified potential industries is also in the forefront of my plans.

O is for Open Governance. A policy direction that is very close to my heart, as a systems thinker, I see the importance of bringing government closer to the people – as way of not only securing valuable feedback but a way to constantly gather ideas and solutions.

Under the concept of an OPEN Bacolod – I have four basic items that spells OPEN.

O for online, real-time easy access of every citizen to facts, data and figures pertaining to the operations, finances and administration of the city. These will entail for all data to be digitized and made available to the public. The use of online procurement system, business permit registration and registration and licensing for other departments and other transactions shall pass from experimental to full operation stage in the soonest possible time.

P is performance scorecards and ratings. In order to ensure and maintain the quality of government services, feedback mechanisms that comes with ratings for each department of the city shall be in place. Top performing agencies shall be duly commended while those with concerns will have to be revisited and improved for efficiency. We shall bring back the trust and confidence of the public for all department of the city and strive to uplift the moral of public employees through incentive program and continuous trainings.

E is for emergency and other support services.  The website of Bacolod shall not be static but interactive and hotlines for citizen’s concerns shall be in place. The website shall be fully accessible especially through mobile. The city shall ensure availability of Internet/wi-fi hotspots in major public areas for use during emergency. Closed circuit TV systems, and GPS and other technologies shall be used to ensure 24/7 safety in the city. A well-established central command shall be in place with the mayor having 24/7 direct access and full view of all cameras in major public places. Sensors and other technologies shall also be put in place to detect flood water rise and other calamities.

N is for new ideas and solutions. Open governance extends to policy innovation – creating a way to effectively crowd source new ideas and solutions from concerned groups. The city will support the development of startups engaged in developing and deploying technologies which may prove useful for Bacolod to become a smart city – with focus on major points such as transportation, healthcare, business, public services, education, and tourism.

B is for Barangay Development and Empowerment. Under my leadership, I shall empower the barangays to really create significant impact on their constituency through effective power sharing and sharing of resources. The barangays shall be in the frontline of effectively addressing and managing solid waste, all forms of pollution, transportation matters and peace and order within their area of jurisdiction with the full support of the city in terms of resources and technical guidance. Continuous training and development of barangay officials including Sanggunian Kabataan officials shall be a priority of the city. Productive dialogue and consultations between the mayor’s office and the barangays shall take place regularly to ensure collaboration. 

S is for Sectoral Participation and Consensus Building. Most important ingredient of my leadership is consensus building – a brand of governance that is participatory and consultative. To address concerns and issues in a relevant and responsive way by engaging and empowering the concerned sectors to develop solutions for themselves. The city shall empower each major sector to have access to information and opportunities to raise their concerns to the city – these include informal sector workers such as farmers, fisherfolks, drivers, construction workers, vendors, professionals, teachers, senior citizens, women and children’s groups, PWDs, LGBTs, minorities and many more.

By creating a participatory and consultative environment, I will ensure that under my leadership – respect for the independence of the Sangguniang Panlungsod is observed. As a former councilor for nine years, I have only my deepest respect for the Sanggunian as an institution and a co-equal body to the executive. Regardless of political affiliations, my leadership will work closely and harmoniously with all elected councilors especially on their concerns as committee chairs. I will objectively collaborate with the Sanggunian in achieving proper implementation of all existing ordinances that are aligned with the urgent needs of the people and direction of my leadership.

Under this premise, the major documents that I wish to see being prepared are the following:

  1. Executive – Legislative Agenda (ELA)
  2. Solid waste management program
  3. Comprehensive land use plan

Response to Concerns Raised by the Business Chambers

Last 2019, officials of the Business Chambers in Bacolod City send me a set of questions purposely to give them and overview of my position about varipus concerns in this city. They said there will be an opportunity to meet the chambers but I submitted a formal written response even before the meeting. Sadly, no meeting materialized.

I am sharing the full text of what I submitted via email to Mr. Frank Carbon, predident of MBCCI for the public to know.

Response to Concerns Raised by the Business Chambers

By Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue

Preliminary Statement:

A true leader is a builder and molder of consensus. I am fully aware that I do not know everything and that I would need to act based on empirical data acquired through extensive research. Policy and action implementation must stem from well-studied strategies ensuing from a series of discussion, the speed of which is based on the urgency of matters. I shall take into account all angles and advise of experts in every field, and the side of all affected stakeholders, both present and future.

I will be grateful to hear from the Chambers your suggestions and insights about these concerns. I am very much willing to listen and I always want a participatory and inclusive leadership.

There are issues below where I need to gather facts based on documents and hence, I reserve my executive direction on such matters. 

Please note that although these observations are indicative of my values as a leaders, I would like to extensively and be able carefully weigh all the options, studying all angles, in a time frame of expediency. 

SUMMARY OF ISSUES AND OBSERVATIONS:

I – Water / BACIWA Development Plan (Identifying the problem/s and solutions) 

  • Studies presented even during my time as councilor show that Bacolod will run into a water supply problem for various reasons but mostly because of degradation of water sources. I am the author of the Watershed Protection and Water Conservation Ordinance of Bacolod – and I will ensure that its provisions will be operationalized to ensure supply of water but at the same time conservation of water sources.
  • I have always envisioned a collaboration between Bacolod, Silay, Talisay and Murcia with regards to watershed issues.
  • In the case of BACIWA, there is a need to review any water purchase agreement to ensure that consumers are protected but at the same time BACIWA is upgraded to continuously stay within a serviceable level.

 II – Power Security Plan (CENECO’s P 1.5B CAPEX Requirements)

  • Power supply and rates are very sensitive matters especially in terms of building a conducive investment climate. This is part of any investment scorecard especially in ICT-enabled business. We need to look at power supply of CENECO in a more holistic manner, balancing consumers welfare and the cooperative’s efficiency. I need to look into the details and repercussion of these plan. I will be grateful to the Chambers for your suggestions and insights about these concerns.

III – Bacolod City College (CHED – COPC Compliance)

  • When I ended my term as councilor – I submitted a proposal which I have not finished to completion – the conversion of Bacolod City College as a Polytechnic College or University – offering both traditional degrees and short term certification courses which is now much needed to develop skills. Just like the Negros Occidental Language and ICT Center of the Province. I also have an approved ordinance creating digital skills courses – software, animation, techpreneurship and other trainings. My stand is to SAVE Bacolod City College, make it compliant with national standards, do everything to make it relevant to job generation program of Bacolod. I want education to be affordable. I know how it is so hard to find means to pay for quality education. I have struggled during my early years as a working student to augment my parents’ finances for my schooling. I believe in the true value of education – I am not going to be where I am today without my education. So I will do everything to improve the quality of BCC.
  • Just an update, the city is now also trying to comply with these standards. I will continue all their good initiatives.

IV – Public Markets (Rehabilitation Program)

–         Source of Funds (The budget of Bacolod which a team of big data analysts in Manila are now working show how hundreds of millions are wasted in unexplained, unnecessary, useless projects) There is no question that Bacolod can afford the rehabilitation of markets)

– My direction is to rehabilitate the major markets I several phases, professionalize personnel to manage the market as a social enterprise for the city, to make it earn as well as to ensure the economic sustainability of all the tenants of good standing.

 V – Road Congestion – immediate inventory of all public roads and creation of holistic strategies to ensure that all public roads are opened to pedestrians, all vendors are accredited and required to follow rules but at the same their economic sustainability will be taken into consideration. The city will create strategies to ensure that well-meaning and law -abiding vendors are given continued opportunity without violating city ordinances.

–         Underutilization of Road Networks – will target significant percent utilization within my term

–         Illegal Structures – will target significant percent of removal of all illegal structures within my term

 VI – Sidewalk and Street Vendors

–         Night Market – will conduct inventory and target significant percentage of compliance with all city ordinances 

–         Relocation Site / Building – I plan to create a very active taskforce to help ensure lawful and humane housing in the city. Support dialogues between landowners and squatters to achieve win-win solutions

–         Source of Funds – the city can afford initial support for homeowners including provision of livelihood opportunities if funds are well-managed

 VII – Job Order Employees / Ghost Employees (City Hall/Barangay)

–         One table / four employees doing nothing – this will definitely not happen under my term. As a councilor, I am famous for “slave driving all my staff to work even beyond office hours, including weekends”. Hiring will also be based on need and merits. Over-hiring is one culprit for mismanaged funds and lack of funds for supposedly more important concerns of the city. I will bring back the moral of public employees. I will discipline public employees and they will all undergo DILG mandated seminars of code of ethics of public employees. Rating systems and customer feedback will be used for departments.

  VIII – City Hospital – My key project is a city hospital packaged with comprehensive health cards for indigent residents and health and wellness programs.

–         Source of funds – the province has 11 district hospitals but has the same funds as the city. Therefore it goes without saying that the city can afford to run one hospital if funds are well managed.

 IX – CLUP / Urban Plan – it is time to create a NEW Bacolod – zoning must be updated. I run into a big problem when I was helping the province accredit the CyberCenter with PEZA because the zoning of the area is “institutional” and PEZA require a  zoning of commercial. This was the same with the place where SEDA is now standing – it was classified partially as “institutional/agricultural”. It took a while for me to convince the SP that we amend the zoning ordinance for the specific section of CyberCentre and SEDA. This cannot continue. We need to create order in our zonings. And we need to involve all sector in finalizing the new CLUP as soon as possible.

I plan to create a special composite committee on urban planning composed of public and private sector to finalize a comprehensive urban planning of Bacolod taking into consideration the neighboring cities that form part of the Metro Bacolod.

Just an update. I heard that the city has finished its CLUP. We will need to see it.

X – Sanitary Landfill – I have continuously voiced out frustration against out DUMPSITE. The people of Bacolod is being fooled to believe that it is a sanitary landfill compliant with RA 9003. The city spends almost 400M for solid waste management or 25 percent of the budget of the city – but what is the result. I cannot understand how Bacolodnons continue to believe in all these lies???? RA 9003 has so many components to achieve zero-waste – for many years I have been harping on all these components. In due time, I shall explain the steps to achieve zero waste under RA 9003.

 XI – Banago Port Delineation – for the record during my last term as councilor, I submitted a position paper as chair of trade and commerce – taking the stand of endorsing the delineation to allow Banago port’s improvement using PPA funds. BUT because of the objection of BREDCO which is on record – I was the lone voice in the Sanggunian. I always stand against MONOPOLY that hurts people’s welfare. This may be against business viability – but I will stand for what is good for people. Businessmen in Bacolod should know that to make profit is not the only thing in this world. We need to help our community.

 XII – Clean Water Act / Septage Compliance – we will inventory all non-compliance and ensure compliance. Non-compliance or violation of health and environmental laws – compliance is a must, non-negotiable for me.

I am also attaching my curriculum vitae and initial priorities for your perusal.

My sites are www.jocellebatapasigue.com and www.facebook.com/jobs4bacolod

Thanks.

Yours in Service

Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue

MULTI-STAKEHOLDER APPROACH TO CREATING DIGITAL JOBS

By Jocelle Batapa-Sigue

Submitted for the Design Thinking For Innovation Course

University of Virginia

Darden School of Business

July 8, 2019

  • CHALLENGE:  Information and communications technology (ICT) have transformed economies all over the world. As early as the seventies, the Philippines business ecosystems road the wave of opportunities that came with the ICT. Government pave the way for stronger telecommunications infrastructure by dismantling the long – standing monopoly and opened the telecommunications industry to other players. ICT allowed businesses to transcend locational challenges such as need for innovation, high cost of labor and utilities, lack of quality or available workforce, political and social risks and many other challenges.  ICT allowed companies to avail of services and products outside of its business structure, commonly known as outsourcing, and today most comprehensively referred to as global services.

As the Philippines moved further in creating jobs and opportunities in the ICT industry, the pattern became apparent – that these investments were only concentrated in the metropolis, particularly in Metro Manila, and not in the outlying provinces of the country.  

The challenge for me along with all the stakeholders in different cities is to improve the socio-economic conditions of the countryside where unemployment rate is very high, taking advantage of the growing number of jobs in the ICT industry.  These issues have not been effectively addressed since the Philippines undertook an aggressive campaign to attract foreign investors in the ICT industry since 2004, yet stakeholders in the countryside, mainly cities outside of Metro Manila began to develop strategies to attract foreign investments.

ICT investment promotions had been concentrated in metropolitan cities, and leaving the countryside to piece-meal strategies that do not consistently give them sustainable programs to conduct foreign trade mission and investment promotions. Selected cities, from time to time, are invited to join trade mission but on a case-to-case basis. No concerted efforts have been devoted to developing countryside investment packages design to attract foreign investors to locate outside of Metropolitan cities.

Seventy percent of the Filipino populace reside outside of Metro Manila hence the need to address the challenge of for attracting jobs and investments in the countryside.

  • SELECTION: To address the challenge of creating jobs and investments in the countryside, I had to gather all the stakeholders to make it happen. I used visualization as tool to create a platform for the vision to be achieved.

There has to be a set of key drivers to push the vision to reality and stakeholders must visualize their respective roles in the whole picture.

As a first step, various stakeholders were gathered based on their respective mandates to understand the general ICT roadmap of the Philippines which details the vision and initiatives needed in order to achieve these goals.

I started with one city, my own city – Bacolod, located in the Province of Negros Occidental, Western Visayas Region. Upon my initiative as local leader, stakeholders were able to come together in several sessions creating and sharing ideas to address the needs in order to scale up Bacolod as an investment hub. 

Eventually, the stakeholders designed the ICT Council as a platform to be a collective effort of the academe and human resource development, real estate and business and local governments to undertake projects and programs complementary to the vision of making Bacolod City and Negros Occidental as viable locations for ICT and business process outsourcing (BPO) services. It assisted local government units and the national government especially in designing programs that will complement the educational system and integrate ICT therein to produce a more competent and job-ready workforce.

It aims to establish and institutionalize a strong network and various linkages with all academic, formal and non-formal, technical and vocational training institutions in Bacolod and Negros Occidental in order to formulate, consolidate and implements strategies and programs that will address the challenges and gaps identified in the ICT sector.

The ICT Council also regularly helps to develop a comprehensive plan on a provincial basis in order to yield a more accurate picture of the workforce and a rationalized program of infrastructure and human resource build-up based on strengths, encourage synergy among the sectors involved in developing government support, business environment and talent development, in order avoid duplication of efforts, minimize competition among local government units, and maximize resources to better prepare the province and the region to become competitive globally.

As a result, Bacolod was named as one of the Centers of Excellence in ICT in the country, and more than 30,000 new jobs were created for Bacolod and Negros Occidental.  Today, there is an estimated 30,000 direct IT-BPM jobs in Bacolod. The ICT Council of Bacolod today has become a role model for other cities, and has been instrumental in inspiring and helping various cities and provinces in the Philippines to create their ICT councils or to strengthen their existing councils by encouraging the adoption four-fold underlying principles:

  1. Government is a catalyst of all stakeholders and must initiate and encourage all key sectors to set and join in pursuing a direction
  2. The private sector must actively support the government by providing resources to improve the business ecosystem, provide the real estate and telecommunications infrastructure.
  3. The academe must continuously link with the industry to ensure relevant education
  4. All three sectors must work together to pursue competitiveness and readiness in ICT using the multi-stakeholder approach and has embraced the principle of collaboration among the local government and national government agencies with the academe and industry.

The ICT Council model is now recognized in various fora as an organizational model that brings together movers and key decision makers from the public or government sector (local or national line agencies), academe and human resource, and private or business and industry sector. The idea is to provide a platform to set directions to position their respective communities as strategic locations for ICT-enabled jobs and investments

  • APPLICATION: To create the ICT council, stakeholders were gathered to create a common vision, identify challenges and weaknesses, discover and understand weaknesses and potentials and eventually develop strategies to answer the weaknesses.

First, the stakeholders are made to understand their roles and mandates as individuals belonging to various institutions, understanding the core values of their organizations as well as their limitations. Then the stakeholders are requested to identify and extract their common vision for their cities through interaction. 

The three major stakeholders were identified as government, academe and private sector, each playing a specific role to complement the vision. The role of the government was to catalyze the stakeholders and bring them together, provide for enabling policies and resources and set the direction. The role of the academe is to ensure quantity, quality and scalability of talent supply. The role of the private sector is to provide capital, economic guidance and impetus to the efforts of the two other sectors by creating business models, jobs and opportunities aligned with the ICT sector.

Using the diagrams, the stakeholders identified six key thrusts to focus on based on the general roadmap.

  • INSIGHT: The stakeholders, by visualizing their goal through the use of interaction, discussion, posting in the board colored notes in the board for everyone to see how all the pieces fall into place, have collated the bigger picture. Using diagrams and matrix, with the aid colored sticky notes, the stakeholders grouped together according to their sector and discussed the strategies. The groups discussed the baseline data – “what is” what is the current situation, the existing policies and resources, in order to develop relevant and responsive strategies. They eventually tackled “what if” to develop the vision and direction, such as number of jobs attainable. Then moved to programs that are new and innovative, in response to the question “what wows”. After a series of meetings, the groups developed their vision, goals, objectives and strategies based on major areas such as talent development, business environment, cost and infrastructure and digital innovation.

Eventually, the stakeholders realized that the ICT council model can serve as a platform for collaboration to achieve a common goal, a venue to share best practices for ideation and replication, a driver for innovation, a medium for collective expression to achieve results and a tool to empower stakeholders

Stakeholders saw the need to make the ICT council a platform for collaboration to achieve a common goal among government, education, industry, private and business sector. They identified the need to be open, friendly, innovative, aggressive, dynamic, risk-taking in their approaches to achieve the vision. For example, the key decision makers arrived at a conclusion that there needs to be a roadmap every 3 to 6 years for the ICT Council to push and manage. 

Academe, human resource and talent development stakeholders were inspired to be more innovative, inclusive and collaborative in their educational approaches to facilitate industry – academe collaboration. Local government became more supportive, innovative, catalyst, pro-active, goal-oriented, and people-centric. The national government agencies which had presence in the city embraced their role as target-setting, accessible, guiding and supportive along with the local media, to drive awareness.

As a tool to empower stakeholders, the ICT Council developed programs to empower and train ICT council members and equip different sectors needing digital skills to qualify for ICT jobs. The ICT Council helped the city government harness public resources for greater use such as in job generation, investment promotions and conduct orientation of different stakeholders to understand their roles

The stakeholders were able to identify the basic criteria for a city to generate ICT jobs and opportunities. These are talent (quantity, quality, scalability), business environment and risk management (natural, political, social risks), infrastructure and telecommunications, cost of doing business to include tax incentives, non-fiscal incentives that translate to savings on business cost and digital innovation.

The ICT Council has become a venue to share best practices for ideation and replication especially for talent development strategies, startup incubators and shared service facilities, resource mobilization, benchmarking activities and learning conferences.

As a driver for innovation, the ICT Council identified the need to help public sector implement eGovernance, new technologies and new skills (ai, data analytics, IOT, cybersecurity), hybrid or shared service facilities, and new business models (homegrown companies or startups, shared service facilities, incubators).

As medium for collective expression to achieve results, the ICT Council came up with unified position on need to grant tax incentives, improve connectivity, and grant more scholarships for ICT. The ICT Council leveraged on collaboration to access more support, equipment and facilities. It also helped and assisted investors and entrepreneurs by championing their concerns and set avenues to air out collective stand on various issues such as peace and order situation, lack of trainings and many others.

  • APPROACH: For other sessions in developing the ICT Council model for other cities, new insights on new technologies can be shared through effective storytelling as a tool in design thinking to ensure more stakeholders’ engagement and involvement. Stories of successes of other ICT councils can inspire stakeholders of other cities to develop their own. Another way to scale up participation and reduce the period of time to come up with strategies is learning launch, to provide a platform for ICT councils to experiment new ideas such creating incubators for startups.

In future sessions, stakeholders need more input to develop strategies and hence it is important that the presence of other stakeholders who hold the necessary data for validation must be obtained.   

Joint Statement of All Barter Communities

GLOBAL BARTER COMMUNITIES

Joint Statement of All Barter Communities

July 14, 2020

It is with painful sadness and frustration that we read the news today about the plan of of Secretary Ramon Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to “hunt” due to violation of laws the over 1 Million Filipinos in the Philippines and around the world who are helping one another through bartering online.

THERE IS NO CLEAR AND SPECIFIC LEGAL BASIS FOR ONLINE BARTER PLATFORMS TO BE DECLARED AS UNLAWFUL OR ILLEGAL. Barter is a recognized contract under the Civil Code of the Philippines which took effect in 1950. Bartering is an ancient practice that predates money more than 8000 years ago and in fact necessitated the invention of money since humans need to exchange goods and services to obtain their needs and survive.

Since Facebook started sometime in 2004, people already started exchanging goods online, and eventually pages for “bartering”, “exchanging”, “trading”, “swapping”, “donating or paying forward” and “buying and selling” things began more than a decade ago on social media.

When the Philippine economy went into a self-imposed paralysis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Filipinos lost their jobs and means for income. With more than half of our labor force belonging to the informal economy and are daily-wage earners, even a work stoppage for a day will badly hurt them as well as their families.

The President called for everyone to observed “bayanihan” and help one another but despite the Bayanihan Law which gave access to government to billions of public funds, many families have become more destitute. The middle class which heavily supports the economy of this country have reached a point where we need to scrape our savings to endure and stay alive in the midst of the lockdown restrictions  – all in order to unite against the fight of COVID 19. Our utility bills, our loans, our rents and all payables running every month – without any income coming in.

These sad realities are no secret to a government who pledge to take care of all Filipinos from the very start of this pandemic.

Despite this bleak scenario, the founders of all the bartering communities in the country composed of professionals in different localities created barter communities on Facebook as online platforms where people can exchange goods which are essential. All founders, administrators and moderators of the group pages are volunteers and not earning any profit for the pages. All members are also not paying anything to post in the barter pages.

Since May 2020, Filipino kindness shone like sunlight throughout the country through the bartering communities. With thousands of community members sharing their extra food and essentials to people who need them most in exchange for things that are even oftentimes old and almost useless. Filipinos extended their talent in cooking for others, fixing things for others, and many other services in exchange for some rice. People gave to those in need and even oftentimes refused to accept what is offered. The inspiring stories for every community are endless, growing in numbers each day. At the end of the day, no cash is allowed in these communities and members are bartering their personal assets. Unlike business entities with gross annual gross receipts subject to taxes, our members are not engaging in any business or activity for profit. The purpose is to help one another obtain essential goods and services and not to evade paying of taxes. When they bought items to exchange, taxes for the items where already paid.

All the bartering communities in the Global Barter Communities (GBC) abide with the highest standards in maintaining our respective the platforms – standards that may not even be followed in the society today.

We are united by a vision – to see a world where kindness is without borders and humanity is defined by the extent with which every race can help one another to survive the global impact of the pandemic and adapt to the “new normal”.  Our mission is to stand in solidarity as different barter communities established by local stakeholders in common mission to promote barter as part of our way of life as Filipinos.

In our handbook, our main objective is to strive to establish and redefine the traditional barter system as a new norm of helping one another and shall not in any way promote commercialism and materialism but positive values such as generosity, determination, honesty, patience, integrity, gender sensitivity, equality and ecological awareness.  We committed to promote these values as the cornerstones of our respective barter communities.

Our collective definition of barter is exchanging goods and services based on the mutual and voluntary decision of two persons. It is not selling, for the goods or services are not exchanged based on cash or price but value. It is not also donating for the good are not given without anything in exchange. The price of the item or service is never equal but the happiness and feeling of satisfaction should be equal. The items are of inconsequential nature or “deminimis” – just like you next door neighbor gives you eggs in exchange for your rice – so both households can have a complete meal.

Today, our barter communities serve as platforms around the world for people to meet and agree to exchange personal goods and services for personal use and consumption. The platforms do not interfere, intervene, force or influence any individual to enter into any barter agreement. Instead our online communities provided hope to many Filipinos to continue fighting poverty.

As virtual barter communities, we do not promote, endorse nor encourage any act that is against laws, morals, public order and public policy and shall immediately cease or refrain from any activity that it may later on become aware to be against laws, morals, public order and public policy. Just to share some of the items posted which we decline:

  1. Illegal, expired, indecent or defective items
  2. Posts which asks for cash or private message as mode of offer
  3. Posts that are for the purpose of selling or promoting products
  4. All live animals such as dogs and cats, birds and fishes, and wild animals
  5. All items subject to extraction or production permits such as gravel, charcoal and honey thereto depending on the ruling of local agencies in the area
  6. All drugs requiring prescription and similar items
  7. All items that require titles or paper before transfer can be made effective except for items of small value or under a mechanism to ensure existence of proper titles
  8. All items that are subject to company direct selling restrictions
  9. N95 or high-grade masks, airsoft, guns, firearms, weapons and indecent pictures that are flagged by FB community standards
  10. Vape and other items with pending prohibitory laws
  11. All posts with indecent pictures and captions
  12. All posts aimed at ridiculing or humiliating any member or individual or a sector
  13. All other posts asking for the above items in exchange for their bartered items
  14. All posts that does not indicate the requirements for a complete caption (description of item, reason of barter, decent and true pictures, must not contain price and must contain a basic or general description of the items they want in exchange)
  15. All other items that may be restricted by law and agencies in the future 

We are jointly appealing to the government of the Republic of the Philippines to help Filipinos cultivate kindness instead of greed, concern for others instead of always just thinking of ourselves and showing the world the true value of bayanihan.

To the DTI, we respectfully ask why your agency will be the one to hunt barter communities for tax laws and not the Bureau of Internal Revenue? We also ask what particular tax provisions are we violating that make online barter illegal and that you make us sound like criminals by saying you will “hunt” or “go after us”? Non-payment of taxes or even non-registration of business are not automatically criminal in nature. Why do we have to be this harsh to millions of Filipinos helping the government in helping other Filipinos in need.

We are appealing to your office to present to us alternative ways and solutions to help our economy, to help our less fortunate Filipinos, to help our millions of displaced workers, to help our MSMEs bounce back and try to find means to feed their workers, to help local stakeholders in ensuring everyone has something to it, to help farmers survive and still be productive, to help workers transition to digital platforms so they can earn, to help Filipino products hit local value chains so they can earn – may we respectfully ask the DTI to focus on these things.

Taxation is not your mandate. Helping Filipinos survive is – as your name implies – TRADE and INDUSTRY. We were counting on the DTI to be in the forefront of pushing the use of digital solutions to increase trade, to promote digital tools to especially to MSMES, and boost digital platforms to promote Filipino brands. But now you say we have to all go back to traditional ways.

PLEASE HELP US SECRETARY LOPEZ. OUR COMMUNITIES ARE HUNGRY. HELP US. DO NOT PIN US TO THE GROUND AND TAKE WHAT LITTLE DIGNITY LEFT OF US BY EXCHANGING OUR USED CLOTHES INSTEAD OF STEALING IN ORDER TO SURVIVE. If you must use the law, use it to help Filipinos but do further worsen our situation.

Please help us. Thank you for all the amazing and extraordinary things you do to help lift our economy during this pandemic as our highest national trade official in the Philippines, Mister Secretary Ramon Lopez! God bless you!

Abu Dhabi Barter Community
Agusan del Sur Barter Community
Aklan Barter Community
Alfonso Cavite Barter Community
Angeles City Barter Community
Arezzo Place Pasig Barter Community
Australia Barter Community
Bacolod Barter Community
Bago CIty Barter Community/Barter Me, Bago City
Baguio City Barter Community
Bahrain Barter Community
Bahrain Barter Society
Baler Aurora-Makati-Quezon City Barter Community
Barotac Viejo/Banate-Iloilo Barter Society
Barter Community Bataan
Barter and Dive
Batangas Barter Community
Baylo ta – Kalibo Barter Community
BF Homes Barter Community (Paranaque)
BFRV Barter Group
Bicol Barter Community
Binalbagan Barter Community
Biñan Barter Community
Borongan City Barter Community
Bogo City Barter Community
Brgy. Tabunan Barter Community
Bukidnon Barter Community
Bulacan Barter Community
Butuan City Barter Community (BCBC)
CAA Barter Community – Las Pinas
Cabuyao Barter Community
Cainta Barter Community
Calauan Laguna Barter Community
Calbayog Barter Community
Calinog Barter Community
Camalig First Barter Community
Camanava Barter Community
Cambodia Barter Community
Candoni Barter Community
Canlaon Barter Community
Carabalan Barter Community
Carmona Barter Community
Cauayan City Isabela Barter Community
Cauayan Barter Community Negros Occidental
Cavite Barter Community
Cebu City Barter Community
Concepcion Tarlac Barter Community
Davao Barter Community
Dubai Barter Community
Duero Barter Community
Dumaguete Barter Community
EB Magalona Barter Community
Filipino Barter Community in NZ
First Cavite Barter/Trade/Exchange items Community
General Trias Cavite Barter Community
Gibraltar Barter Community
Greenheights Village Barter Community
Himamaylan Barter Community
Hinobaan Barter Community
Ifugao Barter Community
Iloilo Barter Society
Iloilo City Barter Community
Isabelenos Swap/Barter Community
Jamindan Barter Community
Japan Barter Community
Kapalong Barter Community
Kuwait Barter Community
La Carlota Barter Community
La Castellana Barter Society
La Trinidad Barter Community
Laguna Barter Community
Lancaster Barter Community
Landayan Barter Community
Lapu Lapu City Barter Community
Las Piñas Barter Community
Las Piñas City Barter Community
Launion Barter Community
Leon Barter Community
Ligao Barter Community
Lipenos Barter Community
Los Baños Barter Community
Mabinay Barter Community
Majayjay Barter : A Community that Spread Kindness
Makati Barter Community
Malasiqui Barter Community
Malolos Barter Community
Malta Filipino Barter Community
Mandaluyong Barter Community
Manila Barter Community
Mansilingan Barter Community
Maragusan Barter Community
Marikina, Antipolo, & Rizal areas Barter Community
MBA (Manjuyod, Bindoy, Ayungon) Barter Community
Merville Barter Community
Metro Manila Barter Community (MMBC)
Moises Padilla Barter Community
Montalban Barter Community
Montalban Barter Community Official
Moscow Filipino Barter Society
Murcia Barter Community
Nasugbu-Lian Barter Community
Navotas Barter Community
Negros Barter Community
North Caloocan Barter Community
First Ormoc Barter Community
Oton Barter Community
Palo Barter Community
Paranaque Barter Society
Parang Marikina Barter Community
Pateros- Taguig Barter Community
Pontevedra Barter Community
Pulupandan Barter Community
Qatar Barter Community
Qatar Filipino Barter Community
Quezon City Barter Community
Quezon Province Official Barter Community
Rinconada Barter Community
Riyadh Barter Community
Rizal Barter Community
Roxas Barter Community
San Carlos City Barter Community
San Enrique Barter Community (Barteran sa Pueblo de Tinobagan)
San Jose Del Monte – Online Barter Community
San Jose del Monte City Barter Community
San Lorenzo South Sub. Barter
San Pedro Barter Community laguna
SantaBayaBas Barter Community
Silay City Barter Community
Silang Barter Community
Silaynon Barter Community and Abu Dhabi City Barter Community
Sipalay City Barter Community
Sixth District Negros Occidental Barter Community
Sogod Barter Community
Sta Rosa Laguna Barter Community
Sta. Cruz Barter Community (A province of Laguna)
Sum-ag Barter Community
Swap UP! Barter Community
Tacloban Barter Community
Tagum Barter Community (Official)
Tagum Barter Community
Tandag City Barter Community
Talisay Barter Community
Talisay Barter Community
Tampilisan Barter Community
Tayabas Barter community
Toboso Barter Community
Tubungan Barter Community
Tuguegaro Barter Community
Tunasan Barter Community
UPLB Barter Community
Valladolid Barter Community
Vallehermoso Barter Community
Victorias Barter Community
Xevera Bacolor Barter Community
Zambales Barter Community

DESIGN THINKING METRICS FOR RECOVERY

By Jocelle Batapa-Sigue

Initial Process: Identify and and empower key stakeholders to come together and ideate an initial recovery mission plan based on available resources, data, time and targets.

Three major areas – HEALTH, ECONOMY and SECURITY

Strenghten and Fortify Public Health Data and Delivery System to detect, isolate, treat, and trace accross all sectors using innovation and digital platforms.

Migrate all government transactions to digital to push private sector to follow

Restore, digitalize, innovate and assist sectors and industries in adapting to “new normal” and recovering from the adverse impacts of the pandemic.

HEALTH

Increase relevant infrastructure capacities like Internet, hospitals, mobile clinics

Upskill Frontliners and Essential Goods Sector Workers and Upscale Social Benefits and Protection

Create Regional Public Health Data and Delivery Clusters for faster systems to detect, test, trace and treat

ECONOMY

Open up, develop and support jobs and industries and all skilling program triggered by “new normal”

Implement a national social impact investment program for private sector to co-work with government in rebuilding the country

Create and develop value chain clusters among provinces for agriculture, food supply and essential goods

SECURITY

Create more virtual spaces for community-use such virtual classrooms, clinics, markets

Map out the whole transport and logistical capacity of the country for effective mechanisms to allow flow of goods and people without possibility of transmission

Develop community bayanihan systems to avoid hunger and criminalities

Video: On A Recovery Mission: Into The Light

The Positive Lessons You Can Teach Your Children From Bartering

JUNE 3, 2020

Bacolod Barter Community – The Positive Lessons You Can Teach Your Children From Bartering

Its always better to give than to receive. – Erma Calopez


Barter with kindness and not with the price of your items. – Bain Elemental


“One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure” – Azrael Lopez


Not be Demanding for dealing – Cris Cristian


Be contented – Joy Decastro

Sharing to those who needed the most. – Oshiro Keiko


Give without expecting. – Bandiola Faith Grace

Barter is Spreading kindness. We are letting go some memorable things that we do not use. and for make them to be useful. share them to others who see that the thing will be useful for them..
– Rinkashikimo Kutemeikito Rinkamikishashikakiji


Nothing and no one is useless kay big or small may value gid na and a place in somebody’s heart. #barterwithKindnessandaPurpose – Angelie Angie


Sharing is caring. – Jenny Gumban


“God loves a cheerful giver.” Kung pwede lang ihatag, ihatag nalang sa ga kinanglan bisan wala baylo – MD TG


We are all rich and at the same time, we are all poor. – Iliana Esereth


My twins (6 years old) have learned more the art of sharing, patience and acceptance. Sharing because they get to share their unused stuff (clothes, toys, books) to those who need it; patience because they have to wait for the replies from the owners of the things they want to barter with; and acceptance because they deal with the rejections when our offers don’t get picked. Above all, it is the simple joy of giving and receiving without looking at its monetary value. It’s priceless to see the excitement and smiles on their faces, even just for a pack of Yakult or a bag of chips (much more when it is for a toy or a book!) Us adults could learn a lot from these kiddos! – Carol Ann DelaCruz-Historiador


Helping the world heal through kindness and compassion while being environmentally-friendly at the same time. – Blanche Denise Fernandez


Makontento kung anong bagay ang natatanggap mo. At tumulong ng walang hinihinging kapalit
– Apol Apol Apol


Joy, thankful& Happiness. – Thamiea Banguis Castanares


NO ITEMS ARE WASTED. Things not useful to you is useful to others…. and you develop more kindness and appreciate more the attitude of sharing and giving which is more important than taking. – November Amie Cascolan Vargas


Give and take with love and a cause and purpose. Be a blessing to others who are in need. – Teiluj Sarsis Galang


Just teach them the kindness if makita sng mga kids nga ga help ka without any expectations in return they will mark in their minds until they grew up and for sure they will do it also. – Lanie Gaitan Garcia


When you received something more than what you expect, pay it forward. – Anji Fort Port


It is in giving that we receive. Pay it forward. – Janz Tamba


A gift of value is more important than the price. – Emong Bepost


May mga bagay na may kaunting halaga sayo ngunit maaring magbigay ng lubos na kaligayahan sa iba. Importance of things depend on the person that values it. Learn to value and share
– Indiano Odeirrac


Sharing is caring especially to the needy.- Marilyn Caña Carampatana


Another person’s junk can be another person’s treasure. – Wu Jun Jiang


Giving smile to them, meet new friends, happiness by giving and contentment. – Miel Lorenzo Basanes

The values of sharing and generosity brings forth kindness, love and service beyond self while touching the lives of not even the ones in need but people of the community. – Emz Flores


Barter reveals the true value of goods based on needs of different people. And that is the very essence of things we should look at it based on our need. – Siong de la Cruz


It’s not about the price..just share wat u have. – Lara Clemente


It’s better to give than receive. – Myrel Cayao


Bartering has taught my children the value of sharing what you have without expecting the same value in return. – Jess Dia Libs


God blessed you to be a blessing. – Joanne U. Griffen


Our kids learn to choose a more sustainable and productive hobby because of their father’s hobby of herbs growing flow a lot of stuff and wonderful experiences for everything you sow, you shall reap! – Prezel Pacina- Ursal


Kindness to share our valuable things we cherish to person in need also. Happy seeing people smile trading stuffs. It is not d value or the price but the thought itself. – Andromeda Watson


It’s not so much about the things we acquire through bartering, but the beautiful story which has been built behind it. Things will soon outlive their monetary value, yet the experiences that embellished our hearts will bear fruit in our lives—becomes the values-pattern of the next generation.- Rodnel Ryan Mariefe Macaya


Giving the best without expecting too much in return. – Mary Michelle Montebon


That it’s ok to let go of the things that once matter to us.. same as letting go of hatred and failures. – Lybe Quillas Carlos


To value relationships. To respect people regardless of their looks or status in life. To never judge or belittle someone. – Alexander Walker


The idea of letting go something for someone’s better use and freely give more to someone other than self. – Judith Rosacena Mirasol

Money is not the basis of a true wealth, it is the value of every little things you have we shared and enjoyed.- Jo Lemz


Old but Gold. – Michael Toledano


Kindness, value small things. – Ceniza Cequina Garcia


Kindness and they will know or understand that there are things that are not important to them but to others it is their needs. Better to give than to receive. – Jeanne Dangco Erebaren


I don’t have a child yet but if ever, the greatest lesson I can teach my future children about bartering is that the things you may have but you do not need is a dream for someone to have. Sharing is a fulfillment in the heart that cannot be compared. – Ara Mae Quirante Garcero


Love tungod kun may ara ka gugma naga follow na lang na sa imo maayo nga binuhatan sa pareho mo nga tawo. – Sharon Fuentebella


Always be a little kinder than necessary. – Rubi Alvarez


Teaching my children the value of sharing. – May-ann Biocon Calosa Patricio


Sharing is caring. – Franz Arthur


Positivity.Happiness.TouchLives.TouchHearts.BeAGiver. – Rhonalyn Guerrero


The art of letting go. – Regina Gico -Derramas


Kindness, the art of letting go, it’s not the value but the act of sharing and seeing another person happy. – Z Ahnna Lee Tiapz


Understanding our basic need, and that sometimes it is okay to give than to receive. – Arvin Gee


The value of Kindness and generosity. The value of buying & keeping only what is essential because time will come you will have to let go of those that don’t matter anymore, to let go of what no longer matters to give way for new things to come!- Shella Pabon


To make someone or Family happy. – Eleulyn Durando Borenes


Love sharing and always thank you to God. – Albia Panes Jennifer


That material returns aren’t always the reason we barter but also to give what others need more than we do. – Joan Briones


Giving and sharing part of good works that can praise God through his goodness kag sa mga nahimo nya nga kaayo sa aton kabuhi” – Maria Mae Tacsagon Garbanzos


Always gid paminsaron mangin maalwan sa isig ka pareho. Kay sa diri nga kalibutan Wala man sang kwarta kag pigado indi na hadlang para maka bulig ka sa imo pareho. Kag permi gd paminsaron nga ang Ginoo gatamod sa aton Adlaw adlaw kung ano na himo mo nga maayo sa sini nga kalibutan paga bugayan ka sa langit sang subra subra. – Katrina Mercurio


Touch lives, be kind and the art of letting go. – Juaymay Rojo


The value of a thing is nothing than the happiness of someone giving and sharing is more  important than the quantity and quality of a thing .- Angelica Mana-ay Pactao


“It is in sharing that we receive.” – Jose Stanley B. Mendoza


Bartering can create friendship and showing care even if you didn’t know each other. – Regz Badilla


Your trash…my treasure. – Raquel Lecia Lacson-Torrento


Bartering is a generous way to feel the needy ones. helping one another to make the  relationship united even we did not know each other till we become close at heart.- Felma Templado


Lesson of desiring less. – Meddie Arbolado, Jr.


Barter is just like Marketing…a human activity to satisfy needs and wants through exchange processes, however, no money involve. It’s a unique marketing practice upheld by our very our own early maharlikans in origin before the colonization by the Spaniards in 1521. – Alto J. Torres


Be happy all the time. – Shoobing Rotsap


Letting go so someone can make use of it.- Monida Jp Estrella


Kindness and thoughtfulness. – Lito Gepaya


Happiness does not have a price. – Avril Elaine Gamboa – Sabio


May mga bagay nga kinanglan e let go. – Augustus Eustace Rex


Sharing. -Sarj Acilac


Keeping and taking care of kids things that we don’t know others would appreciate even to the least value can be of help to others. Sharing is all that matters. -Yap Pang


Bartering so as to let go of the past with no regrets -Ate Peach


We can share our things with love and joy. – Erlinda Geroy Ymalay


Honesty and friendship. – Nicole Holm


It’s not the price of the items worth its how you make someone happy. Share kindness. – Chez S. Chi Gellecano


Needs (life and health) versus wants (expensive things). – Kiel Ziah


The barter system, the art of letting go, and the beauty of genuine kindness. – Lilianne Irene Yap


The practice of minimalism – to keep only things that spark joy. – Joyce Gonzaga-Solinap


The happiness of sharing without much expectation. “ better to give than to receive”. – Bambi Macaron Yudelmo


Barter with kindness. – Mab Asiain


Sincerity and caring to other people’s need. – Elisa Yap Casipe


My only child learned how to be persistent .He did not bothered to ask for new shoes but instead bartered his old things to have the shoes he wanted.- Sheryl Profeta Alinar


I will teach my little one that it’s not always about money. Attitude, Character is more important and money and blessing just comes along if you have the right character and skills.
Always be good to others, never judge anyone, because you never know what they are going through. And that you can never go wrong with kindness. Also, not every day you win but as long as you won’t give up on what you want, one day you will reach your goals and dreams.
And to have a generous heart to help others even if you are consider as one of the poorest of the poor. They is always something that you can offer to the world. – Cherzie Gales-Francisco


Honesty, integrity and compassion. – SnookAnn Tan


It’s better to give than to receive. – Yvonne Garrucho


That,s why, we have to spread kindness. Don’t value the items that we are bartering, instead it’s just like giving them for d benifit of our bbc group thru barter. – Angelo Torrecampo


Yong binibigyan mo ng halaga ang pangangailangan ng iba. – Jolly Lavado


That when you give, give wholeheartedly . -Zilla Rozzi Javier



GLOBAL BARTER COMMUNITIES HANDBOOK

GLOBAL BARTER COMMUNITIES HANDBOOK

By Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, Juris Doctor, Founder, Global Barter Communities (May 17, 2020) and Bacolod Barter Community (May 8, 2020)

ARTICLE 1 – VISION AND MISSION

Section 1. The Global Barter Communities (GBC) envisions a world where kindness is without borders and humanity is defined by the extent with which every race can help one another to survive the global impact of the pandemic and adapt to the “new normal”.  We stand in solidarity as different barter communities established by local stakeholders in common mission to promote barter as part of our way of life as Filipinos.

Section 2. We will strive to establish and redefine the traditional barter system as a new norm of helping one another and shall not in any way promote commercialism and materialism but positive values such as generosity, determination, honesty, patience, integrity, gender sensitivity, equality and ecological awareness.  We commit to promote these values as the cornerstones of our respective barter communities.

Section 3. Barter is exchanging goods and services based on the mutual and voluntary decision of two persons. It is not selling, for the goods or services are not exchanged based on price but value. It is not also donating for the good are not given without anything in exchange. The price of the item or service is never equal but the happiness and feeling of satisfaction should be equal. We commit to encourage the members of our community to embrace these values.

Section 4. The barter communities shall serve as platforms for people to meet and agree to exchange goods. It shall not interfere, intervene, force or influence any individual to enter into any barter agreement. The barter agreement ensuing from the barter communities shall be the responsibility of members involved therein.  

Section 5. The barter communities shall not promote, endorse nor encourage any act that is against laws, morals, public order and public policy and shall immediately cease or refrain from any activity that it may later on become aware to be against laws, morals, public order and public policy.

ARTICLE 2 – AFFILIATION

Section 1. Barter communities which adopted the rules started by the Bacolod Barter Community on May 8, 2020 shall be accepted and recognized as affiliates of the Global Barter Communities. Our goal is to ensure the highest standard of character and reputation of all the founders in their respective areas. Interaction between all the communities and community founders shall be one of solidarity, honor, respect and mutual benefit.

Section 2. There is no fee or consideration to affiliate except the full commitment of the founders to devote time and talent to managing a healthy barter community. Any barter community that manifestly digresses from the values of the Global Barter Communities may be disaffiliated, subject to due process.

Section 3. No affiliate shall grant any recognition in behalf of the Global Barter Communities at will.

ARTICLE 3. MECHANICS

Section 1. The barter community is a private group where our medium of exchange consist of items and/or services – No cash or any equivalent of cash shall be allowed to be requested or offered. Strictly no buying or selling in this group.

Section 2. Only members using their name and details and are willing to abide with group rules shall be admitted. Any member proven to be violating any rule shall be removed automatically.

Section 3. Post the item you want to exchange with anyone subject to approval of moderators. Each community shall enlist the help of professionals of good standing in the community as volunteers subject to a commitment not to disclose all data belonging to the community. Character references may be requested from volunteer moderators.

Section 4. The barter community shall only approve posts with the following conditions:

  1. Must have name or full description of item
  2. Must have reason of Barter
  3. Must be accompanied with decent pictures
  4. Must not contain price
  5. Must contain a generic description of the items they want in exchange

Section 5. The following posts shall be declined automatically:

  1. Illegal, expired, indecent or defective items
  2. Posts which asks for cash or private message as mode of offer
  3. Posts that are for the purpose of selling or promoting products
  4. Dogs and cats, birds and fishes, wild animals and all animal subject to permits but not limited thereto, except livestock or animal for food and gaming
  5. All items subject to extraction or production permits such as gravel, charcoal and honey thereto depending on the ruling of local agencies in the area
  6. All drugs requiring prescription and similar items
  7. All items that require titles or paper before transfer can be made effective except for items of small value or under a mechanism to ensure existence of proper titles
  8. All items that are subject to company direct selling restrictions
  9. N95 or high-grade masks, airsoft, guns, weapons and indecent pictures that are flagged by FB community standards
  10. Vape and other items with pending prohibitory laws
  11. All posts without pictures and captions or with indecent pictures and captions
  12. All posts aimed at ridiculing or humiliating any member or individual or a sector
  13. All other posts asking for the above items in exchange for their bartered items
  14. All posts that does not indicate the requirements for in Rule 4 (Name or full description of item, Reason of Barter, Decent and true pictures, must not contain price and must contain a basic or general description of the items they want in exchange)
  15. All other items that may be restricted by law and agencies in the future 

Section 6. Then other members can offer an item and you can choose which one you like from the ones offered. No member shall be allowed to send via private message his or her offer or shall offer cash. No one shall offer cash or force anyone to accept any offer. No indecent or vulgar offer is allowed. The Page shall not be liable for your own choice.

Section 7. The offers can go on in the thread until the one who posted selects from the thread by replying DEAL to the choice and restating the goods exchange. The Page shall not be responsible for your exchange. Everyone is assumed to have entered to the agreement with sound mind and freedom. By entering into a “deal”, both parties are said to have had a meeting of the minds to enter into a barter agreement.

  1. Once the choice has been made the barter is now deemed completed. Both parties must agree by expressly stating DEAL. No one is allowed to steal any closed deal. No one is allowed to offer anything to take what is being offered in another thread.
  2. No one shall be forced to make a choice immediately. Anyone badgering a member to make a choice shall be removed. A member can also delete his post if he has not found any offers he want, unless he has already made a deal. However, a member who consistently post without choosing an offer, shall be subject for removal. Admin shall also exercise right to remove unresponsive posts after a minimum of 3 days since posting to give way to new posts.
  • Members are encouraged to barter food, ingredients, edibles, beauty products or toiletries and other essentials. No harmful, unlawful, expired, indecent or unlicensed items please. Please report any post which are suspicious and unlawful or any misrepresentations.
  • Then members may use delivery systems or other arrangements that you agree on mutually. Please keep numbers, delivery addresses and other personal information secure. Discuss delivery arrangements in private messages.
  • Strictly no minors allowed. Each member shall be responsible and consenting adults dealing with one another in good faith. It is presumed that all the one bartering possess full ownership and right of disposal of the items being bartered.
  • Once exchange is complete, please edit your post and indicate Barter Completed, Done, Completed or Closed. The member is advised to mute commenting on his post. The member can delete his post once exchange is made or even after deal is closed at your convenience. Admin reserves right to delete post after the consummation of barter.
  • The Page will not be liable or responsible for transactions between parties in this page. No fees shall be collected for posting or participation in this page.
  • All members shall support to help keep the group fun, dynamic, useful and inspiring in this time of pandemic.

Section 8. The communities may also allow other types of posts such “looking for” and promotions posts but must have all the mechanics of bartering still apply.

ARTICLE 4 – ADMINISTRATORS AND MODERATORS

Section 1.  The founder of the community is ideally the Administrator of the community. He or she should be of good moral character and good standing in the community and must have visible means of income or profession.

Section 2. The Moderators shall also be persons of good standing in the community, preferably a college graduate or a professional. Before a moderator is admitted, he or she must be requested to email the Administrator of his or her desire to do volunteer work without compensation, and must clearly state his or her commitment not to disclose, misuse or arrogate upon as his or her own any and all data that belongs to the group page. Any leak of information to personal data of all members shall be considered a breach that requires the removal of the moderator.

Section 3. The moderator shall submit at least two names and contact details of prominent individuals as character references.

Section 4. All Administrators and Moderators shall be motivated at all times by civic spirit or the “bayanihan spirit” and innovation in building and maintaining the community instead or business and personal interest so as not to affect the vision of the community.

Section 5. The Administrator shall manage the group in a spirit of collaboration and consensus and must seek to resolve all problems and conflicts in a positive way. The growth and development of the community shall be higher than individual differences.

ARTICLE 5 – DEGREE OF INVOLVEMENT

Section 1. The barter community shall serve as a platform for people to come to “a meeting of the minds” to exchange goods and services. But it shall not interfere with transactions in the barter posts and will have no responsibility over the mutual decisions and arrangements of two consenting adult parties, except for the purpose of ensuring that the proper mechanics are followed. Towards this end, the Administrator shall regularly issue announcements, reminders, tips and advisory to keep the members informed. Lack of information may result to breakdown of compliance.

Section 2. The Administrator shall create platforms for members to easily report and suggest improvements as well help police the community. Here are some of the suggested grounds to report for purposes of blocking and removing a member:

  1. Asked or demand cash in private message or during meetup
    1. Deliver wrong, fake or insufficient item as agreed
    1. Insulting a member or an item and exhibiting rude or indecent behavior on comments
    1. Suddenly just cancelled completed deal for no valid reason
    1. Misrepresented an item to be working but is actually defective
    1. Spreading and commenting negative vibes in the threads about members and about the page
    1. Demanding to be chosen and badgering member in PM to be chosen despite a close deal
    1. Stealing an offer or offering something to a member who is offering in a post (suhot)
    1. Unreasonably arguing with or putting to shame or inciting other to put to shame any or all group administrators or moderators and similar actions

Section 3. The Administrator shall constantly create activities to help motivate the members and be virtually engaged, by documenting success stories, creating polls, developing daily challenges for members to participate in.

ARTICLE 6 – INNOVATION AND LEARNING

Section 1. The founders of a barter community shall continuously connect with various founders to exchange best practices and learn from one another. They must also keep abreast with laws and policies to improve their respective communities. Activities that allow various communities to collaborate are highly encouraged.

Section 2. The barter community may undertake programs to raise funds for the community or prizes and resources for programs and activities but not for the monetary gain of any founder, unless the same is an authorized and recognized work related to the management of the community, subject to proper accounting procedures.

ARTICLE 7 – INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

Section 1. This handbook belongs to the Global Barter Communities and shall not be in anyway duplicated without proper authority, including any and all materials shared by members, unless authorized by creators. Any use or duplication or any part of this handbook shall be actionable in court.

ARTICLE 8 – GOVERNING LAWS

Section 1 – The governing laws for barter agreements are found in the Civil Code of the Philippines, specifically Book IV, as follows:

Art. 1954. A contract whereby one person transfers ownership on non-fungible things to another with the obligation of the part of the latter to give things of the same kind, quality and quantity shall be considered as barter.

Title VII. – BARTER OR EXCHANGE

Art. 1638. By the contract of barter or exchange one of the parties binds himself to give one thing in consideration of the other’s promise to give another thing.

Art. 1639. If one of the contracting parties, having received the thing promised him in barter, should prove that it did not belong to the person who gave it, he cannot be compelled to deliver that which he offered in exchange, but he shall be entitled to damages.

Art. 1640. One who loses by eviction the thing received in barter may recover that which he gave in exchange with a right to damages, or he may only demand an indemnity for damages. However, he can only make use of the right to recover the thing which he has delivered while the same remains in the possession of the other party, and without prejudice to the rights acquired in good faith in the meantime by a third person.

Art. 1641. As to all matters not specifically provided for in this Title, barter shall be governed by the provisions of the preceding Title relating to sales.

ARTICLE 8 – APPLICABILITY

Section 1 – This manual shall be adopted voluntarily by communities joining as affiliates of the Global Barter Community and shall not be in anyway forced upon. However, any community maybe disaffiliated for conducting its operations in contravention of the vision, mission and core value of the GBC.

May 17, 2020. Bacolod City, Philippines.

Abu Dhabi Barter Community
Agusan del Sur Barter Community
Aklan Barter Community
Alfonso Cavite Barter Community
Angeles City Barter Community
Arezzo Place Pasig Barter Community
Australia Barter Community
Bacolod Barter Community
Bago CIty Barter Community/Barter Me, Bago City
Baguio City Barter Community
Bahrain Barter Community
Bahrain Barter Society
Baler Aurora-Makati-Quezon City Barter Community
Barotac Viejo/Banate-Iloilo Barter Society
Barter Community Bataan
Barter and Dive
Batangas Barter Community
Baylo ta – Kalibo Barter Community
BF Homes Barter Community (Paranaque)
BFRV Barter Group
Bicol Barter Community
Binalbagan Barter Community
Biñan Barter Community
Borongan City Barter Community
Bogo City Barter Community
Brgy. Tabunan Barter Community
Bukidnon Barter Community
Bulacan Barter Community
Butuan City Barter Community (BCBC)
CAA Barter Community – Las Pinas
Cabuyao Barter Community
Cainta Barter Community
Calauan Laguna Barter Community
Calbayog Barter Community
Calinog Barter Community
Camalig First Barter Community
Camanava Barter Community
Cambodia Barter Community
Candoni Barter Community
Canlaon Barter Community
Carabalan Barter Community
Carmona Barter Community
Cauayan City Isabela Barter Community
Cauayan Barter Community Negros Occidental
Cavite Barter Community
Cebu City Barter Community
Concepcion Tarlac Barter Community
Davao Barter Community
Dubai Barter Community
Duero Barter Community
Dumaguete Barter Community
EB Magalona Barter Community
Filipino Barter Community in NZ
First Cavite Barter/Trade/Exchange items Community
General Trias Cavite Barter Community
Gibraltar Barter Community
Greenheights Village Barter Community
Himamaylan Barter Community
Hinobaan Barter Community
Ifugao Barter Community
Iloilo Barter Society
Iloilo City Barter Community
Isabelenos Swap/Barter Community
Jamindan Barter Community
Japan Barter Community
Kapalong Barter Community
Kuwait Barter Community
La Carlota Barter Community
La Castellana Barter Society
La Trinidad Barter Community
Laguna Barter Community
Lancaster Barter Community
Landayan Barter Community
Lapu Lapu City Barter Community
Las Piñas Barter Community
Las Piñas City Barter Community
Launion Barter Community
Leon Barter Community
Ligao Barter Community
Lipenos Barter Community
Los Baños Barter Community
Mabinay Barter Community
Majayjay Barter : A Community that Spread Kindness
Makati Barter Community
Malasiqui Barter Community
Malolos Barter Community
Malta Filipino Barter Community
Mandaluyong Barter Community
Manila Barter Community
Mansilingan Barter Community
Maragusan Barter Community
Marikina, Antipolo, & Rizal areas Barter Community
MBA (Manjuyod, Bindoy, Ayungon) Barter Community
Merville Barter Community
Metro Manila Barter Community (MMBC)
Moises Padilla Barter Community
Montalban Barter Community
Montalban Barter Community Official
Moscow Filipino Barter Society
Murcia Barter Community
Nasugbu-Lian Barter Community
Navotas Barter Community
Negros Barter Community
North Caloocan Barter Community
First Ormoc Barter Community
Oton Barter Community
Palo Barter Community
Paranaque Barter Society
Parang Marikina Barter Community
Pateros- Taguig Barter Community
Pontevedra Barter Community
Pulupandan Barter Community
Qatar Barter Community
Qatar Filipino Barter Community
Quezon City Barter Community
Quezon Province Official Barter Community
Rinconada Barter Community
Riyadh Barter Community
Rizal Barter Community
Roxas Barter Community
San Carlos City Barter Community
San Enrique Barter Community (Barteran sa Pueblo de Tinobagan)
San Jose Del Monte – Online Barter Community
San Jose del Monte City Barter Community
San Lorenzo South Sub. Barter
San Pedro Barter Community laguna
SantaBayaBas Barter Community
Silay City Barter Community
Silang Barter Community
Silaynon Barter Community and Abu Dhabi City Barter Community
Sipalay City Barter Community
Sixth District Negros Occidental Barter Community
Sogod Barter Community
Sta Rosa Laguna Barter Community
Sta. Cruz Barter Community (A province of Laguna)
Sum-ag Barter Community
Swap UP! Barter Community
Tacloban Barter Community
Tagum Barter Community (Official)
Tagum Barter Community
Tandag City Barter Community
Talisay Barter Community
Talisay Barter Community
Tampilisan Barter Community
Tayabas Barter community
Toboso Barter Community
Tubungan Barter Community
Tuguegaro Barter Community
Tunasan Barter Community
UPLB Barter Community
Valladolid Barter Community
Vallehermoso Barter Community
Victorias Barter Community
Xevera Bacolor Barter Community
Zambales Barter Community

Digital Barter: Kindness without borders

An idea whose time has come again. The barter trade dates back to more than 6000 BC but today mode than 8000 years later, it has become part of what the pandemic-stricken world calls as New Normal.

Last March 15, 2020, Bacolod City was among the cities in the Philippines that was covered by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). Only selected individuals were given quarantine passes while the rest of the city, with a population of more than half a million, stays at home. This got me into thinking how the rest of us can get what we need without going through the long lines of in the grocery stores during limited hours. The pains of financial losses also started to seep in workers, who are mostly daily-wage earners lost opportunities of earning money.   

When lockdown restrictions happened, I knew I won’t be able to stay still and just watch the events unfold without doing anything. Every day, I find myself sitting in front of my computer taking stock of all the ideas inside my head, which we tag as innovation, and which I call as simply doing new things to get new results.

My mind was running fast as I regularly post on Facebook, share on Viber and WhatsApp groups about ideas that I discuss with startups and other innovators. Digital registration and payments for social amelioration program (SAP) beneficiaries to avoid queuing, mobile boticas especially for senior citizens, vegetable (utan) community kitchen instead of simply distributing sardines, contact tracing applications, eHealth solutions, farm to table solutions, and reviving the barter system.

The UN WHO COVID Response Badges

When I saw the United Nations COVID19 Response badges in April when I joibed the TalentHouse Design Contest – the orange badge caught my attention – #SpreadKindness. For weeks, I was depressed not being someone who’s in the frontlines. But I told myself, maybe – there is a way I can earn myself at least one badge. And I knew the easiest was #SpreadKindness.

One by one, I saw my ideas fusing with other startups who thought of the same ideas. Despite being in quarantine, I felt useful simply by just listening to these startups and providing them with advise and suggestions, and helping promote their applications. The whole quarantine period has made me busier than in normal times.

Of the ideas I have, I was able to start a page for laws and circulars called “Natty” in honor of Natividad Almeda-Lopez, the first woman lawyer in the Philippines. In a smaller scale, I and my husband who cooks “utan” quite well, started “Utan4All”, which as of today already shared “utan” for 28 days to poor communities. I acted as mentor to a startup project called booqbcd.com, an online medical consultation website which now has more than thirty volunteer doctors in Bacolod. Every day I create designs for my ideas and for various organizations.

On May 8, 2020, around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, I finally felt exasperated about not even having the simple pleasure of choosing toiletries for myself and would simply list what I needed for my husband twice a week grocery trip.  Then it crossed my mind to personally start a group to revive the barter system – and called it BACOLOD BARTER COMMUNITY. I never had any name in my mind except that and never changed the group name to this day. Community is the important word for me. Humbly speaking, it never occured to me at that time that May 8, 2020 is going to be historic.

I invited around twenty friends and they also invited more. I posted my first item – an extra liquid eyeliner which I haven’t opened because I didn’t like the color.  When I went to check that night, a friend already offered to exchange vegetables and fruits for it. I cannot explain my happiness – that something that I don’t use now produced something I can actually enjoy.

The next day, it grew to a thousand, on its 27th day, the Bacolod Barter Community, now popularly know as BBC has more than 195,000 members.

A whole lechon in exchange for anything other than food, large orchid plants for a sack of rice to be given to a poor senior citizen, or a refrigerator for a COVID-19 testing center in exchange for a Red Cross pin, or a bowl of “aratiles for happy hormones” in exchange for a branded cologne. These are just some of the bartered items at BBC.

The pandemic has triggered a mode of exchange of good and services that existed some 6000 BC to surface again. The barter system which was started by the Mesopotamian tribes, Phoenicians and Babylonians some eight thousand years ago has now been resurrected with a more meaningful dimension, triggering the Filipino “Bayanihan” spirit of giving.

Just when the country’s economy faces a potential collapse, Bacolodnons started to show the world that money is not everything.  As councilor of Bacolod for nine years and an advocate for information and communications technology (ICT), I have always championed the use of social media for good. With thousands of Facebook followers and more the than fifty pages and groups that I manage of Facebook, I thought about starting a page where people can exchange goods without using money. Initially, I designed the group page only for women so we can exchange cosmetics and personal items.

In trade, barter is defined as system of exchange where participants in a transaction directly exchange goods or services for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money.

But this traditional activity has become more inspiring today since there is a need to create innovative solutions to the adverse effects of the quarantine.  I am particularly inspired to see members letting go of expensive bags, perfumes, and other personal items in exchange for sacks of rice, sardines, noodles, milk, used foams and blankets for poor families.

A second-hand Ford Ecosport, microwave ovens, industrial coffee makers, electric fans, television sets, sacks of rice and trays of eggs, orchids and large potted plants, garden soil, branded clothes, bags and perfumes, cakes and dishes, signature watches and shoes, cosmetics and toiletries, infant formula, baby cribs and toys, books and paintings, jewelries, guitars, chandeliers, and dog food are just some of the items being exchanged at the Bacolod Barter Community.

I am inspired to see people finding what they need from other members like seafood, a can of Spam or corned beef, large water containers, used bicycles, electric mixers, seedlings, art materials and even cravings for “aratiles”.  

The mechanics I set for the page was simple. Using my lawyer’s lens, I just had to seal the so-called “meeting of the minds” in contracts with two parties saying “deal”. The medium of exchange are items and no cash is allowed. Buying or selling is strictly prohibited. Members can post pictures of the item they want to barter with its details or description and estimated worth. Initially, members can also mention the things they want or are looking for in exchange for the items they posted. But now, we discourage this practice.

Then other members can comment in the thread, particularly to ask questions or to offer an item. The process continues until the owner of the item chooses from the thread. Once the choice has been made the barter is now deemed completed and both parties are asked to shout out “deal”.

Once exchange is completed, the members are requested to edit their post and indicate that the barter is completed, done, or closed.

Initially, the page encourages food, ingredients, edibles, beauty products or toiletries, but after a week, it has become a source of a variety of items. No harmful, unlawful, expired, indecent or unlicensed items are allowed, and members are immediately asked to report posts that violate rules or appear suspicious, illegal, or bearing any misrepresentation. Now the list is continously growing.

The parties then agree in the thread for the exchange or delivery arrangements. Members are encouraged to keep their contact numbers, delivery addresses and other personal information secure and discuss delivery arrangements in private messages.

Strictly no minors are allowed in the page. Each member shall be responsible as consenting adults dealing with one another in good faith. It is presumed that all the items being bartered are owned or can be rightfully disposed by the person bartering them off. Members are also required to fully disclose the correct class, grade, model, state, or quality of the items.

As part of the mechanics, I encourage the members to keep the page fun, dynamic, useful, and inspiring in this time of pandemic. Every day, we have challenges to keep the members engaged and aligned to the vision.

The first week of the community page drew so much attention that private and public sector leaders and citizens of other cities and municipalities in the Province of Negros Occidental started to permission to copy the format. Today, more than a a hundred cities and provinces around the country have already started their own barter community page.

A few days after I opened the Bacolod Barter Community, I also started Global Barter Communities so I can help other communities and we can share best practices. Here are some of the communities whose founders reached out and joined our best practices community. The list is actually growing each day. I am sure I am missing many cover photos in the gallery.

Manila Barter Community Founder Shumate Royo conceptualized the initail cover photo design and tagline: Commecting Communities Through Bartering.

Therea are also many other barter communities which chose to use their own cover photo designs as well as many other which reached out after they have established their ow Facebook groups.

We have a founders community group to serve as platform for sharing best practices. Here are excerpts of our barter manual:

VISION: The Global Barter Communities (GBC) envisions a world where kindness is without borders and humanity is define by the extend with which every race can help one another to survive the global impact of the pandemic and adopt to the “new normal”.  We stand in solidarity as different barter communities established by local stakeholders in common mission to promote barter as part of our way of life as Filipinos.

MISSION: We will strive to establish and redefine the traditional barter system as a new norm of helping one another and shall not in anyway promote commercialism and materialism but positive values such as generosity, determination, honesty, patience, integrity, gender sensitivity, equality and ecological awareness.  We commit to promote these values as the cornerstones of our respective barter communities.

CORE VALUE: Barter is exchanging goods and services based on the mutual and voluntary decision of two persons. It is not selling, for the good are not exchange based on price but value. It is not also donating for the good are not given without anything in exchange. It The price of the item or service is never equal but the happiness and feeling of satisfaction should be equal. We commit to encourage the members of our community to embrace these values.

Although money is the standard and most effective means of economic exchange, but these are not normal times and there is limited mobility of people, services and goods, and the lockdown restrictions affected many families, even those in the middle class. 

Economists since the times of Adam Smith, known as the Father of Modern Economy in the 1700s believe that pre-modern societies engaged in barter before using money as means to exchange goods and services. Eventually, due to the inefficiency of barter due to the “double coincidence of wants” or that both parties need to have what the other wants, the use of money came about.

Barter is said to have been replaced by the monetary system because there is no common measure of value in barter and certain goods are indivisible to serve as a unit of another good which is worth more than what the person wants to obtain. There also is a lack of standards for deferred payments, and difficulty in storing wealth, hence modern society found it impractical.

Today, modern barter and trade is said to have evolved considerably to become an effective method of increasing sales, conserving cash, moving inventory, and making use of excess production capacity for businesses around the world. Barter has taken on a new meaning amidst the pandemic. It has become a platform for people to find what they need and to let go of things that they do not need anymore. It helps the environment by making sure that things are used and not just wasted. It also allows members to raise resources using items so they can give out to communities in need.

The Digital Age have greatly boosted humanitarian advocacies today, allowing people to create more meaningful impact to their communities in the face of global crisis with the “Bayanihan” spirit. 

Because the pandemic has no borders, the coronavirus has claimed millions of lives around the world. But kindness, too has no borders. Let us #SpreadKindness to save millions of life.

Angara: Faster Growth of Digital Careers to Address Impact of COVID-19 to Employment

Over the course of the lockdown imposed in Luzon and other parts of the country, work from home has become the new normal for offices that continue to function.

For many businesses and even the government service, Senator Sonny Angara sees the work from home arrangements continuing even after the lockdown is lifted or at least until a vaccine is found for COVID-19.

In some cases, businesses have also made adjustments to their operations because of the losses they have incurred over the lockdown period and this includes downsizing.

“We are seeing the growth of the so-called gig economy in the country and with the extended period of the lockdown being implemented because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be even more activities on this front as businesses have to adjust to the new normal,” Angara said.

“Workers affected by the lockdown will also be exploring new ways to make a living and with many businesses shutting down because they are unable to cope with their losses, people will start looking at alternative means of livelihood,” he added.

To prepare Filipinos for the skills needed for the gig economy and to promote and strengthen digital careers, Angara has filed Senate Bill 1469 or the National Digital Careers Act.

The gig economy refers to the practice of companies of hiring short-term, independent contractors or freelancers.

Jobs available to these freelancers usually fall under the umbrella of digital careers and in most instances the work is done outside of the office and payment is made based on output and fulfillment of deliverables.

There are also freelance jobs that have become staples in the Philippine setting such as those in Transportation Network Vehicle Service system, food delivery and courier services, and even home sharing.

In 2019, Forbes ranked the Philippines sixth among the fastest growing markets for freelancers, with a 35 percent income growth from the previous year.

Paypal, in its 2018 Global Freelancer Insights Report, analyzed 22 countries and noted that the Philippines has one of the highest number of freelancers per capita, at around two percent or roughly 1.5 to two million Filipinos.

“Freelancers are usually paid very well. They get to work at home, at their own pace, and without their micromanaging bosses looming over them. It’s the perfect set up for people who qualify for these jobs,” Angara said.

“On the part of the employers, hiring freelancers mean lower costs on their part and they get to tap a huge talent pool, all of which would make a positive impact on their bottom line,” he added.

The bill seeks to establish a legal framework for the gig economy that will map out strategies to promote and strengthen digital careers and institutionalize employment standards for digital career workers.

It also tasks the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to create, design and develop programs to ensure access to trainings, market and other forms of support or innovation strategies for digital careers.

“But first we have to ensure that the infrastructure is in place, specifically to provide reliable, high-speed internet access in all areas of the country. A lot of our activities under the new normal will rely on internet connectivity—be it education or commerce, so this must be among our national priorities now,” Angara said.

Under the bill, the DICT, together with the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Public Works and Highways and other relevant departments and agencies are tasked to ensure universal access to high-speed, quality and affordable internet by prioritizing and facilitating the development of connectivity infrastructures in the localities across the country.

The development of digital careers is one of the thrusts of Tatak Pinoy, an initiative of Angara that is meant to spur innovation, address supply chain issues, and develop the skills of Filipinos so that they will be prepared to face the demands of the constantly changing marketplace.

Some of the common lucrative digital jobs in the market today are the following:

a. Web development and designing
b. Online teaching and tutoring
c. Content creation (writing and copywriting and others)
d. Digital marketing (e-Commerce, sales and marketing)
e. Creative design, graphic designing, 3D modelling and CAD, game development, logo design and illustration, and audio and video production
f. Mobile app development
g. Search engine optimization
h. Virtual assistance (administrative support or assistance)
i. Branding and public relations, social media coordinator and community management
j. Web research, business intelligence and data analytics
k. Transcription and data entry jobs article and blog writing
l. Customer service and technical support
m. Human resource management and systems
n. Architecture services and other professional services through the Internet

FULL TEXT OF SENATE BILL NO. 1469

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