Today in Philippine History, January 9, 1973, a barter trade zone was established in Mindanao

On January 9, 1973, a barter trade zone was established in Mindanao by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 93. Under the decree, the government allowed businessmen from the Sulu Archipelago, Balabac Islands, and Zamboanga del Sur to trade with neighboring islands and sell imported items within the region without tariff duties.

Below is the complete text of Presidential Decree No. 93.

MALACA√ĎANG
M a n i l a

Presidential Decree No. 93, January 9, 1973

ESTABLISHING GUIDELINES FOR LIBERALIZING TRADITIONAL TRADE FOR THE SULU ARCHIPELAGO AND ADJACENT AREAS

WHEREAS, it is a tradition that bonafide Filipino residents traders in the Sulu Archipelago and Zamboanga del Sur by reason of geographical proximity, historical and social ties, are from time immemorial engaged in commercial intercourse with neighboring islands;

WHEREAS, majority of the people living in those areas depend upon such trade as their principal means of livelihood and source of income;

WHEREAS, in order to attain the foregoing objectives it is necessary to liberalize the procedure for entrance and clearance of cargoes and vessels of bona fide Filipino residents who are engaged in such trade;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution as Commander- in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081, dated September 21, 1972 and General Order No. 1, dated September 22, 1972, as amended, do hereby order and decree:

  1. That bonafide Filipino resident traders in Sulu Archipelago, the island of Balabac and Zamboanga del Sur who desire to engage in trade with neighboring islands shall properly register with the branches of the Philippine National Bank in Jolo or Zamboanga City or their designated representatives. Said traders may sell, buy, barter or trade any merchandise, goods or articles except those which are contraband or prohibited by the Tariff and Customs Code, as amended, or those which are banned by special laws and regulations, the value of which does not exceed Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) per trip, not to exceed two trips per month, with such trading houses in neighboring islands as shall be duly approved and certified by the Philippine National Bank. The registry list containing the names of authorized traders and trading houses shall be transmitted to the Commander of the Southwest Command, who is hereby empowered to coordinate all activities and to undertake all necessary measures for the implementation of this Decree.
  2. That the formalities relative to the entrance and clearance of traders, vessel and cargoes and military clearances shall be required and effected at the ports of Jolo and Zamboanga City.
  3. That only vessels duly registered with the Philippine Coast Guard shall be allowed to carry, convey or transport merchandise, goods or articles for purposes of the trade. To facilitate the registration of vessels, the Philippine Coast guard may avail of the services of the Philippine Constabulary and the Bureau of Customs.
  4. The Monetary Board is authorized to waive the requirements of Central Bank rules and regulations for purposes of carrying out this trade. The Philippine National Bank shall also undertake such measures as shall be necessary to promote the greater participation of the banking systems in the trade areas, including the designation of correspondent banks to pave the way for the gradual shift from barter trade.
  5. Merchandise, goods or articles imported pursuant to this Decree shall be free of import duties or taxes when sold and consumed either in Jolo or in an area in Zamboanga City which shall be determined under the implementing regulations. Merchandise, goods or articles removed or taken out from these two areas shall pay the necessary import taxes and duties and any individual in possession of untaxed merchandise, goods or articles outside of these two areas shall be held liable pursuant to the provisions of existing laws.
  6. The Commander of the Southwest Command shall, in consultation with the representatives of the Philippine National Bank, the Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Coast Guard, issue the regulations necessary to implement this Decree and shall recommend to me the necessity of modifying this Decree after six months from the date hereof.

All laws, decrees, rules and regulations which are inconsistent herewith are amended or modified accordingly.

This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 9th day of January, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-three.

Reference:
Chan Robles Law Library
Philippine News Agency

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