Tuesday Aug, 09 2022 08:57:05 AM

BARMM eyes revival of barter trading with Asean countries

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 11:15 AM Tue Jun 14, 2022
A roadside gasoline store in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi sells diesel fuel at P60/liter. (FC)

BONGAO, Tawi-Tawi  – An official of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has one immediate and long term solution for skyrocketing prices of petroleum products in the region.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, speaking for BARMM, said the restoration of barter trading in BARMM with ASEAN countries will help stabilize prices of petroleum products before it goes out of reach of ordinary Bangsamoro.

Prices of fuel here and in Sulu, both diesel and gasoline, remained at an average of P60 to P65 per liter as against P60 to P85 per liter in mainland Mindanao and other parts of the country as an offshoot of hostilities in Europe.

Supplies come from Malaysia thus cheaper as against fuel imported from Singapore and China.

Sinarimbo, also BARMM interior minister who was in Tawi-Tawi over the weekend to facilitate ground breaking of major BARMM infrastructure projects in Tawi-Tawi and Sulu, said now is the time to relive and revive the famous traditional barter trading via Maritime Southeast Asia.

“We can revive exchanging of goods and money, complimenting resources,” Sinarimbo said.

“We can send goods from BARMM that are not available in in Malaysia or Indonesia in exchange for fuel products that will eventually reduce prices of petroleum products,” he added.

He recalled that before the colonizers set in, barter trading was very much alive between the island provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi with that of Malaysia, Indonesia and other ASEAN neighbors.

Sinarimbo said the Sultanate of Sulu and the Sultanate of Maguindanao have barter trading partners with traders in Borneo up to China where the maritime economy exists.

The seas of Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia up to China served as the trading national highway of ASEAN countries.

“Our outlook is the regional integration of our economy, what used to be the back door of the South now has new meaning, that is, economic development,” he said.

Sinarimbo and other BARMM officials were in Tawi-Tawi as “first passengers” of Philippine Airlines from Cotabato to Tawi-Tawi, the flag carrier’s first direct flight within the region seen as economic and tourism booster.

“We are glad we now have the direct PAL flights from mainland Mindanao where BARMM government center is located to Tawi-Tawi,” he said, adding that it is now the beginning of re-emerging of economic corridor as well as political and even governance collaboration between Mindanao/BARMM and East Asian Growth Area.

Economic development is already in the horizon as BARMM pushes for more infrastructure projects down southern part of the region. (Ferdinandh Cabrera)

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