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Old school mag-isip! Duterte mulls revival of barter amid rising inflation

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte is considering the revival of barter trade with Sabah to ensure sufficient stocks of rice in the Philippines.

“There are many options. Maybe I’ll set up the barter trade again, depende kung papaya ang finance people,” Duterte on Tuesday said during his tete-a-tete with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.

The inflation rate of the prices of basic goods and services in the country reached 6.4 percent in August. This was higher than July’s 5.7 percent.

The government attributed the rise in the inflation rate to higher prices of rice, fish, vegetable, and meat.

“When worst comes to worst, I will open Sabah. Busog lahat. Free for all na. Mura,” the President said.

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol earlier said the Provinces of Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi had been relying on cheaper smuggled rice from Malaysia for several years. Smuggling activities only stopped in these areas when Duterte met with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir in July 2018.