THE Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) is looking at ways to have more processed products from traders in Mindanao to increase income during trade activities.
As the Philippine government pushed for the revival of the barter trade system next month under the signed Executive Order no. 64, Minda wants value-adding products from fresh fruits and seaweeds of Tawi-tawi, Basilan and Sulu to be traded to neighboring countreis such as Malaysia and Indonesia.
“The common products that had been entering through barter system in Tawi-tawi and Sulu are mostly consumer goods such as coffee, noodles, biscuits, and other consumer items. Some are apparel, soaps and certain products that are regularly being consumed,” Minda deputy executive director Romeo Montenegro said during Habi at Kape media forum, Wednesday, July 3.
Montenegro said aside from lack of processing centers, there is also a need for the areas to improve its rural electrification that is why Minda will be pushing forward for the said improvement. On the average, electricity is only available 12 hours a day the areas in Tawi-tawi and Sulu.
“Tawi-tawi is composed of several other islands and municipalities being run by diesel. Therefore, part of the effort being pushed by Minda is introducing, with the support of other development partners, hybrid solar diesel in specific areas to increase the number of hours that electricity is available,” he said.