Siargao folk revive barter system

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Sol Noguera tends her pechay seedlings in her farm in General Luna, Siargao Island on Thursday (March 19, 2020).

GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island (MindaNews / 3 April) – Barter, the exchange of goods as the mode of economic transaction, is making its way back into this surfing capital in response to the hardships caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Caye Simpoo initiated the revival of this traditional trading method by creating last March 27 a Facebook group called Siargao barter.

The move intends to help residents recover from the economic difficulties caused by the collapse of tourism due to the Covid-19 threat.

Simpoo, also known as Caye Kaye in Facebook, said the group aims to encourage residents to be self-sufficient and return to gardening, farming and fishing and help everyone in need due to the pandemic.

“Foreign settlers, tourists and Siargaonon who have finished the 14-day quarantine are welcome to participate in a barter or swap system. No cash transactions allowed,” she told MindaNews.

“Together we will survive. We highly encourage to do physical distancing during the exchange of goods,” she said, adding those who are either persons under investigation or persons under monitoring are discouraged to join or engage this group.

Simpoo said most of the items often bartered are food and anything in exchange for food.

One resident had his old books bartered for seedlings which were given to farmers under the Hardin Ng Pagbabago project started by Capt. Wise Vicente Panuelos, police chief of General Luna.

As of April 1, Siargao Island has been closed to passenger vessels from Surigao City and Dinagat Island. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)

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