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AgSur, Philippine sets up online market

In response to the global health crisis, the Sangguniang Kabataan (youth council) in the municipality of Trento has established the Online Palengke, or market, since the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine and now in modified general community quarantine.

Trento is in the province of Agusan del Sur and its Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation President, Nino John Hontiveros said this virtual market aims to make buying essential goods more convenient for residents and reduce social interaction.

According to a press release, he stated that the SK Federation wanted to come up with strategies on how it would be able to help the COVID-19 affected sectors in the town, particularly in the barangay. Officials came up with the idea of ordering online from the different stores operating in the area. They coordinated with stores that helped to carry out the strategy.

The group also opted to help the tricycle drivers whose livelihood was also affected. It was able to connect with the identified tricycle drivers and help them earn by delivering the purchased items from the stores to the respective houses, he said.

Apart from this effort, the SK Federation closely coordinated with the different government agencies, so they could also extend help/assistance on its operations such as the distribution of relief packs to the barangays.

With the new normal, the Federation continues to create innovations to cope with the ongoing crisis. The youth should take part and responsibility in creating well-informed and empowered communities, he added.

Other provinces in the country have started putting in place measures to regulate virtual businesses. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has urged all online sellers in Bataan to apply for a business name registration at their office and secure business permits from their respective local government unit (LGU).

The DTI Provincial Director, Nelin Cabahug, explained that all businesses, including those using the online platform for selling products, are required to have business permits issued by the LGU.

As a general rule, all types of businesses should have the appropriate permit, and before they shall be issued with a permit, they should register a business name first from DTI, a press release has said.

Business names create unique branding, and DTI will able to support registered businesses with necessary capability programs such as free training and seminars, she added.

Moreover, she reminded anew online sellers that they should always make prices of their products available and visible in their platforms in accordance with the Consumer Act.

The agency has a designated unit at its central office that monitors all online selling activities, and highly discouraging the tradition of ‘PM sent’ or sending the price of products via private message.
As per the Consumer Act, all sellers are mandated to disclose the price of their products, and the goods shall not be sold at a price higher than what is indicated on the price tag.

The agency plans to continue capacitating micro, small, and medium enterprise amid the health crisis, therefore, it is conducting online seminars or webinars, which have already been scheduled and cover several topics.

The programmes include the Small and Medium Enterprises Roving Academy (SMERA), Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME), and Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay (NSB).

In partnership with the city government, DTI was able to launch the online SMERA earlier this week.

KMME will also be conducted virtually this year as face-to-face gatherings are strictly discouraged during the community quarantine period.

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