Baguio online traders register their businesses

BAGUIO CITY – Traders here who have resorted to online selling have started to get business permits to legitimize their operation and give themselves an “identity”.

"Some have already applied for the business permits that they show to their clients if they are asked of their identity," said Allan Abayao, chief of the city Business Permits and Licensing Division, during the press conference on Wednesday for the launching of the consumer and welfare month celebration.

He said they have registered 91 business permits of different trading activities that have online transactions. Of the number, Abayao said that 41 percent are into selling dry goods like second-hand clothes or “ukay-ukay”.

There are also food sellers, beauty product sellers, online service providers, handicraft makers, supplies, and even plant sellers.

After the lockdown, Abayao said the city government started to require online sellers to register, which however was halted after the city council passed a resolution to give online sellers a reprieve considering the difficulty of earning a living due to the pandemic.

While the registration and permitting of online sellers are not yet required by the city, Abayao said sellers should see the benefit of having a permit, which could be a come-on for their clients.

“It will show their legitimacy and there can develop a thrust if their clients will see that they have permits,” he also said.

He added that income-generating activities require responsibility like payment of taxes and fees.

Juliet Lucas, OIC-regional director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Cordillera, said in the forum the government had earlier prepared and laid down rules and policies for the implementation of e-commerce in 2030, but the pandemic forced an immediate setting up of the groundworks.

“There was an earlier proliferation of online business needing that things be rushed,” Lucas said.

She added that of the 9,000 target micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) being assisted by the agency for online marketing, there were 3,069 assisted in 2020 and about 5,536 from January to September this year.

“They are coping with the trend of online business,” she said.