I attended the bloggers meeting with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on bloggers holding online contests. I was an hour late because of the terrible traffic but I got to hear the question and answer part of the meeting. So here are the rules I gathered. These are just temporary until DTI, with the help of select bloggers, comes up with a final (?) list 3 to 6 months from now.
- Personal and Professional Bloggers (probloggers) are exempt from DTI if the annual sum of the value of prize/s which they personally spent for is less than P1 Million.
- Personal and probloggers are exempt from DTI if the annual sum of value of prize/s which are from sponsors is less than P200,000 provided that sponsor isn’t a big company.
- Bloggers are the ones responsible in securing permits whether sponsored or non-sponsored contests.
- Once a purchase is needed in a contest, a permit is a must whether the value is less than P200,000.
- DTI will rely on the honor system of bloggers to patrol the online community. Those caught without necessary permits penalized.
There are a lot of vague areas with this list I gathered. Like what is the definition of “big company” and if prizes are calculated annually, the contest would have already passed before the blogger realizes he needed a permit. DTI asked Janet Toral of Digital Filipino to come up with a list of bloggers to form a technical working group which will advise them. They also tapped Juned Solido. I hope different types of bloggers will be represented in that working group so the selection process needs monitoring on our part.
I am disappointed at how DTI came up with the above rules. They made them up as questioned poured in, as if they were pulled from air. But to be fair, DTI was open to the different scenarios mentioned by the bloggers who were present and I’m also glad that they want the online community’s input with regard to this issue. I got to ask about my Mukhang Pera blog and they reassured me that since I’m just reposting contests, I need not bother with a permit. Of course it’s a different matter if I’m the one holding the contest.
If there are mistakes with this list or something I missed, please let me know so I can edit this.