Should Bloggers Get DTI Permit for Online Contests Where No Purchase is Required?

So the whole Pinoy blogging community is now abuzz with the results of Internet & Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines' (,which I and most of my blogger friends are NOT a member of, mind you.) meeting with Department of Trade and Industry stating, in short, that bloggers (and their partner companies) now need to secure both DTI Permit and Mayor's Permit before we could run online contests even if these contests don't require participants to purchase consumer products or services.

All of these, all of a sudden, when - for the longest time - bloggers have been running no-purchase-required online contests, 100% certain that such activity is exempted from permit requirements; Because to quote directly from DTI's FAQ page:

Are there exemptions from permit requirements?

Permits for the following sales promotion activities need not be applied for:

1. Competitions, except beauty contest conducted nationwide, which do not require the purchase, lease or payment of any consumer product or service or availment of consumer credit;

2. Parlor games, whether held live during stage shows, parties, special occasions and/or utilizing any form of mass media. Provided, that the home partner of the winner is not required to purchase or lease any consumer product, service, or avail consumer credit facility, including the sending or presentation of any proof;

3. Door prizes given to patrons of concerts, stage shows, stage plays, film shows, and similar activities;

4. Instant sales promotion campaigns;

5. In store promotions, such as, but not limited to price reduction promotions, discount sales and premium-in pack in which no advertisements are made on such sales promotion campaigns.

Largely because of the disparity in the results of that meeting and the actual content of DTI's website, I believe there's now this looming sense of uncertainty in the minds of Pinoy bloggers who are fond of or are looking forward to running such contests. Personally, the question in my mind right now is, Which statement should I believe?

Well, whatever DTI's final word on this issue will be, I just hope it's something that will truly benefit all stakeholders and not just one or two people in the long run, and I hope it won't altogether discourage bloggers from holding such engaging contests -- which I believe have become an online tradition and one of the many reasons why Filipinos are this informed, this active online.

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