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Spell OA August 2, 2011

Show of legs tayo. Game. Who does NOT like freebies? Raise your legs… *insert cricket sounds here*

Everyone loves freebies. I know I do. Whether it’s an unexpected gift, an online giveaway, a cup of coffee in an office lobby, a glass of bubbly at a club, or hotel shampoo and conditioner… I love it. Little freebies like these make people feel one thing – appreciation. Who doesn’t want to feel appreciated? Raise your legs. See? Waley!

Recently, an issue has surfaced over the Department of Trade and Industry drafting new rules that covers blog promotions. Source: http://www.socialmediacontestphilippines.com/2011/07/do-businesses-bloggers-individuals-need.html. As a blogger myself, I feel that the issue reaches me and many of my loyal readers.

"Jennirosity Day" Apple iPad 2 giveaway

I have been asked about blog promotions in the past, and I have always maintained that my giveaways are always just the tip of the iceberg for my site. Blog traffic is secondary to my goal, which is to share. Luckily, people read my site because they relate to my views, or they’re amused at how bakla I am. Either way, I share personal knowledge that appeals to readers, and that’s how I get traffic. Not mainly because of my giveaways.

Why do I throw promos then? My mantra has always been “sharing is caring”, which is also the reason why I entitle my giveaway posts as “Jennirosity Day”. Many bloggers will relate to me when I say that something given away in the blogosphere is more an act of generosity and appreciation rather than a promotion. I feel like taxing generosity seems a little off, don’t you? What if an average blogger decides to give away a bottle of lotion to her readers? Do you need to tax that pa? What if I decide to give away one of my secret recipes to one lucky reader, would I be required to get a mayor’s permit for it? OA lang.

"You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us and the world will live as one" John Lenon

It is mainly this idea — taxing generosity — that is raising the hype. The DTI is a branch of government that protects consumers. Go ako jan! I’m a consumer too, and so are all my readers…which is obvious from how I call them shoppingero/shoppingera. This is something that I support wholeheartedly! However, in matters concerning generosity, how are there consumers? What is paid for or bought? There is no exchange of money or interest, there is simply appreciation. Can I hear everyone say, “PAK”?

Top bloggers have created a personal relationship with their readers by being responsible and honest not just in giveaways but also in their everyday entries. People join their “contests”, whether big or small, because it’s fun and free! It’s such a simple but engaging way to show gratitude. What these drafted rules fail to recognize is that the internet is not merely a business, it’s a community. Things are done out of goodwill, fun, and for the simple heck of it!

Personally, I am never pressured to write about anything. I write what I want, and what is best for my dearest readers because that’s what my site is about. When I give away gifts, it’s done out of courtesy. It’s a way of telling my readers that they are awesome, while making it fun for everyone. For example, the Apple iPad 2 giveaway from Century Tuna is built around their appreciation for my readers who follow my “Meatless Fridays” (you may view them at my previews blog: welovejenni.blogspot.com) entries. I don’t tell my readers to buy a gallon of tuna to qualify or take pictures of their Century Tuna cans when they make their dishes! My readers send me photos of the dishes they make inspired by my recipes on their own volition. Nakakaloka!

The point is, I appreciate that our government is taking steps to protect us from getting cheated or abused. I would hate for any of you, my dahling readers, to be scammed or cheated in any way, shape, or form — whether online or in real everyday life. I just hope that before they pass these rules, they can scrutinize it a little more. It’s not right to put a price on generosity and good old fun. If they tax the freebies, then it’s almost tantamount to taxing every blog entry! After all, each advice in a blog entry is a freebie in itself, isn’t it? Everyone now… “Tahmaaa!”

Come on. It’s a freebie. It’s done out of love. If the blogosphere simply wants to share the love in the realm of the vast and FREE internet universe, let them share it. Isn’t it nice to know that so many out there are propagating excitement and fun without getting much in return? Everyone loves freebies. I hope we keep it free to receive and free to give, instead of dissuading them by putting heavy taxes and tedious permits on them.

OA: "You need DTI permits for your blog giveaway!"

Now who can spell OA? Raise your legs.

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Jenni Epperson

i’m raising my legs na :)

  • I totally agree with you Ms. Jennie, we also have a blog and we give away some free stuff to our readers/followers. It’s just sad that the 1990′s rule of DTI is being implemented to the modern world! I just hope that they will amend this law first before implementing it.

  • What the hell??? That’s so stupid!!!

    I mean in my case, what I give/gave away on my blog, I did not get for free. I paid for those. And I give away stuff to thank those people who spent time reading my blog. Tapos pagbabayarin nila ako for being generous? They’ll tax me for giving away gifts? Didn’t I already paid my dues when I bought those stuff?

    And if I get something for free and decided to give it away to someone else, magiging fugitive na din ba ako for doing that? What’s the difference between giving away something online or in person?

    Outrageous!!!

  • Ay naku. Sobrang OA lang talaga, I can’t believe my ears either when I heard this from another blogger. It’s not about promoting the blog or the sponsors, it’s about saying thanks di ba?

    What surprised me the most is that a certain blogger lady initiated this, when in fact she is a blogger herself! Buti sana kung may requirements ang giveaways like spend at least a hundred thousand to win the prize or something like that. You have got to be joking.

    DTI is keeping mum about this, I think they were actually surprised with all the hate they’ve been receiving all because a single blogger wants to ruin the fun. I have nothing against her, just her opinion of taking away the personal vibe from the blogging community, which is a place that used to be free of the government’s b*llsh*t.

    If they’re off to protecting the consumers, well, no one’s buying from our blogs naman. How can you call your readers consumers? Or is DTI charging us for TRADING OPINIONS? They are the Department of Trade and Industry after all. Kaloka.

    This has been giving us headaches, and we’ve been losing smiles over this issue. Sana they will just give us our freedom back and stay off the blogosphere.

  • Hi Jenni, I agree with everything you said. However the root of all this is not even the DTI but the blogger who posted her interpretation of DTI guidelines and spurred the DTI to sit up and take notice.

    I don’t think personal blogs even fall under the jurisdiction of DTI for the simple reason that they are not business entities. Having read through the DTI guidelines, they really are tailor-made for businesses which personal blogs are not.

    There is talk by a few self-appointed blogger representatives that a National Bloggers Association is due, an organization that would take care of requirements like permits and such but honestly I think that’s just another way to go politicking or to make some money off people. There was even a suggestion that all bloggers post information like names, addresses, and contact nos. on their blogs to ensure that people have someone to go after in case of promo failure. That is well and good if it were company information, but publicizing personal information could endanger lives. Who’s going to protect the bloggers?

    I hate it when people twist words and laws to fit their own agendas.

  • OA talaga. Problem with government,they want to control us ” ordinary people” for the simple reason that they cannot control those ” big ones”. Frustrating really.

  • You go, Miss Jenni! Getting a permit means they will tax you for sure! Super OA. Why do they need to extort that much money. Pati ang blogging scene, hindi pinalagpas! Screw them!

    I agree with all the points you’re trying to get across, Miss Jenni! Love you!

  • Good job posting this Jennie. I didn’t read this anymore but here in your blog. This news is very disappointing. When you put tax on ‘libre’, it defeats it’s purpose. It seems like the BIR is not collecting tax anymore but COLLECTING MONEY. PERIOD.

  • OA talaga. I remember when our company gave donations to Ondoy victims in our office, na-tax pa sila. grabe, na-Ondoy na nga, binawasan pa yung tulong na binigay sa kanila. :(

  • PAK!

    Grabe, when I read about this I felt truly affected as well as I also maintain a blog where I also try to pass on some happiness. I mean, how horrible would it be to live under a government that would tax generosity. You have placed the issue in such clear light, thank you. As a blogger myself , who holds giveaways too for fun (when I won my first, i figured, when I can, I should make someone feel as LUCKY as I felt!). I have met and interacted with many readers because of my online activities such as the 100 beauty question challenge i have ongoing where i wanted my readers to challenge me with a beauty question.

    i am angered by this unruly step the government is taking. the internet is a powerful arena of expression and if people want to share themselves in whatever way, no one should be making money out of it–especially not the government!

    PS. grabe yung mas mahala pa yung permit sa prize ko.

  • I really think this is OA on the part of DTI. After all, people don’t need to purchase anything to join the giveaways. The only thing they “spend” is their time. Can you tax bloggers for other’s time? What would people who join giveaways lose if the blogger didn’t push through with their giveaway? Nothing at all.

  • *Raised legs! Pak na Pak! Keber sa DTI. Even without the freebies, I’d still read your blog. Being “Jennirous” to the readers is just icing on the cake. :-)

  • i like to think that I am looking at a broader spectrum, while I do believe that in some respects, some provisions are way overboard. I also see how DTI might want to regulate how these contests are run.

    I am not saying that I am for it. I know how some bloggers like to give their readers stuff, just to share the joy and goodwill. It is fun and that’s the way I like it. ^_^

    However while this is true for most cases, there area some contests that require most “like” votes as a criteria for winning. And when bombarded with malicious and ghost accounts voting, the sponsor and contestants are both cheated. walang 3rd party to mediate.

    Some of the fb contests do require purchase of the product. And I would like to think that while they have the best of intentions, it does not hide the fact that the contest is a form of promotion and advertisement.

    So where do I stand on this? in my perspective if its not sponsored by a company, then no tax if it is then you have to have to pay taxes. But both require some sort of intervention from DTI.

  • OA talaga ang DTI on that matter.
    Because, DTI should consult first yung mga maapektuhan ng ganyang regulation which is the BLOGGERS. Hindi yung gawa lang ng gawa ng ules dapat pinag-iisipan rin ang PROS and CONS.

  • plain and simple, this group and this person wants to regulate blogs so she can have all the monies she can make through blogs. nakakairita talaga. I’m so pissed but then nasa DTI na kung papatusin nila ang proposal ng grupo na ito because they have a draft of everything! nakakagigi!

    I also made an open letter to this group na sobrang kapal ng mukha! leche sila internet marketers sila, sila ang may kailangang kumuha ng permit because its their job and business. bloggers are not!

    nababawasan na kasi ang kita nila kasi naging intelligent narin ang mga companies not to go to them for their promos and just go directly to the blogs they like to host their contests. so they want to stop that para balik sa kanila, have you read the part that they want bloggers to be members of their association lech!

    Sorry sa mura I’m just sobrang annoyed to the max!

    here’s my letter to that group who started it all

    and btw, they had a meeting early this morning I dunno what happened but the person posted a date for a meeting with DTI naman. Kapal lang ng fez!

    grrr

  • hahaha.. OA.. you pay the taxes when buy it.. why pay again when you’re about to give something via a contest!

  • Legs are up all the way!!! I’m not surprised through! Everything now is TAXABLE!!! Even toll fees will increase this week due to VAT!!! COMEOWN!! I thought government are supposed to build roads using our tax money?! Then why add another tax after road is finished just so we can pass through it on a daily, even hourly basis??!! PAK!
    I’m sure mapupunta lang ang pera natin sa ISANG BILYONG PISONG pambili ng KAPE!!! Hahaha :D

  • Strongly agree Ms. J! As what I said, will they (DTI) tax charity since most online raffle are just for fun or as a token to readers? I think more than the bloggers’ contests/promos, DTI should focus more on online shops (if they really intent to look into consumerism via the web) if not I suggest they should focus more offline. :D Pak na pak! You already!

  • Lolzzz… i didn’t know that DTI has something to do with the blogger’s giveaways… this is totally new to me…Diosko po naman pati ito? wala na bang ibang pwede mapagkakitaan? I totally agree with you Ms.jenni, that people loves to read your blog because we find it interesting and informative.

  • Ok lang sana eh kung sa maayos na paraan magagamit ang tax eh for sure may ibang bulsang pupuntahan dagdag kita lang sa mga buwaya.

  • I was raging when I first heard about this DTI thingy. I throw a giveaway almost monthly and most of them come from my own pocket, so I just can’t imagine the hassle of applying for a mayor’s permit and a DTI permit which I considered both stupid. Good thing, there are some people behind DTI who have brains! :D

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