MUST WATCH: Balikbayan Boxes Now Safer: Access of Customs Inspectors To Balikbayan Boxes Now Moderated!
A non-intrusive inspection policy by the Bureau of Customs campaign against corruption will be put to execution soon.
This will refrain customs inspectors' easy access on opening the balikbayan boxes delivered here from the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).
Earlier in September, Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III paved for a permanent "no opening" policy on balikbayan boxes that should be adopted in recognition of the OFWs' significant contribution to the national economy.
According to his bill, Senate Bill No. 1168, the seeking to exempt from taxes and duties imposed under National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) on one balikbayan box per month regardless of the total dutiable value of its contents needs to be implemented.
Pimentel also recognized the hardship of the OFWs just to fill their balikbayan boxes and send it to their loved ones in the Philippines.
“The balikbayan box is an enduring testament of their sacrifice and hard work abroad in order to secure a better future for their families back home. It represents the love and care of OFWs for their families who have to bear months or even years of separation from each other,” he explained.
The hands-off policy will only allow the opening of a BoC personnel under two situations: when the sender’s export declaration and packing list are not attached to the balikbayan box; or when the BoC is in receipt of a written derogatory alert/information from law enforcement and other government agencies, provided that in the latter case, the information is embodied in a sworn statement alleging that the balikbayan box contains banned, prohibited, or regulated import commodities as listed under the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP) or other related laws and issuances.