On Monday, August 17, Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina said in a statement the bureau may implement a more rigorous regulation on 'balikbayan' boxes citing traders are using the tax-free packages to smuggle goods into the country.
Arnold Quejada Prospero, a Bangkok-based OFW called out Thailand overseas workers through his post in SWD Kapamilya to unite in opposing the latest mandate of the customs office for another additional taxes.
"Hindi natin ninanakaw ang pinapadala natin sa balikbayan box. Ito ay bunga ng pawis at hirap ng bawat isang minuto na pinagtrabahuan natin," the post said.
Caine F Kraussen added the Philippine government is only good at attending smaller issues of the country while turning deaf and blind on the continuing exploitation and corruption of some high-ranking and low-ranking government officials.
According to BoC, the contents of these OFW packages must be non-commercial goods or goods not in commercial quantity strictly for personal use only, such as: wearing apparel, clothing, foodstuffs, grocery items, canned goods which value not exceeding to US$500.00
The boxes must not also contain banned or regulated firearms and ammunition, prohibited drugs, pornographic and gambling materials.
If approved, the additional taxes for each balikbayan box would cost at least P325.00.
Recently, MAGKAISA TAYO, TIGIL PADALA Movement has been going around different OFW Facebook groups to encourage overseas workers to stop sending packages to the Philippines until the system gets corrected.