OFWs tell Bureau of Customs to keep their hands off their balikbayan boxes

There are talks of additional taxes, too.


(SPOT.ph) Overseas Filipino Workers continue to express their frustration over the Bureau of Customs' (BOC) plans to conduct random inspections on balikbayan boxes, reportedly to catch illegal smuggling activities.


Concerned citizens have started this petition on Change.org seeking help from Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago to stop the BOC from opening their balikbayan boxes and imposing additional taxes, garnering over 81,000 signatures in three days. Sen. Defensor-Santiago responded directly to the said petition and has apparently filed a senate resolution to address the issue.


It seems that this hulabaloo on the strict monitoring of balikbayan boxes and missing or tampered packages opened up another discussion: the BOC's technology has not advanced enough quite yet.


Like Sen. Miriam, other members of the Senate and House of Representatives expressed their concern over BOC's techniques and how its new policy is "targeting the wrong sector."


In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Sen. Ralph Recto suggested the use of X-ray machines in inspecting the said balikbayan boxes, saying that "There are ways to catch the rat without burning the entire house down."


Meanwhile, Bayan Muna Party List and Sen. Grace Poe are both planning to file resolutions in the Lower and Upper House, respectively, to investigate the tighter BOC policy.

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