MANILA — The Palace said the Bureau of Customs is not singling out overseas Filipino workers with its tighter rules on balikbayan boxes and it is serious in going after smugglers.
OFWs complained about a new BOC rule on balikbayan boxes saying the government should focus its attention on going after big smugglers.
“Unang-una, hindi naman sa ‘napag-iinitan’ sila. Ang hinahabol ng Bureau of Customs ay ang mga malalaking smuggler,” Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview Saturday.
Valte told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan that the BOC implemented new rules because there have been some concerns when it comes to balikbayan boxes being sent by OFWs.
There are instances where smugglers used balikbayan boxes as a way to ship unauthorized goods and then reassemble them here.
“Yun lang din ang gustong matigil ng Bureau of Customs … nagagamit ang mga balikbayan boxes,” she said.
“Hindi po tina-target ang ating mga OFWs and ang atas lang naman sa BOC ay siguraduhing malinis at mabilis ang proseso,” she said.
The process will not cause any hold up in the release of the balikbayan boxes and that the property inside should be respected as well, she noted.
BOC has to be very conscious about handling balikbayan boxes because it’s a show of respect to the owners who legally sent items through the balikbayan boxes.
She also advised OFWs to send feedback to the BOC it they have concerns in sending balikbayan boxes to their families in the country.