Palace: P-Noy to look into OFWs’ complaints on BOC’s new directive to open balikbayan boxes

By , on August 23, 2015


President Benigno S. Aquino III presides over the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board Meeting at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room of the Malacañan Palace on Monday (February 16, 2015). (Photo by Rey Baniquet / Malacañang Photo Bureau / PCOO)
President Benigno S. Aquino III presides over the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board Meeting at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room of the Malacañan Palace on Monday (February 16, 2015). (Photo by Rey Baniquet / Malacañang Photo Bureau / PCOO)

MANILA – Malacanang on Sunday assured that President Benigno Aquino III will look into the feedbacks and complaints received by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) regarding the bureau’s new regulation to randomly open balikbayan boxes in a bid to curb smuggling in the country.

”We have received a lot of open letter and messages through Facebook, e-mails. We’re collecting these and we’ll make sure these will be given to President Aquino,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a Radyo ng Bayan interview.

Valte thanked the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for their response to the BOC’s directive.

”We will make sure also that their complaints will be forwarded to Customer commissioner Bert Lina,” Valte assured.

The Palace official encouraged the citizens to continue sending their feedbacks “so that the Customs will know their complaints.”

”If you have feedbacks about this new regulation of the BOC, just send them. Our government has a lot of accounts on the social media. The President has Twitter account, Official Gazette. Just continue sending,” Valte said.

”For me, I will personally guarantee that your feedbacks and complaints will reach the President,” she added.

Last week, the BOC warned the OFWs not to abuse their balikbayan privileges which allow an OFW to send personal effects or ‘pasalubong’ (gifts) worth USD 500 only in value.

The BOC reminded the OFWs that Balikbayan privileges have limitations, saying “canned goods, grocery items and other household effects must not exceed a dozen a kind, while apparel, whether used or new, must not exceed 3 yards per cut. Only one consignment per sender during a one-month period is allowed.”

Balikbayan boxes worth USD 500 are tax free, according to the BOC.

Valte has explained the BOC’s new regulation aimed not to single out the OFWs.